5 Steps for Hanging Christmas Lights Like a Pro

Follow these simple steps for safe and efficient holiday decorating.

One of the most exciting parts of the holiday season is seeing all the creative ways people use lights to decorate their homes. If you’re looking to make your home a little more festive with Christmas lights, here are some steps you can take for safe and effective light decorating.

1. Plan Ahead – Before you hang the first light, you will want to plan where the lights will go, the type of lights you plan to use, proximity to outlets, etc. Measure the areas where you plan to have lights so that you can estimate how many lights you will need. You don’t want to get started just to stop and return to the store because you don’t have enough lights.

2. Gather Your Equipment – Collect everything you need and have them handy. Choose the lights you plan to hang, a ladder, and we recommend Christmas light clips for easy installation. Clips can be attached to parts of the house like your gutters and shingles without damaging them, and come in different styles depending on the type of lights you wish to hang.

When buying clips, make sure you buy the right size and style. This may include measuring the lip of your gutter for a good fit.

3. Don’t Overdo It – When hanging your lights, it’s important to know the lights’ wattage to avoid overloading circuits or blowing fuses. To determine the wattage for a string of Christmas lights, multiply the wattage of a single bulb by the number of lights on the string.

To determine AMPs, divide the total wattage by 120.  Average house circuits are 15 amps (1,800 watts) or 20 amps (2,400 watts). To be safe, you should limit circuits to 80% of their maximum wattage amount:

80% of 1,800 watts is 1,440 watts
80% of 2,400 watts is 1,920 watts

Remember, multiple outlets can be on a single circuit, and any other devices or appliances on that circuit will deduct from the available wattage.

4. Hang the Lights – Choose the best light clips based on the type of lights you’re hanging and how they will be attached (gutters, roof shingles, brick, siding, etc.). All-in-one clips are an excellent option because they support an assortment of light types and uses.

Attach the clips to the strand of lights while on the ground, then hang the strands one at a time. Be careful not to hit incandescent lights on the ladder or sides of the house as you climb to avoid broken lights.

5. Let there Be Light – Turn on your lights and enjoy the display. You can also invest in timers so that you don’t have to worry about manually turning on and off your lights each day.

Walkup Electrical wishes everyone a safe and merry Christmas, and happy New Year. For all your electrical needs, trust the professionals at Walkup Electrical in Florence, SC.