This Year, Hang Your Christmas Lights Like a Pro
You’ve pulled your Christmas lights out of storage, dusted them off, and likely spent hours unraveling fairly lights and undoing knots that definitely weren’t there last year, but what next?
Hanging your Christmas lights is one of the best activities you can do to get into the Christmas spirit. However, putting up Christmas lights inside and outside of your home is something that normally takes a long time and requires a lot of patience. As the temperature drops and the winter weather sets in, safety is something that should be at the forefront of your mind when hanging your lights.
There are endless issues just waiting to happen when climbing onto your roof, balancing on a ladder, or trying to attach lights to walls that simply don’t want to stay up. But, with a few simple tips and tricks, hanging those lights doesn’t have to be such a pain, or a safety hazard just waiting to be put to the test.
To help you avoid any unnecessary safety issues, and possible disasters, we have put together a guide for the best ways to hang indoor and outdoor lights for Christmas. If you follow our guidelines and take on board the safety tips, then you will be one step closer to putting those lights up quicker and more efficiently than ever before.
Safely Hanging Indoor Christmas Lights
Indoor Christmas lights are some of the most magical, completely transforming a space into a festive paradise. As anyone with a particular penchant for indoor lights will already know, sometimes all it takes is a string of fairy lights to get into the Christmas spirit. However, just as there are countless different ways to light the inside of your home, there is a lot that can go wrong if you don’t hang your lights up safely.
Preparing your Lights– Whether your lights are brand-new, or you have just pulled them out of storage, it is essential to test each set before you even think about hanging them. This will help to prevent further problems down the line. It is also essential that interior lights are only used indoors, never as exterior decorations.
Placement of Lights– One of the biggest safety risks with indoor lights often occurs not with the lights themselves, but what you put them near. Lights placed near loose paper or other flammable materials will become a fire hazard. Other fire hazards, like heaters and candles, should also be kept away from interior lights at all times
Window Lights– There are many ways that you can turn your windows into the most eye-catching part of your home from the inside, however, hanging window lights can often be a lot more difficult than the task initially seems. For the safe hanging of window lights, ditch the sellotape or blue tack, and invest in specialist products, like cup hooks to hang lights and wire suckers to keep wires out of the way.
Wall Lights– Hammering a nail straight into a wall is never a good idea, not just for the appearance of your walls, but also for what’s hiding behind them. Decorating clips or brick clips, as well as thumb tacks, are fantastic alternatives for hanging lights on your walls.
Hanging Lights on Your Christmas Tree
As the center-piece of your home’s decorations, the lights on your Christmas tree are perhaps the most important of those inside your home. From fairy lights to lanterns, you can adorn your tree in endless ways, but doing it safely and not creating a fire hazard, is extremely important.
Before dressing the tree, ensure that your lights work, and that you have a suitable power supply nearby, or are using the correct type of extension cable. For the best look, double check that you have enough lights to fill the whole tree, starting from the bottom up – ensure that you don’t just decorate the furthest reaches of the branches, but the interior as well.
Safely Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights
For many families and neighborhoods, hanging outdoor Christmas lights is a tradition, and quite literally, a way to make your home shine. While your exterior decorations generally create the most impact, they also come with substantially more risk than hanging indoor decorations. From frozen roofs to icy driveways, and even overloaded sockets, if you don’t approach hanging your outdoor decorations in the right way, you could be in for a bit of a disaster.
Step One– Double check your lights. If you finish hanging your lights, and then switch them on only to see nothing happen, it’s likely that you’re going to be pretty unimpressed. Checking that your lights work, and that they are specially designed to be outdoor lights, is essential.
Step Two– Begin mapping out the area that you’re planning on decorating. While you may have an image of the final look in mind, in practice, that may not be a reality. As most of your lights are likely to have different cable lengths, careful planning can be a big time saving element of hanging Christmas lights.
Step Three– Sort out your power ahead of time. Make sure that you have all the extension cables ready, the wires won’t be a hazard or in the way, and everything will be protected from the weather. It is essential that power supplies aren’t overloaded, so checking the requirements of each light and extension in advance, is a must.
Step Four– Prepare the area in advance. Using your map as a guide, setting up the required clips and fastenings before you hang anything is very important. Some of the biggest risks can occur when you’re in the middle of hanging, and you realize that you don’t have the right fastenings in place. Window clips should be screwed in prior to hanging, and all electric cables should be tucked away, ready to be used.
Step Five– Start hanging your lights. With everything prepared and organized in advance, this should now be a very quick process. Taking one section at a time can help you to minimize the risk of problems, as you can identify possible issues as you go.
Safely Installing Free-Standing Lights
Once you have hung your main lights, it’s time to get started on any free-standing lights that you may be using as a part of your display. Thankfully, the potential hazards are somewhat reduced with free-standing lights, but nonetheless, it is vital to stay safe.
Primarily, the main risk that free-standing lights can pose, is overloading a power supply, so it is important to double check the wattage of each light in advance. However, free-standing lights also need to be secured firmly, to avoid problems with the lights becoming a hazard in bad weather, possibly damaging your other lights at the same time.
Top Safety Tips to Remember
To ensure that your exterior and interior lighting is dramatic for the right reasons, bearing in mind our top safety tips is essential. Hanging decorations is that much easier when you know in advance the precautions to take. Along with the tips we have already covered, the following top 10 tips for safely hanging decorations should be followed when applicable:
- Ensure that your lights meet the required safety rating standard.
- Never use lights with damaged or frayed cords.
- When hanging exterior lights, always make sure that you have help.
- Double check that ladders are secure before using them.
- Reinforce ladders so that they won’t damage your property when taking your weight.
- Don’t be tempted to over-stretch, always move a ladder when needed.
- Check areas for ice before walking on them, or using them as a support.
- Always prepare in advance and never just make-do with what’s around.
- Ensure cables running through open windows are well protected.
- Don’t use interior extension cables and power sources outside.
Unlike other Christmas decorations, festive lighting has the one of the biggest influences on the look and feel of your home. In a matter of hours, the appearance of your home will undergo some major changes, indicating the true start of the festive season. If you stay safe, hanging your Christmas lights can be a fun experience that the whole family can get involved with.