New York Landscape Lighting decorates home in the New York area.
Ever notice those houses with perfectly straight rows of lights and just-the-right-size wreathes? Or the perfectly centered LED manger with archangels on either side? Chances are, these Christmas displays were done by a professional. More and more, people are hiring professionals to make their homes holiday-ready.
New York Landscape Lighting has been installing holiday lighting displays for five years. These displays make up about 70 percent of its business, and owner Chris Waugh and his teamwork nonstop to get dozens of houses ready to impress Santa (not to mention the neighbors) on the big day.
Waugh started New York Landscape Lighting five years ago to spotlight trees, illuminate paths and line garden arches with twinkling bulbs. He said the expansion into Christmas decorating was natural.
“It’s a growing business,” Waugh said. He and his crew work nonstop from mid-October into December decorating houses for the holidays. They deck out about 80 homes in the Westchester area each year, and maintain them throughout the season.
Waugh uses a computer program to simulate a ‘clean, classy look’ on the screen, allowing customers to preview how light displays, wreathes and garlands would look on their homes. New York Landscape Lighting offers hundreds of products through a parent company, Holiday Bright Lights.
Most homes chose this look, with illuminated bushes and rooflines and greenery for the doors and windows. Others choose 25-foot trains, 3-D toy soldiers or LED reindeer.
“We have hundreds of light displays,” Waugh said. “We have wreaths up to 7 feet, and light links, which hang from the roofline, in icicle and snowflake shapes.” The company also provides all the extension cords and power strips. These displays use a lot of power, and Waugh has had to add more outlets at some jobs.
Waugh and his crew do most of their work for the year during the Christmas season. The company offers slight discounts to customers who opt to have their decorations installed in October. “We just can’t do everybody after Thanksgiving,” he said.
Crews of three handle each installation, which usually takes a full day. Workers earn $15-17 an hour to start. In the off-season, the company designs lighting for gardens and homes, as well as engagement parties and other events.
An average job costs between $2,500-$3,500 the first year, although it can cost as much as $10,000. Customers purchase lights and other decorations, and they are stored by the company at a local warehouse, so the price decreases in subsequent years.
Whether its snowflake lights or a train that loops around the entire lawn, Waugh and his team take the stress out of the holidays for many homeowners, getting the season off to a bright start.
Looking for someone to hang your lights this season?
Creative Christmas Decorators in Brooklyn have been making houses twinkle for more than 15 years. Reach them at 718-444-4114.
Christmas Home Decorators creates special holiday looks on Long Island. Contact the company at 1-888-38-SANTA.
For tree-trimming inside, contact SoHo Trees (917-627-6355), who will deliver and install your tree.
Best lights in the city:
In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue owns holiday cheer with the glamorous department store windows, Rockefeller Center tree, and sparkling lights. But the outer boroughs know how to celebrate too. Here’s a rundown of the best neighborhood light shows.
Dyker Heights is the number one designation in Brooklyn for Christmas light displays. Homes from 83rd to 86th streets and from 11th to 13th avenues feature moving Ferris wheels, Mickey Mouse santas and more lights than a Vegas casino.
In the Bronx, head to Pelham Gardens. The Garabedian family's home on Pelham Parkway North at Westervelt Avenue is the center of attention, with life-size mannequins dancing alongside traditional nativity scenes. Other houses in the neighborhood are also in on the decorating fun.
Residents in Bayside, Queens go all out, with square every inch of their properties decked out with twinkling lights. Some houses have choreographed lights that blink on and off in time to music; another home is covered in lights that give the impression of a snowfall. Check out areas around 23rd Avenue and 166th Street.