Holiday lighting installation is something many of us look forward to each and every year, but sadly, many homeowners run the risk of hurting themselves or their loved ones as they hang lights throughout the exterior of the home.
There are always safety precautions one should take before hanging holiday lights, but more so, a helpful guide, including tools needed and step-by-step instructions should always be referenced before attempting a new DIY project.
Continue reading to see all you have to know about installing Christmas and holiday lights.
Recommended Tools for Holiday Lighting Installation
Like any home improvement project, there are tools one needs to complete the project and tools one could use to make your lives easier. Below are all the tools you should consider purchasing (or borrowing) before you hang holiday lights.
- Staple Gun
- Light Clips
- Gutter Hooks
- Extension Cords
- Christmas or Holiday Lights (LED lights recommended)
Tips on Lighting Materials
You can purchase many of these items at The Home Depot or any local hardware store. Before you go spending, make sure you take an accurate inventory of the materials you already own.
First, check out how many lights you own and the condition of each. If any are cracked, chipped or stray wires are present, throw those away as they present a safety concern while lit. Believe it or not, those lights can cause a fire. Also, before you get in the car, test your lights. Make sure you know exactly how many new lights you need to purchase.
While at the store, make sure you are purchasing outdoor lights. Indoor lights are not safe for the outdoor elements, such as rain or snow. They can also blow a fuse or start a fire.
You will most likely need multiple extension cords made for outdoor use. It’s a safer bet to go with a three-pronged extension cord, as they are safer outdoors. Also, make sure you plug them into a GFCI outlet. These types of outlets shut off when they detect a short circuit. You can even buy a GFCI to plug into a regular outlet. Either way, there should be weather protection around the outlet.
Next, and perhaps the most important piece of information I can give you, is to buy a very stable ladder. This is not a time to play acrobat and extend a reach you don’t have. Your ladder should extend at least six feet higher than the highest point of your lights.
How to Hang Christmas & Holiday Lights
As long as you follow the simple safety recommendations and precautions above, you should be able to hang your Christmas lights without any issues.
As time has evolved, more and more homeowners are moving away from staple guns and nails and instead, using light clips and gutter hooks. After all, roof repairs are not cheap, so you should always look to minimize the wear and tear on the most valuable part of the your home. If you do go with nails, make sure you attach them to fascia board.
Before heading up, make sure your ladder is firm and fully opened. To be safe, have friend at the bottom, holding the ladder in place. While it goes without saying, never place the ladder on ice or water.
If you are using hooks, now is the time to attach the gutter hooks. Do not try to carry all your lights and gutter hooks up the ladder at once. This is not a race. The gutter hooks should easily attach to the gutter. You should hear a snap once they are installed correctly. Once you have three to four feet of hooks attached, have your friend hand you the holiday lights and hang them from the hooks. Once again, do not rush. Conversely, if you are using light clips that attach to the roof, you can install those just as you did the gutter hooks.
It’s as easy as that. Then again, you could really step up your holiday lighting game like the family below.
Final Safety Tips
Despite all the provisions discussed earlier, there are a few more safety tips everyone should be aware of before hanging holiday lights.
- Always unplug the lights when you leave the house or go to sleep. Conversely, an easy way to remember is to buy a timer as discussed above.
- Replace burned out bulbs with new ones of the same voltage.
- Never run wires through a doorway or window.
- Do not run electrical wires through high-traffic areas.
- If you are afraid of heights, you can purchase a No-Ladder Light Hanging Kit.
Holiday lighting installation is not difficult, but it can turn into a dangerous project. As long as you slowly follow each and every safety precaution mentioned above, your house will look as illuminated as any other this holiday season.