Home Improvement Tip
If you love the look of lights on homes during the holidays, but don’t love the idea of putting them up and taking them down each year, installing permanent holiday lights may be something that you’re considering. If so, we went to Preston Lawlor with Triangle Trimlight to understand more about permanent holiday lighting as well as to our agents to get their take on whether it adds value to a home. Here’s what Preston had to say in this Q&A plus our agents’ insights.
Q: What are permanent holiday lights?
A: They're basically permanent accent lighting. They are a low voltage product, with ours being a 12-volt system. In contrast with up-lighting that many people have to light up their home and their trees, this is permanent down-lighting.
Q: What are the primary differences between permanent holiday lights and seasonal holiday lights?
A: The main ones are our lights are controlled at the touch of a hand with an app, and they don't get taken down. There's the advantage of not having to pay somebody and/or put lights up yourself. They're not incandescent lights; they're LED lights and have a much longer life than your average strand of lights does.
Q: Are they discreet or can they be seen from the street?
A: They're absolutely discreet. They are installed in a custom color-matched channel, at least our product is, that is run on the eave of the house, just at the bottom of the fascia. They are practically imperceptible during the day.
For example, we had a customer whose neighbor knew that she was having them installed. We were just wrapping up, and he came over and said, “Hey, I thought you were getting lights on your home. Where are they?” He couldn't even see them while standing right in front of the house, and he sees it every day.
Q: Do homeowners associations often have issues with permanent holiday lights?
A: I can only speak for our company, but most of our customers have no problems. For the ones that do, typically it’s because the HOA doesn’t quite understand what the product is. We have a packet of information that our customers can share with their HOAs, and that generally clears it up. After that, most HOAs don't have a problem with it.
I think that the major concern for them, with lights, is it being an eyesore and people running them all types of ways around the house and during the middle of the night. But the app makes it so that you don't have to remember to turn them off. They turn off themselves because they can be put on a timer that’s controlled by the app. As far as where the lights are placed, most people only do the front of the home. We’ve done some patios and areas in the back of the house, but it’s usually just the front.
Q: How long do permanent holiday lights last?
A: Our product has a 50,000-hour life guarantee, which is the same as if you ran your lights for nearly seven hours every night for 20 years. That guarantee is on the product, so basically, we guarantee our product for 20 years. Anytime a light goes out, we'll come out and replace that light or that strand of lights. Or if it's the controller or the power supply, whatever it might be, we don't charge for the equipment to replace it. We also have a three-year labor guarantee, so, basically, for the first three years, if anything goes wrong, we come and fix it for free. After that, it's just labor that you pay for, which is about $125 for a service call.
Q: How much does it generally cost to have permanent lights installed – including the labor and the lights?
A: An average of $2,500 to $6,000. The reason there’s such a wide range is just because the roof lines are all different and the number of cuts, bends, and folds we have to do with the metal that we install varies. Or sometimes the jumps are a whole lot more challenging on one house than another. You have some eaves of the home that are just long straight runs, which is obviously easier to install than one that has a bunch of cuts and turns and stops and starts in the roof line. But the average home that's between 100 and 150 linear feet is right around $3,000 - $4,000. Somewhere in there.
Q: Do the colors of the lights change so they can be used throughout the year?
A: That's the beauty of the whole system is that we have an app. Within the app you have the ability to go in and create any color you want. So basically, our advertisement is for 16 million colors because you can literally make any color you want and save it and use it in some of the preset patterns that we have.
So, whatever team you're rooting for, if you're going to have a boy, if you're going to have a girl, if it's Christmas, if it's Diwali, whatever holiday you're celebrating, you can find and make a color and pattern to your liking. It is 100 percent adaptable to whatever you have going on and are celebrating.
Q: Do you provide free quotes?
A: Yes! We send potential customers a lot of the information that we’re talking about here, and if they’re interested, then we go ahead and schedule the visit and come out and measure the home and give them a free quote.
Our Views on Permanent Holiday Lights
Now that we’ve heard from Preston, here’s what our agents think about whether permanent holiday lights add to or detract from the value of a home.
I don’t think that permanent holiday lights impact the monetary value of a home, but I do think it could be a little something that sticks in a potential homebuyer's mind as a plus to the house – one less thing to do each year!
You’ll want to make any holiday lights be tasteful and minimal when your home is being marketed for the most buyer interest. Everyone has different tastes and levels of decorating for any holiday so you should lean towards festive without overdoing it. I do not think permanently installed holiday lights are on most buyer's "wish lists," and it can also be a HOA violation, so be sure to review the Restrictive Covenants before having permanent lights installed.
How to Ask Us About a Potential Home Improvement
If you’re considering a home improvement project that you’d like us to weigh in on as far as whether it will add value to your home, we’d love to hear from you! While our agents can’t address specific examples, they’d be happy to offer general guidance. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get to your topic as soon as we can.