Hanging Christmas Lights the Right Way

man hanging holiday lights

‘Tis the season for Christmas decorations, and we have seen our fair share of DIY light hanging projects that have permanently damaged shingles. But is there a safer and easier way to hang them? We talked to Outdoor Dreamscaping about how they hang up lights and wanted to share what they told us with you!

Materials To Hang The Lights

The list of materials to hang up your Christmas lights is surprisingly short. You will only need your lights of choice, a ladder, and light hanging clips.

The trickiest thing to find on this list is the clips. They aren’t something you can find at Home Depot or Target. You will have to search for a store that specializes in lights. Outdoor Dreamscaping gets their clips from Brite Ideas, an outlet chain that will also ship around the country. They come in many varieties, but the ones we used were All-in-One Clips that could be clipped onto gutters or shingles.

Notice that this list doesn’t mention nails, staples, or a hammer. Anything that would penetrate your shingles will cause permanent damage and could void your warranties! We highly suggest you do NOT use any of these items.

How To Hang The Lights

In addition to being safer for your shingles, the clips are incredibly easy to use. Keep in mind that these instructions work for asphalt shingles, and may not on other materials!

Using the light clips is way easier than you would think. If you are putting them on the edge of your gutters, you just clip them on and that’s it! The pressure and friction from the clip will hold your lights in place. If you are putting it up the side of your shingles, it’s a tad more tricky. 

Your shingles are held down with a combination of adhesive and nails. You need to find the gaps between the adhesive and nails and push the bottom of the clip under the shingle. The top of the clip will still lay on top of the roof so your lights can be attached. It holds the same way they would with gutters, using friction and pressure to keep the lights from moving.

Things to Avoid

We hear many stories of nightmare DIY hanging jobs. From stapling shingles to putting holes in gutters, we’ve heard it all! Here are some things to avoid and why.

  • Stapling the lights to your roof. We have mentioned this a few times because it seems to be the most common DIY technique. This is really rough on shingles because they aren’t meant to be stapled anywhere other than the strip designed for installation. Putting holes through any other part of the shingle could weaken the shingle, and could void your manufacturer’s warranty!
  • Nailing lights to the roof. This is just like stapling light but even worse! This will leave large holes in not only the shingle but all of the water protection to the home as well. If done really carelessly, it could even go through the decking and soffit of the home!
  • Gluing lights to roof and gutters.  We haven’t seen this very often, but it does happen. This could pull the granules off of your shingles, which accelerates the aging process of the shingles, leading to early failure. Glues could even interact with materials in the shingles and cause bigger issues!

Got any questions? Just give us a call!