Window Lights are wonderful way to greet visitors to your house at Christmas, and here Andy Taylor reviews Konstsmide's contemporary and traditional range of Candlesticks, Welcome Lights and Silhouettes.
In the past Christmas decorations were limited to streamers and fairy lights but now, as Robert Hall has discovered, there is a huge selection of novelty lights that can add brightness and fun to your celebrations.
Nothing will add more magic to your Christmas celebrations more than illuminated novelty decorations, lit by low voltage LEDs or battery powered with low running costs to suit everyone's budget.
There are many illuminated silhouettes of traditional figures, these are particularly effective when displayed in a window to light up a dark winter evening.
Santa is pictured arriving on a present laden train or busy delivering those presents. A cheerful snowman in hat and gloves is seen posting his Christmas cards or sweeping up, and another silhouette features a Merry Christmas message.
Musical carousels will entrance children, and snow covered scenes including a lovely Gingerbread House or alpine village look marvellous whether animated or static and placed on a side table.
Sparkling silver and gold acrylic pyramids full of warm white LEDs will make an attractive dining table centrepiece or positioned on a windowsill perhaps under a glistening acrylic or paper star to welcome visitors.
Decorate the hallway walls or staircase with snowmen, top hatted santas and angels in pink dresses, these are brightly lit by LEDs and come in sets of ten on a string.
Sets of three different sized Christmas parcels in various colours, red, blue, green and gold, with silver red or green ribbons and bows will light up the eyes of all the children who see them. Filled with low voltage LEDs, their sparkle will look fantastic in a porch or under a tree.
There are brightly lit snowmen dressed in warm cloaks with frosted and multi-coloured highlights. Father Christmas can't be left out of the fun. Santas, excellently sculptured in clear acrylic, red and frosted, can add to the merryment, dancing around the tree in sets of eight.
And there are other amusing little Santas, wrapped up for the cold journey from the North Pole to your chimney, who will bring a smile to everyone's face with their beaded legs. Each are lit with two bulbs to really shine on Christmas night.
If you prefer something a little more formal but no less attractive, choose high quality Christmas Bell lights. They may be a simple design but they are beautifully sculptured and the clear spun acrylic produces a lovely 3D representation of the bells that ding dong merrily on high.
As pure decoration you probably can't beat a string of lights with the fascinating addition of golden bows and baubles. These can be draped across the tree to enchanting effect.
Nothing can be more redolent of this time of the year than a star lit sky and Konstsmide Acrylic Stars, illuminated by white LEDs, will certainly not disappoint.
They are available in two styles, either 5 or 7 tips, with the larger style an impressive 18ins wide. With a lovely filigree appearance that sparkles with light, these stars can be particularly attractive when arranged along a staircase, against a feature wall or hung in a window.
7 tipped Paper Stars can be similarly displayed, and at 30ins wide will make a real impact whether you choose the white or red version. They are embellished with either fine decoration or a merry Christmas message.
The gorgeous LED 7 Star Curtain can be located inside the house or in the garden, perhaps hanging from the roof. There are seven stars, each with ten warm white LEDs to create a marvellous impression.
You don't have to dream of a white Christmas when you have Konstsmide LED Snowflakes. Looking spectacular in the evening, there's a choice of three sizes, the largest over 3ft wide.
Made from high quality acrylic, the snowflakes glow as though the symmetrical six pointed crystals were for real. As do the five flakes that make up Konstsmide's Set of 5 Snowflake Light Up Sticks.
Particularly atmospheric when placed along a pathway, each stick is topped by an acrylic snowflake lit by LEDs and they just need to be spiked into the ground to welcome any guests.
The spirit of Dickens and of Victorian Christmases past can be evoked by wax candles. Red or white, these have LEDs that flicker realistically to create an atmospheric that will transport you back to the time when normal candles were used to light the tree.
Conjure up memories of old fashioned yule tides with brightly coloured lanterns in green, gold, blue and red. Brought up to date with energy efficient LEDs, they add movement as they chase each other around the tree.
See all our Christmas Lighting and Decorations.
With gardens becoming smaller, neighbours closer and roads busier, we all suffer from different types of noise pollution. But, as Andy Taylor reports, Forest have now come up with a new kind of fencing that minimizes this nuisance.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and Spring is just around the corner. Nathan James Dodd suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.
Dan Everton helps you look after your pond during the February with some tips on the precautions you can take to avoid the water freezing over, and advice on keeping fish at this time of the year.
Heating will be a deciding factor on the variety of plants you are able to grow in a greenhouse and the number of plants that can be kept over winter. Here, Robert Hall goes through the pros and cons of the different types of heating that are available.