How to hang Christmas lights

Christmas is getting closer and it’s time to bring a bit of silly season festivity to your place. Since we spend so much time outside during summer, some decorative lighting in your outdoor spaces can really elevate the Christmas excitement.

Whether you’re hanging them from trees, deck railing, or gutters, there’s a few things to consider before you get started to make sure you get the job done right.

Pick the right lights

You’ll want to make sure that your lights are suitable for outdoor use. Look for an IP45 waterproof rating, as anything else can be very easily damaged by the elements. Outdoor lights come in lots of different styles, so it’s best to choose something that fits your style and existing decor. Whether you’re going for bright and colourful Christmas lights or a more evergreen, all-season festoon light, there’s plenty of options to help you get the look and feel you want.

Measure your space

Before you start hanging your lights it’s important to map out your lighting area first, and take measurements of all the key distances. You’ll want to make sure your lights are long enough to cover the whole area, and if they’re mains powered, to ensure there’s enough cord to reach the nearest plug. It’s a good idea to have an extension cord handy, but remember, there are also solar powered options that give you a bit more flexibility in how you can hang them. If you’re buying brand new lights this year, make sure they’re long enough.

Use the right hardware

Don’t forget you’ll need something to hang your lights from. There are lots of choices here, depending on where your lights are going. Gutter hooks allow you to drape lights from the guttering of your house and can be removed after Christmas. You can also try adhesive Command hooks for an impermanent option. Plus you can always get creative with string, tacks, or tape to MacGuyver your own solution.

Test before you start

There’s no worse feeling than getting your lights all set up and then finding out that some, if not all, of the bulbs are burnt out. Double check your lights are working before you start planning where they’ll go, just to be sure there are no disappointments later. If your lights have replaceable bulbs, it’ll be much easier to change them before you hang them.

Use a ladder

Last but definitely not least, make sure you use a ladder, and make sure it’s steady. It’s always a good idea to get another adult to hold the ladder for you too. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and the last thing anyone wants for Christmas is an injury.