Like fashion color trends come and go with the times with those ready to charge forward to the new and those who long for the past. For many years we have heard the debate rage on and most people are fairly passionate about their choice to have color lights or white lights. Both sides have let their choices be heard and will have them shining bright for all to see. Unfortunately, they are both wrong…and both right. White lights have been seen as a sign of classic Christmas creating visions of the past. I guess that is true but how many of us these days spent had our childhood Christmases lit by candlelight. My childhood, during the 1980s, technically didn’t have much lighting my father was more of a Scrooge than a St. Nick. However, what I remember is many homes draped in multicolor frosted bulbs. If I wanted to create memories of my childhood, I would choose multi-colored bulbs.
Wait did we just say we wanted to bring back color choices of the 1980s? YIKES! Here is where the two worlds can collide into a beautiful symphony.
Many people believe to have a great lighting display you must have lights, lights, and more lights. While you do want enough lights to be impactful, the art of editing is as important if not more important. That is the same when adding color. When adding color to holiday display you are best to choose one or two colors unless you are creating a scene – more on that in a bit. If you start to add too many colors your display starts to look like a bag of skittles, while delicious it is not the most attractive.
Since it is the holidays most people will use your traditional reds greens or blues depending on what you are celebrating. Another touch that can be gorgeous when done correctly is the blending of cool and warm white lights. Some of the best uses of color include a single tree wrap or bush canopy to create a pop of color to allow your display to stand out from the sea of white lights throughout your community. You can also create unique designs by creating candy cane trees. These trees wrap lights around the trunk of a tree with an extended straight (or curved for added visual impact) in a 2-color alternating pattern. My personal favorites are red and cool white. I have also blue and cool white, green and cool white as well as green and red.
Adding these punches of color does not cause too much color chaos while also creating a fun and exciting vision for the children and those young at heart.
Now back to the if you are creating a scene again editing is key. I have seen many over the top displays with people filling their yards with inflatables, motifs, and anything with a Santa hat Again here I can not stress enough how important editing is. Motifs often have multiple colors however they are more Allowing some blank space in your display gives the viewer the ability to distinguish one area from the next. I am not sure when it came about that the person with the most lighted items in their yard has the best display but I vocally disagree with that sentiment. Limit your non-concurrent displays to a few and only if you have the room to visually separate the scenes. This will allow your viewer to digest and understand what they are looking at.
If you are wanting to add color I would stay away from large multicolor displays for the holidays. I would also add something to the white lighting displays. I do believe that a bit of color does brighten a display when done properly. Too many or contrasting colors can throw the entire goal offline. Simple pops of one to two colors can have an amazing effect in bringing the joy to those who can see the lights. Allow these pops to let your personality shine through and bring some joy into the night.