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Home Improvement  /  November 20, 2020

How to Hang Christmas Lights on Your Porch or Outdoor Trees

Let’s face it: 2020 has been a tough year for all of us. That means this Christmas is going to be more important than ever. To celebrate this joyous time, why not share the Christmas spirit with your community by hanging up some outdoor Christmas lights? Adding a warm, festive glow to your home is incredibly satisfying and very achievable, but there are some guidelines you’ll need to follow.

Come Up with a Plan

When you hang Christmas lights, you’re making a commitment to your home and neighbors, so you don’t want to tackle the job without having a game plan first. Take a good look at the front of your home. Imagine how you’d want it to look when everything’s in place before buying the lights and other decorations. You’ll need a focal point. Do you want your lights to feature yard decorations, or keep them more towards the entrance way. Having a detailed design will prevent your Christmas lights from looking messy and disorganized.

Take Some Measurements

You can’t hang Christmas lights until you know how many lights you’ll need. Look over all the places you plan on hanging your lights and record the measurements. While the straight lines like gutters and door frames are easy to measure, you’ll have to do a little guessing with more complicated spaces like tree limbs. It’s worth noting that 400 bulbs are necessary to effectively light a 6-foot Christmas tree throughout. This should give you a good idea of what will be required for trees and bushes of different sizes.

Don’t Forget to Test the Lights in Advance

There’s nothing worse than discovering your lights don’t work after you’ve hung them. Test all lights before you start to place them, but this is especially important if you’re using strings of lights that have been in storage for a year.

Hanging Lights

If you want to hang Christmas lights from the top of your gutter, don’t ever staple or nail the strands, as these cause permanent damage to your home. Light clips are an inexpensive and effective way to secure lights to your roof or gutter.  For railings, zip-ties are easy and cheap to buy in bulk. Deck clips work as well.

Choose the Right Extension Cord

If you’ve never hung outdoor lights before, you might not be aware of the fact that you’ll need an exterior-rated extension cord. Regular cords you use for indoor appliances are unsafe to use outdoors. To add an extra layer of safety and reliability, wrap duct tape around the places where cords connect.

Adding Christmas lights to your home’s exterior is a delightful way to celebrate the season. Doing a little planning in advance will make the process — and the result —  even more enjoyable.

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