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Christmas lights home > Christmas lights information > How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights

How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights

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Happy holidays! That time of year is dawning when homes emanate with the soft glow of Christmas lighting, and through windows lights twinkle on the branches of family Christmas trees. Neighborhoods are lit with a festive glimmer to brighten up the long, dreary winter!

Before beginning your own design of outdoor lighting, it is important to know the basics on how to hang outdoor Christmas lights. Many people have made this process an annual tradition, and others are trying it out for the first time. No matter what situation you are in this winter, credible information is always important to keep in mind!

These tips have been compiled by electrical companies, lighting manufacturers and experienced homeowners alike-- people who know the ramifications of not knowing how to hang outdoor Christmas lights. While your children dream of a white Christmas, you can make the effort to ensure they at least have a safe Christmas!

  • Always use specified “outdoor lighting” for outdoor decorating. Indoor lights are not made to withstand the elements.
  • Use insulated staples or light hooks to hang outdoor Christmas lights. Nails and tacks can damage the cord insulation.
  • Hang bulbs facing downward to keep moisture out of the sockets.
  • Only use U/L approved lights. (Underwriter’s Laboratory)
  • Each year before you hang the lights outside, check for frayed or exposed wiring, broken bulbs or sockets and loose connections.
  • Never overload extension cords or outlets.
  • Use outdoor electric outlets for outdoor Christmas lights. Do not run a cord from inside the house.
  • A timer can help you save electricity and also keep the bulbs from getting too hot from consistent use.
  • If you unplug the lights yourself, always pull the plug itself and not the cord.
  • Before climbing onto a ladder to hang outdoor Christmas lights, check for hazards overhead such as power lines, phone or cable lines, or tree branches. Make sure all the rungs on your ladder are secure. The feet of the ladders should be on solid, even ground. It helps to have another person hold onto the ladder and keep it steady.
  • Do not use inside extension cords for outdoor use. Use only 3 prong UL approved outdoor extension cords. And keep these cords away from places where water can pool.


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