Does your neck of the woods become a winter wonderland that’s prettier than the inside of a snow globe? Then you know the magic of a white Christmas, where the land gets a beautiful blanket of snow that can be played in or simply admired—where Christmas embodies the timeless visions of holiday joy. But you also know how living in a winter wonderland comes at the cost of warmth, as ol’ Jack Frost nips at your nose for another holiday season. This makes decorating different than if you live somewhere with a temperate winter, which is why we’ve put together this selection of tips on hanging Christmas lights and decorations in cold winter weather.

Christmas lights and decorations in cold weatherIf your lighting installs take place amid cold temps, falling snow, and brisk winds, then you’ll need to equip yourself with these useful tips below that will help you save time, stay safe, and keep your Christmas lights and decorations in great condition.

The Earlier The Better

Beat the winter weather by starting your decorating earlier in the year. This way, you can avoid freezing cold, ice, and wind chill. If you don’t want to look overzealous, you can always wait a while to plug in your lights after installing.

When you use C9 retrofit bulbs with empty socket light line for your roofline or staked lights, you can enjoy early decorating by outfitting your light line with Halloween-colored bulbs for October. After spooky season wraps up, swap out the orange for your Christmas colored bulbs in November.

Christmas lights in the snow

Stakes First

The ground gets cold and eventually freezes as temps drop when winter draws near, making stake lighting installs a challenge. Consider putting your stakes in the ground earlier in the year when the ground is softer. Even if you don’t have time for any other decorating before the season starts, your decorating process will be a lot easier when you place the stakes early. Don’t hesitate to use tools to get the job done: a good hammer or mallet will help drive stubborn stakes.

Take a Piecemeal Approach

Christmas lighting supplies, especially light line, are easier to work with when they’re at room temperature. Keep your supplies inside your warm home, rather than the garage or attic, until you’re ready to rock that install. When it’s time to hang your Christmas lights in the cold winter weather, take your supplies out in small batches while leaving the rest indoors.

Christmas lights in the snow on a homeWorking with…

Christmas Light Clips

Cold has a way of making objects rigid and tough to work with—and Christmas light clips are no exception. However, you can apply a quick fix to get around this: warm your Christmas light clips in your hands to restore a softness that makes them malleable again.

You can also prepare ahead of time for hanging your Christmas lights in the cold winter weather by doing part of the clip attachment indoors. The Tuff Clip attaches to the light cord and bulb in one piece, allowing for convenient indoor prep in the pleasant warmth of your home.

Hot Glue

The magic of hot glue has the power to help keep your Christmas decorating together. Hot glue holds up in very cold temperatures for short term use on Christmas lights up to 60 days. Past that time in extreme cold, hot glue gets brittle and will lose its holding power.

Consider Coaxial Lights

Do you often see rough winter weather where you live? Is the phrase “inclement weather” quite familiar to you? Do you believe that you need more durable Christmas lights for your home? If you said yes to all three of these questions, then coaxial lights with weather tight connections is the Christmas lighting solution for you.

coaxial christmas lights for snowy weatherCoaxial lights are the perfect Christmas lights for hanging in the type of cold weather that produces snow, ice, and the other not-so-nice parts of living in a winter wonderland. With these lights, you’ll be able to stay relaxed during snow storms and other winter weather events, as the coaxial connections ensure that your light sets stay sealed and plugged together.

Lively RGB Lights

The most dynamic and creative of Christmas decorations, RGB LED lights are awesome. And they can be the perfect addition to a Christmas lighting arrangement. But can RGB lights withstand rough weather? Twinkly Pro lights sure can. Twinkly Pro lights are designed with outdoor use in mind, and have better IP ratings than Twinkly Home lights. Energetic displays that spark the imagination for all to see aren’t held back by cold, ice, or snow when you use Twinkly Pro.

scene of Twinkly lights in the snowLayer Up

Whether you didn’t plan for decorating earlier, or Old Man Winter came knocking sooner than expected, hanging Christmas lights in cold winter weather means wearing the proper attire. And proper attire for dealing with lights and decorations is safe attire in the cold.

Layers make great friends here, and it’s best to have at least a few of them. Build your winter outfit by starting with a base layer. This layer is a tremendous help in retaining your body heat. The best garments for this layer include pieces like: a thermal top and bottom, a thin t-shirt or A-shirt, or long underwear known as “long Johns”.

Your next layer is your normal clothes layer, which we recommend to be of the warmer variety that you probably wear during winter already. Sweatshirts, sweaters, hoodies, and heavy flannels are all fair game, along with long pants such as jeans or cargos.

Lastly, your outer layer consists of the warmest items such as a beanie, winter jacket, gloves, possibly snow pants depending on the conditions, and boots. Well-designed winter jackets usually have adequate insulation and even inner liners that all contribute toward keeping you nice and toasty.

And let’s not forget about the pockets. Many styles of winter jackets include pockets all over—sometimes more than you could ever need. These pockets can be useful for holding small yet abundant lighting supplies such as clips, zip ties, and retrofit bulbs. Just make sure to put these supplies in pockets that are easy to reach so that you aren’t bending or moving in a way that puts you in an unsafe position when you’re high up on a ladder or roof. The many pockets in winter jackets make wearing one a smart choice for lighting installs in the fall depending on how cold it is then.

Listen to Your Body

Traditionally, sticking through the worst of a situation draws associations to positive attributes like bravery, determination, and even heroism. But when it comes to hanging Christmas lights and decorations in cold winter weather, your safety comes first.

Christmas lights in the snowFrostbite is a prevalent factor during winter, and it can strike at the most seasoned of cold winter veterans. Stay aware of how long you’re outside and listen to your body. Yes, it’d be nice to do another length of light line, but another moment isn’t worth injury. Don’t wait until the numbness starts—come back inside and warm up.

Weather-Proof Where Possible

The elements don’t mess around, and neither should you when it comes to protecting your lights. Use equipment made for the outdoors for your extension cords and outlets. Wrap electrical connections to extension cords with electrical tape to waterproof the connections.

Dry Them Up after Taking Them Down

Winter is still going strong in many places after the holiday season. In the Midwest and East, January brings the most snow. Your lights and decorations will be wet and cold when you take them down in snowy conditions. So before you pack your Christmas lights and decorations away, let everything warm up and dry off completely to avoid mildew, rotting, or electrical damage. Check out our YouTube video for more pro tips for Christmas light storage.

Now that you’re equipped with our tips on hanging Christmas lights and decorations in cold winter weather, you’re ready to beat the elements so you can make your next Christmas lighting arrangement the best one yet. If you need help creating your ideal display, we’re here for you. Email or give us a jingle at 1-800-391-5280 so we can get you on track to create your Christmas lighting masterpiece.