Seasonal Project: The Basics of Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights

fire-hazard-christmas_lights Everyone loves to drive down the street and see Christmas lights glowing from house to house. However, many don’t know the work involved with hanging Christmas lights. Here are some basic pointers for how to hang lights on your house and trees this holiday season.

For hanging lights on houses

1. Make sure you have the proper materials. You’ll need lights (obviously), hanging clips, extension cords, and a timer/controller. Target has come up with a great Buyer’s Guide to help consumers know what’s available and what’s best for your home. All of these

2. Measure. Measure the lengths on your house that you want to have lights on. This way you won’t buy too few or too many lights. Start by measuring the base of your house, going along turns and corners.  Measure along any doors or door frames, as well as windows.

Measure along gutters.

3. Hang away! Once you’ve determined how many lights you need, determine what kind of clips you’ll need (roofline, gutter, or shingles). Locate your power sources–either through the garage or through an outside power source. Hang your lights with the clips.

For hanging lights on trees

For evergreen trees, you can either buy lights that are designed to wrap around the tree, or hang lights around them like you would an indoor Christmas tree. For other trees, you’ll want to wrap lights around the trunk and branches. Start at the base of the tree and work your way up. For more detail on how to hang lights on trees, click here.


There are lots of other ways to hang up Christmas lights outside–on your planters, birdbaths, fences, or various other places. Here’s a very creative article by Better Homes and Gardens on alternative ways to hang lights outside.


Happy Holidays and thanks for reading!

What do you think? Give us feedback on our post.