How to Hang Christmas Lights on Gutters

By Amanda Lutz Updated March 22, 2024

Hanging Christmas lights on your gutters is likely a holiday tradition you don’t look forward to, but the process shouldn’t be too tricky if you plan strategically and emphasize safety. Prepare for the holiday season with our how-to guide.

Preparing to Hang Christmas Lights

You can ensure you’re ready to hang outdoor Christmas lights from your gutters by completing the tasks below.

Clean Your Gutters

Inspect your gutters for debris and leaves, even if you’ve recently cleaned them. Otherwise, you may not have a stable surface from which to hang Christmas lights. Gutters that are clogging can also lead to water damage that could cause issues for your holiday lights.

Check for Gutter Damage

Inspect your gutters for cracks, loose components, and other damages while cleaning them. Repair gutter issues immediately since structural problems could affect the stability of the lights.

Gather the Proper Tools

Collect any needed materials and tools for your light display. These include the following:

What Are the Different Types of Gutters?

Figure out exactly which type of gutters you have before you start hanging up Christmas lights. Your particular type of gutter may change your needed materials and hanging methods.

Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum gutters are lightweight and durable, easily resisting rust and corrosion. These gutters are available in various colors and styles to complement different property designs. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure or weight on these lightweight gutters to avoid denting them.

Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl gutters are affordable, easy to install, and low-maintenance. They’re also resistant to rust and rot. Vinyl gutters have a short life span compared to other types of gutters, though, and aren’t particularly durable. Don’t hang heavy lights from vinyl gutters, and avoid the use of heavy-duty clips or fasteners that may damage them.

Steel Gutters

Steel gutters are strong, durable, and last a long time. They can rust if you don’t properly care for them and are often difficult to install. The heaviness of steel gutters makes them one of the best gutter types from which to hang Christmas lights since they can easily support the weight.

Copper Gutters

Copper gutters are durable, resistant to corrosion, and aesthetically pleasing. They also develop a natural patina over time that adds to the charm of a property. Be careful when hanging Christmas lights from copper gutters since copper is soft and easy to scratch or damage. Don’t use sharp or abrasive clips when attaching Christmas lights to copper gutters.

Choosing the Right Christmas Lights

Consider weather resistance, energy efficiency, weight, and brightness when deciding which Christmas lights are best for your property. Read about common types of Christmas lights that can be hung from gutters in the section below.

Incandescent Lights

Incandescent lights offer a warm glow and a traditional look. They’re less expensive than LED lights but are heavier, so you need to be careful when hanging them on certain gutter types. Incandescent lights aren’t particularly durable and consume a lot of energy, so they may drive up your electricity bill during the holiday season.

LED Lights

LED lights are the most popular choice for Christmas gutter decoration and are especially bright and vibrant. They’re lightweight, weather resistant, durable, and easy to hang from any gutter type or size. LED lights come in a variety of colors that are suitable for any holiday occasion.

LED lights are especially energy efficient and consume far less power than incandescent lights. They also last longer and can run on batteries. LED lights will be durable and weather resistant compared to regular incandescent lights as well.

Solar-Powered Lights

These lights come with a solar battery that gathers sunlight during the day. When the sun sets, the power from that battery keeps the lights on. Solar-powered lights are generally dimmer than traditional lights but are sustainable and eco-friendly. They’re also lightweight and easy to install.

Methods for Hanging Christmas Lights on Gutters

Once you have all needed tools and lights, it’s time to start on installation. The hanging process is straightforward, no matter your type of gutter or lights. The proper methods may differ slightly depending on the gutter hooks or clicks you use.

Using Light Clips

Light clips are the most common instrument used by homeowners to hang Christmas lights on gutters. Here’s how to use them:

Step 1: Choose the Right Clips

The best type of clip for the project depends on your house’s gutter type. Common options include the following:

You’ll typically only need to purchase one clip per bulb. Consider buying a few extra clips, however, just in case.

Step 2: Prepare Your Lights

Untangle and lay out your Christmas lights. Plug them into a power source to make sure that they’re in working condition before light installation.

Step 3: Attach the Clips

Place the first clip on one edge of your gutter. Slide the lightbulb socket into the clip, and secure it in place. Continue attaching clips along the gutter at regular intervals to properly support the weight of the lights.

Step 4: Insert the Lights

Once all clips are in place, carefully insert the lightbulbs into the sockets on the clips. Make sure that each bulb is securely in place.

Alternative Christmas Light Hanging Methods

If you don’t want to use clips when hanging Christmas lights on your gutters, choose one of the following alternatives:

Adhesive Hooks

Choose hooks that are specifically designed for outdoor use and can hold the weight of Christmas lights. To hang Christmas lights with adhesive hooks, follow the steps below.

Adhesive clips work well for hanging Christmas lights, but they can be difficult to remove. Consider how empty hooks may affect the aesthetic appeal of your gutters.

Zip Ties

You can use weather-resistant plastic zip ties to secure Christmas lights to your gutters. Follow the instructions below when doing so.

Zip ties are less expensive than other hanging materials but are trickier to remove than regular hooks and clips.

Safety Tips for Hanging Christmas Lights

You must be comfortable working on a ladder and on your house’s roofline no matter the type of Christmas lights or gutters. Prioritize safety and consider the following as you hang lights:

Make sure to use a weather-resistant extension cord for your lights to avoid electricity issues.

Our Recommendation

Hanging Christmas lights on gutters is a relatively simple do-it-yourself (DIY) project if you have the right materials and take all necessary safety precautions.

The best combination of lights and gutters is LED lights with gutter clips. The former are lightweight and energy efficient, while the latter are easy to install and remove. You may need to consider other options depending on your type of gutters, the availability of clips, and personal aesthetic preferences.

Installing Christmas lights is a great DIY project to get you into a festive mood, so try to have fun. It may be less enjoyable than putting up a Christmas tree, but hanging lights is an integral part of the holiday decorating process.

Hanging Christmas Lights on Gutters FAQ

Can you attach Christmas lights to gutters?

Yes, you can attach Christmas lights to gutters with special clips, hooks, light hangers, or zip ties.

How do you hang string lights on a gutter?

You can hang strands of lights on gutters by using gutter hooks or clips. Attach the string of lights to clips that you’ve installed at even intervals.

How do you hang Christmas lights on gutters without a ladder?

You can hang Christmas lights on gutters without a ladder if you have a telescopic pole. Use the pole to lift the clips and install them onto your gutters.

How do you clip Christmas lights to gutters with gutter guards?

You can clip Christmas lights to gutters with gutter guards by using special clips. Many gutter clips and hooks are compatible with gutter guards. You can also use shingle clips.

What are the best lights for hanging on gutters?

The best lights for hanging on gutters are LED lights since they’re lightweight, energy efficient, and weather resistant.