Now that the Thanksgiving feast has had time to digest, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. The joy and cheer that Christmas lights bring – can also, unfortunately, bring out the Scrooge in any homeowner not looking to damage the exterior of their home in the festive process.
Hanging Christmas lights can be time-consuming and exterior damaging – follow these tips to help you safely and efficiently hang Christmas lights, all while protecting your home.
First and foremost – always stay safe while hanging Christmas lights.
- Use proper outlets (Always use a GFCI outlet)
- Invest in a sturdy ladder
- Never hang lights on a tree that touches power lines
- Never use indoor Christmas lights outdoors
- Always use waterproof or water-resistant lights
- Use outdoor-rated extension cords
- Avoid placing extension cords in high traffic areas
- Tape all extensions cords down so they aren’t a tripping hazard
- Keep all extensions cords above the ground, water, and snow
- Turn lights off whenever you leave home or go to bed
Work smarter – not harder, with these light hanging shortcuts:
Before even hanging your lights, plug them in and make sure all bulbs work properly. This will save you from a massive headache if you hang your lights and they don’t light properly! Other time and exterior saving Christmas light hacks include:
- Net lighting: A mesh of lights that can be draped over shrubs or fences
- Animated lighting: Animated lights made from wireframes to outline different shapes and create fun holiday scenes can easily be placed in the yard
- Shimmer spheres: Sphere lights that can hang from trees that look like snowballs or stars!
Popular and noticeable spots to display lights:
- Around pillars, posts, and deck railings
- Around windows and doorframes
- Framing garage doors
- Along rooflines
- On top of bushes, hedges, and shrubs
- Around tree trunks
- Lining driveways and sidewalks
- Inside window boxes and planters
Bonus Christmas Light Tips:
- Hang lights while the weather is still mild outside (it’s no fun decorating in the winter cold!)
- Before hanging lights, check your gutter thickness and shingle flexibility to ensure a solid foundation for heavy decorations
- Use shorter light strands! If lights burn out, it is much easier to replace a small section of lights rather than a long strand of lights
- Use plastic hooks! All-purpose plastic hooks and clips are an affordable and non-damaging way to hang decorations
- Never use staples or nails! They can wear away at insulation, and even create an electrical hazard
- Set a timer! Once the lights are hung – your job is over! Using a timer to turn lights off and on is an easy way to let your lights do all the work for you
Nothing screams “Happy Holidays” quite like a home glowing at night with Christmas lights! Hopefully, these tips have you feeling holly jolly about Christmas lights this season. Make sure once the work is done to take a step back and take in the view with a cup of hot cocoa in hand – you’ve earned it!