Install Christmas Lights on a Variety of Surfaces

If you're a fan of the National Lampoon Vacation series of movies, you probably remember Clark Griswold's Christmas light installation antics in Holiday Vacation. Old Clark made a number of buffoonish mistakes in that movie, all to great comedic effect. But in real-life terms, Clark's Christmas light installation techniques included lots of no-nos.

One of those many mistakes had to do with the method he was using to attach the gazillions of Christmas lights to his house. Remember? He attached every single light line with staples:

Apart from stapling right through his gloves a time or two, there were lots of problems with Clark's staple-everything-everywhere approach. Because in fact, for each common surface to which you might want to attach Christmas lights, there's a best-method way of doing it.

Purpose-Made Clips and Attachment Accessories

Did you know that there are dozens of clips and attachment aids designed specifically for the installation of Christmas lights? It's true - and in fact there are far too many to cover in a single article.

But for most Christmas light installation projects, there are just a few primary types of surfaces and situations involved. Here are the clips and attachment aids that are used most frequently in the majority of installation projects:

Don't Forget Glue…

A very quick and easy way to install Christmas lights on a number of different surfaces is by using a hot glue gun. Glue works great for rough surfaces such as concrete, brick and stucco. (Careful with stucco, though; some types of stucco may be damaged by the hot glue. Test a small area first.)

Hot glue is less likely to be effective on smooth metal surfaces. And the glue might damage plastic and painted surfaces, so it's probably best to stay with using an appropriate clip for those situations.

Let's Face It: Clark Really Didn't Know What He Was Doing…

But the movie really wouldn't have been nearly as funny if Clark had been an expert at installing Christmas lights!

Your goal, of course, isn't to be funny when you install your Christmas lights. Your goal is to be safe, effective and fast. And using the proper clips and attachment accessories will help you to effortlessly achieve that goal.

About the author: Jason Woodward is Director of eCommerce for, a leading supplier of Christmas lights and decoration products. Christmas Designers caters to all Christmas enthusiasts, including private homeowners and professional installation contractors. You can also find Jason on Google+