3 Easy Tips to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights

  • Decor & DesignHome Owner Tips
  • Friday, November 9, 2018
This post was originally published on November 9, 2018 and updated on November 19, 2020.

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s never too early (or late) to start the decorating process, especially outside your home! If you like having Christmas lights draped throughout your roof and siding, it’s a good idea to install them early before the buildup of snow and ice makes it harder to do so. Once they’re up, you can leave them there until you decide to turn on that light switch!

Want to know what’s the safest and easiest way to hang up these lights? Here’s a few tips and suggestions that can help you with this process:

Purchasing Lights

If you’re buying new lights, consider getting shorter strings instead of long ones. It’ll be easier to replace if anything goes wrong and buying a shorter string of lights is cheaper compared to a longer one. 

If you have a theme or specific decorating idea in mind, make sure you buy the lights that have the right light bulb size and colour you’re looking for. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the store with the wide selection of lights on offer – so another suggestion is to come prepared with some photos that you can use as a reference guide as you choose the lights that work best for your home.

Consider using LED Christmas lights, which can last up to 10 times longer and are more durable than traditional lights.


Make a plan before you hang them. Go across the street and take pictures of your house from different angles. This will help you decide how and where you want to hang up your lights and any other outdoor decorations you may have.

Plug your lights into an outlet first so that you know they’re working before you commit to hanging them all. After all, you don’t want to do the same job twice!


Choose a dry and (if possible) warm day to hang your lights. The last thing you need is a trip to the hospital after slipping on your ladder or roof in the rain or snow. Stay safe!

Make sure you install your lights in spaces that are clear of power lines, chimneys or heating vents, as this may cause a fire hazard. It’s also a good idea to have a friend, family member, or neighbour spot you if you’re up on a ladder or in a dangerous area.

To power your lights, ensure you have plenty of extension cords on hand as you don’t want to overload one cord and cause it to short-circuit. You can also consider installing a timer on your lights to conserve energy and prolong the lifetime and usage of these lights. Most timers can be set to 2, 4, 6, or 8 hour cycles, and can be found at most hardware stores.

If you’re not in the mood to hang up Christmas lights this year, we’ve got good news for you – there are plenty of other opportunities to see beautiful holiday light displays throughout Calgary. There’s Zoolights at the Calgary ZooLion’s Festival of Lights at Confederation Park, Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows. A few communities are also hosting their own events, such as Legacy’s legendary Christmas Light Parade!

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