How to Put Up Christmas Lights Around Windows
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Regardless if you have received your first snowstorm of the year or not, it won’t be long before homeowners start getting into the mood for the holidays. Christmas decorations are one of the favorite ways for homeowners to get into the holiday spirit. You have a lot of options when it comes to Christmas lights.
What parts of the home do you want to highlight? The awning? The soffit? The gutters? What about the windows? Christmas lights look really good around windows as they showcase cuts in your siding and outline the trim very nicely.
How do you put up Christmas lights around windows? Read below to get insider tips and the preferred method.
Create a Christmas Lights Plan
When you move into a new home, one exciting thing you get to plan is how you’ll decorate your home with Christmas lights. However, creating a Christmas lights plan is not just reserved for new homeowners. People that have owned a home for years can always decide to switch it up and try something new with decorations this year.
Regardless of your circumstances, it helps to have a plan. You need to know how many lights you need on hand as well as accessories like ladders and hanging hardware.
A plan can also help you stay organized and reduce the time spent for hanging lights out in the cold. Most homeowners choose to begin decorating their home for Christmas around Thanksgiving, so it never hurts to get started early with the planning.
There are countless ways you can decorate a home for Christmas. Door frames and windows are popular places to hang lights because it outlines the exterior features of the walls. Gutters and awnings are also popular places.
Hanging lights correctly will make sure they withstand strong winds and snowstorms until it’s time to take them down after Christmas.
Accessories You’ll Need
Hanging Christmas lights isn’t extraordinarily complicated. However, there are some accessories that will make your job easier. In addition to having the proper amount of outdoor Christmas light strands, you’ll also want to bring along:
- Tape measure
- Outdoor extension cords
- Adhesive light clips (optional)
- Staple gun (optional)
Step 1: Measure Perimeter of Windows
So you decided you’re going to string Christmas lights around the windows. How many windows? All of them!
The tape measure comes in handy when measuring around doors and windows. It will allow you to measure the feet you need for Christmas lights. Do you have enough in storage? If not, you’ll need to buy more to get the job done.
If you want to have as little excess lights as possible around each frame then make sure you record the perimeters of each window. While you’re getting measurements, you can also use an old rag to remove dust from the window frame. If you’re using an adhesive light hanger it will stick much better to a dust-free surface.
Additionally, while you’re grabbing measurements you can also make a blueprint of the nearest exterior outlets. It will help you determine how many extension cords you need. If you’re short of extension cords, it will save you a trip when you go to the store to buy more Christmas lights.
Step 2: Test Your Christmas Lights
A rookie mistake when it comes to hanging lights is forgetting to test them before you install them to windows and other parts of the exterior. Don’t be Clark Griswold and get caught troubleshooting your lights on Christmas Eve.
You should always double check and make sure the lights are in working order before hanging them on the home. Even if you used the strand last year and remember that they worked doesn’t mean they are still effective. At the very least you’ll probably have to change out a few bulbs.
You might as well test Christmas lights while you go to the trouble of detangling them. It is a way to knock out two birds with one stone.
Step 3: Select the Best Mounting Hardware
There isn’t one singular way to hang Christmas lights. You have options depending on the building as well as personal preferences.
- Gutter hooks: If the windows run directly below a gutter you can always use gutter hooks for at least the top portion of the window. Gutter hooks are really simple to apply. The hooks are cheap, located at any hardware store, and very easy to install. Best of all, they don’t leave any marks or lasting damage on the gutters.
- Cup hooks: When gutter hooks are not an option for windows you can also consider cup hooks. The concept is similar only you have to screw cup hooks into the exterior. It will leave a minor indent, but nothing too noticeable. The hooks also prevent the lights from sagging on the top or bottom of the window if installed properly.
- Wire suckers: If you would like to avoid drilling holes into the exterior walls then you can consider wire suckers. Though suckers eliminate the need to drill into the siding, the downside is they aren’t as secure as cup hooks. As a result, they can fall off from time to time and need to be replaced.
- Siding staples: If you have access to a staple gun you can quickly hang the lights by going around the perimeter. The problem with staples is they are time-consuming to remove when it’s time to take the lights back down. However, staples are very secure and always a viable option. Just make sure you exercise caution when using the gun.
The last option is to consider hanging your lights on the interior, and not the exterior of the home. It is a practical way to hang lights and will allow you to avoid the strands and bulbs getting exposed to the elements. Wire suckers also work well indoors and that, or adhesive strips, work the best for mounting lights to the interior of a window.
Step 4: Install the Christmas Lights
If you’re using clips or hooks, it’s recommended that you space each one about 12-18 inches apart. The same rule can apply to staples.
Then, start the first light strand at the bottom corner of the window. Extend the strand up one side of the window. Make sure the strand keeps tight in order to avoid sagging. Once you reach the top corner, hang another clip or hook. It’s important to have mounts at all four corners of the window.
Repeat the steps as you stretch the light strand across the top portion of the window. Once again make sure it is taut, creating another mount on the opposite corner. You may need to use more than one strand depending on the size of the window. Make sure you use extra caution when hanging lights on a ladder from a second or third story window.
Finally, if the male end of the strand won’t reach an outdoor wall outlet then you’ll need an extension cord. Avoid loading too many light strands on one outlet to prevent blowing a fuse.
Decorating Windows for the Holiday Season
Decorating your home with Christmas lights is one of the best ways to showcase your house during the holiday season. Windows make a great place to hang lights with the right accessories.
Before you decorate your windows for the holiday season, consider the insulation and energy efficiency properties of your old windows. If you’re windows are drafty then it’s time to consider getting replacement windows with Feldco. We have many styles and options that will suit your home for the holidays. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.