How to Hang Christmas Lights Without Gutters (Safely!)

It’s tricky and even dangerous to hang Christmas lights without gutters. But with the right information, it’s possible to create beautiful displays on any exterior roofline. If your home lacks gutters, don’t worry. Follow our tips to safely decorate with holiday lights.

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Why Hang Christmas Lights Without Gutters?

Attaching light strands along the roofline and gutters is the most common way to decorate the exterior of a home. Outlining the roof and illuminating the gutters creates a beautiful display.

hang Christmas lights without gutters
This is why we hang Christmas lights on our homes; it’s a beautiful way to accentuate your home and create a festive neighborhood.

However, not every home actually has gutters installed. Some newer homes utilize alternative drainage systems that don’t require gutters. Other households have gutters that are too difficult to access or aren’t sturdy enough to hold lights.

If you don’t have usable gutters but still want to festively decorate with exterior Christmas lights, there are great alternatives. With a little ingenuity and effort, you can design stunning light displays without relying on gutters.

How to Decorate Your Roofline Without Gutters

When gutters aren’t an option, here are some of the best and safest ways to hang exterior holiday lights:

1. Use Clips, Hooks, or Cable Ties

There are now many types of clips, hooks, and plastic cable ties designed specifically for attaching lights along a roofline or under eaves. These allow you to securely hang lights from the fascia or underside of the roof itself without gutters.

Pro Tip: Only use clips, hooks, and ties that are rated for outdoor use. Make sure they are the proper size and strength for the weight of your lights.

illustration how to hang Christmas lights without gutters
Notice on the bottom left of this illustration how these clips found at Amazon can attach to your shingle. This allows you to hang your lights without attaching them to a gutter.

2. Rope Lighting

Rope lights are ideal for outlining rooflines and eaves. The flexible, string light strands can contour along any architectural detail. Use clips or hooks to attach rope lighting neatly along the roof. For lighter strands, Command-brand strip clips (from 3M) can attach rope lights without nails or screws.

Christmas rope lighting on house
Christmas rope lights (and tape lights) are flexible. Just be aware that they generally only have a limited beam angle of 120 degrees.

3. Wrap Trees, Plants, Railings, and Columns

Instead of decorating an inaccessible roofline, put lights on other exterior features. Wrapping trees, railing posts, columns, and other decorative elements creates a beautiful glittering display. Also consider wrapping ground-level architectural features.

Make sure to use sturdy clips, ties, or hooks to safely attach stringed or individual lights regardless of where they’re placed.

wrapping Christmas lights in yard
If you don’t want to hang Christmas lights without gutters because it seems too dangerous or difficult, you can always wrap lights around features in your hard or on within-reach areas of your exterior.

4. Use Light Projectors

Of course, there’s no need to hang lights if you can project holiday images onto your house. Projectors placed in strategic spots can blast light displays onto exterior walls, fences, or garage doors.

Just be careful of what you buy; many of these systems just end up looking tacky and lack the tradition your neighbors and passers-by love.

5. Illuminate Walkways and Gardens

Light up pathways, landscape features and gardens to add twinkling ambiance. Lining walkways with spotlights guides guests. Wrapping trees, bushes, and flower beds with string lights adds magical charm. Place decorative illuminated features throughout the yard.

house uplighting downlighting moonlighting
An alternative to Christmas lights on your roof is to light up outdoor features like pathways and gardens.

How to Hang Christmas Lights Without Gutters Safely!

According to data from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Christmas decorations sent over 14,000 people to the emergency room in 2017 alone. In fact, during the 10-year period between 2008 and 2017, it is estimated that more than 134,000 patients were treated in emergency departments for injuries related to holiday decorating accidents.

Accidents from hanging Christmas lights
This is a breakdown of the type of accidents (from hanging Christmas lights) specified in the survey by the the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2017.

Here are some useful tips to safely and effectively hang Christmas lights along your roofline without gutters:

Avoid Damaging Your Roof

When decorating your home’s exterior with Christmas lights, it’s important to avoid causing any damage to the roof. Here are some tips:

Final Thoughts

When it comes to uplighting your house, the expertise, creativity, and technical skills that a professional offers will make a significant difference. And the liability for any safety issues or damages will be on them!

If you decide to hang lights yourself, make sure to strictly follow our safety tips. And while you’re at it, make sure your health insurance is up to date.

Need More Help?

Need an expert to safely, and without damage, hang and remove your lights this Christmas? Just contact American Landscapes here for a free, no-obligation estimate. Or call us at (513) 947-8727.

You can also learn more about our lawn care applications and treatments, landscaping, and outdoor lighting services by reading our blog. In addition to fertilizer and weed control, we provide mosquito control, lawn aeration, lawn seeding, and much more.