There is nothing more picturesque than a decorated home lit with beautiful Christmas lights.  Realistically, decorating your home can be very difficult work.  We can’t help you cut down on the work, but we can offer some tips to help make it a little more tolerable.  

Initially, you must validate that your roof is in good conditions or you may run into complications. Below are some tips on how to choose and install Christmas lights without too much fuss or cost.


Classic Christmas lights come in strings of clear or multi-colored lights. These types of incandescent bulbs are usually inexpensive and easy to hang.  There are many other configurations available like candy cane red and white.

LED lights have grown in popularity.  These types of lights are initially a little more expensive, but they use 90% less energy and last much longer than the incandescent lights.  You can get them in cool or warm tones and even get them with faceted bulbs allowing the lights to sparkle. 


It is important to inspect and test your new lights to make sure they all work before spending the time to install them.  It’s also important to check the wires for cuts and tears, which can be a safety hazard.  Be sure to plug the lights into an outlet with a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for safety.  

Make sure to run everything through a timer component so you can time your lights to turn on and off at specific times during the day. This will save you the trouble of turning them on manually every night.


If your roof is surrounded by gutters it is very easy to attach plastic clips to the gutter. If you use nails to hang lights on your roof or attach inflatables to the surface of your roof, you may be causing damage to your roof. Using nails can puncture the roofing material and cause more problems down the road. 

There are different types of clips for different types of roofs and different types of lights.  Here are a few that might be helpful:

  • All-in-one clips for shingles and gutters                                                                                             
  • Clay tile roof clips                                                                                                                                       
  • Eave clips                                                                                                                                                     
  • Clips for putting lights on the ridge of your roof

Never hang Christmas lights from your roofing shingles. To properly put up lights, they need to be secured to something. Creating even the tiniest of holes in a shingle or roofing material will let moisture or leaks in and potentially damage the roof. The best way to put up lights is with clips that hang from the gutter or eaves.

While you may need to get on top of the roof for some decorations, be mindful of how much foot traffic is taking place — walking back and forth across shingles can cause roof damage. For this reason, it’s important to limit the foot traffic.  Below are a few tips to minimize damage while walking on your roof:

  • Walk gently and wear soft shoes like sneakers
  • Don’t walk on shingles in the heat of the day
  • If you have a tile roof, wear soft shoes and put your foot on 2 peaks, not in between the tiles on the valleys.


You can break up the repetition of string lights by adding some visual interest to your roof.  There is no shortage of roof decorations on the market, and you can pick up reindeer and sleds, nativity scenes, snowmen, Santas, and many other decorations to mount on your roof.  These types of decorations tend to have interior lighting too.  Just secure them to your roof and plug them in.

Wondering if a certain Christmas decoration will damage your roof? When in doubt, don’t.  It’s not worth the damage.


Be sure to take your time and don’t try to rush putting up your lights. It’s never worth risking your safety and having to spend the holidays with a debilitating injury.  Always wear appropriate attire, use proper equipment and most of all, don’t get distracted.

We hope our decorating tips make your exterior decorating a little easier.  Soon, you will have a beautiful and luminous home radiating holiday cheer in your neighborhood.

If during your decorating you come across any roof damage, we recommend contacting a professional roofing contractor like Williams Roofing.