The glowing guide to hanging Christmas lights

One of the best things about long winter nights is the twinkling Christmas lights up and down every street. Join the festivities with your own lighting installation and enjoy a more festive home over the holidays. If you want the perfect display, then follow these outdoor lighting tips to help you hang your Christmas lights just right.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
1 hour

Designate a focal point

  • 1.1Choose a feature on your home's exterior to serve as the focus, such as your front door or garage.

Take measurements

  • 2.1Measure the length of any straight lines, such as along the roofline.
  • 2.2Add an extra 10 feet for any awnings, and make sure you measure the distance to the outlet as well.

Test the lights

  • 3.1Plug your lights in while they are still on the ground and check that each bulb lights up. 
  • 3.2Attach the light clips and ensure that all the clips are facing the same direction. 

Pro Tip

Make sure your lights are rated for outdoor use and that you are using UL approved extension cords designed for outdoor use as well. 

Start with trees and shrubs

  • 4.1Decorate shrubs and bushes with net lights.
  • 4.2Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to be certain that you are doing it right.
  • 4.3Use a ladder or a light-hanging pole to put string lights up on trees.

Pro Tip

A light-hanging pole is a good alternative if you don't feel comfortable climbing a ladder, as it will easily reach everywhere you need it to. 

Hang lights from railings

  • 5.1Take string lights or light ropes and simply wrap them around the railing for a secure hold.

Pro Tip

Most types of lights are also available with energy-efficient LED bulbs that can save you money and prevent overheating.

Finish with your roofline

Set your lights on a timer

  • 7.1 Install a timer with a light sensor so that your Christmas lights always flick on as soon as it is dark enough outside.

Pro Tip

After you have finished hanging lights from the main features around the exterior of your home, spare a moment to step back and take it all in. Make sure that everything is looking how you planned it and, if it isn't, then use the opportunity to fix it now rather than later. 

Turn the lights on

  • 8.1Turn the lights on or wait for the timer to kick in and invite your family to see the results of all your hard work.

Suggested products

See all Christmas lights

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