11 tips to create your own suburban wonderland this Christmas

Have you been thinking about entering the 2020 City of Ipswich Christmas Lights Competition presented by IGA but not sure where to start? Give these 11 simple steps a go.

1. Start with a plan

A little planning goes a long way. Think about what type of Christmas lights you want to hang. These could include twinkle, static, icicles and festoon. Do you want to go for a traditional look with warm lighting? Or would you like a more fun, colourful mix of multicolours? No matter how simple or over the top you want to go, it’s worth starting with a plan.

2. Focus in on feature lighting

You’ve got your plan sorted, now it’s time to look for areas that will best work as focal points for feature lighting. Tree lined driveways look great with up lights, a cone shaped tree is perfect to feature as a natural Christmas tree with fairy lighting. Arches, columns and fence lines also make great spots for feature lighting.

3. Put safety first

If you’ve got existing lights, chances are you haven’t thought much about them since last Christmas. Remember to check all of your lights are working, and replace any faulty strands or bulbs. Look out for frayed cords. New or old, it’s important to also confirm all electricals are suitable for outdoor use. Check out these handy safety tips from Christmas lights competition partner Energex.

4. Check as you go

Preview your work as you go. You don’t want to install a full set of fairy lights only to turn them on and realise they are not working.

5. Start at the highest point

When you’re ready to start adding lights to the exterior of your house, start with the highest point and work your way from side-to-side and then down. It’s the easiest way to work.

6. Get down low and go, go, go for fairy lights

When lighting trees with fairy lights, start at the base and wrap the lights around in a spiral about 15cm to 20cm apart. Reverse this tip if you want to highlight the tree’s foliage. Start at the top and zigzag lights through the centre of the tree, getting wider with the tree’s shape.

7. Work with a buddy

Hanging Christmas lights is a lot easier if you work with a buddy. Your buddy can serve as a spotter on the ground and also ensure safety when you are working on a ladder.

8. Less is more when it comes to movement

Be selective and try not to overpower with too many crazy moving lights. The best way to create a dynamic display is to select specific areas to feature moving and twinkling lights.

9. Use light to create depth

A great way to add depth and height to your display is to use up lighting on featured elements and trees.

10. Don’t go too big too early

If this is your first attempt at Christmas lights, start small. Lighting two to three items to serve as focal points will work nicely. You can add to your display in the years ahead.

11. Stand back and take it all in

Once you complete an area, stand back and take it all in. Look for any dark areas or wayward light strands that need attention.

2020 City of Ipswich Christmas Lights Competition

Enter this year’s competition and be in the running to share in $5,500 worth of cash and prizes.

There are six categories. They are:

  • Best Residential
  • Best Business/Organisation
  • Best Street
  • People’s Choice
  • Best New Entrant
  • Best Sustainable

Entry is free. Entries must be in by 9am on Monday 30 November 2020.

You can still let people know where your display is located even if you are not entering the competition. Simply select the ‘Listing Only’ category option.

The 2020 City of Ipswich Christmas Lights Competition is presented in partnership with IGA and supported by Energex, River 94.9, Infants’ Friend, Event Cinemas, Burn Bright Studios and Premier Queensland.

Enter at

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