How To Properly Install Exterior Christmas Lights

How To Properly Install Exterior Christmas Lights

Tis’ the season for neighborhoods to glow with the magic of the holiday season! While Christmas lights are magical to look at, they can be not so magical to install. With a little bit of Christmas light installation guidance and tips, your home can be the merriest on the block! 

Here are our professional tips and tricks to safely and properly install and hang your Christmas lights this holiday season. 

What you’ll need:

  • Ladder
  • Tape measure
  • Plastic light clips
  • Plastic zip ties
  • Outdoor extension cord
  • Holiday lights of your choice


Best places to display lights:

  • Around pillars, posts, and deck railings 
  • Framing garage doors
  • Around windows and doors 
  • Along rooflines 
  • Over bushes, hedges, and shrubs 
  • Around tree trunks and branches 
  • Lining driveways, sidewalks, and pathways 
  • Inside window boxes and planters


  1. First, make a plan! Step back and look at your home and make a plan for where you want your lights to be hung.
  2. Time to measure. Measure the areas where you plan to hang lights so that you can ensure you have enough lights to complete your display. 
  3. Test your lights! Before hanging, be sure to plug in your lights to test them and ensure they are working properly. If not, this is a good time to replace any bulbs. While testing your lights, please also ensure they are made for outdoor use. 
  4. Attach plastic light clips to string lights. Space the clips roughly 12 inches apart.
  5. Attach the clips to your home. Whether you are up on your ladder or down on the ground, begin clipping the light clips to the exterior of your home. You can clip the light clips to gutters, siding, railings, rooflines, and anywhere else you need that follows your light display plan. We recommend using either plastic light clips or zip ties to prevent any unnecessary damage to the exterior of your home. There is no need to damage your roof or siding in the process of hanging Christmas lights!
  6. Plug the male end of the last strand into an outdoor-rated extension cord, then plug the extension cord into an exterior outlet. 

Safety Tips:

  • Use proper outlets (Always use a GFCI outlet)
  • Invest in a sturdy ladder
  • Never hang lights on a tree that touches power lines
  • Never use indoor Christmas lights outdoors
  • Always use waterproof or water-resistant lights
  • Use outdoor-rated extension cords
  • Avoid placing extension cords in high-traffic areas
  • Tape all extension cords down so they aren’t a tripping hazard
  • Keep all extensions cords above the ground, water, and snow

Once your hard work is done, take a step back to admire your festive work! Warning, when your work is done – your neighbor may ask for a helping hand! From the Built Strong Exteriors team to you, wishing you happy holidays.