It’s taken extensive research but I’ve finally found the best fairy lights ever … just in time for Christmas. I’m a huge fan of twinkly lights and they’re in almost every room of my house all year round. It could be something to do with an annual trip to see Blackpool Illuminations when I was a child. That was quite some time ago when parents hadn’t turned into event planners. You had to make your own fun back then i.e. playing out, reading, watching the couple of hours of children’s telly at teatime and making things out of matchboxes as demonstrated on Blue Peter. So the Blackpool trip was hugely exciting.
I feel the same way about Christmas, partly because it’s an excuse for even more lights. The only problem is where to buy them from. I’ve used everywhere from Sainsbury’s and TK Maxx to Poundworld and garden centres over the years but all have been hit and miss. One of the biggest issues I’ve had is the quality of the light. I love warm white lights but these often turn out to be far colder and more blue than they look on the box.
A couple of weeks ago I turned to the internet in desperation to look for a long string of warm white berry lights and found www.lights4fun.co.uk. The service and speed of delivery was impressive and the lights are perfect. They give off a gorgeous warm glow. It turns out that the company is based in Yorkshire and was born from the owners’ frustration at not being able to find good quality lights.
It began in 2003 when Tim Naughton bought several sets of fairy lights from a garden centre. As each set failed, Tim struggled to find decent replacements and then came a light bulb moment. He and his wife, Jo, realised they could do better. The business began from their kitchen table and they now have one of the largest selection of indoor and outdoor lights in Europe. Based in Harrogate, they deliver to over 100 countries and supply everyone from people like me to Selfridges and local authorities. The lights on The Stray in Harrogate are by Lights4fun.
Design and quality are at the heart of the business but customer service is one of the main reasons for the firm’s success. Lights are guaranteed for two years and they are quick to sort out any issues. So, I’m impressed especially as I know I am supporting a local business that employs 38 people. The only problem is that Lights4fun is feeding my addiction and the shop is open 24 hours a day. Fortunately, I have Stephanie to calm me. She is a fellow lover of fairy lights. “You can never have too many,” she tells me and, as always, she is right.