How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights: A Step-by-Step Guide - Outdoor Kitchen Picks

How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hanging outdoor Christmas lights is a fun and festive way to add some holiday cheer to your home. However, it can be a daunting task for those who have never done it before. With so many different types of lights and methods of installation, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Understanding Outdoor Christmas Lights Before you begin hanging your outdoor Christmas lights, it’s important to understand the different types of lights available. LED lights are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency and durability. However, some people still prefer the warm glow of traditional incandescent lights. It’s also important to consider the color and style of lights that will best suit your home’s aesthetic.

Choosing the Right Lights Once you understand the different types of lights available, you can choose the right lights for your home. Consider the size of your home, the number of lights you will need, and the areas you want to highlight. Planning ahead will save you time and money in the long run. With the right tools and knowledge, hanging outdoor Christmas lights can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the different types of outdoor Christmas lights is important before beginning installation.
  • Choosing the right lights for your home involves considering the size of your home and the areas you want to highlight.
  • Planning ahead can save time, money, and ensure a successful installation.

Understanding Outdoor Christmas Lights

Outdoor Christmas lights are a popular way to decorate homes and yards during the holiday season. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and can be used to create a festive and inviting atmosphere.

When choosing outdoor Christmas lights, it is important to consider the type of lights, the length of the strands, and the power source. LED lights are a popular choice because they are energy-efficient and last longer than traditional incandescent lights. Additionally, they are less likely to overheat and cause a fire.

The length of the strands is also an important consideration. It is important to measure the area where the lights will be placed and purchase enough strands to cover the entire area. It is also important to consider the power source for the lights. Some outdoor Christmas lights are battery-operated, while others need to be plugged into an electrical outlet.

Outdoor Christmas lights can be hung in many different ways, including along the roofline, around windows and doors, and on trees and bushes. It is important to use clips or hooks specifically designed for outdoor use to ensure that the lights are securely fastened and will not fall down.

Overall, understanding the different types of outdoor Christmas lights and how to properly hang them can help create a beautiful and safe holiday display.

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Choosing the Right Lights

When it comes to choosing the right lights for your outdoor Christmas display, there are a few things to consider. From LED vs. incandescent to colored vs. white lights, and size and shape, each decision will impact the overall look and feel of your decorations.

LED vs. Incandescent

One of the first decisions to make when choosing outdoor Christmas lights is whether to go with LED or incandescent bulbs. LED lights are more energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs. They also tend to be more durable and less likely to break. On the other hand, incandescent bulbs tend to be less expensive and have a warmer, more traditional look.

Colored vs. White

Another decision to make is whether to go with colored or white lights. Colored lights add a festive and playful touch to your display, while white lights offer a classic and elegant look. It’s important to consider the other elements of your display, such as the colors of your home and surrounding landscape, when making this decision.

Size and Shape

Finally, it’s important to consider the size and shape of the lights you choose. The size of the bulbs will impact the overall brightness of your display, while the shape can add texture and interest. For example, C9 bulbs are larger and offer a more vintage look, while mini lights are smaller and more versatile.

Overall, choosing the right outdoor Christmas lights is a matter of personal preference and the overall look you want to achieve. By considering factors like LED vs. incandescent, colored vs. white, and size and shape, you can create a beautiful and festive display that will delight your family and neighbors alike.

Safety Precautions

When it comes to hanging outdoor Christmas lights, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some important safety precautions to keep in mind:


Before hanging any lights outdoors, it’s important to make sure they are rated for outdoor use and are properly weatherproofed. This means that the lights are designed to withstand exposure to the elements, including rain, snow, and wind. Look for lights that are labeled “outdoor” or “indoor/outdoor” and make sure that the cords and plugs are also designed for outdoor use.

Power Source

Another important safety consideration is the power source for your outdoor Christmas lights. It’s important to use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet to reduce the risk of electrical shock. A GFCI outlet will automatically shut off power to the lights if there is a problem, such as a short circuit or ground fault. If you don’t have a GFCI outlet, you can use a portable GFCI device that plugs into a standard outlet.

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It’s also important to avoid overloading circuits by plugging too many lights into a single outlet. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for the lights and follow their recommendations for how many lights can be safely connected together.

Ladder Safety

Finally, it’s important to take proper precautions when using a ladder to hang outdoor Christmas lights. Always make sure the ladder is on a stable surface and is at the correct angle. The ladder should be placed on level ground and should extend at least three feet above the roofline or other surface you are working on.

When climbing the ladder, always maintain three points of contact (two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot) and avoid leaning or overreaching. If possible, have someone hold the ladder steady while you work. And never use a metal ladder when working near electrical wires or equipment.

By following these safety precautions, you can help ensure that your outdoor Christmas lights are not only beautiful but also safe and secure.

Planning Your Design

When it comes to hanging outdoor Christmas lights, planning is key. It is important to have a clear idea of what you want your design to look like before you start hanging the lights. This will help you avoid mistakes and ensure that your design turns out just the way you want it.

Measuring Your Space

Before you start buying lights, you need to measure the space where you plan to hang them. This will help you determine how many lights you need and what length of light strings to buy. Make sure to measure the length of each area you plan to light up, such as the roofline, windows, and trees.

To make measuring easier, use a measuring tape and string to mark out the areas you want to light up. This will give you a visual representation of what the finished design will look like. You can also use this method to determine the length of light strings you will need.

Lighting Patterns

Once you have measured your space, it’s time to decide on a lighting pattern. There are many different patterns you can use, such as outlining the roofline, wrapping trees, or lighting up bushes.

To create a cohesive design, it’s important to choose a pattern that complements the architecture and style of your home. For example, if you have a traditional home, you may want to stick with a classic pattern such as outlining the roofline. If you have a modern home, you may want to try a more abstract pattern such as wrapping trees in a spiral pattern.

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Remember to also consider the color and style of the lights you choose. White lights are classic and elegant, while colored lights can add a fun and festive touch. Whatever pattern and style you choose, make sure to have fun with it and let your creativity shine.

Installation Process

When it comes to installing outdoor Christmas lights, there are a few key steps to follow to ensure a safe and successful installation. This section will cover the three main steps of the installation process: Attaching Lights to House, Running Extension Cords, and Connecting Light Strands.

Attaching Lights to House

Before attaching lights to the house, it’s important to make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use. Once you have confirmed that the lights are suitable for outdoor use, you can begin attaching them to the house. One common method is to use plastic clips that attach to the eaves or gutters. These clips usually have a hook or loop that the light strand can be secured to. Another option is to use adhesive clips that can be stuck directly to the house.

Running Extension Cords

When running extension cords for outdoor Christmas lights, it’s important to use cords that are rated for outdoor use. Extension cords rated for outdoor use will have a thicker, more durable jacket that can withstand exposure to the elements. It’s also important to make sure the cords are properly grounded to prevent electrical shock. To minimize the number of cords running across the lawn, consider using a single extension cord that runs from the house to the first light strand, and then connecting additional light strands to the first one.

Connecting Light Strands

When connecting light strands, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Most light strands will have a maximum number of strands that can be connected together, so be sure to check the packaging or instructions before connecting multiple strands. It’s also important to make sure the connections are secure and weather-resistant. One common method is to use waterproof electrical tape to seal the connections. Another option is to use weather-resistant connectors specifically designed for outdoor use.

By following these three steps, you can ensure a safe and successful installation of outdoor Christmas lights. Remember to always prioritize safety when working with electricity and outdoor installations.


Embrace the holiday glow with confidence! Our detailed guide ensures a seamless experience in adorning your home with outdoor Christmas lights. From understanding light types to safe installation, create a stunning festive display that illuminates the season.



Amritanshu Roy is an expert in the field of outdoor gear and accessories with over 5 years of experience in the industry. As the founder of Outdoor Kitchen Picks, he is dedicated to helping outdoor enthusiasts find the perfect equipment for their adventures. With a strong passion for charcoal grills and smokers, outdoor accessories, outdoor cooking, and outdoor kitchens, Amritanshu is widely recognized as an authoritative voice in the outdoor community. He is committed to providing high-quality, trustworthy recommendations based on his extensive experience and expertise. Through his website, he shares his knowledge and experience to help others find the best gear for their outdoor activities. You can reach him at for any queries or questions regarding outdoor gear and accessories.

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