8 Pro Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights

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The holidays are here once again, and it’s time to start decorating! You want your house to look better than any other one on the block, and we are here to help. Be the highlight of your neighborhood with these eight tips for hanging holiday lights from the pros:

Related: Top 6 Places in Austin to See Christmas Lights

1. Safety Tips

The most important thing to remember when hanging your holiday lights is that safety should always come first. Here are our best safety tips:

  • If it’s a rainy, snowy, or windy day, you should wait for better weather before hanging lights and decorations.
  • Having recently cleaned gutters can help you avoid slipping and keeps your lights from getting caught up in the gunk.
  • Ensure that your ladder is sturdy and wear shoes with good traction to reduce your chance of slipping. With the architects designing higher and roof lines, most ladders in your garage won’t even reach the heights you need to be safe.
  • Gloves not only keep your hands warm, but they can help protect them from potential injuries while working.
  • Ideally, you should work with a partner, but if you don’t have someone to help you, use a hook to hang your lights and supplies from the ladder.

Would you rather have a professional take care of the lighting? Shine has you covered.

2. Have a Plan

Take a look at the best-decorated houses on your street — that design didn’t happen by accident. Before you hang up lights, take the time to assess your property and develop a decorating plan.

Decide which parts of your home and yard would benefit the most from holiday lighting and consider decorating architectural features to help draw attention to the main lights. Stringing lights and decorations across pillars, eaves, posts, windows, and doors are a great way to add to the look.

Any vegetation, window boxes, or planters, are great spots for lights, and empty areas on the lawn can become home to stand-alone figures and lighted pathways.

3. The Roofline Is Only the Beginning

Most people who decorate for the holidays focus too much on the roofline; yes, you should have lighting along the roof of your home, but it’s just as essential to deck out the rest of the house. Only decorating the roof is like hanging pictures on a wall but not having anything else in the
room.

Do you have trees, shrubs, or railing on your patio? Decorate those too! Tree wrap is the next best seller at Shine, we can wrap trees by ladder up to 30 feet and we are certified in man lift operation and use man lifts numerous times every year. After tree wrap, we sell a ton of pre-lit LED garland and wreaths, we sell a very clean classic look complete with a red bow. The lawn is a great place for larger decorations; adding more holiday decor below the roofline is an easy way to make your home look complete.

4. Don’t Ignore the Backyard

While the front yard is what your neighbors are most likely to be looking at, the odds are that you’ll see the backyard more often, and shouldn’t it look nice too? From trees and shrubs to deck railings and patio furniture, your backyard can become the destination for holiday cheer.

Do you have outdoor tables? What about other structures that are scattered throughout the yard? They might not convey a holiday tone, but you can string lights across them and turn them into something entirely different for the season.

Related: Shine’s Holiday Lighting Gallery

5. Use More Lights

A strand of lit Christmas lights

Many people tend to forget about the bulb count on a string of lights; if you want your lights to shine brighter, find lights that have more bulbs per strand. Another critical thing to remember is that if you are winding lights along posts or pillars, you’ll need more strands of bulbs than you think.

Net lights are perfect for covering shrubs or bushes, and they take the guesswork out of figuring out how many lights it would take to cover them. When it comes to lights, more isn’t always better, but make sure that you have enough.

6. Check Your Equipment

All strands of lights are not made equal — some are rated for indoor and outdoor use, but many lights cannot stand the outside elements; make sure you are using the right ones. The same goes for power cords and timers, be positive that yours are safe to use outside.

Make sure to read the instructions that come with your equipment — you cannot string as many strands together as you want and plug them into one outlet. You should never connect different light strands on the same circuit or outlet; remember safety first.

7. Powering Your Lights

Holiday lighting can definitely drive your power bill up, but you can easily overload your home’s circuits if you aren’t careful. Fortunately, it’s easy to calculate how many strands can be plugged into a circuit:

  • Light wattage: the bulb wattage x the number of sockets on a strand.
  • Total amps: light wattage / 120

Most home circuits are either 15 or 20 amps and support 1,800 and 2,400 watts, respectively.

Ensure that all of your outdoor lights are plugged into GFCI circuits, which trip the breaker automatically in the event of a fault. Power stakes can be used to help hide cords, so they don’t stand out too much when enjoying the gorgeous view of your newly decorated home.

Keep in mind that every time it rains, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, the breaker will trip and you will hate it because it doesn’t simply go back on. You will have to wait for the wet rain to dry out.

8. Use the Right Clips

Hammering in nails to support your lights and decorations is (or should be) a thing of the past. Plastic light hanging clips can be used to hang lights from just about any surface from your roof to your windows and railing. They are affordable, reusable and practically invisible when hung correctly.

Depending on where you plan on hanging the lights, you might need clips of different thicknesses; you want to find the perfect fit so that they can’t fall off easily. You can find multiple varieties of light clips at most home improvement stores or online shops.

Enjoy the Show

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