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Going Pro With Holiday Light-Hanging:

Los Angeles is famous for a number of things—movie stars, beaches, traffic jams. The city also leads the nation in one measure of Christmas cheer—demand for holiday lighting services.

Of the country’s 50 largest markets, L.A. is tops in terms of homeowner requests for companies to hang their holiday lights, according to HomeAdvisor.com, a home-improvement review and referral website. Rounding out the top three are Dallas in second, followed by Chicago. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Milwaukee, which comes in last with the fewest lighting requests. A partial reason may be price. According to the HomeAdvisor numbers, Milwaukee has the highest average cost per job, clocking in at $671.

That’s almost 24% higher than the average cost in notoriously expensive New York City, the nation’s fifth-priciest lighting locale at $542 per job, and more than triple the cost in the country’s least expensive market, St. Louis, which has an average cost of $211.

The HomeAdvisor site allows users to enter details about a project they want to undertake. The website then matches them with prescreened pros who can give cost and time estimates. For the Spread Sheet analysis, HomeAdvisor compiled holiday-lighting requests from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5, 2014. The average costs are based on prices users reported paying for lighting projects from Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 5, 2014. Milwaukee’s perch atop the price rankings strikes Oscar Peterson, owner of Milwaukee-area lighting company Holiday Creations, as a bit dubious, however.

“I’m good friends with a guy who does work in Chicago, and he has far more customers and charges more per customer than I can,” Mr. Peterson says.

In any case, he notes, the price and size of holiday lighting jobs varies widely. “I have a couple customers where it’s just hanging one wreath on a chimney that they can’t get to, and then there are other customers where I’m there with four or five guys for multiple days.”

Mr. Peterson says his company charges from $700 to $1,200 for a typical residential light-hanging job.

HomeAdvisor also broke down holiday-light demand by region, finding that the West Coast accounted for the largest portion—20%—of the country’s light-hanging requests, while the Upper Midwest accounted for the smallest, a mere 4%.

By ADAM BONISLAWSKI