How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Hanging fairy lights outside it’s a friendly way of showing holiday spirit. You can use plastic adhesive hooks, outdoor light clips, and hot glue. Hanging lights without nails are safer, especially to the surfaces, less expensive and easy to remove. The following are mechanisms that you can use:

Hanging Lights with Adhesive Hooks

Choose gutter hooks to hang your lights along the gutters easily. Purchase s-shaped pins and suspend them by pressing the top part into the drain. Use the bottom part as a hook and string the wires of light into each. You can also use pins to hang string lights on the balcony. Fix the clips at the desired location and dangle the lights on them.

Using Decorating Clips

  • Decorating clips
  • Transparent tape
  • Ladder
  • Tape measure

Measure the circumference of the area you want to decorate and determine the right number of strings you need. Get a sufficient number of clips with one clip every 6-8 inches. Some bulb types of lights like C7 use more massive clips than mini lights.

Use transparent tape along with the distance you want to decorate to secure the clips. Test the string by connecting into an electrical outlet to ensure no bulb is burned-out or missing. Adhesive hooks won’t work on rough surfaces like concrete, brick, or stucco.

Using Hot Glue

  • Glue-gun
  • Ladder
  • Outdoor adhesive
  • Tape measure
  • Extension

Hot glue helps hanging lights on stucco, brick, and concrete where adhesive clips fail. Choose a large gun for suspending the lights and use glue best for outdoor purposes. Load your gun and plug it in an extension for easy movement.

Wait for a few minutes for the glue to heat up. Be careful; the glue might cause burn if it leaks. Measure the distance and unroll the light string. Inspect the yarn to make sure all bulbs are functional. Apply a hot glue line alongside the first bulb socket and hold the socket’s glued side against the wall.

Hold the gun for a few seconds to allow the glue cool and set. Repeat the process until the bulb sockets glue in their positions. Connect the light string into the outdoor socket and apply a male outlet to one end and female socket.

Using Staples

Stapling is much easy and faster when hanging lights. It’s best to consider how long you are going to keep lights up. The duration will help you choose which kind of staples to use. If you are keeping the lights up for a few days, you can use any pins, but of staying for long, go for stainless steel staples. Rusting staples will tend to leave unsightly rust stains on many types of surfaces, mainly wood.

When stapling, use one stapler per light socket. Ensure you tack close to the socket instead of between two sockets. Be keen not to pin through the electric cord.

This method works best if you have wood siding. The staples will have a hard time penetrating and holding onto cement or brick.


You can use staples to hang lights, hooks, clips, and hot glue instead of nails. These techniques are easy and comfortable and cause less damage to the hanging surfaces.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Posted October 15th, 2020 by Moderator 2 & filed under Uncategorized.

Now that the holiday season is just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas lights and unique decorations to display. Most homes and businesses will use lights as their main source of decoration. There are many common methods people use to hang their Christmas lights outdoors.

Let’s take a look at 4 ways to hang Christmas lights outdoors to decide which one is the best method to use this holiday season.

Using tape is an easy way to get your Christmas lights up, and many people do it this way. However, it can be a safety hazard and won’t last long. Depending on your Christmas lights’ size and weight, tape won’t usually hold it up for the couple of months they should be on display. They can also ruin the walls or decorations if they fall, or at the time of removal.

This method serves as a quick fix if you need to hold up lights for a short time, but it’s not a method you can rely on long-term.

Adhesive Hooks and Clips

You can find adhesive hooks and clips in just about any hardware store. These come in all sizes and are a lot sturdier than using tape. However, they might leave a residue or ruin your wall paint when you remove them. They also can’t always hold up your lights the entire season, and could break depending on the lights.

Although this might be a better method than tape for Christmas light installation, it’s still not the best option.

Brick Clips

Hanging Christmas lights outdoors might be a challenge for some, but it shouldn’t be much of a hassle for installers. Brick clips are another way to put up Christmas lights outdoors without nails. These are weather resistant and strong, but not everyone chooses this alternative unless they have a brick wall or fence.

Commercial Grade Clips

Commercial grade clips are the best option available. They work for residential and commercial Christmas lighting installations, and they come in all shapes and sizes. These are strong, weather-resistant, and allow you to twist, hang, and turn your lights to achieve the design of your choice.

Get Started With Creative Displays

At Creative Displays, not only can we help you get your hands on commercial-grade clips to hang Christmas lights outdoors, but we also offer unique design services. We can turn any concept into a reality and will provide ongoing support. The installation of our lighting displays is hassle-free, so you can enjoy the season.


Hanging Lights with Hooks or Clips

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

  • Gutter hooks are inexpensive and easy to put up because they’re made of a bendable plastic. However, they can sometimes slide along the gutter since they aren’t fastened in one place.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

  • The size of the hole on the tab will normally be large enough to accommodate either C7 or C9 bulbs, which are the 2 most common types of Christmas lights.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

  • Adhesive clips won’t work on textured surfaces like concrete, brick, or stucco. The weight of the lights may cause them to fall off.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

  • Spacing your bulbs farther apart allows the light from the bulbs to spread, creating a more inviting display.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

  • Remember to plug the strand of lights into the extension cord before you begin to string them along the roof. Then, when you’re finished hanging the lights, you can simply plug in the extension cord and admire your work.

The best time for hanging Christmas and outdoor holiday lights is before your weather turns wet and cold.

How to Hang Christmas Lights: Step by Step

  1. Locate an electrical receptacle.
  2. Measure the lengths.
  3. Test the lights.
  4. Set up a ladder.
  5. Hang the lights along the eaves.
  6. Attach the lights to the trim.

To hang your Christmas lights outside without nails, try using plastic hooks and clips for a simple way to make your home look festive. If you decide to use hooks, purchase S-shaped gutter hooks and hang them by pressing the top part of the S into the gutter.

Likewise, can outdoor Christmas lights cause fires? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas lights cause 40% of Christmas tree fires, and overall decorations caused more than 15,000 injuries resulting in an emergency room visit with falls being the highest at 34%, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Then, how do you hang outdoor string lights?

Hanging Patio String Lights Basic Steps

  1. Draw a rough sketch with measurements.
  2. Assemble your poles if applicable.
  3. If using guy wire, hang this first.
  4. Hang your first patio light string with the male plug closest to your outlet.
  5. Use zip ties or hooks between each bulb as needed on deck railings or other structures.

Is it OK to staple Christmas lights to shingles?

Don’t Put Holes in Your Roof Fans of the movie Christmas Vacation will recall Clark Griswold putting up his lights with his trusty staple gun. Stapling to your eaves (the wood part around the perimeter of your roof) is probably okay. But avoid putting staples or nails or screws or any type of hole into your shingles.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Your first task this holiday season: hanging the Christmas lights outdoors. Unlike others, you will resist the urge to be impulsive and buy too many strands, not follow instructions, install lights during a storm, stand on the very top of a ladder, or lean too far over your sloping roof. Or, at least we hope so with our help.

If this is your first time decorating the exterior of your home for the holidays, keep it simple. You can always add to your light collection each year, filling it in with more rows, outlining architectural features, or wrapping lights around trees and branches. But, by starting small, you’ll be able to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Get ready to be the prettiest home on the block this Christmas.

Watch Now: How to Wrap Trees With Outdoor Lights

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Camera or smart phone
  • Ladder
  • Tape measure


  • Outdoor holiday lights
  • Plastic light clips
  • Plastic zip ties (as needed)
  • Outdoor extension cord


Take a Picture of Your House

Before you do anything else, head to the curb and snap a few photos of the front of your house from the street. Viewing your home from the perspective of your neighbors or people driving by will help you make sense of your design plan and allow you to take in your home from the vantage point of those that will actually be enjoying your holiday handiwork.

Consider your house in its entirety—obviously, you’ll want to put some lights along the roofline, but what about the porch, windows, and around your yard? Keep in mind that everywhere is fair game!

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Measure Where the Lights Will Hang

Use a tape measure to estimate the width or height of the area where you’re hoping to hang your light strands. If you’d like to avoid an extra trip up the ladder and if your roofline is flat, another way of estimating the width or length of the area you want to hang lights is to measure the width of your house at its base. While not precise to the inch, it gives you a decent idea of how many feet or strands of lights are needed.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Ensure Lights Are for Outdoor Use

When buying lights, look for a box marked for outdoor (or indoor/outdoor) use. This will ensure they can withstand a variety of outdoor elements like rain, snow, and frozen temperatures—you don’t want to hang up more fragile indoor tree lights outdoors, only to have them die out in a week or two! When purchasing your lights, it’s worthwhile to also look for the label “UL” on any box you’re considering—this indicates that they were tested for safety by Underwriters Laboratories.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Buy Plastic Light Clips

For an easy time putting up (and taking down!) your outdoor Christmas lights, do yourself a favor and purchase a few sets of light clips. These handy and inexpensive pieces not only help you save time while decorating, but they also help prevent damage to your house, eliminating the need for nails, staples, or other conventional fasteners. Bonus: These flexible plastic clips can hold any type of light strand, including icicles and strands of the larger C7 and C9 bulbs, and should hold up for several seasons.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Test Your Lights Before Hanging

Save yourself a ton of time (noot to mention potential disappointment) by testing each strand of lights before hanging it on your home. In addition, give each set of lights. a quick once-over, keeping an eye out for any broken or missing bulbs, which can still cause issues down the line, even if the lights are currently working. Many strands come with replacement bulbs, so if you’re unpacking new sets of lights, set those aside somewhere you can find them if replacements are necessary.

Attach the Clips to the Strings

Snap the plastic hangers onto the light strands, as directed by the clip manufacturer. Space the clips six to 12 inches apart, based on your intended design and how straight you want your strands to be.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Attach the Clips to Your Home

Hang your lights by attaching the plastic clips onto your gutters, siding, railings, roofline, or anywhere else that will help your holiday design come to life. This is where that image you took at the beginning is helpful. If you want to avoid having to climb up and down your ladder to continually check your design, keep that shot on hand as a blueprint.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Collect Excess Wire for Even Spacing

Because light strands come with a foot or so of excess unlit wire, loosely roll up and clip the extra cord into one of the unused portions of the clip, rolling the wire so that the light spacing is even.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Attach Lights With Plastic Zip Ties

If you live in an area that experiences harsh winter weather, consider adding a few zip ties to your lighting design for extra security. High winds, heavy snow, and ice storms can all damage your carefully-constructed holiday light design, so think of the zip ties as an added line of defense against that. You can often find them in different colors, too (like black, white, grey, and more), so matching them to your light strand will be super simple.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Turn on the Lights

Plug the male end of the last strand into an outdoor-rated extension cord. Then plug the extension cord into an outdoor outlet, preferably controlled by an on/off switch, automatic timer, or app. Always plug outdoor lights into a GFCI-protected outlet, which help prevent shock due to moisture and other common causes of short circuits.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

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    How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

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Home / Sponsored / How to Hang an Outdoor Light – No Holes!

Learn more about Gorilla Tape, the strongest tape ever! I used it to hang an outdoor light, without using nails. See what I did here!

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Have you noticed that when your neighbors find out that you like DIY projects, they give you “challenges?” I don’t know if this happens to you, but it happens to us.

Steve and I are always willing to tackle pretty much any DIY project, and our neighbors know this well. Therefore it’s easy to hook us in with four little words: “I bet you can’t . . . . ” I bet you CAN, right??

I know many of you are with me. Our new neighbors around the corner issued us a bit of a challenge recently after they found out that we love home improvements. They’re renting a house down the street before they decide whether or not to buy in our neighborhood. Here’s their cute rental:

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

One issue with all of the side yards in our neighborhood (which Steve and I have learned from experience) is that they are VERY dark at night. When you have dogs that go out late, or any time during the winter, you really need a light. Most outdoor lights are easy to install – with screws. Which brings me to the challenge.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

As I said, our neighbors are renters, and their landlord has strictly forbid them to drill any holes. And won’t hang a light for them!! Therefore any lights that they hang have to be semi-permanent. Our neighbors can touch up paint, but no holes. So now you see what I’m getting at? They gave us the challenge!!

And we immediately knew what we were going to try: Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape.

Have you heard of this product? It’s a crystal clear, double-sided tape that sticks to both smooth and rough surfaces, and can be used both indoors and outdoors. The bond is long-lasting and weatherproof, and we figured hanging a light would be the perfect time to try it.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

Hang an Outdoor Light

When you are removing the Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape from the package, do it carefully. It really sticks! You’ll want to make sure your hands are washed and you are ready to go when you remove the tape – because it doesn’t come to play.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

We took two pieces of the Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape and stuck it on either side of the mounting plate. This tape works with a lot of plastics, metal, wood, glass, brick, ceramic, stone, and more.

The only place is really doesn’t work is on wallpaper, delicate surfaces, and some PP plastics. In this case, our mounting plate was metal. The tape stuck very quickly – so you’ll want to make sure it’s in the right location before pressing it down.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

After that you’re going to remove the strips on the top of the tape. If you don’t have long fingernails, use a craft knife or tweezers to help you grab a corner.

Then you’re going to make sure the surface is dry and relatively clean (just wipe away loose dirt). Then press down firmly. This Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape REALLY STICKS!

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

After we taped up the lower, solar bracket, we also used the Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape to place the upper light plate as well. The Gorilla tape holds up to 15 lbs*, though our neighbors’ light was probably 2 – 3 at the most. (*Weight limits may vary depending on surface texture, porosity and flatness of surface. Both surfaces must be completely flat to make full contact with adhesive.)

My neighbors’ light is pretty cool as its solar powered and also has a motion detector. This tape formed an instant, long-lasting bond with the siding and is completely weatherproof! And you can imagine how much rain we get here in the lovely Northwest!

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

I’m happy that my neighbors were able to add a light and that we were able to help them do so. I can’t take all the credit though . . . this Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape is pretty amazing. What would you hang with this product?

Deck your outdoors beautifully and stay safe with these tools and step-by-step techniques.

How to hang christmas lights outside without nails

‘Tis the season for all things twinkling and bright. In countless communities nationwide, hanging outdoor Christmas lights is an annual event, and neighbors vie for the best-lit house on the street. Before you drag the extension ladder out in frigid temps, however, be aware that there’s a right way and a wrong way for how to hang Christmas lights outside. With a little pre-planning and the correct supplies, you can tackle the task safely and create an illuminated masterpiece that will be the talk of the block. Check out our steps and tips for hanging this year’s holiday lights.

SAFETY FIRST: Extension ladders and step ladders must be sturdy and safe. Don’t climb on a rickety ladder, and never lean to the side of a ladder in an attempt to stretch farther than your normal arm’s reach. Instead, climb down and move the ladder over before continuing your job of hanging Christmas lights outside.

STEP 1: Design a lighting plan.

Whether you want a full-on winter wonderland or prefer a minimalist look, it’s wise to sketch out on paper or at least list the types of Christmas lights you want and where you’ll put them before you hit the store, trying to decide in an aisle full of dazzle. Stand across the street from your home to help visualize your plan. Do you want to adorn just the eaves or do you aim to decorate porch columns, railings, mailbox posts, fences, and even your trees and shrubs?

STEP 2: Take measurements of where you’ll hang lights.

With a long measuring tape (50 feet, or longer, works well), measure the distances where you will hang lights, such as along eaves, door and window frames, and the vertical corners on your home. Record the measurements so you don’t buy too many or too few lights.

Straight lines are easy to measure, but you’ll have to do a little guesstimating if you plan to wrap lights around columns or tree branches. While there’s no set rule to wrapping lights, you can figure how many you’ll need with the following formula. This example uses a 10-foot column with a 1.5-foot circumference:

  1. Divide the height of the column (in inches) by how far apart you’d like to space each wrap of the light strand. We think 3 inches apart is a nice look. Because our example is 10 feet tall (120 inches), our formula would be 120 ÷ 3 = 40.
  2. Then, multiply the total (40 in our case) by the circumference of the column (in feet). For our column that’s 1.5 feet in circumference, that would be 40 X 1.5 = 60.

For our 10-ft. column, we’d need 60 feet of lights in order to wrap the strands 3 inches apart. Your results will vary depending on the height and circumference of your column or tree trunk.

Decorating shrubs and bushes with string lights is a matter of personal preference, and you’ll have to take into account the width and height of your shrubs. That said, a 6-foot evergreen needs about 400 lights to achieve a merry and bright—but not to cluttered—Christmas tree effect.

To reduce the number of electrical outlets you’ll need, select light strands that connect to one another. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and limitations. In many cases, you can safely connect up to 25 LED light strands, and up to six strands of incandescent lights.

STEP 3: Test the lights before hanging them.

Testing is especially important if you’re using stored Christmas lights from previous years, but even brand new strands can be faulty. Plug in each strand individually. The last thing you want is to spend time hanging lights that don’t work!

STEP 4: Use plastic light clips to hang strands along eaves and gables.

Inexpensive plastic light clips are designed specifically for hanging Christmas lights, and they hook over the top lip of your home’s gutter, or, alternately, they slip under the edges of roof shingles. Read package instructions to determine the specifics—some are suitable for both types of connecting. Don’t use nails or staples to attach the lights: You could end up damaging the gutter, the shingles, or the lights. Observe safe ladder practices, as noted above.

STEP 5: Wind strands around handrails and secure them with deck clips.

Install lights on railings by either winding the strand around the handrail or—for a perfectly straight line of lights—by using deck clips. Deck clips are designed to securely grip a standard handrail and support a string of lights. Plastic zip-ties are also a good choice for attaching light strands to railings and balusters.

STEP 6: Secure lights on higher tree branches.

If possible, use a light-hanging pole for securing lights on high branches. It’s dangerous to climb out onto branches to hang lights in trees, but a light-hanging pole lets you remain on the ground, or on a safe rung of your ladder, while slipping strands over and around the branches in a free-form manner.

STEP 7: Use an exterior-rated extension cord to plug in your lights.

Interior extension cords are not safe for outdoor use. To make your lighting even more secure, wrap a bit of duct tape around the plug-ins where the cords connect. This will reduce the chance of moisture getting into the plug and blowing a fuse or breaker.