Finding the Right Christmas Light Clips for Your Home
It’s almost time to decorate for Christmas! You’re looking for the best way to put up your lights—and the fate of your Christmas display hangs in the balance. Roofline Christmas lighting is an integral part of any Christmas display, and the the Christmas light clips you use can make or break your install.
Light Clips—Above the Rest
Any great roofline Christmas lighting application calls for clips. Other methods of hanging lights, such as the use of staples, nails, or screws can damage both light strings and roofing. This damage to light strings can present danger of fire or shock—not to mention destroy your light string altogether. But the problems don’t stop there: staples, nails, or screws can also harm your roofing in a way that leaves your home vulnerable to moisture and water. Light clips not only provide the basis for a quality install, but a safe one too.
The right Christmas light clips will make your install look like it was done by a pro. But which clips are right for you? Hanging up Christmas lights is not a one-size fits all process. Each type of roofline that needs to be decorated has its own materials, terminology, and challenges that will determine which clips are best.
Want to breeze through your install and create a magical Christmas lighting marvel? Then read on to discover the best Christmas light clips for your roof.
Anatomy of a Roof
Your roof is a modern carpentry marvel, ingeniously designed to keep you and your home cozy and safe from the elements. The parts of your roof serve their purpose in carrying out this job, while also serving the purpose of being a great canvas for your Christmas decorating creativity. So let’s get caught up on the most relevant parts of the roof and what you need to know for your Christmas decorating.
Also known as the peak, this is the highest intersection at the top of two sloping roof surfaces. Some decorators choose to put lights up here for a brighter Christmas lighting display. Read on to discover the essential Christmas light ridge clips.
The ridge is the highest point of your home, so safety is key in getting up to it. We recommend extending your ladder and using it to get to the ridge if possible. When your ladder doesn’t reach up to the ridge, then you may use other equipment such as the RidgePro or PitchHopper. But remember: climbing roofs is a task for advanced installers only. Take all safety precautions when working on the roof of your house.
The RidgePro is a sophisticated roof anchor system designed to prevent falls, while the Pitch Hopper’s excellent grip on asphalt shingles gives you a stable foothold for climbing up and down a steep roof. And definitely consider getting yourself the ultimate in traction and grip with Cougar Paws for working on a roof.
When you reach the peak of your roof as you put up your roofline Christmas lights, the placement can get tricky. We recommend putting a bulb at the center of this peak for a balanced look. Create slack in your light line as needed to make this happen.
Similar to the ridge, a hip is an edge between two sloped roof surfaces from the eave, which is the edge of the roof that hangs past the walls, up to the ridge. Just like the ridge, some Christmas decorators like to decorate the hips on their roofs.
This is a special shingle-like material that covers ridges and hips. The sizing of ridge capping, which is different than typical shingles, is why the Ridge Clip Pro is ideal for Christmas light ridge clips. It’s designed to hug around the ridge capping while keeping every light centered along the ridge or hip for a look of sheer balance.
These are troughs that run alongside parts of a roofline to channel rainwater away from the home. Christmas light clip options abound for putting Christmas lights up on your gutters, including the All-In-One clip, Tuff clip, or Flex clip. And made just for putting lights on your gutter, the S style gutter hook supports light line rather than bulbs, which allows you to deck your gutter out with light line of many kinds.
When you transition from gutters to shingles as you work along your roofline, the orientation of your clips will change from vertical on the gutter to horizontal underneath the shingles. But don’t stress—the change isn’t noticeable when the lights are lit up at night.
Your roofline may have one or more changes in elevation as the next segment of roofline sits higher or lower. For a professional quality transition, we prefer a clean look: tap off any sockets that would hang between the disconnected areas of roofline with a rubber mallet and seal the holes that are left with electrical tape.
Gutter Splash Guards
Gutter splash guards can provide solutions to a number of issues where gutters themselves may fail, but splash guards can make a roofline Christmas lights install challenging. On some splash guards, you’ll find a seam that you can slide Christmas light clips into between the top of the gutter and the splash guard. To get a correct fit, you may have to trim part of the clip off. If clips won’t work for your gutter splash guard, you can use dab of hot glue on your Christmas light sockets to attach your lights against the guard.
The material makes the roof, and it certainly determines how you will, or won’t, decorate with clips. Let’s go through the major roofing materials, the best Christmas light clips for them, and even how to decorate on roofing materials that don’t get as much attention.
Regular Asphalt Shingles
This is the most common roofing that you’ll find atop houses across North America. You’ve got a lot of options in Christmas light clips for use with regular asphalt shingles. These include:
- All Application Clip: Let your imagination run wild with the many types of lights you can decorate with, because this clip holds all of them! It also holds up to 2 light strands so that you can mix and match different lights. Want a great 2-string light combo? We recommend C9 bulbs in the upper holder and icicle lights in the lower.
- All-In-One Clip: Like the All Application Clip but holds just one string of lights.
- Tuff Clip: The professional installer favorite, the Tuff Clip comes out on top largely due to its ability to cut install and removal time in half. Composed of a premium plastic, the Tuff Clip is made to handle harsh weather conditions for many Christmases to come.
- Flex Clip: This Christmas light clip can also help you save time on install and removal by 50%. The original design provides for flexibility in more than just one way. Flex Clips can be placed on C9 light line sockets before or after the bulb is screwed in. Its “sandwich style” design prevents unwanted separation from the clip, and makes the removal of your light line from the roof quick and easy.
- Shingle Tab: Made for exclusive use on shingles, the shingle tab holds C7 and C9 bulbs.
Clay or Concrete Tiles
Tile roofs may have a way of being layered like asphalt shingle roofs, but putting roofline Christmas lights along a tile roofline is different. The best method for attaching your lights here depends on the design of your tile roof. If you have room to slide clips under the tile, then the same Christmas light clips for asphalt shingles can be used for decorating your roofline.
If there isn’t enough room under the tiles, your next best option is to use clay tile clips. These clips are ideal for attaching to clay tiles because of their ridges for holding in place on tiles, and their size that accommodates the thickness of tile shingles—especially the clay shingles in Spanish tile roofs.
Christmas light clips not working altogether on your roof? Your Christmas decorating is not cancelled! Instead, you can put your lights up using trusty hot glue. Just dot a bead of hot glue underneath each light socket and apply the sockets on top of the roofline layer of shingles near their edges.
Tile roofs aren’t structurally like other roofing materials. If you need to get on your roof for decorating, be aware that tile roofs are delicate and require care to walk on to prevent breaking any tiles. The proper way to walk a tile roof is to place your feet near the edge where the tiles overlap. These overlaps are supported by sturdy wooden batten board underneath.
Wooden Shingles & Shakes
More attractive than typical asphalt shingles, roofing that uses wood comes in two varieties—shingles or shakes. The difference in these roofing types comes down to how they’re manufactured. Shingles are cut by machine while shakes are cut by hand, the latter having more texture.
Wooden shingles and shakes are thicker than regular asphalt shingles, making the clay tile clip the best type of Christmas light clip for this roofing.
These shingles are another delicate type of roofing that also require care to walk on. Unlike tile roofing, you’ll walk near the beginning of each shingle layer rather than its edge, as wooden shingles are most brittle at their ends. If you have a roof with wooden shingles, keep in mind that they can be extraordinarily slippery when wet compared to asphalt shingles, so choose a dry time if you need to get up there.
Metal roofing is widely popular on commercial properties, and is on the rise with a growing number of homeowners as well thanks to its durability and longer life span. The most common types of metal roofing for homes are standing seam metal, R-Panel, and metal shingles.
You can connect Christmas lights to ferrous metal roofing with two different styles of connections that use magnets. Just make sure that the metal roofing you’re going to attach your lights to is ferrous. Metals such as steel and iron are ferrous. Aluminum, which some gutters are made out of, is not ferrous—so magnets will not attach. In this case, you can use S style gutter hooks or hot glue if your gutter has a splash guard.
The first style of connection for metal roofs: magnetic clips. These Christmas light clips, made for C7 and C9 lights, attach to surfaces quickly and securely, and are able to orient horizontally or vertically around a roof edge with ease. Or, forget clips on a metal roof when you choose Lite-netics magnetic light line. That’s right: no clip needed. Lite-netics light line have a magnet embedded into the bottom of each socket for convenient application.
The greatest challenge unique to putting up roofline Christmas lights on standing seam metal or R-Panel roofing is keeping the light line straight. To ensure that your lights aren’t crooked, eye up the line from each beginning/end point of a light line run. These beginning/end points should typically be at the corners of your roof. Additionally, keep each light spaced from the next appropriately so that the arrangement of your lights is neat and uniform.
Avoid placing your lights flush with the edge of your roof. With magnetic lights, a light that falls over the side of the roof can easily pull the rest along with it. Maintain decent space between your lights and the roof’s edge to prevent your lights from falling.
Magnets can also be used to put up roofline Christmas lights on homes with flat roofs that have rolled asphalt roofing—as long as the roofline has metal flashing around its perimeter.
Ready to choose the right Christmas light clips for your roof? Great! However, we understand that lighting your roofline is a process that can have its own unique challenges—even more so if your roofing and its features are atypical. We’re here to answer your Christmas lighting questions whatever your situation may be. Drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-391-5280 today so you can move forward with your Christmas decorating plans!