How to hang Christmas Lights the easy way!

How to hang Christmas Lights

How to hang Christmas Lights quickly, fast & easily every year

The best way to hang Christmas Lights!

I don't know about you but I cannot stand when Christmas lights are crooked or the wind takes off with them & they need to be re-done. Living 40 miles southeast of Chicago we get some damaging winds that can lift a 100 year old tree out of the ground, so christmas lights are a lightweight missile that can easily come down no matter how many plastic light clips you use around here.

Don't even mention the fact that you'd need to add a clip every 4 inches to even come close to holding lights in place, and that is still no guarantee they will stay in place or be straight enough. Plus, let's talk about the installation itself. Being on a ladder for the entire day? My husband would rather hit his thumb with a hammer! So I had to get creative. (Update: 12/6/2020; there is a new link down below also to a video that shows you step by step how we created the light channel to hold the icicle lights. This can be easily adapted for your choice of lights. For example C9 lights or C6's. You can simply unscrew the bulb and place the socket inside the channel and then screw the bulb back in from the bottom of the light channel) 

This was our first attempt back in 2008 to hang lights outside. Awful, right? I didn't exactly inspire my neighborhood to sing Christmas carols. I didn't even want to look at my house. We have enclosed gutters so we don't have to worry about debris getting in them, but it makes it interesting trying to get light clips put securely in place.

How to hang Christmas Lights quickly, fast & easily every year

So I spent HOURS researching ways to hang Christmas lights. I surfed websites, called Light Companies, I checked everywhere, nothing. Well, I finally figured out if the lights could be put up in groups and secured to something straight (and sturdy), it would go faster. Here is what I finally came up and it works beautifully!

Below is what the channel looks like at your local improvement store. You will find it in the siding aisle. It's what they use to border around your windows for vinyl siding. It's called  "J Channel".

How to hang Christmas Lights quickly, fast & easily every year

We purchased enough of this to fit the front of our ranch house and drilled holes in the bottom of it and fished the icicle into the holes so they hung down. The longest part of this project was pushing each icicle strand through the holes that are 2" apart in the bottom of the channel. FYI we have done all 4 sides of our 1700 square foot ranch and it took about 2-1/2 hours to insert icicle lights into the holes. We got an assembly line process going and just did it on a rainy cold day Thanksgiving Week! Installing the lights outside takes 35 to 45 minutes, I promise! It's my goal for 2020 to do an entirely new video from start to finish, so stay tuned.

All you have to do next year is grab your lights still inside the channel, ladder, screws and drill and go. If you do not have a garage or basement where you can store/hang a 10 foot long piece of plastic that houses icicle lights, you can always cut the J Channel in smaller more manageable lengths. You're unfortunately going to have to do a bit of math and measuring to figure out it out. Originally, we used long ten foot lengths and stored them that way. Now, we have them cut into about 4 feet long. But do what works for you. FYI - Ten foot pieces all lit up is a 2 person job. The plastic is extremely flexible at this length and will bend or break. 

How to hang Christmas Lights quickly, fast & easily every year

Below are some (old) pics of the lights being stored in our basement hanging from some large J hooks.

How to hang Christmas Lights quickly, fast & easily every year

Here is a shot from 2016.

How to hang Christmas Lights quickly, fast & easily every year

I also did a video on the installation for these lights. Hope you like it! This shows us using the 10' length pieces. In 2019 when we decided to do the whole house, we cut them down to about 4 footers, so it is literally a one man job. That way while hubby is decorating the outside, i can do the porch or the inside. He doesn't need my help.