How to hang your outdoor Christmas lights like a pro, according to an expert

The festive season is almost here and you might have already noticed Christmas lights going up in the neighbourhood. So, if you're thinking of illuminating your own home, here's exactly how to hang your outdoor Christmas lights like a pro.

Hanging up your outdoor decorations is no easy task and if you're unprepared, it can become tedious and spoil the festive fun. Fortunately, the annual task can be made simple by planning ahead.

Adam Pawson, Head of Digital atSafestyle UK, shares his top five hacks on how to hang your outdoor Christmas lights. Take a look at them below...

1. Put safety first

Even though decorating your home for Christmas is fun and exciting, it's always important to put safety first.

'I'd recommend that you check that your lights are working properly before attempting to hang them on your windows or doors, that way you can spot any blown bulbs before they're hanging at awkward heights,' says Adam. 'If your lights are powered by the mains supply, you should also check that the source is at a suitable distance from your chosen surface.'

As well as this, ensure your Christmas lights are suitable for outdoor use. 'The same goes for your extension lead, you can purchase durable outdoor extension cords if you don't already own one,' adds Adam. Familiarising yourself with the safest way to hang your lights is vital, so don't forget to use a ladder: cutting corners by using boxes or stools because it could result in serious accidents.

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2. Test the length of your lights before you start

'Most people get too excited and rush straight into the installation of their outdoor Christmas lights, but the easiest way to avoid mistakes is to test the length of your lights at the beginning,' says Adam.

'Whether you're looking to create an icicle effect or simply a twinkling border, it's important to ensure that you have enough wire to reach the full length of your window. If your lights are too short, at least you'll have time to rethink your design.'

Oliver Perrott Photography Ltd

3. Use clipper hooks

Decorating clips and gutter hooks will help secure lights on your windows, doors, and along gutters. You can purchase them for as little as £3 from B&Q, while other DIY retailers should also stock them.

How to hang your outdoor Christmas lights like a pro, according to an expert

'To achieve the most impressive effect, one of the more important things to consider is the distance between each hook,' explains Adam. 'Try to place each one at regular intervals, leaving enough space to allow for slack. If you're creating an icicle effect, space the hooks closer together so that the weight of the lights is more supported.'

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4. Plug the lights in and work backwards (without switching them on)

Have you ever tried this before? A great way to avoid tugging on the socket, all you need to do is take the end of the string of lights and plug into the power source (ensure it's weather-resistant). Then, without switching them on, slowly work backwards across the prepared window. You'll have a glistening display in no time.

Adam advises: 'Try to avoid the cable hanging very loosely, instead you should aim for the lights to snugly fit on the hooks without tugging on the socket. Once you've reached the end, ensure that everything is tidy and evenly spaced.'

ArtBoyMBGetty Images

5. Switch your lights on

Now the fun part! Adam says: 'Take a step back to look at your lights and if there are any overhanging cables or uneven dips, make the necessary adjustments. Once you're happy with them, switch your lights on at the source.'

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