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tumblr_ldisaphFgo1qbr8r3o1_500_0Written by Lindsay Satmary

When trying to create the perfect atmosphere, one must always consider lighting to be one of the most important components. There are so many types of conventional lights to choose from: overhead lighting, lamps, even decorative lighting and candles. However, it might be a good idea to think outside the Christmas box. That’s right, Christmas lights. While they add the perfect touch to any home exterior or Christmas tree during the holidays, there are many other ways to use these wonderful lights throughout the year. The best part about that? You don’t have to go through the hassle of untangling them every November!

My family and I love using our Christmas lights year-round. We have carefully strung the lights around the border of our three floor-to-ceiling curtains in the dining room and living room (We have an open floor plan, so these rooms are connected.) During the evening when we’re enjoying dinner or family time, we turn off all of the other lights and enjoy the soft, warm glow of the Christmas lights illuminating the room. The ability to hang them from floor-to-ceiling creates a nice ambiance in the room that wouldn’t be possible with a lamp or an overhead light. It’s not only relaxing, but very easy on the eyes after a long day. Some of our favorite lights come from christmaslightsetc.com.

Lighting can also be used during weddings, prom, parties and events. For example, if you put a string of lights in a ball and place them into a large, glass vase, you have a beautiful decoration that provides unique, romantic lighting. We’ve done this for dinner parties in the past and everyone has always commented at what a great idea it was. Do you have an outdoor entertaining area? Stringing the lights around the outside of a pergola or back and forth across the top of your outdoor canopy to create a fun lighting atmosphere. You can also use the Christmas lights to frame out a walkway for guests to find their way back to the cars at the end of the night. This can be done safely by stringing and tying them to tiki torches sticking in the ground.

Lights in fun colors or shapes are perfect for creating the magical touch for a children’s bedroom. My husband hung a strand of rainbow star LED lights around the window of our 14-month-old son’s bedroom. We leave them on all night, acting as his night light. He loves his “pretty lights!” They offer a nice amount of lighting for us to check on him, but not too much that they keep him awake at night.

If you’re looking for additional ideas for Christmas light creations, visit http://www.squidoo.com/after-christmas-decorating-ideas for some great do-it-yourself tutorials.