Decorating the Front Eaves
The "front of the house", or front eaves, is the most common and basic Christmas light display for your home. The house may be decorated with many different styles of Christmas lights, although the traditional C9 bulb is the most common decoration to use when creating an outdoor display. The C9 bulbs are available in a variety of colors and may even be arranged to form unique color patterns to compliment your home.
A Few Examples
The eaves of a home are the overhanging portion of the roof that extends beyond the walls. The Christmas lights are attached to the very edge of the roof, either above the fascia or at the edge of the soffit (depending on the attachment method and type of soffit). Typically only the front facing eaves, are decorated or eaves visible from the street while looking towards the house. When referring to the front of the house, the eaves on the outer most sides of the house are not included in the design, although they can be if the sides of the house are to be part of the display.
The C9 Bulb
The C9 bulb is the most common Christmas decoration to use when decorating the front eaves. This type of decoration is a candle tip shaped bulb measuring 1 1/8" in width and about 3 inches in length. These bulbs are spaced every 12 inches on a string of Christmas lights, which can be cut at any length to fit the home. C9 lights are available as both traditional incandescent (glass) bulbs or the newer energy-efficient and longer-lasting LED bulbs. In either type, the C9 bulb is available in many colors with red, green, blue, and amber being the most popular. The traditional "clear" or white bulb is only available in incandescent. The "warm white" LED bulb is a close match for the familiar clear light bulb.
Fun Color Patterns
The C9 bulb is available in many color choices and can be arranged to create a unique pattern. The traditional multi-color lights contain bulbs in a Red, Blue, Green, Amber combination. Since these bulbs can easily be unscrewed from the cord, any combination is possible! Patterns can alternate between two colors (Red Green) or contain more of a single color (Red Red Green). Experiment with different patterns to find one that you like. Just remember, with Christmas lights, there's no such thing as a tacky display!
Other Types of Decorations
The C9 bulb isn't the only decoration that can be used on the front eaves. Icicle lights, mini lights, and even motifs can be used to decorate the house.
Icicle lights became a very popular decoration in the late 90's and are still very common today. The icicle light is mini light string which has strands (icicles) that hang down about six to 14 inches from the main line. These icicles are spaced six inches apart. Though these lights cannot be cut between each bulb, they can be cut about every three feet and overlapped, thus providing an almost custom cut.
Although not favored by professional installation companies, the mini light strings can also be used to decorate the eaves of the home. These are a cheaper alternative to the C9 bulb, but cannot be custom cut to fit the structure.
For a truly unique display, one can decorate using Christmas light motifs. These are wire framed decorations outlined with colored mini lights. These can hang from the fascia of the home, but may require a more permanent attachment method and are not always the easiest decorations to install.