The Dos And Don’ts Of Using Outdoor Christmas Light


When you plan to use outdoor lights at your residential or commercial property, there are safe ways to do this that won’t lead to problems from structure fires or electrical shock injuries. Here are some of the best tips for using outdoor lights at homes and businesses.

Tip 1: Do Inspect the Holiday Lights

Make sure to inspect the Christmas lights, looking for frayed electrical cords or loose connection plugs. If there is any damage to the items, then you should throw the light strands away. In some cases, you can remove the bulbs from these damaged electrical wires to use the bulbs to replace the burnt out bulbs of the holiday lights that are in excellent condition.

Tip 2: Do Gather Your Installation Supplies

To make the installation of holiday lights easier, you should gather your supplies. This can prevent delays in the installation along with making the process safer for everyone. Some of the items that you will need to hang or install outdoor Christmas lights include:

  • An extension ladder or a raised metal platform
  • Fasteners, such as light clips, shutter tabs or gutter hooks
  • Rubber grommets
  • Power strips
  • Surge protectors
  • Heavy-duty extension cords

All of your supplies for the holiday lighting should state that the items are appropriate for outdoor use.

Tip 3: Dress in Warm Clothing

You should dress in warm clothing and wear sturdy footwear while working outside to hang the holiday lights. Don’t wear dangling items that can become tangled on anything, leading to an injury.

Tip 4: Do Work With Other People

Never work alone while hanging the Christmas lights because it can lead to dangerous situations. This is especially important when you are climbing on a ladder or on a building’s rooftop.

Tip 5: Do Stay Away from Utility Lines

Do not touch or go near any utility lines on a rooftop or next to a building. While these items may look safe, it is possible to receive an electrical shock from any type of utility line.

Tip 6: Do Learn How to Use the Rubber Grommets

Rubber grommets are great items to have for your holiday lights. These items will protect the materials on a building to prevent any damage from the bulbs along with keeping moisture away from the connectors of the bulbs. You will likely need hundreds of these items for the installation of the Christmas lights.

Tip 7: Don’t Use Nails or Metal Staples for the Holiday Light Installation

You should never use metal staples or nails for the installation of the holiday lights. In addition to damaging the gutters, shingles or shutters of a building, you can receive an electrical shock anytime that a sharp metal item enters one of the light strands. Also, the sharp staples and nails can damage the Christmas lights, keeping the items from working.

Tip 8: Don’t Attach Too Many Light Strands Together

Read the labels on the holiday light strands to determine how many that you can attach to each other with connectors. Don’t go over the recommended limit because it could lead to serious issues from outages or overheating.

Tip 9: Do Use Surge Protectors for the Holiday Lights

To protect a building’s electrical systems, you should use surge protectors that are designed for outdoor use. You should only plug in the appropriate number of light strands to avoid any additional problems from power surges, brownouts or fires.

Tip 10: Do Check the Holiday Lights Frequently

You should check the holiday lights frequently for any signs of problems, including blinking bulbs or frayed wires. If there is a problem with the outdoor lights, then turn all of the items off until you can remove the defective light strands or make a repair.

Tip 11: Do Choose the Proper Light Strands for Trees and Shrubs

When you want to use holiday light strands on live shrubs or trees, make sure to use cool light strands that are approved for outdoor use. Avoid wrapping the light strands too tightly around the trees or shrubs so that the plants aren’t damaged. Make sure that the light strands aren’t touching the ground underneath the plants where there is moisture from rainwater, ice and snow.