The Grandison Inn on hanging Christmas LightsWe all know that decorating for Christmas can be a bit of a stressful event your first time. If you are planning on decorating your home for the first time, or even if you are looking for a more structured approach we have posted the list we found most useful for decorating.
You can find this list in its original posting here(about.com).
- Create an electric plan. Know exactly where you want your lights, but most importantly, know how you intend to plug them in. Too many strings connected together will often blow fuses (especially on the cheaper strings of lights), so consider structuring your set-up to utilize a couple of electrical outlets.
- Check safety issues. Consider cleaning dried leaves out of gutters to prevent any fire risks. Make sure all electrical cords are intact. Verify that hooks (or whatever you're using to attach the lights) are secure.
- Get the proper tools. Make sure you have the proper tools already out for the job. You'll most likely need a ladder, a tape measure, light clips/hooks, your lights and extension cords. You also might need a hammer, pliers and a screwdriver.
- Lay out and inspect lights. Before you hang anything, stretch out your lights across your yard or driveway. Get all of the twists and/or kinks out of the strings and check for any broken bulbs or split wiring. Go ahead and plug in the strings and replace dead bulbs. It'll be much easier to replace them on the ground than after they're hung.
- Hang hooks/clips. Evenly space your hooks or clips along the eaves of your home. Make sure they are firmly in place and not spaced out so far that the strands will dangle. A foot or so is usually about right. Go ahead and hang all of the hooks along your planned area before attaching the lights. Do not use staples or nails. You may split the wires and ruin the strands or potentially cause serious electrical hazards.
- Hang lights. Make sure your ladder is on flat ground and firmly placed if leaning it against the house. If possible, always have a helper hold the ladder. As you hang the lights, make sure to hold the strings up so that the weight of the un-hung portion doesn't pull off any clips or hooks.
- Prepare the power. Plug in all strings of lights to their respective cords or outlets. Set any timers you may be using. Make sure to secure any extension cords, not leaving dangling cords or wires that may cause a safety hazard.
- Flip the switch. Turn on your lights and do another check of any dead bulbs or strings. If you have an entire string out, check the connections first before replacing any strings. Odds are it is a connection or a single bulb rather than a bad string if it worked a few moments before hanging.
- Enjoy! After cleaning up and putting away all of your tools, take a walk away from your house and enjoy your work. There's just something about holiday lighting to get people in the spirit of the season.