For many, the holidays haven’t begun until the lights are up. Today, we’ll share some important tips for hanging lights around your home during the holidays, safely and efficiently.
1. Sketch a plan
It’s easy to get excited about hanging lights, only to find that you don’t have enough materials or time to finish.
Avoid this issue by sketching out a plan. Consider doing the following to help you stay focused:
- Take measurements for how many lights you’ll need.
- Determine the design, style, and colors you want.
- Add extra time for poor weather conditions and other unexpected issues.
A plan can keep you on track and reduce last-second runs to the hardware store during the busy season.
2. Use the right clip
One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when hanging lights is also one of the easiest to avoid.
Instead of metal staples or nails, use plastic light clips.
Light clips are easy to install, inexpensive, and can help you avoid unnecessary damage to your trim, soffits, and façade. You can typically use them to attach lights to your gutters, railings, roof, and downspouts.
All too often, homeowners use staples or nails when hanging lights. In addition to causing unnecessary damage to soffits and trim, these metal fasteners can lead to other problems:
- Damage to wiring insulation
3. Ask for help
You don’t need to go about hanging lights alone. For safety, you should ask a friend, neighbor, or family member for help. Here are a few things you can do more quickly with help.
- Keep lights untangled. Asking someone to hold the lights and keep them untangled while you hang them can speed up the process. It also helps you avoid fiddling with knots while on a ladder.
- Test bulbs. Sometimes, even brand-new lights have burned-out bulbs. With help, you can avoid finding problematic bulbs after you’ve installed them, and replace them before you start hanging lights.
- Add clips. With help, you can affix all of your clips while the lights are still on the ground more quickly. Be sure to evenly space each clip and make sure they’re pointed in the right direction.
4. Always be safe on ladders
If you’re hanging lights, you’ll likely end up using a ladder. Even if you have a lot of experience working with ladders, it’s important to stay safe, especially in cold, icy conditions. Consider the following safety tips if you’ll be using a ladder while hanging lights:
- Inspect your ladder for problems before using it.
- Be sure the base of the ladder is set on level ground.
- Properly set up the ladder in accordance with printed safety instructions.
- Wear slip-resistant shoes with heavy soles.
- Always climb deliberately and slowly, while avoiding sudden movements.
- Stay centered. Never let your belt buckle go past either side rail.
- Always climb down the ladder to move it.
- Be sure all locks on an extension ladder are engaged.
- Never position a ladder near doors or other areas where it might be displaced.
5. Start early so you’re not rushed
This means starting earlier in the season and earlier in the day. Hanging lights can be an all-day project. You don’t want to run out of light before you’re finished.
Additionally, be sure to plan for time to rest. Hanging lights can be tedious and tiring. As people grow tired, they often rush to finish hanging lights. This increases the risk of accidents and injuries.
Always take your time and be sure to follow the appropriate safety guidelines. If you start feeling tired or frustrated, take a long break and return when you’re better rested.
2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive home warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.