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Don’t panic: the picture is from Snopes.com, and it is — actually was — a holiday display set up on a home in Kansas City. The resident dismantled the display because it — as you might expect — caused a few problems such as people stopping, often very quickly in the street, to “help”.

But it did cause me to wonder what methods Toolmongers use to put up their holiday decorations, especially the outdoor lights. Do you get out the extension ladder, climb up, hook up lights, climb down, move the ladder, and repeat until your legs are numb and your knees hurt? Or do you have one of those extension pole widgets I’ve seen at the big box stores that somehow use plastic clips you apply while standing on the ground? Has anybody tried the Screw Up™, a tool that can install screw hooks via an extension pole, and then use the same pole to hang lights? What’s your favorite approach to this annual task?

Screw Up™ [Manufacturer’s Site]

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8 Responses to How-To Question: Best Way To Hang Lights?

  1. Cameron says:

    “Do you get out the extension ladder, climb up, hook up lights, climb down, move the ladder, and repeat…”


    “…until your legs are numb and your knees hurt?”


    I just do a string straight across the gutter along the front of the house, add a giant snowflake hanging in the center, crack a beer and call it a day. It’s not a huge house, and it takes me half an hour (a little longer if I see I need to clean a couple of spots in the gutter while I’m up there). Being a cape, it’s a short climb.

  2. Greg A. says:

    This Christmas being our first one where we were homeowners, and the money obviously being tight me and the misses picked up one of the extension pole light clip sets, I was dubious at first but must say that they hung really easy and after the first couple were very quick and simple. The only thing I’m not overly fond of is that they are slightly large and visible.

  3. Coach James says:

    We put lights over the bushes in front of our house, around the front door frame and around the decorative yard lamp pole and consider it done. No ladders of any type.

  4. Mike47 says:

    Four strings of C-9 lamps circle our front porch ceiling, hanging on brass cuphooks installed 10+ years ago. Half the light strings are hung by arm’s reach, the other half by a grabber tool. Whole thing takes about 45 minutes, including screwing in the bulbs (no puns, please) and checking the circuits. No ladders.

  5. Dan says:

    The best way is the way the lighting industry does it. mount eye ringlets, ones that screw in, or ones mounted on brackets just up under the gutter. 4 would do the photo shown. attach the lights to a board or a bar. Tie rope to each point on the bar that lines up with the points on the house and pull the bar up and tie off. works really well when bulbs blow or you want to add more.

  6. Moore says:

    I mount my C9 lights on furring strips (equidistant apart of course) and use a bent L-bracket on the backside to hang them on my gutter. The go up (perfectly) and come down in no time.

  7. Duaneo says:

    I used the big box clips last year, but found that my eaves are a little bit wider than they were designed for. I broke about 1/4 of them, but big deal since they were cheap to begin with. This year, I used the same clips, but instead of using the painters pole / broomstick, I just got up on the roof and reached over the edge to put them on by hand. It worked like a charm and took a fraction of the time/effort. Of course, my roof doesn’t have a very steep slope so it wasn’t that dangerous. As with most things, YMWV

  8. The Other Michael says:

    Same as Coach James, but I run ’em on the porch railings too, and around the garage door. Neighbor got a pole type (not exactly sure of the brand) with clips, snapped the pole somehow then switched it to a broom handle. His biggest issue was repositioning the clips.

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