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How to Hang Christmas Lights

Posted a few years ago by John Morrison - No Comments

Are you thinking that this is the year that you will showcase your Christmas spirit by hanging lights in your front yard? Hanging lights actually can be very easy to do, depending on how far you want to go with it.  Just keep in mind that once you hang the lights, the job is only half done, because you must deal with taking them down and storing them.

If you are hanging lights for the first time, we recommend the best way to get started is by keeping the job simple.  Don’t plan your first year to light your entire front yard.  Take the first year to gain some experience about what it takes to hang lights.  Also use it to learn other factors about hanging lights that you may have not considered, such as the expense of hanging lights when it comes to your power bill, buying the right equipment, and in some situations theft of your lights (believe it or not, this does happen).  The next helpful tip for when you’re planning to hang lights, is that it’s better to plan ahead.  Don’t go stringing lights here and there, without making a plan on how you will do it. Make sure you are also using outdoor safe lights.  If you are stringing non-LED lights, you will really need to plan because these types of lights can only be strong two or three connectors before they become unsafe and can cause a fuse for your power outlets to blow.  Luckily with the new LED lights, although they may be a more expensive upfront cost, in the long run, you can string dozens of sets together, while still conserving energy, and not having to replace the lights as often (although they still do break).

If it’s your first time hanging lights, you will need to make sure you have the following supplies listed below.  Now you won’t need all these supplies, depending on what and where you are hanging the lights, but these are the supplies you will need for most jobs.

  1. Christmas Lights *
  2. A Ladder
  3. A second pair of Hands (Someone’s help)
  4. Twisties
  5. Roof Clips
  6. Exension Coords
  7. Tape

When buying Christmas lights, there are several different types, and I’m not just referring to LED’s and Non-LED’s.  There are Icicle Lights, and lights in a net shape built for adding to bushes etc. You can also purchase lawn lights with pre-designed shapes such as Deer or Santa, to just name a few.  When you are at the store, make sure you've already got some idea of what you’ll be doing with your yard or balcony.  Such as Icicle lights are perfect for hanging from your roof, so if you don’t intend on hanging lights from your roof, you may want to steer clear from these types of lights.

It’s also an important part to make sure you have someone’s help.  Especially depending on what you are hanging the lights.  Working with the roof, it’s a great idea to have extra assistance, so that when you are on a ladder, you can have someone holding the ladder, or holding on to the lights.

Even though it’s not a requirement, I like to cover up the ends of the Electrical connections, with tape, to prevent water from getting inside the connectors.  I live somewhere where it rains a lot during this time of the year, so it’s important that you cover them up to prevent any shortages to your outside plugs due to water.

Another very important reason to plan, is so you can make sure you don’t overload your outdoor plugs. Running all your lights off of one plug, especially when you have over 5 sets, isn't a great idea.  At my home, I have two outdoor plugs, plus I can run a cord from my garage to outside.  This is also a great idea, in case you have some sort of electrical problem and you lose a plug for any reason.  You can still have lights running from your other plugs.  After years of hanging lights, I’ve learned that hanging lights usually leads to at least a couple electrical issues.  That’s how I learned about the tape on the connectors, after tripping a couple fuses and losing a couple of sets.

That’s it for guidance, I hope this article helped, and as your experiment, please feel free to contribute your own advice and leave a comment to give suggestions to our other website visitors.

John Morrison - Author Biography

I have over 25 years experience in this industry. I have worked with general contracting work which includes electrical, plumbing, and kitchen/bathroom remodeling work. I hope to help others with their home improvement DIY needs.

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