Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights

Hanging Christmas lights requires a little planning and preparation. However, the effect that lights give outside your home on a cold winter night is stunning. Kids and adults love Christmas lights. Hanging them is well worth the effort. Follow these tips to make the process easy and enjoyable.

Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights

The first step is to gather tools. Even if you need to head to the store, gather your tools first. This ensures you can find everything you need, it’s in good condition and it’s ready to use.

Items you will need:
-Tape Measure
-Warm clothes (depending on your climate)
-Work Gloves
-Hooks, Zip Ties, Staples Gun and staples or other hanging hardware of your choice
-Extension cords

If you are hanging outdoor lights for the first time, measure before you head to the store. It’s challenging to think about how many feet you will actually need when the light are all rolled up and in a box on the store shelf. Keep in mind the extra footage you will need to make it to and from outlets.

Measure the exact areas you want to hang lights. Measure around door frames, your roofline, the length of your walkway or around your windows. Decide where you want lights and then take measurements accordingly.

It’s also important to walk around the exterior of your home and check where you have outdoor outlets. Take an electronic device outside with you to test that they are working correctly. If you will need extension cords, take note and add those to your shopping list.

It’s also important to think about and plan how you will hang your lights. You can use a staple gun, or specialized hooks. Add these to your shopping list. When making a decision, don’t just keep in mind the ease of hanging THIS year. Consider installing and using a long term system that will work year after year.

If you can, hang lights early in the season, before the temperatures drop.

There are lots of options available for hanging lights. They very in ease, price point and appearance. Pick which one works for your home, available time and budget.

The traditional staple gun is one of the most popular options to hand lights. However, it’s important to make sure you have enough staples on hand to complete the job. The staples can also leave holes in your home and litter your lawn.

Zip ties can be affixed to your gutters or moldings and tied around the lights. They fit securely and can hardly be noticed. When it is time to remove them, simply cut them off with scissors.

Specialty options are also available. Command Brand’s famous hooks now come in an outdoor option, designed for holiday decor. At the end of the season, they can be removed with no damage to your home. You will need to purchase refills for these next year.

Gutter hooks are s-hooks, made of plastic and they are inexpensive. They can be purchased in large quantities online. One side of the hook attaches to your gutter and the other holds the lights in place. These are also easy to remove.

If your gutters are metal you can also use magnetic hooks. These are also readily available at home improvement stores and online.

When you’re taking down your lights, label them clearly. Wrap lights around a piece of cardboard and label clearly where they should be hung again next year


  1. says

    Thank you for the help. My wife and I just bought our first house and we are already excited to hang Christmas lights this coming year. I had not thought about measuring out the area where we plan to hang them. That sounds like something that we could do now in preparation. Are there strands of lights that are different lengths to make up some of the gaps?

  2. Bonnie J. Dewkett , CPO® says

    Some companies sell specialty lights to make up the gaps. However, it’s less expensive to simply hide some or double them up in those spots to make them fit perfectly.

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