Unsure how to hang your exterior holiday lights on your house? There are a wide variety of clips, ties and fasteners on the market that can make holiday light hanging easier than ever. What hasn’t become any easier is climbing a ladder and safely navigating the roof in inclement, winter weather. Each year, thousands of homeowners are sent to the emergency room from falling off a ladder. Use caution and common sense when hanging your lights by keeping these tips in mind:

  • Never hang broken or frayed lights
  • Only use lights that are UL listed and approved for outdoor use
  • Don’t hang lights by yourself, have someone who can hand you supplies and steady the ladder.
  • Don’t climb the roof if your shingles or roof are damaged

Now that we’ve covered the safety details, let’s start hanging the decorations!

Plan ahead

Even if you plan on hanging lights in the same spot as last year, you’ll want to gather all of your supplies, test your strands, and plan. Plug in the lights to make sure they work and decide which strands go where. Some homeowners find it easier to plug the strand in first to ensure that the plug will reach the outlet.

Homes tend to look best when the same colors of lights are used in groupings. For example, you may want all white LED lights on your home but save the colored C7 lights for the shrubbery. Make sure you have enough lights and remember that the closer the lights are to each other, the brighter they will appear.


Use the right tools for the right job

If you haven’t purchased light clips before, you’ll be pleased to know that there are all sorts of shapes and sizes for railings, siding, window casements, gutters and roof shingles. Make sure your ladder is steady before climbing and have a friend on hand to assist. For hanging lights on bushes and trees, try using an extendable pole to reach high areas.

Types of hanging clips

There are many different types of clips you can readily purchase. Some homeowners utilize hooks that stay attached to the home all year long, others prefer these removable clips. We tested three basic types of removable clips:

  • Deck clips: attaches to eaves, railings and banisters
  • Roof clips: attaches to shingles and gutters
  • Adhesive clips: attaches to smooth surfaces like windows and door frames (be sure to test these out first to ensure they don’t leave behind a sticky residue)

Want to hire a professional to hang your exterior holiday lights this season? Search for a holiday lighting or event lighting specialist on Porch!