One of the most delightful pleasures of the holiday season are Christmas lights. For one month out of the year, your neighborhood becomes a glowing spectacle of twinkling colors and dancing light shows.
However, for all its simplicity, the project of hanging lights can be a little daunting. But don’t fear. We’ve put together this guide on how to hang Christmas lights to help you out.
Guide on How To Hang Christmas Lights
Everything, from choosing the perfect LED Christmas lights you want to the bare logistics of getting them up around the house, requires more than a brief consideration before climbing the ladder.
This article lays out the basic steps before you bedazzle your home for all the neighborhood to see. By following this strategy, you’ll be well on your way to holiday cheer.
Before you spend any money or effort on the lights themselves, you will need to understand the lay of the land. Begin by measuring every surface you want to be illuminated so you know exactly the lengths you will need. This means every eave, doorframe, and roof.
Next, figure out where your power source will be. Newer homes will have outdoor outlets, but older ones will likely only have plugs in the garage or the house itself. Knowing this, you will need the appropriate extension cord.
Next, check out the surfaces that you will be hanging the lights from. Gutters, shingles, columns and the like will all need to be evaluated so you don’t hit a snag mid-installation. You need clips to hang the lights and you will want to make sure they will actually cling firmly to each surface. With all that assessed and noted, you can begin finding the LED Christmas lights that are best for your home.
2. The Lights
Now that you have all your specifications for installation, it’s time to pick your lights. For the sake of this article, we are focusing on LED outdoor Christmas lights. In which case you will want to focus on the most popular styles which typically include C7 and C9 bulbs. For lights that will be free hanging on gutters and sills, icicle lights are a fun choice.
Before picking your favorites, consider that you can buy string in which the bulbs are preinstalled or the string and bulbs separately. While it might be more work, buying separate strings and bulbs allows for more custom options as well as easy repairs. If you are covering a whole roof, it may be a good idea to invest an entire spool to save time and money.
Keep in mind that these lights should be more rugged then indoor LED Christmas tree lights. They need to withstand harsh winter weather and be able to last through more than one season.
As a simple rule of thumb, your lights should not surpass 80% of a circuit’s wattage capacity. To get an accurate calculation of watts per string simply multiplies the wattage of each bulb by the number of bulbs on the string.
Divide this resulting number by 120 to find out the total amps. Compare this to your circuit and organize your lights accordingly.
4. Christmas Light Clips
Clips are the most forgotten piece of equipment in this whole process. All clips are not created equally, and you will want to make sure that you have the best ones for the job.
Gutters will need something different than a column or window frame. Furthermore, the clip needs to fit the bulbs and string. Some are meant for delicate, dainty lights while others are designed to hold durable, tough strings. You’re the safest bet is an all-in-one clip that are designed to match most string and bulb sets.
Next, for safety and organization, you will probably want to attach your clips beforehand. This will allow for exact spacing and easy installation wherein you simply climb the ladder and attach the lights to the surface. The other option to attaches the clips to surfaces first and then hang the lights.
However, this is often more time consuming and prone to mistakes. Do what works best for your situation but don’t catch yourself deciding while our climbing the ladder.
5. Switch Them On
With everything lined up and hanging as it should plug in the lights. However, it’s not time to relax and enjoy them yet. With the lights shining, inspect each strand and make sure there are no dead bulbs or loose clips.
Furthermore, make sure this is exactly how you want it to look. You might as well make adjustments while you have all your supplies ready rather than halfway through the season.
If you have decided to install a timer, take this moment to choose your times and set your hours. With all this done, it’s finally time to sit back and enjoy the glowing fruits of your labor. You may just be the envy of your street!