How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights
November 26, 2018

A beautifully lit house is a welcome sight for one and all during the festive period – but the process of putting up outdoor lights can be a bit of a tricky task.

Luckily, we’re here to help you make it much more straightforward and a lot less stressful, so you can put up your lights free from hassle.

In this handy guide we’ll detail how to hang Christmas lights on gutters, brick walls and other outside areas, as well as which are the best clips, hooks and fixings to use for each type of surface.

Follow each step below to make your decorating a success – and your home the envy of the neighbourhood.

 

Top tips before you start

Before you start climbing ladders up your walls or to your gutters, you need to plan your approach. Make sure you tick off this quick checklist to avoid any frustration.
 
 1. Measure. It may sound obvious, but it’s essential to grab a tape measure and work out exactly how big your lighting area is going to be. Map out where your lights will go and then check you have enough to cover the area, and if you’re using mains-powered lights, check the length of your lead wire and the distance to the nearest power supply. If you need more lights, we have plenty of options.
 
 2. Pick the right lights. Regardless of whether you prefer simple and subtle or bright and bold, it’s not just about the style. Firstly, check the lights are suitable for outdoor use and then locate your nearest power supply – if the distance from plug to socket is longer than the length of your lead wire, make sure you buy an extension lead and a weatherproof extension lead enclosure if you’re running it outside.
 
 3. Test before you hang. There’s nothing worse than spending hours hanging Christmas lights all over the outside of your house only to find your old lights have given up the ghost! If you find any defective bulbs, make sure you replace them because one blown bulb can cause the whole lot to go out.
 

How to hang Christmas lights on...

hang christmas lights guttershang christmas lights gutters

Gutters

What to use: As the name suggests, gutter hooks are the perfect companion if you’re glamming up your guttering. They’re best for hanging up lightweight Christmas string lights or icicle lights, as you don’t want to risk the hooks or the gutter pulling away from the wall.
 
Installing: Whenever you’re heading up to the roof it’s always safety first, so make sure you’ve got a secure and serviceable stepladder ready to go, with another adult holding it for extra support. Before you head up the ladder, plug in your lights (without switching them on), get into position and start sliding the gutter hooks over the edge of the gutter about 50cm apart, threading the bulbs through the hooks. Make sure you change the position of the ladder as you go to avoid overextending yourself.
 

Brick walls

What to use: If you’re planning on hanging up your lights by drilling into your outside wall then you’ll need wall plugs and metal screw/cup hooks as well as a masonry drill bit for your drill.
 
Installing: You never want to screw your hooks directly into the brick as it will crack and break, so make sure you’re drilling into the mortar. Start with the guide holes, drilling slowly to avoid damage, and then drill a hole as deep as the screw is long (measure the straight part of the screw, not the full length including the hook). Next, insert your wall plug and tap it gently into place with a rubber mallet. Finally, install the screw hook until it’s snug, using pliers to tighten if necessary.
 

Brick without using nails

What to use: If you don’t fancy drilling and hammering into the mortar on the front of your house, the easiest way to hang Christmas lights is to use a glue gun. Hot glue is weatherproof, quick to apply and easy to remove come January.
 
Installing: For heavier lighting wires, apply glue directly to the light socket and hold it firmly in place for about 10 seconds until the glue cools and sets. If you’re using lightweight LED string lights, rope lights or icicle lights then you can put the glue on the back of light clips instead. To get it off again, just shake the base of the lighting wire to release it from the brick and peel off the old glue so that your lights are ready for next year.
 

Other areas on the outside of the house

What to use: For adding a touch of elegant illumination to door frames, window panes and non-brick walls, you can’t go wrong with Command’s outdoor decorating clips. They’re strong but easy to remove and don’t leave any mess.
 
Installing: Start by wiping the door, wall or window surface clean to remove dust, as this allows the adhesive clips to stick better. Next, attach a clip to the end of the first lighting strand and place them at intervals of 50cm, or 30cm for heavier lights. Once you’re happy the wire covers your lighting area, finish by removing the adhesive backing and carefully sticking the clips on to the surface.
 

Want to try something different?

laser lights on houselaser lights on house
 
If you’re not convinced that hanging Christmas lights is for you, or you just fancy a change this year, then you can always try a laser light projector instead. These weather-resistant wonders can simply be staked into your lawn and left to project dazzling light displays onto the front of your house. They’re also great for other occasions like Halloween and New Year – not just Christmas.