It’s time to let your house shine! If you’re getting in the festive mood and plan to hang outdoor Christmas lights around your home, there are some simple steps you can follow to make your house the highlight of the neighborhood! Hanging Christmas lights doesn’t require a professional, but you can make it look just a wonderful! No matter what type of lights you plan to decorate with – hanging icicles, classic flashing bulbs, LED lights, twinkling string lights – these tips will help you hang your outdoor Christmas lights like a pro.
Be sure your gutters have been cleaned properly before starting. This will help to avoid accidental slipping or your lighting materials from getting caught up. Use sturdy ladders and shoes that will resist slipping when you climb up onto your roof. If it’s raining, snowing or windy, you may want to wait until the weather calms down. Wearing gloves can keep you warm, and protect your hands from injury, as well.
For a super easy method to hang your outdoor Christmas lights, try light hanging clips. These can be found at most home improvement stores. You’ll have an easier time (and it will look nicer) when you hang lights on gutters, shingles, walkways and windows. You’ll also avoid having to lug a hammer and nails up to your roof! You’ll need to know which type of clip you will require for your project. If you’re hanging the Christmas lights from your gutter, you need to know how thick it is. If the roof shingles will be holding the lights, check them to be sure they aren’t too loose or too tight. Once you decide where you want the lights to hang from, you’ll know which clips will work best for your home.
When professionals prepare for a light show on a home during the holidays, they will use a tape measure. This helps them decide how long the string lights need to be, and how many lights are actually needed to cover the areas you want lit up. A tape measure can help you avoid having a long strand of excess lights, and also make sure you don’t have areas that aren’t quite covered. It’s a simple task that shouldn’t take too much time, and will have your lights looking like a professional hung them!
Most newer homes have electrical outlets on the exterior of the property. Older homes might not, which will require some creative thinking on your part. Determine the best outlet to use, and how many you’ll need. When you design the layout of your lights, this step becomes extremely important. If your lights end in the middle of the house, chances are, there won’t be an electrical outlet for them to receive power. Planning this out will save you a lot of time and a potential headache.
Don’t forget in all of the festive fun you’re having, that these lights will need power! To keep your electric bill in check, you can estimate the power your lights will use. Calculating power wattage will also help prevent overloading the circuit and potentially blowing a fuse. To calculate light wattage: wattage of bulb x number of sockets = total wattage of a string of lights. Next, you’ll need to know the total amps. To find this: total watts / 120 = total amps. Keep in mind that most home circuits are 15 or 20 amps. A 15 amp circuit will support 1,800 watts and a 20 amp circuit will support 2,400 amps.
Your lights are safely hung now, and it’s time for the big reveal! Turn on the power and do a final overview. Look for unlit bulbs and either tighten or replace them. If you don’t have an automatic timer for your lights, be sure you turn them off when you go to sleep, or when you wake up. You’ll save on energy, and still please the late night passersby that want to see your beautifully decorated home.
Don’t forget to take pictures of your home with your holiday lights, and share them with us by tagging @Fixd on Facebook!