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It’s time to deck the halls. But what’s the best way to hang Christmas lights?

Whether it’s decorating the outside or the inside of your house with lights, here are some tips and tricks to help along the way

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Christmas lights shine around the Conference Center in Salt Lake City following the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional on Dec. 4, 2022.

Christmas lights shine around the Conference Center in Salt Lake City following the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional on Dec. 4, 2022. Plan ahead if you are going to hang Christmas lights this year, experts say.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Whether you put up Christmas lights before or after Thanksgiving, this guide will offer tips on how to hang Christmas lights and how to make this holiday season especially merry and bright.

What are Christmas light trends for 2023?

If Christmas light trends end up being anything like this year’s Barbie-inspired Halloween, shades of pink will dominate this holiday season.

Lights and Decor, an online blog on all things home decor, calls a preference for bright pops of color, like pink, in Christmas lighting the “Merry Chroma Trend.” This trend goes beyond Barbie pink to include bright blues, yellows, oranges, reds and greens.

On the other side of the spectrum, Christmas decor featuring earthy and neutral tones is also popular. Softer, warmer lights can make your house feel especially cozy this time of year.

Timeless Christmas looks include traditional red, white and green colored bulbs; an all-white display; or candy-cane red and white striped lights.

What is the best way to hang Christmas lights?

When hanging Christmas lights on a high surface, such as a roof or along the top edge of a wall, a ladder or hanging pole come in handy.

Most experts recommend that before you put up lights on any surface, you should take the time to make a plan. A plan can reduce frustration and make hanging lights a fun holiday activity rather than a stressful one.

In this planning phase, make sure to locate power outlets, take measurements and know how many strands of lights are needed for the job. You can also identify a focal point to decorate around.

After purchasing your holiday lights, make sure all of the strands work while you’re still on the ground, advises Monica Mangin, host of Lowe’s Homestore show, “The Weekender.”

If hanging lights is too much, spotlights or projected Christmas lights can still be festive and much easier to set up.

What is the least damaging way to hang Christmas lights?

When it comes to avoiding home damage, there are some good options available to minimize and even erase the harm done to any surface you put lights on.

Things like command hooks for inside the home and plastic light clips for every surface outside can be good alternatives to nails, tape, staples or glue.

Which type of Christmas lights are best?

Choosing the perfect Christmas lights will look a little different for everybody. There’s a large variety of colors and styles, and everyone has individual tastes.

To figure out what works best with you, start with color. Most kinds of lights come in white or multicolored strands. Some can even change between the two modes.

Keeping the colors consistent will help create a cohesive look wherever the lights will be. Remember that white Christmas lights aren’t all the same shade and range from a warm-yellow light to a cool-icy light.

Check the package and buy the same brand to keep different strings of lights as close as possible.

Next, choose what style is preferred. There are large bulbs and mini string lights, as well as a plethora of other options. Another popular style for outside your home is icicle lights.

Mixing and matching can work, but when in doubt, be consistent.

According to Lowe’s, the different styles of Christmas lights include:

  • Mini string lights — the most popular style through the ages; features small bulbs that come on a string.
  • Wide-angle LED mini lights — conical bulbs that give off more light.
  • Large bulb lights — a larger bulb gives these lights a retro feel.
  • Animated and color-changing lights — multiple settings allow a variety of colors and twinkling effects.
  • Icicle lights — as the name suggests, these lights look like long icicles coming down from the side of your house.
  • LED rope lights — a connected path of light that can be used to create intricate shapes or designs.
  • Pathway lights — used with stakes in the ground to light a path.
  • Net lights — for use on outside bushes and trees; net lights are an easy option compared to winding string lights through branches.
  • Projector lights — usually placed in front of a house to project a light show.

What are the best projector Christmas lights?

Experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute tested out and rated Christmas projector lights. Here’s what they think are the top three options for 2023.

  1. LedMall Motion Eight-Pattern Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights — covers a wide area; has a remote control function; available on Amazon for just over $100.
  2. Minetom Christmas Lights Laster Projector — won a best-value mention for being water-resistant and mounting very sturdy; affordable price; available on Amazon for around $30.
  3. Anerbili Christmas Projector Lights, Double Heads Snowfall Snowflakes Christmas Lights — won the best snowflake display; easy setup.

Why are my Christmas lights suddenly not working?

If a string of lights used last year isn’t working, don’t throw them away just yet.

Home Depot gives a list of possible problems and solutions.

  • A circuit could not be carrying power.
  • A fuse could be blown.
  • A burned-out bulb could be affecting the whole strand.
  • A wire could be broken.

What can I do with Christmas lights that don’t work?

If the light string is unfixable, hardware stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Ace Hardware will recycle them, per Good Housekeeping.

Places like Holiday LEDS will also take broken Christmas lights and recycle them, per the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.