Here at Outbax, we can say that icicle fairy lights are one of our top sellers (next to Christmas trees with lights, that is)when it comes to bedecking your home and getting it all ready for the holidays.
There are good ways to hang icicle fairy lights, and then there are ways that just do not work. When icicle lights first came out, safety was a concern, as they tended to get hot. Today, you can purchase LED icicles and even rope lights that give the same sparkling effect without giving off any heat. So with the main safety rule for icicle lights firmly established, consider the ways to hang those icicles for your holiday decorations.
Have a Plan
It is not enough to stand outside your home, picture the icicle lights hanging from the eaves in your mind and then start installing the lights. Since the icicle lights do hang down between 12 and 18 inches on average, install them where they will not cover up other decorations or interfere with the view of your decorations from the road.
Plan power for your indoor and outdoor lights, which includes how and where you will plug them in, and how you will turn them on and off. One consideration could be a timer system that turns your holiday lights on and off without you having to remember to do so every night.
Some people use various forms of glue to attach their icicle lights to their home, and then they just keep the lights up all year long. Glue affixed to your home's exterior paint trim may also start to remove the paint over time. We recommend using specially designed hooks that can either latch on to the gutters that surround the house or can be permanently mounted to the exterior trim. Hooks will not give way in the winter weather, they will not tear the paint from your house trim and they give you the option of taking your icicle lights down and properly storing them so that they last longer.
You may have seen other people with icicle lights that appear in strange patterns on their roof and wondered how they did that. A type of icicle light clip will work with the three-tab asphalt shingles common in much of the country.
These clips can be used to put icicle lights in any pattern on your roof, and then removed when the season is over. Before committing to installing icicle lights this way, you may want to purchase a small sample of shingle clips and see whether your shingles can support them.
Older shingles may lack the thickness needed to allow the clips to work properly, or frail shingles may get damaged by the clips. Use LED icicle lights only when using shingle clips to prevent the possibility of the bulbs catching your roof on fire.
More installation tips to protect your roof's shingles
Every time you walk across the roof, you cause damage to your shingles. More damage is done if you attach Christmas lights to the shingles with nails or screws, because they leave holes in the roof that can lead to leaks. If you love decorating the outside of your house for Christmas, it's important that you find a non damaging way to hang Christmas lights. By using special clips, you can safely hang your Christmas lights. Clips are available at home improvement centers or in the Christmas section in most department stores, and they accommodate lights of all sizes.
Test the lights for burned-out bulbs before you hang them. Also check the wires to make sure no areas are worn or damaged. Neglecting this precaution could result in your house catching fire.
Remove each bulb if you are hanging C7 or C9 bulb lights. Place the socket toward the bottom of the clip, and then screw in the bulb. The plastic shingle tab is between the bulb and the base. If you are stringing mini lights, hook the wires of the Christmas lights on the small hook at the end.
Connect the strands of lights needed to go from section to section.
Carry your ladder to the section you want to decorate first. Stabilize the ladder so it won't slip when you climb up.
Coil the strands of lights together, and hang them over your shoulder so you can climb the ladder safely, using both hands. Climb to the first area to be decorated.
Push the clips under the bottom section of the last row of shingles. The clips should fit snugly under the shingles. You don't want them to slip or move around, because they won't stay up on the roof. If you have a clip that is loose, fold the end tabs down and back toward the light without breaking the tabs off. When you have the lights done in one section, climb down the ladder and move it to the next section.
Remove the Christmas decor lights at the end of the season. Just pull out the clips and lights together from the shingles, and store them for next year.
Make sure that you don't overload the circuit breakers. Having too many things plugged in could result in a fire. Use only outdoor lights when decorating outside. If you're hanging C7 or C9 lights, use a clip for each light on the strand for an even appearance.