Do your homework before hiring lighting company

Lighting companies have cropped help to make your yard brighter. But be careful before you pay
December 13, 2013 8:34:41 PM PST
If you want to go full Griswald but are afraid of falling off a ladder, you can hire companies to string your Christmas lights for you. But as with most services buyer beware.

Let's face it, if you have a steep roof or two stories, getting the lights just right can be difficult, if not dangerous, so lighting companies have cropped help to make your yard brighter. But be careful before you pay.

Pat Williams loves the lights at the Houston Zoo.

If you would like your yard to look like this, you can try yourself or hire someone to do the job for you. But before you do, Dan Parsons with the Houston BBB says check out the company before spending money.

"They take the money, they say they're going to do it and then Santa's Sleigh don't ride. We just don't see them again," he said.

Parsons says you should look at three things before hiring anyone to string your holiday lights.

"Research the BBB reports; number two: get references, preferably local in the neighborhood; and number three: go look at it," he said.

Professional lighting experts Thomas Ginn agrees and adds if a tree lighting company can't accept credit cards, there's reason to be suspicious.

"Always pay by credit card if you can, and that way if you should have a problem, you can dispute it. If you have a problem with a company, they can credit you back," Ginn said.

Ginn says companies should be using an app-watt meter to check the load capacity of outlets. He adds companies should never string together more than three conventional light strands.

"We've seen some Christmas companies go in remove the breaker that it is rated for, actually increase it which is totally against the code, but also, you wind up with an electrical fire," Ginn said.

It's not too late to hire a lighting company, but typically they begin working in September and October in order to meet demand.

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