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How to Hang Christmas Lights with Gutter Guards

Woman wearing a hat and gloves hanging Christmas lights on a home's exterior
January 26, 2024
Sarah Mason
Read Time
8 minutes

As winter approaches, we’re frequently asked if you can still hang outdoor holiday lights after having LeafFilter Gutter Protection professionally installed. The short answer is yes, you can! Not only will you be able to prevent clogs inside your gutters throughout the winter and all year long, but you can still enjoy your favorite holiday decorations throughout the season.

In this post, we’ll explain how to hang Christmas lights with gutter guards, step by step, and how to do it without using a ladder. We’ll also provide some helpful safety tips to keep in mind when decorating your home for the holidays.

In this article:

Is It Okay to Hang Christmas Lights on Gutter Guards?

Lighted wreath and Christmas lights on the peak of a roof

Photo by Wesley Woodard from Pexels

Yes, you can hang Christmas lights on your LeafFilter gutter guards. You can also hang some other types of lightweight decorations on gutter guards, such as garlands or swags.

While it’s possible to hang Christmas lights on most types of gutter guards, some are more durable and can better withstand the extra weight of Christmas lights. Hanging lights on less-durable gutter guards may cause them to bend or warp, which can also result in damage to your gutters and impede the proper flow of water.

If you have a different type of gutter guards, be sure to check the manufacturer’s or installer’s warranty information to ensure that hanging Christmas lights on them won’t void the warranty. You can hang Christmas lights on our LeafFilter gutter guards without risking damage or voiding our industry-leading limited lifetime transferable warranty, but that may not be the case for other gutter guards.

4 Ways to Hang Christmas Lights with Gutter Guards

Strings of Christmas lights with nutcracker figurines

Photo by Nikolina from Pexels

If you want to hang Christmas lights on your gutter guards, there are a few ways to do it:

Attach Christmas Lights to Shingles

One approach to hanging Christmas lights with gutter guards is to simply attach your lights to your shingles rather than your gutters. However, do not nail or staple into the shingles to hang those lights, as this could void your roof warranty.

Temporary shingle clips are a functional solution that, in most cases, will not void the warranty. Note that this is not an ideal approach if you live in a really snowy area, as the snow could cover up your lights.

Install Bulbs Under Your Gutters

Another method for hanging Christmas lights with gutter guards is to use a regular all-in-one clip to adhere your C9 bulbs under your gutters. These all-in-one type clips allow you to easily secure your holiday lights to the underside of your gutter, so they won’t interfere with your gutter guards.

Adhesive Clips

You can always opt for adhesive clips and apply them to your gutters. Light clips with an adhesive backing affix directly onto the front surface of your gutters.

These moisture-resistant clips will hold your lights in place without interfering with water diversion.

Christmas Hooks

Another way to hang Christmas lights on gutter guards, depending on the type of gutter guards you have, is to use Christmas hooks. If your gutter guards have small holes on the top, you can attach one end of the hook through one of the holes, leaving the other end of the hook available to hang your Christmas lights.

Christmas hooks may not be ideal for use with all types of gutter guards, however. For instance, our award-winning gutter guards have a stainless steel micro-mesh screen designed to keep pine needles, maple spinners, leaves, twigs, and even the smallest of debris—such as shingle grit and pollen—from entering your gutters. The holes in our micromesh screen are much smaller than standard screen or mesh gutter guards, so they’re too small to feed a hook through.

Hanging Christmas Lights With Gutter Guards: Step by Step

Wound string of multicolored Christmas lights

Photo by Mateusz Feliksik from Pexels

  1. Locate an electrical receptacle. Plan to run a heavy-duty extension cord from a working 120-volt electrical outlet protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter. If you can, use a switch-controlled outlet or automatic timer.
  2. Measure twice. Measure the length of your home using a long tape measure, and measure any bushes, shrubs, or trees you intend to light—twice. While you won’t be cutting anything to hang your Christmas lights, the old adage, “Measure twice, cut once,” still applies to ensuring your measurements are accurate.
  3. Test your Christmas lights. Test the lights before you plug them in, inspecting them for any loose or broken bulbs and replacing them as necessary. Faulty wires can also present a fire hazard. If you run into this issue, we recommend replacing the entire string to ensure your home’s and family’s safety.
  4. Follow ladder safety practices. When climbing a ladder, be sure to use proper ladder safety tips, such as keeping two feet on the ladder at all times, making sure it’s stable before climbing it, and enlisting a partner to help. (Don’t want to use a ladder? We’ll explain how to avoid using one below.)
  5. Secure your Christmas lights. Attach lights along your gutters or roof with plastic Christmas light clips made for the job. These clips will grip shingles or gutters and have a lower hook that holds a light strand or extension cord. Alternatively, you can use all-in-one clips or adhesive clips to secure your Christmas lights on the front or underside of your gutters.
  6. Consider tube-light or nail-on plastic clips for windows. If you are attaching lights to your window trim, use tube light clips or nail-on plastic clips. You can find these at your local home improvement store. Space the clips 12 inches apart. Don’t use nails or staples to hang Christmas lights—they can pierce the protective insulation, creating an electrical hazard.

How Do You Hang Christmas Lights on Gutters Without a Ladder?

Person installing Christmas lights on a home's gutters

Photo by mooremedia from Shutterstock

We always recommend finding a way to perform tasks without using a ladder whenever possible to avoid ladder safety risks. Fortunately, you can hang Christmas lights on gutters without using a ladder.

The best way to do so is to use a light-hanging pole specifically designed for this purpose. They work with the standard plastic light-hanging clips and other types of clips designed to attach lights to gutters, shingles, or eavestroughs. However, getting the hang of using one requires a bit of trial and error.

Follow these steps to use a light-hanging pole to hang your Christmas lights:

  1. Attach the wire to a clip. Hook the wire of a string of lights into the clip as you normally would.
  2. Grab the clip. A light-hanging pole has a grasping mechanism at one end. At the other end is a trigger release mechanism that opens the clasp. Use the trigger to open the clasp and grab ahold of the clip.
  3. Raise it to the roof. Next,, simply use the length of the pole to raise the grasping end to the edge of your roof.
  4. Slide the clip under a shingle. Once you’ve reached the edge of your roof, maneuver the pole to gently slide the clip under a shingle.
  5. Release the clasp. On one end of the pole, there’s a release mechanism that opens the clasp at the other end. Activate this mechanism to open the clasp and slowly, carefully pull the pole away from the clip.

Use a light-hanging pole with other types of clips if you want to hang lights from the underside or front surface of your gutters. As with the under-shingle method, it takes a bit of practice to master the use of the pole for specific types of clips.

Planning Ahead: Tips to Keep in Mind When Hanging Christmas Lights with Gutter Guards

When to Hang Christmas Lights – Seasonal Considerations

You may want to consider hanging your outdoor lights before harsh winter weather hits, especially if your area is prone to winter storms. The last thing you want to do is hang Christmas lights in the middle of a snowstorm.

Not only is it more comfortable to work when the temperatures are mild, but it’s also safer. Climbing ladders and working along your roof is risky in any type of weather, but it’s extremely dangerous in bad conditions.

Prepping Your Lights – Check Them Twice

Before hanging your Christmas lights, we recommend checking them. Pull them out of storage and see if they are functional before you start hanging them on your gutters or attaching them to your home.

Inspect them for any visible wiring issues or cracked lights. Plug them in to make sure they are working properly.

This step may seem like common sense. However, many homeowners end up skipping it, which usually results in frustration. You spend a lot of time decorating your home for the holidays, and finding out that you need to do it all again because of a single faulty bulb or wire isn’t a great way to start off the season. By planning ahead, you will have plenty of time to make repairs or shop for replacements.

Shopping for New Lights

There are a variety of Christmas lighting options to choose from, depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. But visual aesthetics aren’t the only thing to consider.

Whatever options you choose, the most convenient light strings have a male plug at one end and a female receptacle at the other. You can plug them together from end to end to create a long strand that is easier to route. Remember to choose lights that are UL-approved for outdoor use.

When purchasing holiday lights, you may also want to opt for shorter rather than longer light strings. If a string stops working, you can replace it more easily and affordably. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when stringing the different strands together, or you could risk shorting a circuit.

Multicolored Christmas lights on the exterior of a home at night

Remember, Safety First!

No matter how you choose to hang your Christmas lights this holiday season, we always recommend keeping safety in mind. Avoid using a ladder if you can, or if you need to use a ladder, be sure to follow all the proper safety precautions.  We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Christmas lights damage my gutter guards?

If they’re hung carefully and properly, Christmas lights won’t damage your gutter guards. However, keep in mind that some methods for hanging Christmas lights on your gutters won’t work with certain types of gutter guards.

LeafFilter’s gutter guards, for example, have a stainless steel micro-mesh screen that keeps all debris out of your gutters—including debris as small as pollen and shingle grit. That means you can’t insert a hook into our micromesh screens, as the holes are much too small. That said, there are several effective ways to hang Christmas lights with LeafFilter gutter guards.

Will I void my warranty if I hang Christmas lights on my gutter guards?

We can’t speak for other gutter guard companies, but you can hang Christmas lights on your LeafFilter gutter guards without voiding your warranty. Always be sure to check the conditions of your warranty before hanging lights or other decorations from your gutter guards.

How do you attach Christmas lights to gutter guards?

The best ways to attach Christmas lights to gutter guards don’t involve actually attaching the light strings to the gutter guards themselves. Instead, consider approaches like attaching Christmas lights to your shingles or using clips that attach to the front or underside of your gutters.

What can I use instead of hanging lights on my gutters?

The simplest way to hang Christmas lights on your home without hanging them on your gutters is to attach them to your shingles. This is easy to do using clips designed to hold onto the light string and slide under your shingles to keep them secured in the right place.

Other options include using hooks with adhesive or screw attachment methods that you can attach to the fascia board, or wrapping heavy-duty zip ties around your fascia boards or the edges of your roof to hold your Christmas lights securely in place.