How to Hang Christmas Lights Outdoors

How to Hang Christmas Lights Outdoors

Hanging Christmas lights can be a difficult task, especially if it is your first time doing it. This guide will walk you through how to install all of the different types of outdoor Christmas lights, from silhouettes and rope lights to cluster lights and net lights.

Before you Start

  • Make sure to check your lights are working correctly and that the cord has not been frayed or damaged in any way. If you notice any issues with your lights, make sure to contact your supplier or replace/repair any damaged parts.
  • Decide on your theme, there are dozens of ways to set up your lights to create brilliant Christmas displays. It is important to have an idea of what to put where before you start.
  • Here’s some handy suggestions
    • Rope lights– These are great around gutters or in flower beds. They can also be used to light pathways and to wrap around trees
    • Festoon Lights – Perfect for guttering. These lights can also look stunning when strung across your garden
    • Net Lights – Ideal for shrubbery. These lights are a great way to turn your trees and bushes into festive masterpieces. They can also be great for covering windows or garage doors. Just make sure not to block entrance ways
  • ​​​​​​ Light strings– Use around your roof line or to highlight any key features of your home/garden. This could be doorways, windows, fences, walls or pillars
  • Icicle Lights – These look great around the eaves of your roof and around your guttering
  • Silhouettes – You can use silhouettes almost anywhere around your home. There are a variety of different styles. You can have 3D silhouettes in your garden or on your roof. You could also use 2D silhouettes on walls and your roof
  • Connectable Lights– These are perfect for large displays, you can connect up to 10 sets and use these for your roof or to highlight key features around your garden
  • Measure all straight lines where you want to place your lights and double check your lights will be long enough.
  • Most outdoor lights are mains powered, this means you need to ensure you have safe access to a plug socket. Measure the distance to the plug socket and double check that your lead wire is long enough. A great way to make your lights go further is by using waterproof outdoor sockets. These are very useful for setting up your display across your entire house and garden.

Top Tip - Battery Operated Lights

If you do not have access to a socket and have no outdoor sockets, outdoor battery-operated lights are a great solution. These allow you to use your lights anywhere outdoors without worrying about plugging them in. Our battery-operated lights come with built in timers to help save power

If you do decide to use battery operated lights, remember that you need somewhere to place the battery pack, this could be a windowsill, ledge or a low wall

Get the Right Equipment

  • Ladder - If you are going to be hanging your lights at height, make sure you have a strong and sturdy ladder available. When setting your ladder up, double check it is on solid ground and does not shake when you move it
  • Extension Hooks – Extension hooks are a great and safe way to hang lights in large trees or difficult to reach places. An extended paint roller with an adhesive light hook on the end works well
  • Scissors – Have a pair of good scissors available to use for cutting cable ties
  • Drill – If you are going to be drilling into brick, make sure you have a strong drill with the correct masonry bits. Masonry bits are what you will need when drilling through brick or concrete
  • Wall plugs and nails – Make sure you have the correct sized wall plugs and nails for the holes you will drill
  • Hooks/Clips – Make sure you have enough hooks or nail clips for your lights. We recommend using at least 2 hooks for every meter of light string you have. You can use your nails or s hooks to hang your lights or you can use gutter hooks or nail clips
  • Another Helper – It is always a good idea to have someone else help you when hanging your lights, especially if you will be going up a ladder. Why not ask your friends or family

Top Tip - Blown Fuses

Most Blown fuses happen because moisture gets into the connectors between the light strings. Use duck tap to seal any gaps between your lights to ensure your lights will be extra safe this Christmas. You can also use duck tape to wrap your battery pack if you are using battery-operated lights to make this more weather proof.

Hanging Your Lights

Once you have everything you need and have decided where you are going to put your lights, its time to actually hang them. When hanging your lights, its always a good idea to follow this general rule of thumb. Work from the bottom up with your lights. Begin with bushes, then trees, any windows and doors and then finally, the gutter and roof.

Get your set of lights and simply string them around the bush. Be careful not to catch your lights on any sharp twigs. If you are using net lights, simply drape these over the bush. You can work from the inside out if you want to provide a fuller look for your bushes.

Deciduous Trees

Step 1 - For deciduous trees, work from the bottom up, this allows you to achieve a tight wrap around your trunk and branches for a stunning effect.

Typically, spacing of 2-3 inches provides a complete look for your tree. If you want a brighter effect, decrease the spacing.

Step 2 - When you have completed the trunk, decide what branches you want to wrap next. Try to choose stronger branches to ensure they will support the weight. If you want to wrap multiple branches, you may have to double back on yourself when you have finished your first branch. If you are doing this, make sure you increase the spacing by x2 so you can fill in the gaps on the way back.

Use a ladder when you reach higher up branches, make sure whatever is supporting your ladder is strong and stable before beginning

Evergreen Trees

For evergreen trees, work from the top down, this allows you to ensure you have an even coverage throughout the tree.

Approximately 3-5 inches of spacing works well on these types of trees and provides a full look

Step 1 - Begin by using your extension pole and adding a hook to the end of it. Place your light string on the hook and stretch is to the top of the tree.

Step 2 -Once it is secured on a branch, slowly walk around the tree and drape your light string over it. Take your time with this and make sure the light string is firmly in place as you go.

Step 3 - If you run out of light string before you have finished, simply go back a couple of steps and allow the remaining light string to come down the base of the tree. You can then plug it in and finish the tree with another light string.

If you do not have a large pole to use, you can use ladders. Set up your ladders near the tree and ensure it is secure and stable. Begin by placing the end of your light string in the tree. Then slowly work your way around and down your tree. Do not over extend when doing this, make sure you can comfortably reach and secure your lights as you make your way around.

Step 1 - First things first, decide how many hooks you are going to need to use for your lights. A good rule of thumb Is 10 hooks for every 4 meters. If you are drilling into the wall and using heavy duty hooks or nails, you can use less than this.

Step 2 - Once you know how many hooks you are going to need, set up your ladder and begin to place the hooks onto the wall or from the gutter. If you are drilling holes, it can be a good idea to bring your tools in a bucket with you to let you easily access the drill, plugs, nails and clips.

Be safe if using a drill, it is always a good idea to have someone at the base of the ladder supporting it in case it slips.

Step 3 - Attach your hooks/clips whilst double checking they are in line. It can be good to take a step back during this step to ensure they look like you want them too before continuing.

Step 4 - Plug your lights in and work your way backwards from the socket, attaching your lights to your hooks as you go. Try to make sure you do not pull your cables as you do this, you want a slightly loose fit but not overly loose (draping)

Step 5 - Once you have reached the end, use an additional hook to secure your cable in place.

Step 6 - Take a step back and review your lights, make sure you are happy with how they look and that there are no spacing issues or drooping cables. If you are happy, its time to turn your lights on!

For hanging battery operated lights, follow any of the steps above for wherever you decide to put them. They can be very useful for trees and bushes that are far away from any available plug socket. The key thing the ensure here is that the battery pack is placed somewhere as sheltered as possible in a waterproof container. Make sure your battery pack is also easily accessible. This makes it easy to change the batteries if you need to this Christmas

To hang festoon lights, you first need to decide how you want them to be displayed. They are ideal for highlighting focal points of your home such as roof lines however they can also be hung throughout your garden for a magical effect. If you are hanging them on your roof or wall, follow the steps discussed earlier.

Remember that festoon lights are larger than light strings and as a result, need more space away from the way. A good way to achieve this is to use your gutters as they already have 1-2 inches of space. If you cannot do this, you will need to get hooks that stick out slightly further from the wall.

Step 1 - If you want to hang these around your garden, you first need to decide where they are going to start. Once you have selected your location, use a heavy duty hook such as a metal S hook and drill it directly into the wall/wood.

Step 2 - Decide where you want them to go to and how much of a hang you want. You then need to carefully pull your festoon lights across to where your other hanging hook will be and double check it reaches and looks as you imagined.

Step 3 - Now use your drill and add your hook. Hook your festoon lights and ensure that they are secure.

You can use rope lights in any of the places listed above. Just follow the same steps described earlier. It is worth noting that rope light tends to be thicker than normal light strings so you need to make sure that your clips are big enough. Whilst it is flexible, it is not as flexible as thinner light string. If you are trying to bend this around corners, make sure to add some hooks on the corners to allow it to take the shape effectively.

Connectable lights are a great way to decorate large areas easily. Our connectable lights come in sets of 100 and you can connect up to 10 sets. This gives you up to 100 meters of light string to use around your home. You can use connectable lights in any of the places listed above. Just follow the same steps described earlier.

Connectable lights work by having a male and female connector. You can connect these together in a variety of ways. Whilst these are waterproof, it can be a good idea to add some duct tape to the connectors to ensure that no moisture will get in.

To connect these, simply plug in each end and screw on the cap.

Top Tip

Make sure you have a set that comes with a plug before you use any extension sets. They will not work without this

Silhouettes usually come in two forms, 2D and 3D. For 3D Silhouettes, you can set these up in your garden and simply ensure the plug is in a waterproof socket. It can be a good idea to use cable ties to tie your silhouette to the ground, this is helpful for bad weather.

If you are mounting your silhouette to the roof, ensure it is tied down securely using cable ties or rope

For 2D silhouettes, these are usually hung on walls or fences.

Step 1 - Start by finding the hanging points on your silhouette and then mark these on the wall where would you would like to place it. It can be a good idea to drill your first hole and then put your silhouette over it once done.

Step 2 - Mark where you other holes will need to go

Step 3 - Drill your other holes and then fill these with your wall plugs and choice of nails or hooks.

If you are using adhesive hooks, you do not need to drill any holes, it is always a good idea to double check your hooks are strong enough before using these however. Some silhouettes can be quite heavy.

Step 4 - Place your silhouette on your wall or fence and secure with nails or hooks. Cable ties can also be used here to make sure it will not fall over the holidays.

We hope you now know how to set up your lights this Christmas. If you haven't decided on what lights to use this year, have a look at our huge range of indoor and outdoor lights, designed with you in mind. 

How to Hang Christmas Lights Outdoors

Hanging Christmas lights can be a difficult task, especially if it is your first time doing it. This guide will walk you through how to install all of the different types of outdoor Christmas lights, from silhouettes and rope lights to cluster lights and net lights.

Before you Start

  • Make sure to check your lights are working correctly and that the cord has not been frayed or damaged in any way. If you notice any issues with your lights, make sure to contact your supplier or replace/repair any damaged parts.
  • Decide on your theme, there are dozens of ways to set up your lights to create brilliant Christmas displays. It is important to have an idea of what to put where before you start.
  • Here’s some handy suggestions
    • Rope lights– These are great around gutters or in flower beds. They can also be used to light pathways and to wrap around trees
    • Festoon Lights – Perfect for guttering. These lights can also look stunning when strung across your garden
    • Net Lights – Ideal for shrubbery. These lights are a great way to turn your trees and bushes into festive masterpieces. They can also be great for covering windows or garage doors. Just make sure not to block entrance ways
    • Light strings– Use around your roof line or to highlight any key features of your home/garden. This could be doorways, windows, fences, walls or pillars
    • Icicle Lights – These look great around the eaves of your roof and around your guttering
    • Connectable Lights– These are perfect for large displays, you can connect up to 10 sets and use these for your roof or to highlight key features around your garden
    • Silhouettes – You can use silhouettes almost anywhere around your home. There are a variety of different styles. You can have 3D silhouettes in your garden or on your roof. You could also use 2D silhouettes on walls and your roof
  • Measure all straight lines where you want to place your lights and double check your lights will be long enough.
  • Most outdoor lights are mains powered, this means you need to ensure you have safe access to a plug socket. Measure the distance to the plug socket and double check that your lead wire is long enough. A great way to make your lights go further is by using waterproof outdoor sockets. These are very useful for setting up your display across your entire house and garden.

Top Tip - Battery Operated Lights

If you do not have access to a socket and have no outdoor sockets, outdoor battery-operated lights are a great solution. These allow you to use your lights anywhere outdoors without worrying about plugging them in. Our battery-operated lights come with built in timers to help save power

If you do decide to use battery operated lights, remember that you need somewhere to place the battery pack, this could be a windowsill, ledge or a low wall

Get the Right Equipment

  • Ladder - If you are going to be hanging your lights at height, make sure you have a strong and sturdy ladder available. When setting your ladder up, double check it is on solid ground and does not shake when you move it
  • Extension Hooks – Extension hooks are a great and safe way to hang lights in large trees or difficult to reach places. An extended paint roller with an adhesive light hook on the end works well
  • Scissors – Have a pair of good scissors available to use for cutting cable ties
  • Drill – If you are going to be drilling into brick, make sure you have a strong drill with the correct masonry bits. Masonry bits are what you will need when drilling through brick or concrete
  • Wall plugs and nails – Make sure you have the correct sized wall plugs and nails for the holes you will drill
  • Hooks/Clips – Make sure you have enough hooks or nail clips for your lights. We recommend using at least 2 hooks for every meter of light string you have. You can use your nails or s hooks to hang your lights or you can use gutter hooks or nail clips
  • Another Helper – It is always a good idea to have someone else help you when hanging your lights, especially if you will be going up a ladder. Why not ask your friends or family

Top Tip - Blown Fuses

Most Blown fuses happen because moisture gets into the connectors between the light strings. Use duck tap to seal any gaps between your lights to ensure your lights will be extra safe this Christmas. You can also use duck tape to wrap your battery pack if you are using battery-operated lights to make this more weather proof.

Hanging Your Lights

Once you have everything you need and have decided where you are going to put your lights, its time to actually hang them. When hanging your lights, its always a good idea to follow this general rule of thumb. Work from the bottom up with your lights. Begin with bushes, then trees, any windows and doors and then finally, the gutter and roof.

Get your set of lights and simply string them around the bush. Be careful not to catch your lights on any sharp twigs. If you are using net lights, simply drape these over the bush. You can work from the inside out if you want to provide a fuller look for your bushes.

Deciduous Trees

Step 1 - For deciduous trees, work from the bottom up, this allows you to achieve a tight wrap around your trunk and branches for a stunning effect.

Typically, spacing of 2-3 inches provides a complete look for your tree. If you want a brighter effect, decrease the spacing.

Step 2 - When you have completed the trunk, decide what branches you want to wrap next. Try to choose stronger branches to ensure they will support the weight. If you want to wrap multiple branches, you may have to double back on yourself when you have finished your first branch. If you are doing this, make sure you increase the spacing by x2 so you can fill in the gaps on the way back.

Use a ladder when you reach higher up branches, make sure whatever is supporting your ladder is strong and stable before beginning

Evergreen Trees

For evergreen trees, work from the top down, this allows you to ensure you have an even coverage throughout the tree.

Approximately 3-5 inches of spacing works well on these types of trees and provides a full look

Step 1 - Begin by using your extension pole and adding a hook to the end of it. Place your light string on the hook and stretch is to the top of the tree.

Step 2 -Once it is secured on a branch, slowly walk around the tree and drape your light string over it. Take your time with this and make sure the light string is firmly in place as you go.

Step 3 - If you run out of light string before you have finished, simply go back a couple of steps and allow the remaining light string to come down the base of the tree. You can then plug it in and finish the tree with another light string.

If you do not have a large pole to use, you can use ladders. Set up your ladders near the tree and ensure it is secure and stable. Begin by placing the end of your light string in the tree. Then slowly work your way around and down your tree. Do not over extend when doing this, make sure you can comfortably reach and secure your lights as you make your way around.

Step 1 - First things first, decide how many hooks you are going to need to use for your lights. A good rule of thumb Is 10 hooks for every 4 meters. If you are drilling into the wall and using heavy duty hooks or nails, you can use less than this.

Step 2 - Once you know how many hooks you are going to need, set up your ladder and begin to place the hooks onto the wall or from the gutter. If you are drilling holes, it can be a good idea to bring your tools in a bucket with you to let you easily access the drill, plugs, nails and clips.

Be safe if using a drill, it is always a good idea to have someone at the base of the ladder supporting it in case it slips.

Step 3 - Attach your hooks/clips whilst double checking they are in line. It can be good to take a step back during this step to ensure they look like you want them too before continuing.

Step 4 - Plug your lights in and work your way backwards from the socket, attaching your lights to your hooks as you go. Try to make sure you do not pull your cables as you do this, you want a slightly loose fit but not overly loose (draping)

Step 5 - Once you have reached the end, use an additional hook to secure your cable in place.

Step 6 - Take a step back and review your lights, make sure you are happy with how they look and that there are no spacing issues or drooping cables. If you are happy, its time to turn your lights on!

For hanging battery operated lights, follow any of the steps above for wherever you decide to put them. They can be very useful for trees and bushes that are far away from any available plug socket. The key thing the ensure here is that the battery pack is placed somewhere as sheltered as possible in a waterproof container. Make sure your battery pack is also easily accessible. This makes it easy to change the batteries if you need to this Christmas

To hang festoon lights, you first need to decide how you want them to be displayed. They are ideal for highlighting focal points of your home such as roof lines however they can also be hung throughout your garden for a magical effect. If you are hanging them on your roof or wall, follow the steps discussed earlier.

Remember that festoon lights are larger than light strings and as a result, need more space away from the way. A good way to achieve this is to use your gutters as they already have 1-2 inches of space. If you cannot do this, you will need to get hooks that stick out slightly further from the wall.

Step 1 - If you want to hang these around your garden, you first need to decide where they are going to start. Once you have selected your location, use a heavy duty hook such as a metal S hook and drill it directly into the wall/wood.

Step 2 - Decide where you want them to go to and how much of a hang you want. You then need to carefully pull your festoon lights across to where your other hanging hook will be and double check it reaches and looks as you imagined.

Step 3 - Now use your drill and add your hook. Hook your festoon lights and ensure that they are secure.

You can use rope lights in any of the places listed above. Just follow the same steps described earlier. It is worth noting that rope light tends to be thicker than normal light strings so you need to make sure that your clips are big enough. Whilst it is flexible, it is not as flexible as thinner light string. If you are trying to bend this around corners, make sure to add some hooks on the corners to allow it to take the shape effectively.

Connectable lights are a great way to decorate large areas easily. Our connectable lights come in sets of 100 and you can connect up to 10 sets. This gives you up to 100 meters of light string to use around your home. You can use connectable lights in any of the places listed above. Just follow the same steps described earlier.

Connectable lights work by having a male and female connector. You can connect these together in a variety of ways. Whilst these are waterproof, it can be a good idea to add some duct tape to the connectors to ensure that no moisture will get in.

To connect these, simply plug in each end and screw on the cap.

Top Tip

Make sure you have a set that comes with a plug before you use any extension sets. They will not work without this

Silhouettes usually come in two forms, 2D and 3D. For 3D Silhouettes, you can set these up in your garden and simply ensure the plug is in a waterproof socket. It can be a good idea to use cable ties to tie your silhouette to the ground, this is helpful for bad weather.

If you are mounting your silhouette to the roof, ensure it is tied down securely using cable ties or rope

For 2D silhouettes, these are usually hung on walls or fences.

Step 1 - Start by finding the hanging points on your silhouette and then mark these on the wall where would you would like to place it. It can be a good idea to drill your first hole and then put your silhouette over it once done.

Step 2 - Mark where you other holes will need to go

Step 3 - Drill your other holes and then fill these with your wall plugs and choice of nails or hooks.

If you are using adhesive hooks, you do not need to drill any holes, it is always a good idea to double check your hooks are strong enough before using these however. Some silhouettes can be quite heavy.

Step 4 - Place your silhouette on your wall or fence and secure with nails or hooks. Cable ties can also be used here to make sure it will not fall over the holidays.

We hope you now know how to set up your lights this Christmas. If you haven't decided on what lights to use this year, have a look at our huge range of indoor and outdoor lights, designed with you in mind.