Tips for Hanging Christmas Lights

Holiday curb appeal wouldn’t be complete without Christmas lights. They give a festive feel to your home and set the mood for all of your holiday activities throughout December and into the New Year. Whether you’ve done this before or it’s your first attempt, these tips for hanging Christmas lights will help keep you and your home safe this holiday season.

Planning Ahead

Will you attach the lights to the gutters or the roof? Check the gutter thickness and the flexibility of the roofing shingles to determine where you will mount the light along the roofline.

Know how many strings of lights you will need, where you’ll be hanging them (just the roof or on bushes and trees as well), and how they will be connected to outlets (power bars, extension cords, etc.). Don’t skip the extension cord – the maximum number of strings directly linked together should be three.

Ensure that the hooks you select are compatible with your lights and gutters or roof.

Know how much power you will be using.

Test the lights before you hang them. Even new strings can have a faulty or loose bulb.

Inspect Lights and Equipment

Use only outdoor-rated lights on your home’s exterior. Ensure that cords are in good condition.

If buying new, invest in good quality products such as hooks, lights, and extension cords – they tend to last longer and be safer to use.

Replace old light bulbs with LED lights that don’t emit heat and use less energy.

When using what you already have on hand, check all things electrical. Make sure extension cords are not frayed, outlets are working properly, and plugs are not broken.

The ladder you use should be in good condition – inspect it for broken rungs, loose screws, etc.

Timing is Everything

Wait for a break in the weather. Don’t try to hang holiday lights when it’s wet and/or windy, especially if you need to be on the roof.

Use a timer. Plug your holiday lights into an outdoor timer to prevent you from having to get out of bed to turn them off.

All the prep work should be done by the time you actually hang the lights. This will limit the time you spend standing and reaching on the ladder.

When you’re too busy or your ladder-climbing days are over, hire someone. There are gutter installation and handyman companies that offer light hanging services.