When Christmas is just around the corner, it’s time to put up decorations and spread holiday cheer. Whether you’ll be putting up a holiday lights display for the first time — or you’re just looking for a better way — there’s a lot to know about how to hang Christmas lights on the roof. But don’t worry. With a little time and preparation, you’ll learn everything you need to know to hang Christmas lights from roof surfaces correctly and safely.
4 Things to Consider When Learning How to Hang Christmas Lights on Your Roof
If you’re planning to hang lights on your house this holiday season, it’s best to plan ahead with these tips.
1. Check the condition of your roof. The most important thing to consider when hanging Christmas lights on the roof of your home is the condition of the roof itself. As the canvas for your decor, you’ll want to make sure that a trusted roofing company has installed a high-quality roof for your home. You’ll also want to be sure that it’s in good enough condition for you to safely hang your lights display — especially if you need to climb onto the roof.
2. Evaluate your gutters. Next, you’ll want to check that your gutters are leak-free and secure. This is easy to do yourself with this guide. Loose and leaky gutters can affect your Christmas lights during rainy and snowy days, so you’ll definitely want to address this. While you’re evaluating your gutters, be sure to also clean out any remaining fall leaves.
3. Practice seasonal maintenance. You can make sure that your entire home is prepared for the season with this fall weather maintenance guide. From your windows to your fireplaces, it’s important to maintain your home to avoid rotting and withstand wear and tear.
4. Put safety first. Be safe while using a ladder. Make sure the ladder is securely planted and is at the correct angle. If you can have a helper hold the ladder, even better!
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Picking and Purchasing Christmas Lights
Picking which Christmas lights to use can be overwhelming — there are so many options! First, you’ll want to decide which kind of lights to use; then, you can focus on their arrangement.
How to Choose Lights for Your Roof
Most experts recommend using LEDs over incandescent lights. While incandescent lights are often cheaper than LED lights, LEDs use less energy and burn at a lower temperature, making them more cost-effective in the long run.
You can also choose between plug-in lights or battery-operated lights, depending on where your power sources are located. Just keep in mind that any outdoor lights and batteries should be weatherproofed.
Measuring Christmas Lights
To place lights on your roof, you’ll first need to know the measurements of your roof. You can take them by measuring your roofline and gutters while on a ladder or take them along the ground just below.
It may also be helpful to create a map with those measurements and your preferred lighting placement.
You can customize your LED or bulb spacing, which will also affect your lighting measurements. A good rule of thumb is spacing them out by 12 inches apart, so that the number of LEDs or bulbs required will equal the number of feet required.
Tools You’ll Need
Here’s a list of items you’ll need to have on hand:
▪ Measuring tape or measuring wheel
▪ Tool belt or bag
▪ Light strings, bulbs, or cords (or net lights!) based on your measurements
▪ Installation clips or hooks and zipcords (optional)
▪ Electrical tape
▪ Timers, as desired
▪ Extension cords and plugs, as needed
▪ Surge protectors
Step-by-Step: Hanging Christmas Lights on Your Roof
1. Decide what you would like your Christmas lights to look like. You may want to check Pinterest or holiday lighting design websites for inspiration.
2. Make sure your roof and gutters are weatherproofed and secure.
3. Decide how much space you’ll want between your LEDs or light bulbs.
4. Measure your roofline and calculate the number of bulbs and/or feet of lighting.
5. Make a map and include the measurements, your preferred lighting arrangement, and the locations of your home’s power sources.
6. Purchase the lights and test them first to make sure they work before installing them on your roof.
7. Purchase any extension cords you may need based on the availability of power sources. We recommend buying outdoor surge protectors to prevent electrical problems.
8. Purchase light clips or hooks and zip cords to safely hang lights along your roof and/or gutters.
9. Using a ladder, hang the clips or hooks under the shingles or onto the gutters and attach the lights.
10. Use electrical tape to secure cords out of the way against the walls and ground. Plug the lights, extension cords, and timers into the power socket.
How to Hang Christmas Lights without Getting on Your Roof
You may have an ambitious light display that requires accessing higher points on your roof. But if you’re looking for something simpler, like lights across your lower roofline or hanging over your front porch, learning how to hang Christmas lights from gutters is an easy alternative.
The best way to hang Christmas lights on gutters is to use outdoor light clips. These plastic de-vices clip securely onto your gutter on one side of the clip, and your lights cord on the other. This means they’re easy to move if you need to adjust your display — and easy to remove at the end of the season.
How to Remove Christmas Lights
Removing a lights display can be as important as learning how to install one. When removing your lights, try leaving the lights attached to the light clips or hooks. This will speed up the hanging process next year!
Also remember to label your storage containers and even the light strings to cut out any guesswork next time you use your outdoor Christmas lights. That way, you’ll know exactly where each string of lights goes. Then be sure to pad your lights with cardboard or paper to prevent breaking the LEDs or bulbs.
Prepare your roof and gutters for the holidays.
Give our StaDry Roofing team a call at 866-361-8886!