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New year, new Christmas


By Christopher Stille, Gala Lights Managing Director


It’s hard to believe that Christmas was just a few weeks ago. The evenings are dark and we’re in the midst of winter, but now is a good time to be thinking about brightening-up this Christmas with a new lighting display.

How were your festive illuminations last year? Was there something missing, or which could be improved? Act now, while last year’s display is still fresh in your memory.

At Gala Lights, Christmas lights are a year-round job. We work with BIDs throughout the UK including Canterbury, Hull and York, to ensure their displays are the best they can be. 

Is your Christmas lighting scheme due for renewal?

Now is the perfect time to think about refreshing or replacing your Christmas lights.

Consider if you would like more lamp column or across street decorations in roads which were previously unlit, to include more of the BID area in the scheme. Are there any significant buildings or landmarks which you’d like to be included?

If you require a completely new scheme, does it require a particular look? Some tenders express a preference for a contemporary scheme, others require a more traditional feel.

Do you have a new BID?

Are you a new BID Manager, or has your BID just taken-on responsibility for the lights? Allow yourself plenty of time to get it right - start planning early. Spring is a good time to start - Christmas is the same deadline for everyone!

Be assured that we can help you through the process step-by-step.  All our customers have a dedicated Gala Lights Project Manager, who can advise on which permissions need to be obtained, what infrastructure needs replacing, and what is possible and best suited to your BID area’s unique infrastructure.

Have you just secured a new BID term?

Make Christmas 2020 the best display ever! Consider adding a focal area or wow-centrepiece to your existing scheme for maximum impact, or increasing BID area coverage to include new streets into the display.

It’s possible to put lights on lampposts, across streets and on building exteriors, as well as in trees, on bridges or projected onto landmarks. If you have the power source to support it, the addition of a floor-standing 3D decoration can be an effective way of drawing attention to a Christmas market, grotto or ice skating rink.

New scheme, new technology

The energy-saving benefits of LED lights are well-known, but they’re brighter too. Technology is always developing and improving, so by renewing and refreshing your Christmas lights regularly, you’re benefitting from the latest technology. Our displays now use high-quality LEDs, chasing animation, glitter effect, gobo projection and remote-control switch-on amongst other developments.

How do I pay for Christmas lights?

BIDs usually hire a Christmas lighting scheme over a period of 3-5 years, depending on the BID term.

By hiring the lights, you can change the scheme for a brand new display at the end of the term and can also spread the total cost over the hire term.

Hiring a scheme usually includes maintenance of the lights, storage, environmentally-friendly disposal, out of season insurance and transportation from the supplier’s storage facility to the display site.

Benefit from bespoke lights for your unique BID area

A good Christmas lighting scheme can’t be bought ‘off the shelf’. At Gala Lights we provide free site surveys and design proposals to ensure every scheme is bespoke and suited to its location.

Many Festive Lighting tenders are put out in Q1 to allow sufficient time for conducting site visits, designing a bespoke scheme, manufacturing the lights, transporting and installing them.

The infrastructural make-up is different for every BID, so work closely with your professional lighting supplier to build an accurate picture of what is possible. Generally speaking, if your BID area has had Christmas lights in a certain location previously, there should be the necessary anchor points and power supplies to support lights in the future.

Half your budget can be spent on installation and take-down

Set a realistic Christmas lighting budget, ensuring you have sufficient funds to cover the necessary installation and take-down costs, in addition to paying for the lights themselves.

Investing in a good Christmas lighting display for your BID will result in an improved atmosphere and an uplift in footfall, which is great for businesses, visitors and residents alike. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your scheme: BIDs@GalaLights.com | 01622 882424 | www.galalights.com or connect with us on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

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