How to hang Christmas lights the easiest way

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Hanging Christmas lights

Hanging Christmas lights can be a daunting task. Depending on your enthusiasm for the holidays, your home can be adorned with anywhere from a modest 100 lights running just along the edge of the eaves to over 4,000 lights, delineating everything from windows and doors to decks, fencing and trees.

Since every home features different light-hanging challenges, here’s a basic strategy to ensure you’ll have the best-looking lights with minimal effort and zero frustrations.


Before you begin hanging

Before you begin decorating, there are a few quick tasks you’ll want to complete that will help ensure that hanging lights goes as smoothly as possible.

Create a plan

Before hanging your first string, take a step back and look at your house. Consider the possible light-hanging locations. Look for a focal point on your home — an area where you want people’s eyes to settle on. While this isn’t necessary, it gives your decorating purpose rather than just being a chaotic attempt to get as many lights on your home as possible.



You will want to measure your house so you know exactly how many lights you need. Find out how many feet it takes to go across the entire front of your home, along your porch railing and around every door and window. If you measure every aspect of your house, you can make a file and save it on your computer so you never have to measure it again.

Evaluate your needs

If you want to save time and frustration, this is the most important step. With a lighting plan in place and measurements taken, you will know exactly how many strings of lights you will need and what kind of fastening challenges you will face. Use this information to make a list of supplies — everything from lights to timers.

Check your lights

If you have lights and supplies that you used last year, now is the time to check them. Do all the strings still work? Have any clips become brittle? Have you permanently misplaced anything? Is there anything that can be repaired instead of replaced? Match these up to your list of supplies to learn what you still need.

Go shopping

If you make your shopping list early, it gives you time to take advantage of sales events, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Additionally, you can sign up to receive BestReviews' emails so you will always be aware of new products and upcoming deals.

Tips for hanging Christmas lights

Start from the top

There are many strategies for hanging Christmas lights. A surefire strategy is starting at the top and moving your way down. This is desirable because the ground needs to be clear where you are working. You don't want to risk getting your ladder tangled in a string of lights or accidentally dropping something that could damage the work you've already done.

Employ nondestructive hanging techniques

Any time you hammer a nail into the exterior of your home, you are damaging it. While this may have been acceptable in the past, with modern methods of hanging Christmas lights, it is simply unnecessary. For instance, you can wrap lights around the outside channel of a window, use a glue gun to affix lights directly to a brick surface, attach magnetic clips to metallic surfaces or take advantage of Command clips to hang lights around your door.

Utilize clips

The best, easiest and fastest way to hang Christmas lights is to use clips. These items are available in a wide variety of shapes and styles that can be attached to gutters, shingles, decks and more. They are non-destructive and can be installed without tools. These clips can even be repositioned if needed.

Utilize ground stakes

If you do not like the idea of attaching your Christmas lights directly to your home, or you’d like to illuminate a walkway or driveway, consider using light stakes. Light stakes are pushed in the ground for simple installation.


Use floodlights

Floodlights are another popular decorating option. You can use floodlights to illuminate the entire exterior of your house for the holidays. Depending on the type you buy, these time-saving items can display colors or scenes, such as falling snow or flying reindeer.

Items you need to hang Christmas lights

These 16 clear light clips are designed for all seasons. They fasten securely but can be easily removed, leaving behind no residue. They are UV- and water-resistant.

This is a pack of 100 versatile clips that can be used on gutters or shingles. They are manufactured to hold C6 lights, C7 lights, C9 lights, mini lights and icicle lights.

This set of 100 8.5-inch yard stakes has been designed to hold all sizes of string lights. They are easy to install, and they elevate your lights off of the ground so they can always be seen, even in a few inches of snow.

If you’re looking for a traditional string of C7 incandescent Christmas lights, this is your answer. These lights are designed to remain lit, even if one breaks or burns out.

For a magical Christmas display, consider these icicle lights. There are 360 lights in a pack, and they can be set to eight different display modes.


If miniature lights are more your style, these multicolored LED lights are a solid choice. You can connect up to 44 strings together, and each energy-efficient bulb provides up to 25,000 hours of use.

This two-pack of color-changing outdoor floodlights can produce 16 million different colors. They have 20 lighting modes that can be controlled remotely via your smartphone.

This is a basic, affordable and reliable outdoor mechanical timer. It is programmable in 15-minute intervals with 48 setting options over a 24-hour period.

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