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How to Hang Christmas Lights

It’s time to get into the holiday spirit. Don’t be the only one on the block with a drab house this holiday season. Throw some lights on! But first, we’ll tell you all you need to know. 

Light it Up

To get your desired look, it’s important to know which lights you’ll need. There are a variety of options when it comes to light choices. These include:

  • Mini String: These small bulbs are low-wattage and budget-friendly. They are ideal for small decorations and can last between 8 to 12 hours. 
  • Wide-Angle: Wide-angle lights are known to be seen in big cities and in areas where thousands of these lights are in use. They are perfect for wrapping around trees or a modern Christmas tree. Plus, they emit 25% more light than typical incandescent lights.
  • Net Lights: If you need a bush, tree, or column wrapped, these lights are your go-to. Net lights are connected from a grid and create a uniform look when draped over structures.
  • Icicle Lights: These lights are typically used for hanging along the edge of the roof, stairs, fence lines, and deck railings. Perfect if you want to achieve a snow-covered look. 
  • Large-Bulb: Also known as C5, C7, C9, G40, and G50, these lights are the largest traditional lights measuring in at 2 ¼ inches long. Large-bulb lights are eye-catching and ideal for large holiday displays.
  • Rope Lights: Rope lights are typically used as a decorative light fixture, creating accent lighting for deck railings and stairs. 

Size Matters

Measuring your home is important to know when calculating how many lights you’ll need to decorate. So, keep in mind these tips:

Starting out, make sure you are measuring from the base of the house and running it along any turns or corners. You will also need to measure any columns, door frames, and window frames that you will want lit. If you would like to hang lights from the peak of the house, grab a ladder and safely climb to the top and measure the area of the peak. It would be ideal if you had a helping hand for this step in the process.

When measuring straight lines, such as the roofline, you will need to know how many strands of lights you’ll need to decorate along the roofline. Also, keep in mind the distance in which your power source will be located. This step is essential because you’ll need to measure how many feet of an extension cord will be required to extend from the power source to the start of the roofline. 

Which Extension Cord is Right for Me

Purchasing the right extension cord is crucial in planning where you want your lights to be placed. These cords can range in length, and they provide different amperage and wattage. The most commonly used extension cords for hanging outdoor lights are 16 and 14-gauge. They allow the right amount of power to get the job done.

The chart below explains the differences:

Extension Cord LengthGaugeAmps
25-50 ft16 1-13
25-50 ft14 14-15
100 ft16 1-10
100 ft14 11-13
150 ft14 1-7 

An easy way to remember is that the lower the gauge number, the higher the amperage. This is due to the thickness of the cord and how fast the electrons can travel to your power source.

Different surfaces

Christmas lights can be hung on shingles, gutters, and the roofline. Knowing which clips to use are important to the direction in which you want them.

  • All-In-One Clip: These clips hang C7, C9, mini lights, mini icicle lights, and C6 bulbs. To hang on gutters, it gives the bulb a horizontal orientation and a vertical orientation on shingles. 
  • OMNI All-In-One Clip: These can be securely hung on shingles and gutters. They hold large bulbs, which include: C7, C9, and C6, as well as mini lights and icicle lights.
  • Circle Clip: This commercial-grade clip is perfect for hanging C9 lights and can be hung on both shingles and gutters. 
  • Original Shingle Tab: This allows C7 and C9 bulbs to be hung horizontally on shingles. The dual legs allow for a sturdy hold, and the tab has a firmer grip on the surface.

Santa’s Helper

Hanging up Christmas lights can be a dangerous task. That’s why it’s important to have help during this process. Making this a two-person job is safer and more effective than doing it alone. Even when you do have help, always be aware of your surroundings.

Read More: How to Fix Christmas Lights

Tad Bit Much?

We know this can be a lot to handle, and the holidays shouldn’t cause you any stress. That’s why Wash Me Windows is here to help this holiday season with all your Christmas light installation needs.