How to Hang Christmas Lights

Hanging Christmas lights properly to not cause roof damageCan Hanging Christmas Lights Cause Roof Damage?

If not done correctly and with the proper tools, hanging Christmas lights can cause roof damage that can lead to bigger problems down the line. While Christmas lights look nice and can help with the festive spirit, be sure you take the necessary precautions when opting to hang your own. Be sure not to puncture your roof or any other protective roof coverings. 

One of the best ways to spread holiday cheer is by decorating your home with beautiful Christmas lights. While putting up lights inside your home is a must, it’s important to not forget about the outdoors! Hanging lights from your roof is a great way to make your home stand out and show your holiday spirit.

While nails and staples might seem like the easiest (and less time consuming) options, they can be some of the most damaging. They leave behind small holes that can have water and other materials leak into your roof. If allowed to fester, the damage to your roof can become costly and dangerous.

Using plastic clips to safely attach Christmas lights

Nowadays, we have better alternatives with plastic clips that are made for hanging Christmas lights. These clips are lightweight, snap onto the edge of your roof, and can handle the weight of hefty Christmas lights. Using safer alternatives means less stress and worry over your roof’s wellbeing. 

What You’ll Need:


-Plastic clips for hanging lights

-Pole attachment for plastic clips (usually available in a set with clips)

-Outdoor extension cord 

-Christmas lights 


Step 1: Test Your Lights Before You Start 

Before you start hanging anything, you’ll want to make sure your lights are in working order. The last thing you want is to be halfway through hanging them only to realize that they’re all burnt out! To test them, plug them into an outdoor extension cord and turn them on. Look for any burnt out or dim bulbs. Most strings of lights come with additional bulbs for easy replacement. Dim lights tell you the wattage of your connection source is low or not good.

Be sure to use an outdoor extension cord that can handle the weather, continuous wattage of the lights, and the terrain (depending where you plug it in). We recommend Lowe’s or Home Depot for this. Outdoor extension cords are longer and more heavy duty since they are made to withstand more than a normal, indoor extension plug is meant to. Once you have tested (and replaced if necessary) your Christmas lights, you can move on to the next step. 

Finding other areas to hang Christmas lights for a festive displayStep 2: Choose Your Location 

Where you hang your lights will depend on a few different factors. If your roof has any overhangs, that’s usually the best place to start since you do NOT want to drill any holes. If there are no overhangs, another option is along the edge of the roofline. Wherever you decide to hang them, just make sure that the location is easily accessible so you don’t have to struggle when it comes time to take them down.

Depending on how tall or large your home is, you may opt to use the surrounding areas on your property. Bushes, trees, planters, columns, and mailboxes are fun and easy ways to festively decorate with Christmas lights. Handrails, decks, and porches are also good choices for focal points if you plan on decorating with Christmas lights. It’s all about location, location, location. Once you have picked a spot (or two or more), then get to work! 

Step 3: Setup Your Materials outdoor extension for Christmas Light hanging

Once you’ve chosen a location, it’s time to start prepping your gear to get to decorating! Lay out your lights on a flat surface (lawn, driveway, etc.), and attach the plastic clips to your strand(s). Make sure the plastic clips are facing the same direction. Most plastic clip kits come with a pole you can use to reach higher in order to attach your lights. This can be used with or without a ladder. If you are tall enough or have a smaller home, you could use the pole to attach the clips to the trimming of your home. For homes on the larger side, you could step up on a ladder and use the pole as an extension to reach. 

Should you decide to use other focal points than your roof, you could string your lights around shrubbery, handrails, porches, and fences if you like. Some people opt to use different styles of lights for different areas. Some use rope lights for wrapping around trees, lit garlands to wrap around handrails and porches, and net lighting for bushes and shrubs. Depending on your preference and what type of look you are going for, you can use a variety of lights, styles, and colors. Our suggestion is to group similar colors and decide on a theme. If you decide to go with a more colorful palette, then get the colorful lights. If you want more classic, you can get off-white or icicle lights. Whatever you fancy. 

hanging Christmas lights with plastic clipsStep 4: Hang Your Lights and Plug Them In 

Now for the fun part—actually hanging up the lights! With clips, this is very simple. You just push up so the clips clip onto your rafter, asphalt roof, or trimmings of your home. They will usually snap into place, and will remain secure. Of course, this depends on the style of roof you have. Be sure to secure your extension cords so they don’t dangle in the way, and they don’t add extra weight to the clips. We want our clips to only focus on securing the light strands. Plus, this ensures your extension cords do not become tripping hazards. 

Using a light timer can help your lights turn on and off at a set time. This means your display will be self-sustaining throughout the time you have it all set up. Putting it up is usually the hard part, but if you do it correctly, that should be the most work you will have to put in. Timers all you the freedom to have your lights programmed to turn off and on, meaning you can come home to a wonderfully festive and bright display when you get home at a certain time! That just makes the holidays even better!

Step 5: Enjoy Your festive Display!  Festive Christmas Lights display

With your lights all hung up, all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy your work! Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures so you can remember this magical moment for years to come. From all of us here at Sands Roofing Company, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!   


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