Want to do Christmas lights this year? Stun your neighborhood, win a contest, or simply create a magical Christmas atmosphere at home for your family? Well, here’s how to hang Christmas lights on your roof:
How to Design Your Christmas Lights
Building anything requires some kind of design framework, a blueprint, or even a rough draft. Some homeowners really look forward to creating a dazzling show of Christmas lights every year, and some just want to share in the holiday fun and cheer. Depending on how “hardcore” you are about your lights, your design can be very detailed or very simple, a rough draft on a piece of scrap paper. But either way, the first step is to design what you want it to look like.
In designing Christmas lights for your home, we suggest that you pick a starting point. A central focal point so to speak, from which all the rest of the lights will branch outwards and build on. This could be the entrance of your house for example.
Next, check your roof and your home for how practical your design is going to be. You may find it very easy to execute or that your focal point is far from an electrical plug, or that there’s no way to reach a specific area, and so on.
Common places to hang lights on your home include:
- The roof
- Door frames
Another important detail, if you are going to be buying more lights, is to measure the areas you want to decorate and get an idea of how many lights you will need to buy. There’s nothing more annoying than running out of lights while you’re standing on top of your roof and needing to make a quick pit stop to buy more lights at the store.
As a note on measuring how many lights you will need to buy, the number of lights you put on your home and their concentration is of course up to you. However, a rule of thumb is about 100 lights for every 1.5 feet.
How to Prepare To Hang Your Christmas Lights
If there is one primary preparation you need to do, it is taking the right safety precautions. Climbing on top of your roof is often very dangerous. There is no such thing as taking too many precautions when it comes to hanging Christmas lights. Also, never do it alone. Get a friend, or family member, to help you and be there to help ensure no safety mishaps occur.
Next, check your lights. Not all lights are the same size or color, and lights from the year before may no longer work. Before finding out while you’re on top of your roof, run a quick light-check in your garage or at home. Plug in all your lights and ensure they work and are the right colors for your design.
Use light clips. Nailing nails into your roof to secure lights can lead to roof damage. Today, plastic clips can be purchased and found at just about any hardware store that will help you hang your lights while also protecting your roof. Here are photos that we found on IKO.com that show you how these clips look and work:
Consider LED lights. If already have all your lights, it may not be very affordable to switch to LED lights. But if you can, or if you are just starting out, consider buying LED lights. Although a bit more costly, they are generally brighter, rack up less of an electric bill, and don’t overheat.
Timers are also a very important part of your Christmas light display. Timers allow you to set a schedule for your lights to automatically turn on.
Steps to Hang Your Christmas Lights
- Measure and inspect the feasibility of the design and revise your design if needed.
- Check and test your lights
- Buy any lights you need
- Buy plastic clips, and timers, to hang and manage your lights
- Consider LED lights
- Start attaching the lights at the gutter of your roof
- Attach lights to trees and bushes outside
- Attach lights to railings
- Set your timers
- Gather around for the magical FLIPPING OF THE SWITCH to turn on all your beautifully placed Christmas lights!
Senior Editor, No1 Home Roofing