Many people enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit with decorations, and one of the most common ways of doing this is by hanging Christmas lights on their homes. An exterior display of Christmas lights can range from a single strand wrapped around the eaves to an elaborate display of multicolored lights wound into a complex shape. The best way to hang Christmas lights on your house is by carefully planning a design and using the proper tools, such as a ladder and extension cords, along with hooks, nails or clips for attaching the lights to the house.
It is recommended to wait for a dry day to hang Christmas lights, so that the steps of the ladder do not get slippery. Even in dry weather, however, shoes with good tread should be worn to avoid slipping on the ladder or the roof, if you go onto it. A tool belt is useful so that a hammer and screwdriver can be kept close at hand and the clip, hooks or nails can be kept in the belt, rather than cluttering up the ladder. Depending on the complexity of your planned design, an assistant can be useful as well.
To hang Christmas lights, first determine the location of your exterior electrical outlets. Most homes have an exterior outlet, and if not, an extension cord should be run outside from the inside and taped down so that residents and guests will not trip over it. If you are planning to hang Christmas lights in multiple strands, multiple outlets should be used to reduce the load on a single outlet. This also can prolong the life of the light strands.
Test the Lights
It can be a nuisance to hang Christmas lights and immediately take them down, so be certain to test the Christmas lights you are hanging in a reliable inside outlet. Also, it is a good idea to hang lights that have been rated for outdoor use, rather than regular indoor lights. Outdoor lights tend to be more weather resistant and will often be larger and bolder to stand out against your home and garden.
Hang the Lights
After the desired pattern for the Christmas lights has been determined, place the hooks, nails or clips on the house. If hanging the lights under the eaves, for example, hooks could be placed at regular intervals under the eaves so that the lights will not droop. After placing the hooks, clips or nails, it is time to hang the lights, one strand at a time and being certain to move the ladder so that you are not dangerously over-extending your reach. If you are connecting multiple strands, make sure that the plugs and outlets are tightly connected. You might want to consider sealing the connections with electrical tape to keep out the rain and snow.
Creative decorators can hang Christmas lights in any pattern, although it might require some extra work. Trees and stars are both relatively simple patterns to make, especially if they are drawn out on paper beforehand. Some companies also sell frameworks for lights that can be hung directly on the house, taking much of the laborious effort out of making a Christmas design out of lights.