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How to Deck Your House with Christmas Lights

Updated on November 11, 2009
Lights of the Season
Lights of the Season

Christmas Lights and Tips

Hanging Christmas lights is popular and traditional for many families. But, it can be a daunting and frustrating experience. Take the time to plan and hand the Christmas lights in a step-by-step, organized fashion. A little planning can go a long way!

Here's what you need to know to get the Christmas lighting project done without the stress and hassle.

  1. Create an Electric Plan. Plan ahead and know exactly what you want to hang lights on, and how you plan to plug them in. Connecting too many strings of lights together can blow fuses (especially the cheaper strings of lights). Plan the set-up by utilizing a couple of electrical outlets.

  2. Safety Issues. Clean the dried leaves from gutters and downspouts to alleviate the chance of fires. Make sure the electrical cords are intact and not cracked or torn. Be sure the hooks are secure and provide a sturdy place to attach the lights.

  3. Use Proper Tools. Get out the tools you will need for the project. Most likely, you will need a ladder, tape measure, light clips or hooks, decorative lights and extension cords. You might also need a hammer, pliers and a screwdriver.

  4. Separate light strands and test the lights. Before hanging any decorations, separate the strands, lay them out across the yard or driveway to get all the twists and kinks out of the strings. Check for broken bulbs and split wiring. Plug in the light strings, and replace any dead bulbs. It's easier to replace burned out bulbs before they are hung and out of reach.

  5. Hangers, hooks and clips. Evenly space the hooks or clips along the eaves of your home. Make sure the hooks/clips are attached firmly and spaced far enough apart to keep the light strands from dangling or swinging in the breeze. Usually, 12 inches is about right. Attach all the hooks along the areas you plan to have lights. Don't use staples or nails, because the wires can be split, light strands can be ruined, and potential fire hazards can be created.

  6. Hang the lights. Before climbing the ladder, make sure it is on flat ground and has a firm footing. Ask someone to hold the ladder steady. When hanging Christmas lights, be sure to hold the strings up to prevent the weight from the not-yet-hung portion of the strand from pulling off or breaking any clips or hooks.

  7. Power Up. Once the lights have been placed securely in the light hooks, plug the strings into the planned outlets. Set timers, if you're using them. Check to be sure there are no extension cords dangling, or hanging wires that could create a safety hazard.

  8. All Systems Go. Now it's time to turn on the lights and do a final check for any missing or dead bulbs. If there should be an entire string that isn't working, check the connections before replacing the string. Many times the problem is a bad connection or a burned out light bulb instead of a faulty string, especially if the strand worked before hanging.

  9. Enjoy the Show! Pick up any debris and empty boxes, put your tools away, and walk from your house to get a better look at your handiwork. Bet you've got the prettiest light display on your block!


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    • Christine Ballano profile image

      Christine 3 years ago from New Port Richey, Florida

      Try Staples, Office Depot, Walmarts, target to start

    • profile image

      nancy muldoon 6 years ago

      Looking for clips to hold lights on wire deer. Also clear, white wire LED strings.