How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights

Christmas is a special season to spend time with family and friends. And one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is to hang outdoor lights.

Christmas lights will make your home look more festive and inviting. Besides, it can be a fun activity to do with your family and it will help spread holiday cheer to your neighbors and guests.

Hanging festive outdoor lights will show your holiday spirit without spending a lot of money. But, how do you actually attach Christmas lights to your house?

In this quick guide, our lighting specialist, Joanne Adams, will explain all you need to hang up your outdoor Christmas lights. We will also give you some quick tips on how you can attach your festive lights to windows, rooflines, fences, and outside walls. So, let's get started!

festive light display in garden

Choose your Outdoor Christmas Lights

According to our lighting expert, Joanne Adams, you must pick the most appropriate outside lights for your house. She says:

"When it's the time to set up a Christmas light display, many people string up whatever they can find". Adams reiterates: "But if you want your home to have a cohesive look, it's important to choose lights that match your home's style."

There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your lights. First, consider the color scheme of your home. If you have a lot of neutral tones, you might want to go with white lights. If your home has bold colors, multicolor lights would be a better choice.

Next, think about the size and scale of your light display. If you have a small yard, you'll want to choose smaller lights so as not to overwhelm the space. If you have a large yard or house, you should use bigger, more impactful lights.

Finally, don't forget about the function! You need to consider the power of the lights you need to use. If you have an outdoor outlet, you can use plug-in lights as they are the most reliable. They're also often the brightest type of garden lights.

But, if you want an option that is easy to install and doesn't need electricity, you can go with either battery lights or solar-powered lights.

Christmas lights hung outside house

Things to Consider when Choosing Christmas Outdoor Lights

Get the Necessary Tools and Accessories

A Christmas display isn't complete without a few well-placed outdoor lights. But before you can start stringing up those holiday lights, you need to make sure you have all the necessary tools on hand.

Here's a list of what you'll need to get started:

  1. A ladder: You'll need a ladder tall enough to reach the eaves of your house or the tallest tree in your yard.
  2. Light clips: These are essential for attaching your lights to gutters, shingles, or any other surface. Make sure to get the right type of clip for the material you're attaching them to.
  3. Extension cords: You'll need some extra length to reach an outlet from wherever you're hanging your plug-in lights. Get heavy-duty extension cords that are rated for outdoor use if possible.
  4. Light-socket adapters: If you want to plug in a string of lights that doesn't come with an adapter, buy one. You'll find them at retail stores or online.
  5. Your chosen lights: Lights are not included! You can shop your favourite outdoor Christmas lights at our online store.
  6. Bulbs: If your outdoor lights don't come with bulbs, you'll need to get them. Though this happens very rarely, it is worth checking.
necessary materials to hang Christmas lights

Check the Safety of your Lights

Decorating your home with festive lights is perfect to spread holiday cheer. Yet, it's important to make sure that your lights are safe.

The tips below will help you hang your outdoor Christmas lights safely:

  1. Inspect your Christmas lights before you hang them. Look for any damaged or frayed cords, and replace them if necessary.
  2. Use only lights that are suitable for exterior use - outdoor lights should have an IP65 rating for the most protection against water and dust.
  3. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for hanging the lights.
  4. Keep your lights away from flammable materials, such as gasoline and alcohol.
  5. If you're using plug-in lights, ensure you use a GFCI outdoor outlet.
  6. Use only extension cords that are rated for outdoor use.
  7. As an extra precaution, you can use cling wrap to protect your connections from weather conditions.
Christmas lights safely hung

How to Hang Your Outdoor Christmas Lights: Step by Step

Have you ever wondered how your neighbours achieve such a perfect Christmas light display?

We talked with our lighting expert Joanne Adams to learn about the best method to hang Christmas lights.

Follow the simple steps below for hanging outdoor Christmas lights in your front yard, porch, patio, or garden.

1. Choose the location

Before you start stringing up lights, take a walk around your house to decide where you want them. You'll also want to consider how much time and effort you're willing to put into the project. Once you have a plan, it's time to gather your materials.

Christmas light display in front yard

2. Take measurements

Take some measurements to ensure you get the most appropriate lighting for the area that you want to decorate

Here's how to take measurements to hang Christmas decorations:

  • First, determine how much space you have to work with. This will help you decide how many lights you need and what size bulbs to use.
  • Next, measure the length of the area where you plan to hang the lights. This will help you determine how many strands you need to buy.
  • Finally, consider any obstacles in your way, such as trees or bushes. You’ll want to make sure your lights are long enough to reach around them.

3. Get your Christmas lights

Before you shop for any Christmas lights, it's important that you think about how you want to use your lights.

Do you want to light a pathway or do you want to outline the roof of your house? You'll also need to think about where you're going to store the lights when you're not using them.

Festive lights and decorations are best used outdoors and can be placed on the ground or hung from a tree. You could even stick them to your outside wall for a more contemporary look.

You can shop for your favorite outside lights and decorations at The OutdoorLights Store. Shop by power, color, and style to find the best Xmas lighting for your home.

Christmas outdoor LED lights

4. Gather the necessary materials and tools

You'll need a ladder, extension cords, light clips, and of course, the lights themselves. It's also helpful to have a friend or family member nearby to help with the project.

5. Safety first: Avoid injury and property damage

When it comes to holiday decorating, safety should be your top priority.

Here are some tips on how to hang outdoor Christmas lights without damaging your property or injuring yourself:

  • Ensure your Christmas lights can get wet - check the IP rating of the lights to determine whether they can withstand rain, wind or snow.
  • Inspect the cords for any damage before use. Do not use damaged cords or plugs.
  • Before hanging the lights, map out where you want them and make sure you have enough light clips or hangers. When attaching the lights to your home, use only non-flammable materials such as plastic or metal hooks.
  • Avoid stapling the cords to your house as this can damage the cord insulation and pose a fire hazard.
  • Once the lights are up, be sure to check them for any damage. If you see any frayed wires or broken bulbs, replace them immediately.

6. Start hanging your Christmas lights!

Once you have all the necessary materials and have inspected the lights for damaged wires or broken bulbs, it's time to start hanging them up!

The best method to hang your Christmas lights is to start at the top of your house and work your way down. That way, you won't miss any spots.

When you're hanging up the lights, be careful not to damage your gutters or roofline. Also, don't leave any gaps between the lights. If you're using a ladder, make sure it has a sturdy base.

festive display with roofline lights

Always wear gloves and be sure to store the ladder off of your house so that no one trips on it when they are walking around at night. Other than that, there's not a whole lot to it. Be sure to use light strings that are labelled and plug them into a surge protector so they don't freeze (if you live in an area that gets cold).

Finally, if you're using mains-powered plug-in lights, plug all lights into the outdoor outlet and turn them on. Enjoy!

Going big: Extra lighting options

One of the best ways to make your home stand out during the holidays is to go big with your outdoor Christmas lights. And, fortunately, there are many different ways that you can do this.

One option is to add more light strands. This will require more time and effort to set up, but the results will be worth it.

Another option is to add string lights to trees or other parts of your yard. This can create a truly magical look that will impress your neighbors and holiday guests.

Of course, you don't have to go overboard with your Christmas light display. But if you really want to make an impact, then going big is definitely the way to do it!

festive Christmas lights wrapped around tree

Wrapping up: A little bit of effort for a lot of holiday cheer

When it comes to hanging outdoor Christmas lights, a little bit of effort can go a long way. With a few simple tips, you can make your home the envy of the neighborhood this holiday season.

In the first place, be sure to use the most appropriate lights for your home. If you have any questions, consult with one of our lighting specialists here.

Moreover, take the time to secure your lights and make your display as safe as possible. This will help ensure that your lighting stays in place and doesn’t become a safety hazard.

Finally, enjoy the process! Hanging outdoor Christmas lights is the best way to get into the holiday spirit. So put on some festive music, pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa, and enjoy decking your home out in holiday cheer.

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