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How to Safely Hang Rooftop Christmas Lights

As we enter into this Christmas season, homeowners may be starting to pull their holiday decorations out. Many neighborhoods are transformed by sparkling rooftop Christmas lights. This is one of the main highlights of the holiday season, as families bundle up with hot cocoa to search for houses showcasing spectacular lights. 

But installing lights can be tricky and dangerous, given that you’ll be working on top of your roof. It’s also important that the roofing surface isn’t damaged when lights are attached. Any type of puncture can result in roof leaks and damage, which could cost you thousands in repair costs. When installed correctly, Christmas lights won’t injure your roof at all and will add to the festive cheer of the season. We’ll give you some tips on how to safely install your holiday lights onto the roof. Your roof will be beautiful and shining, ready for Christmas time!

rooftop christmas lights

Before You Start, Make a Plan

When choosing rooftop Christmas lights, we recommend that you pick shorter strands, as they’ll be easier to replace when they’ve burned out. It’s also important to test that the lights work before you install them. Check for any frayed cords; if you find any, make sure to return them. These could cause power issues or even put your home at risk for an electrical fire. When you hang the lights, choose a time when it’s not too cold or wet outside. It’s also best to install them during the day when you can see better. Wear proper shoes and ensure you don’t hang lights near any power lines. 

Types of Lighting 

The type of lights you choose will influence how the lights burn and how long they’ll last. When looking at roof Christmas lights, pay attention to fire ratings. You need to find safe lights that aren’t at risk of starting a fire. You may also want to consider low-burning lights, which take up less energy. Given that Christmas lights are on for long amounts of time, these can also save money on utility bills.

  • Incandescent lights: These lights are fairly cheap, but take up a lot of energy and generate heat. This makes them more of a fire hazard, which means you’ll be limited to the number of strands you can plug in per outlet. However, these lights do burn brighter than LED, which can give off more impact. 
  • LED lights: LED lights use less energy, which makes them a popular choice for rooftop Christmas lights. You can power more lights from a single outlet and you’ll have multiple colors to choose from.
  • Battery-operated lights: If you don’t have many outdoor outlets, battery-operated lights may be a good option. Look for ones that come with a weatherproof battery box. If you run the Christmas lights every night, the batteries may go out quickly, which means you may want to invest in rechargeable batteries.

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Tips for Hanging Rooftop Christmas Lights 

  • When you’re ready to begin hanging lights, make sure to have someone with you for safety reasons. 
  • Never use nails, tacks, or a staple gun to install roof Christmas lights. These methods can pierce your roofing material, which may cause roof leaks or deterioration of the material. We always recommend that you use a type of clip that attaches to the gutters or eaves. If you own a stucco house with no eaves, you can use parrot clips, which go over the wall by the roof. 
  • It’s likely that you’ll need to use extension cords. Make sure you use them safely and plug everything in correctly. 
  • If you can, use a ladder to attach the clips. This is better for your roof than walking on it. If you do need to walk on it, use soft shoes and limit how much you’re going back and forth.

Types of Clips 

Instead of nails, tacks, or staples, we always recommend using clips on the gutters or eaves to attach lights to your roof. They’re relatively cheap and shouldn’t be harmed by rain or snow. Here are some types of clips you can use: 

  • Roof peak clips 
  • Gutter clips
  • Clay tile roof clips
  • Eave clips
  • Parrot clips
roof christmas lights

Happy Holidays from Perimeter Roofing!

Perimeter Roofing is proud to be your local business during the holiday season. If you find any roofing damage while you’re installing lights, be sure to contact us! We offer free roofing estimates in addition to roof repair and replacement services. Schedule your appointment with us today!

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