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How to Decorate with Outdoor Lights

For outside lighting decorations, you need to measure the yard, among other basic steps, and have a plan of how you want to lay out your outdoor lights before you purchase them.

More in Outdoors

decorating with outdoor lights begins with a plan

Step 1: Attach to the Roofline

For the roofline you can use a product called a shingle hanger (Image 1).
Slip the light through the hole and screw it in: It eliminates the need for tools and doesn't damage your roofline. The tab slips up under the shingles, and you're ready to go (Image 2). It will give you a nice, uniform look.

Step 2: Clip to the Gutters

For gutters, use an all-in-one clip (Image 1): Slip it around the bulb and it will provide the clip you need to slip it on the gutter. Just snap the all-in-one clip over the lip of the gutter (Image 2). Adjust and take the slack out to get a precision, uniform look.

Step 3: Clip for the Icicle Look

The curtain of light gives you an icicle look. Use the all-in-one clip again -- using C7 or C9 lights. It flips over the top; then you press and insert the base of the miniature socket, and it snaps right on the gutter. You could also use these around a fireplace mantel.

 curtain of light gives an icicle look

Step 4: Front-Door Lights

To string miniature lights around the outside of your front door, attach them to the frame using mini-clips and feed the light down into the groove (it has an adhesive backing that will stick to any dry, flat surface). The bendable plastic wreath hangers make it simple to hang your wreath on the front door.

use mini clips to attach lights around front door

Step 5: Light the Shrubbery

Net lighting is easy to use: Drape it over a bush or shrub to create a blanket of light. It gives a perfect spaced set of lights that won't tangle. You can purchase sets with the different functions.

Step 6: Light the Walkway

For your walkway use a universal light stake, which will accommodate any type of light. Thread the cord on one side and then the other side of the stake and pull it tight for a snug fit. Place the stakes in the ground and line the walkway with them.

for walkway, use a universal light stake

Step 7: Decorate the Outdoor Tree

Tree clips are easy to use: Put them on the cord and over the branch, and they simply twist over themselves to keep your lights perfectly placed.

Step 8: Light up the Sculpture

Attach lights to wire sculpture with sculpture clips. Pop the clip to the wire frame and place your bulb right in the clip.

Step 9: Store the Lights

For storing lights, there are light racks. Wrap lights around them — use more than one rack and clip them together to keep strings of lights perfectly placed. Another idea for storing lights is to get a five-gallon bucket, ball the lights up in a circle, and place them in the bucket. Separate each set with a circle of cardboard to prevent their getting mixed up.

Final Thoughts: At first glance it doesn't seem as if a lot is involved in putting up lights. Actually, the opposite is true if it’s done right. If your local retail or specialty shop doesn't have what you need, check the addresses in the back of hobby or decorating magazines. Remember, it's important to secure any figurines. Pay attention to weather reports, and take figurines inside if high winds are predicted. When using a ladder, be safe and have someone hold it. Use your common sense with electricity — don't overload your circuits.

store outside lights in five gallon bucket

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