Tips for Hanging Christmas Lights


man putting up christmas lights on a houseIt’s that time of year. Time to channel your inner Clark Griswold and put-up Christmas lights your neighbors and family have never seen before. Putting smiles on faces is what the holidays are all about. There are endless options for how to decorate your home for the holidays and we’re here to give you the tips you need to be the best house on the block.

What Christmas Lights Do You Have?

This could be your first time decorating the home for Christmas, or it could be the 50th time, either way, start by understanding what lights you have at your disposal. Maybe you have some old Christmas lights that were passed down from your family? Maybe you have some shiny new LED lights you bought on close out the previous year.

Taking stock of what you have available and what you need is a critical first step. It not only gives you a solid foundation for your holiday planning, but it can also save you money on additional lights.  

Plan Your Christmas Light Design

Hanging Christmas lights can be overwhelming and time-consuming so it’s smart to go into the process with a plan. Here are some questions to answer during your creative process:

  • What is your ideal Christmas aesthetic? Does your ideal feature classic white lights only? Maybe you want to use a shock and awe explosion of multicolored lights synchronized to light? Or maybe it’s sections of different colors?
  • Do you want there to be a focal point to your design? Do you have that one showstopper decoration that brings everything together? Or perhaps a simple yet elegant design that doesn’t draw attention to a particular area is what suits you?
  • Are there any surfaces that you need to have special considerations (trees, rails, shutters)?
  • For your design, how long do you need each string of lights to be?
  • How many lights will you need for each component of your design?
  • Look at the layout of your house. How many power sources are available? How far are the power sources from the hanging lights?
  • Consider how you can safely hang the lights? Are there any potential hazards? Are there enough anchor points, if you need to work on the roof or at a height, to prevent any falls? Safety is a critical part of any successful holiday decoration!

Answer these questions, then write down your ideas and the details. Map out your design and see if there are any missing parts or problems you’ll need to overcome.

Once you have your plan in place and new lights have been purchased, it’s time to do some work and get them hung.  

Test and Prepare Your Lights

Be sure to check your lights for any damage or faulty bulbs. This is not only a safety concern, but a bad light can ruin an entire light display. For strands that have a few faulty bulbs, save some money by replacing them with new bulbs. You can usually find a replacement at your local hardware store. Make sure to purchase the correct bulbs

Hanging Your Christmas Lights

Hanging Christmas lights has become an art. Luckily, there are tools and technology that make the job a lot easier.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ladder
  • Light clips
  • Extension cords
  • Multi-outlets
  • Christmas lights remote (optional)
  • Christmas lights timer (optional)
  • Hanging pole (optional)

Grab your ladder for your gutters, shutters, and trees. For all your gutters and shutters, use light clips to make your life easier. When hanging the lights be sure to point the bulbs in the same direction for a clean and consistent look.

Trees can be difficult, and a hanging pole can give you some extra reach or take the ladder out of the equation for added safety.

Rails and decks can be a little more difficult depending on how you want them hung. For the straight-line approach, you’ll need clips, but another option would be the wrap-around (or candy cane) approach. You can string the lights around the rail in a circular fashion like the red and white on a candy cane. It takes a little work, but it can be a striking and memorable design element.

Lastly, a smart investment would be to purchase an outlet with a timer or remote control. This will help save some money on your bills and save you from going out into the cold to plug/unplug your lights every night.

Christmas Light Holiday Helpers

A very easy way to spread joy during the holiday season is to hang Christmas lights. Many of us have fond memories of strolling through neighborhoods enjoying breathtaking light displays.

Now it’s your turn. Get those lights up and be the talk of the neighborhood! If you want to get into the holiday spirit but need a little help, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

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