Your Money Adviser: Those Halls Won’t Deck Themselves: Pros Help With Holiday Lights

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How much does it cost to have a professional take over the decorations? That will vary by region, the size of your house and the dazzle of the display. Basic décor, like lights that outline your roof and front door, may cost $500 or less if you own a single-story home. But if you have a larger house with lots of gables or want more eye-catching décor, the price can stretch to thousands of dollars.

At Christmas Decor, a professional holiday decorator with locations across the country and in Canada, the average cost of a display in the United States is $1,650, said Brandon Stephens, the company’s president. Pricing tends to be higher on the coasts, he said, and lower in the nation’s interior.

“I’d say there’s a larger group of people more willing to spend on decorations,” he said. The company said its sales last year rose by 14 percent, with a similar increase expected this year.

While classic white lights remain popular, consumers have choices far beyond the traditional. Homeowners may now select tubes of glowing lights that mimic falling snowflakes, giant ornament decorations or app-controlled light strips that blink in patterns synchronized with music.

“People are looking for that showstopper,” Mr. Stephens said. Specialty items include six-foot-tall, three-dimensional snowflakes.

Christmas Decor’s representatives take a photo of your house with a tablet, then superimpose lighting displays on the image. If the suggested display is too costly, the software can adjust the proposed lighting until the represented results fit your budget.

While professional installations are costlier than doing it yourself, the advent of LED lighting, which is much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, means powering the holiday décor doesn’t have to be as wallet-draining as it once was. Some people still prefer the look of incandescent lights, but professionals say the quality of LED lighting has improved significantly in recent years. The bulbs no longer “flicker” and are available in a range of colors.

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