Top Safety Tips for Hanging Lights

christmas lights holiday lights patio lights commercial residential events gainesville fl ocala fl jacksonville fl

Hey there everyone! Sparkle here once again! Are you ready for the Christmas season? It’s hard to believe it’s already here. Things up at the North Pole are plugging right along. Just the other day I asked Santa if he thought we’d be ready in time. He assured me by saying, “Sparkle, you ask me this every year (I do!). And every year things work out.” Then he shared with me a little secret. He’s actually more worried about the homeowners across North Florida and their safety while hanging lights on their homes for Christmas this year. As it turns out, not everyone has safe light hanging equipment or knows the right way to hang them. So, I did a little bit of research myself, and came up with these holiday light hanging tips that I think will help you out quite a bit!

First, let’s talk about cord safety

As many homeowners have asked themselves in the past and I’m sure you have as well: “How do I protect my hanging lights?” Christmas light displays can transform the best-looking neighborhood into an epic, stop the presses, get Santa here right now community! That being said, you’ll want to make sure you take some proper precautions first before you climb that first ladder or flip the switch on your display.

Start by making sure you have circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters. Only plug outdoor lights into these kinds of protected outlets. These can prevent power surges and other unexpected situations from causing problems with the lights (and mitigate the concern of starting a fire.)

Next, you’ll want to verify your extension cords have the proper safety rating. A simple, brown “3 outlet” extension cord you might use inside your home is a no-go for outdoor lights. Extension cords should be rated for outdoor use and properly grounded to prevent any kind of system overload.

Finally, before you hang any lights or plug them in, be sure to check for cord fraying on your light strips as well as your extension cords. Anything questionable should immediately be thrown out — trust me, it’s not worth the risk!

Don’t leave your lights on all the timechristmas light timer

I love Christmas lights displays. I love, love, love how amazing they are all across the North Florida region and how much effort the communities put into their light shows. That being said, no one should leave their lights on all the time. This includes during the day as well as overnight. Not only can unattended lights be a safety hazard, but they’re also an inefficient use of power. Let’s face it: for as beautiful as your home display looks, it can’t be seen during peak Florida sun.

Use timers so that your lights turn off every night before you go to bed and automatically turn on as the sunsets.

Use indoor lights indoors

First, one of the things you’ll want to consider for this year is to use LED instead of incandescent lights. Many homeowners haven’t made the switch yet, and those older style light bulbs are a major drain on your power usage.

Also, you’ll want to keep indoor lights reserved for indoors only. They’re not rated for outdoor usage and can’t withstand the elements.

And you guessed it: only use outdoor lights outside

Safe light hanging equipment starts with the type of bulbs you use outdoors. Again, keep indoor lights reserved for indoors and outdoor lights on the outside of your property. And like your indoor lights, you should only use LED lights instead of incandescents. These are more power-efficient and, because they’re brighter, can illuminate your home much better.

In addition, it’s best to use commercial C9 bulbs only outdoors. They’re the best-rated lights for outside and will perform best under all weather situations. They have a heavy-duty construction that, while somewhat more expensive than their big-box brethren, are far cheaper in the long term as they last longer and (by being LED) are more energy-efficient than displays of Christmases long ago.

Avoid staples

Now I’m not saying avoid Staples the store (unless you maybe work for a paper supply company in Scranton, PA!) Rather, I’m talking about a really important thing you never want to do.

Safety while hanging lights means that you’ll avoid using staples for your light strands and cords. Never use staples to hang lights, and this includes tacks or nails too. Basically, anything that can penetrate the cord and create a short in it is a no-go as far as Christmas light hanging is concerned.

lights hanging clips

Use proper clips and use the right kind of safe light hanging equipment

Have you noticed that I’ve mentioned “proper ratings” twice so far? It’s because outdoor displays need to be hung only using safe light hanging equipment, which includes properly rated cords, properly rated commercial C9 lights, as well as properly rated clips.

Just a moment ago, I said you should avoid staples, tacks, and nails when it comes to hanging. That’s because you should use proper clips, or rather, professional clips. These higher grade (or, properly rated!) clips are designed to keep your Christmas lights stationary and in position all season long. And because they’re so good, there is minimal need to ever adjust them, let alone climb the ladder again to rehang them! If you’re wrapping your trees, be sure to use professional-grade ring connectors as well so that they don’t start sagging by the time the Big Guy delivers his presents!

Call the light hanging experts

Of all of the holiday light hanging tips I could give you, I think the biggest is to call the experts. Yes, I’m talking about my friends at Twinkle Nights. With their expertise on your side, not only will you have the best-looking displays in the area, you can rest assured that they practice holiday light hanging safety with each job!

If you’d like to talk with the team about having them hang your light displays this year, be sure to give them a call or visit their website and fill out their contact form to let them know you’re interested in learning more.


Here are some other resources to help light up your holiday season!

The best places to see Christmas light displays in North Florida

How Much Does It Cost To Hang Christmas Lights?

LED vs Incandescent Bulbs