I love the holidays. I especially love the weekend after Thanksgiving, because that means I get to pull out all of the decorations that have been stuck up in the attic since January (OK, maybe February).
Nestled amongst the tree and ornaments (including some new Star Wars ornaments that I’ll be reviewing soon), is the only box I dread: the lights for the outside of the house. No matter how neatly I put them away, they’ve spontaneously tangled together in the past 11 months. Despite the fact that they’re LEDs and I bought them new last December, there’s at least one light out that’s taken half the strand with it.
As if that isn’t enough, even after I get the strands of lights sorted, I have to go buy new clips (because they’re never in the box where they’re supposed to be), get out the ladder, and do my annual “how bad has Anthony’s fear of heights gotten?” dance.
What If There Was a Better Way?
As much as I hate the process, I enjoy the results. After all, who doesn’t love a well-trimmed house? What I’d love to do, however, is just leave the lights up all year round. But the cord is unsightly, the clips get brittle and break in the Florida sun, and what’s festive during December quickly becomes trashy January through November.
EverLights thought it was a great idea too. That’s why they developed permanent LED lights that you install once and leave up, well, forever. The flat cord fits between most siding and flashing and clips easily into gutters. You can choose cap options for your lights so that they match with your house’s trim, making them virtually invisible when they’re off.
They’re connected to a hub that you control via an app that lets you choose any color combination you’d like, with eight different patterns to choose from. Since you aren’t locked into one holiday’s colors, you can customize your display for anything from Christmas to entertaining guests.
And they’re bright! EverLights sent over enough lights to cover the front of my house. The 75 feet of LEDs stayed bright through the entire run without any dimming (more than 75 feet and EverLights recommends installing a power booster to your run). And if they’re too bright for you, you can adjust that via the app as well.
So What’s the Catch?
As you might imagine, installing something permanently requires a little more involvement than tromping up and down a ladder with some clips or a staple gun. To install EverLights you need to be OK with drilling guide holes through your flashing and gutters and be comfortable with basic wiring.
Before you get started, you’ll need to plan out the run for your lights. Luckily, EverLights includes a low-stick layout tape that you can use to plan out your guide holes. Then, once that’s done, lay out your lights and figure out where you’ll need to splice in extra wire (using the provided butt splice connectors and heat-shrink sleeves). Then you’ll need to get secure enough footing to be able to pull the flashing away from your house enough to slide the LEDs underneath.
If it sounds like a lot of time spent on the ladder… that’s because it is. I went out on Saturday morning with my lights, expecting to be done in a couple of hours like usual. Four hours later, I had my lights properly spaced and guide holes drilled, but my fear of heights kicked in hard when I had to get the leverage needed to shove the LEDs themselves under the flashing on the peak of my roof. I ended up needing a professional installer to come out and finish the job for me (which is good because, honestly, my wiring splices weren’t that great either).
So yeah, it’s an involved proposition, but the takeaway is that I no longer need to worry about burnt out bulbs or tangled wires or, well, anything when it comes to decorating my house for the holidays (except maybe where to plug in the LED snowman that goes in the yard). Even better, I can use lights to decorate for anything. I can do a nice cool white for when we’re having people over, red and pink for Valentine’s Day, orange for Halloween, really the only limit is your imagination.
Where to Buy
So here’s the kicker, picking up enough EverLights to install on your house is not a cheap proposition. A starter kit with a control box is $250 and comes without lights (so really, it should be called an installation kit). Lights themselves are $150-155 dollars for every 25 feet. So for my house, which needs 75 feet of lights, it would be $700. For all you Clark Griswolds out there, you’ll either need to dial back the display or up your decorating budget.
It’s a steep price, but depending on how much time and money you spend every year on holiday lights, EverLights can pay for themselves. I know that getting a weekend back every November and not having to buy replacement strands (and then a few more when the new ones don’t match with the old ones) is worth the expense. The real test, however, will be how EverLights fare after a year of baking in the 100+ degree Florida heat.
Despite the cost, the results are hard to deny. Especially for someone like me who abhors the messy “wires everywhere” look of traditional holiday light decorating, EverLights is the perfect solution. My house has never looked better and I’ve never had this much flexibility with my holiday display.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, now is the perfect time. EverLights is offering $50 off with a minimum $300 purchase through Cyber Monday. Just head to their site to get started.
Thanks to EverLights for providing samples for this review. Opinions (and fear of heights) are my own.