It’s time to get ready for the holiday season! Hanging Christmas lights before all the shopping, baking and visits from the in-laws means you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your incredible Christmas lights display, and all the compliments! Before you start, take note of these easy outdoor lighting tricks. We'll show you how to hang Christmas lights and get your house looking merry and bright.
Before you start, it's best to take a step back and develop an overall game plan. Resist the urge to "wing it." If you follow these points you’ll be well on your way!
Choose a Focal Point
Pick an area of the exterior of your home you want to serve as the focus. This can be your front door, columns that frame your entryway, or the garage. If you don’t have a focal point, the design of your lights can become muddled.
Consider the Surface
Check your gutter thickness and shingle flexibility to determine how to best hang lights along the roof-line.
Some popular spots for outdoor Christmas lights include:
Measure any straight line you want to adorn with lights. This will help you determine how many lights you need. Be sure to add 10 ft. for any awning. Also, measure the distance to your power source. No one wants a beautiful light display with no way to turn it on!
How Many Lights Do I Need?
The number of lights you'll need to decorate trees and shrubs is a matter of personal preference. A good rule of thumb is 100 lights for every 1-1/2-ft of tree or shrub you want to cover. So, a 6-ft evergreen needs at least 400 lights for a basic level of lighting.
If you want to make a big statement with your lights, stagger two sets of lights side-by-side or look for lights that are spaced closer together. Denser lights are brighter!
Use UL approved extension cords specific for outdoor use and look for lights rated for indoor/outdoor use. Check the Christmas lights package for this, the lighted length and how many strands to connect.
Check your Lights
Frayed or damaged cords can be huge safety hazard, so be sure to triple check your Christmas light cords before you start installing.
White lights are not all the same colour. LEDs typically have a bluish tint, whereas incandescent bulbs are slightly orange. If you hang them side-by-side, they will look mismatched. Lights can even vary based on manufacturer or age, so test first to make sure the colours are what you want!
Forget staples, clothespins or anything else you’ve used in the past for mounting lights to your house. Light clips are your new best friend! They can work with every surface – just check the package to find the ones that fit with your home.
There are tons of different light types and colours – so have fun with them! Just make sure you group the same light-type together. For example, try using white lights on your bushes, but coloured lights on your trees and entryway. Top it off with white icicle lights along your roofline.
Learn more about lights in our Christmas Lights Buying Guide
Note: Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in regard to safety instructions, care and maintenance, and use to be on the safe side.
Before you install your outdoor Christmas lights, decide what you're going to work on first and gather everything together. This is where having a helper comes in handy. Start with bushes, then trees, any windows, the doors, and finally the roofline.
Tip: Step back as you go and make sure everything is shaping up the way you want it.
Test Your Lights
Hang Lights from Trees & Shrubs
Attach Lights to Railings
Attach Lights to Gutters or Shingles
Set a Timer
Flip the Switch
Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors, or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.