Gutters drain water runoff from the roof, but they have an added benefit around Christmastime—they are the perfect place to mount holiday lights. If you’re struggling to get your decorations up, follow these step-by-step instructions for how to hang Christmas lights from the gutters.
Determine the Number of Strands You Need
Before you get started, measure the distance where you want to display lights. You may plan to hang strands along the gutters, around windows and doors, and wrapped around banisters and columns. Whatever measurements you take, add at least 10% to allow room for error. Light strands don’t come in standard lengths, but it’s best to use the longest strands available for outdoor electrical safety.
Mount Gutter Clips
These little accessories feature a clip on one end that hooks onto most types of gutters. Gutter clips are inexpensive, so stock up.
“Ladderless” gutter clips are also an option. Each kit features an attachment that screws onto a regular broom handle. Clips hook onto the attachment, allowing you to place the gutter clips from the ground. You can even pre-string the lights onto the clips and hang everything all at once.
Position Light Strands & Extension Cords Correctly
Place the first bulb from the male end of the strand on a corner of the roof with an outlet below it. Extend the lights along the gutter, securing them with gutter clips as you go. You’ll do this either while standing on a ladder or from the ground with ladderless gutter clips. Make sure the strand is taut—no one likes saggy lights.
Finally, attach an exterior-grade extension cord to the male end of the strand and plug the cord into a GFCI outdoor electrical receptacle. Tuck the extension cord away where no one will trip over it.
Hang Holiday Lights with Gutter Guards
While gutter guards are useful for preventing leaves and other unwanted debris from clogging your gutters, many styles have an unintended consequence—they prevent you from mounting gutter clips for Christmas lights. Fortunately, you have a few options:
- Affix adhesive light clips to the front surface of the gutter. High-quality versions should withstand rain and snow for the duration of the season.
- Use Christmas light hangers designed for your style of gutter guard. For instance, thin hooks are compatible with perforated or mesh versions.
- Use shingle clips. If you have traditional asphalt shingles, simply slide the tab under the last shingle along the roofline. Ladderless shingle clips are a convenient solution you may be able to utilize.
Follow Ladder & Rooftop Safety Tips
If you end up using a ladder or climbing onto the roof to achieve the holiday lights display you’re looking for, take your safety seriously. Follow these tips to avoid injury:
- Wait for a dry, relatively warm day to hang Christmas lights.
- Use a well-built metal ladder that’s tall enough for the task.
- Place the ladder on a flat, stable surface.
- Ask a second person to spot you and help you hang the lights.
- Wear sturdy, rubber-soled shoes for adequate grip while walking around on the roof.
In addition to staying safe up on a ladder while you hang lights, Window Genie has compiled these holiday safety tips to keep in mind during this hectic season.
If you want outdoor Christmas décor, but you don’t want to hang lights yourself, Your Holiday Lights® has the solution you need. As your local professional for installing Christmas lights, we can make your home cheery for the season, providing beautiful results with no effort on your part.