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Tips for Safely Hanging Your Christmas Lights

Tips for Safely Hanging Your Christmas Lights

 

Liteharbor Lighting Tips - Safely Hanging Christmas Lights

 

Before Hanging Your Christmas Lights


1 Locate an electrical receptacle.

Plan to run heavy-duty extension cords from a working 120-volt electrical outlet protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). Ideally, use a switch-controlled outlet, or plug the lights into an automatic timer. Both the receptacle’s circuit and the timer must be rated to handle the combined amperes of all the light strings. Do not use an indoor timer outdoors.

 

2 Measure the lengths.

How many strings do you need? Using a long measuring tape (ideally 25 feet or longer), measure the length of your house along the ground. Also measure its height and the height of any bushes or trees you intend to light. Then measure the lengths of the light strings you will need to outline doors or windows. Figure the number of 50-foot light strings it will take for all of these measurements.

 

3 Test the lights.

Just because lights are new, they still need to be tested – on the ground. Before you plug them in, visually inspect the light strings, looking for broken or missing bulbs and worn or defective wiring. If you discover faulty wires, replace the string entirely as this could present a fire hazard. If bulbs are broken or missing, replace them.

Liteharbor Lighting Tips - Test Christmas Lights

To extract a broken bulb, wear gloves and use long-nose pliers (pull mini-lights straight out; unscrew C-7 or C-9 bulbs counterclockwise). Once a light string is complete, plug it in and check for burned-out bulbs. Unplug the string before replacing faulty bulbs and then retest it to be sure all the lights work. If the string doesn’t work at all, check it for a blown fuse, per the manufacturer’s directions. If the fuse has blown, replace it; if it blows again, replace the entire string.

 

4 Set up a ladder.

If your home’s eaves are low, you may be able to use a stepladder; otherwise, plan to use an extension ladder. Place it firmly on flat ground and, extending it well above the eaves, lean it against the eaves at an angle that will be comfortable and safe to climb—neither too steep nor too flat. If you must lean the ladder against the gutter, place a short piece of 2 by 4 inside the gutter to reinforce it. (For more about proper ladder use, see Ladder Safety.)

Liteharbor Lighting Tips - Set up a ladder for Hanging Christmas Lights


Hanging Your Christmas Lights Step by Step
 

Step 1
Direct Your Lights – Pick up your lights. The last place you want to find out your lights are busted is on top of a ladder in the cold. Go ahead and attach your light clips at this point and make sure they're all in the same direction.

 

Step 2
Attach Lights to Shutters or Shingles - To attach lights to your gutters, use an all-purpose light clip. It works with any type of light. Hang the lights pointing up or down, just make sure they're all clipped in the same direction. If you don't have gutters, you can use the same clip to attach lights to your shingles instead. Simply flip the clip around.

 

Step 3
Attach Lights to Trees - If you're hanging lights in a tree, try using a light-hanging pole. Hanging poles are also great if you don't want to get on a ladder.

 

Step 4
Attach Lights to Railings - If you want to attach lights to the railings of your front porch or deck, check out deck clips.

 

Step 5
Set a Timer - Who wants to wake up at 3 a.m. to find the Christmas lights have been on all night? Now that the lights are up, plug them into an outdoor timer. Some timers even have light sensors that automatically turn on at dusk – technology at it's finest.

 

Step 6
Flip the Switch - That's it. Stand back and admire your work. Go grab yourself a cup of hot cocoa and a cookie – you’ve earned it!

 

Liteharbor Lighting Tips - Chrastmas Lighting Design

 

 

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