Amidst the dark nights of winter, Christmas lights brighten up your surroundings, bring festivity and joy to the outside of your home. Whether you're a beginner installing lights for the first time or a seasoned light slinging expert creating a light display that could rival that of Disney World, you probably recognize that there is a certain art to installing lights and some added dangers to doing it at height.
Now, before you get started hanging? Here's everything you need to know about how to hang Christmas lights, like the type of lights you can use and the best way to install them. We have covered everything from installing them on your house, round a tree and then indoors too.
Here's how your home can be on its way to being merry and bright with one of the most important Christmas decorations out there:
EVERYTHING NEEDED TO GET STARTED
Light Clips and Hooks
HOW TO DETERMINE HOW MANY LIGHTS YOU NEED
The most important steps to determining how many Christmas fairy light strands you need: mapping out where you'd like the lights and measuring.
While you could map out in your mind where you'd like your lights, snap a photo of your house from the street, print it out, and then draw with a permanent marker the areas you'd like to have lit up. Be sure to consider the areas you'd like to highlight or make a focal point.
Measure along where you want to hang lights, whether that be along your roof, driveway, shrubs, pillars or railings. Make sure to also measure the distance to your power source; it would be depressing to do all the labor and then not have a way to plug your handiwork in. Once you do this, make sure you jot down the measurements so you can recall how much you need to use for future years.
If you plan to wrap strands of lights around trees or shrubs, a good rule of thumb is 100 lights for every 1.5-feet of tree or shrub you want to cover. Therefore, 6-foot evergreen trees need at least 400 lights for a basic level of lighting. Another popular option is draping a mesh lighting net over your landscaping for a dramatic effect.
EXPLORE LIGHTING OPTIONS
There is a wide range of designs and color options. From classic string lights to icicle lights and then some which are built onto a structure to make shapes and characters. If you don't have a power socket nearby, try solar fairy lights. They don't shine as brightly or for as long, but will add a lovely bit of sparkle around your yard – just put the solar panel in good sunlight.
HOW TO INSTALL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
There are so many varying lights that you can use for your light display. However, the most important thing to remember when it comes to fairy light safety is that you use lights that are labeled for outdoor use, as these can withstand rain and snow and maintain their electrical connections.
Once you've surmised the right Christmas lighting type for your display, before you start hanging, check the light strands to make sure they work.
Next, you'll want to have an abundance of clips on hand. Depending on where you're hanging lights, adhesive clips are best for columns or railings while universal clips are best for rooflines. It's best to add the clips to the string before you string along rooflines so you can slide rooftop lights in place by inserting the clips in the gutter or between the roof and shingles. For adhesive clips, adhere to its designated surface in regular intervals so you can seamlessly attach the string light.
When on a ladder, you don't want to be fumbling with little pieces, so it's safest and most convenient to have the clips planned out in advance. If you're up high on a roof, grab a buddy to help stabilize the ladder and keep any lengthy light strings from getting tangled.
Once your light display is ready to go, whether on your whole house or on a Christmas wreath, set it to a timer so it can be scheduled to turn on and off at your chosen time of day, so you don't have to worry about remembering to turn them on or off.
And voilà, follow these guidelines, and you'll soon be on your way to a magical lighting display to complement your Christmas inflatables and the rest of your festive deco. No matter if it's your first time or your 25th, now it's time to flip the switch and enjoy your handiwork!
HOW TO HANG FAIRY LIGHTS INDOORS
Indoor lighting is less complex without the worries of weather and water, but should still be carefully considered for safety. Make sure you don't overload sockets and avoid fitting string lights where young children could get tangled or hurt.
There are so many creative Christmas fairy light ideas, but here are the top three tips and ideas for using them indoors.
1. Combine with your gallery wall
2. Create trails inside windows
3. Place in a bowl or vase if you don’t have anywhere to hang them