How to Hang Lights on Stucco: A Professional’s Guide for DIYers

Hanging holiday lights on the exterior of your home is a great way to spread seasonal cheer for Halloween or Christmas. But for homes with stucco walls, it can seem tricky to decorate without causing damage.

As professional lighting experts in Cincinnati, we’re often asked by homeowners how to properly and safely hang lights on stucco. Unfortunately, stucco is challenging for homeowners due to its unique composition that requires different techniques. This guide will get you through the challenges.

Table of Contents

What is Stucco?

Stucco is a durable and textured plaster that is made of cement, sand, and lime. It is commonly used on exterior walls because it is hard, weather-resistant, can last for many years when maintained properly, and has an attractive finish.

It is also has a rough, brittle texture that makes it prone to cracking if not handled correctly. The textured surface of stucco makes it a challenge to hang lights without cause damage.

types of stucco - how to hang lights on stucco
Stucco comes in many colors and styles, although in its natural state it is either white or grey. There is even a synthetic stucco option. Traditional stucco is generally rough textured and brittle, making it more difficult to hang Christmas lights on them.

Why Hanging Lights on Stucco Can Be Tricky

Stucco is not like wood or drywall. It’s hard, which can make drilling into it challenging. Moreover, improper techniques can lead to cracks or other damage, potentially compromising the wall’s integrity. This is why it’s essential to understand the right methods and have access to the right tools when deciding how to hang lights on stucco.

Most homes in the Cincinnati area are made with portland cement (itself made from limestone), as well as sand, water, and occasionally, a fiberglass reinforcing mesh. Knowing your home’s type of stucco can help you choose the right technique and methods for safely hanging Christmas lights.

How to Hang Lights on Stucco: Step-by-Step

1. Plan Your Display in Advance

Make the time to take measurements and sketch your design on paper. This small step will save you lots of time and allow you to enjoy the experience. No one likes re-dos on a project like this, especially when hanging lights on larger homes.

Before you proceed, make sure you have (1) identified the highest and most hard-to-reach areas, (2) a satisfactory sketch of what you want the result to look like, and (3) enough lights, tools, and materials to make it happen.

Planning how to hang Christmas lights
Planning your Christmas lighting decorations is your first and most important step. Your can prevent your dream project from turning into the Nightmare before Christmas with a little preparation.

2. Gather Necessary Materials & Tools

Before starting, ensure you have the right materials:

How to hang lights on stucco
You’ll need to prepare with specific tools and materials in order to install Christmas lights on stucco walls.

3. Mark Your Hanging Points

Using your pencil or chalk, measure and mark the spots where you’ll be placing the hooks or adhesive tape. Make sure they are evenly distributed with the measuring tape. This will ensure an even and aesthetically pleasing distribution of holiday lights.

Measure before hanging Christmas lights on stucco
For evenly placing your lights, make sure you measure and mark the distance between each hook or adhesive. This will ensure beautiful, symmetrical lighting.

4. Decide Between Drilling or Adhesives

how to hang lights on stucco by drilling method
Be extremely gentle and use the correct bit when drilling into stucco. If it cracks, you’ll need to repair it before continuing to hang your lights.

5. Hang Lights and Connect Cords

Once your hooks or adhesives are set, start hanging the lights. Ensure that the cords are untangled and hang them carefully, avoiding any strain on the wire.

When your lights are up, connect them to a power source. If your power source is far from your starting point, use outdoor extension cords. Make sure to keep cords away from walkways to avoid trip hazards.

6. Maintain Your Holiday Light Display

This is perhaps the most overlooked step that causes frustration after all your hard work. Periodically check for burnt-out bulbs, frayed cords, or broken clips. Here are some tips:

properly store christmas lights
There are many ways to store your annual holiday lights. The key is to make sure they are untangled and stored in a cool, dry climate like your basement. A professional Christmas lighting service can provide storage as well.

Prioritize Safety When Hanging Lights on Stucco

While hanging lights yourself can save money, safety should be your top priority. No amount of money is worth injury or worse. So, trust this from a professional: knowing how to hang lights on stucco (or any other type of material) requires preparation, patience, and a hyper-focus on safety. Consider these tips:

hanging Christmas lights on stucco house
Make sure to regularly check your Halloween or Christmas lights and maintain them. Don’t forget to check the attachments and stucco walls for any damage.

1. Electrical Safety

Holiday Eletrical Safety Tips

2. Ladder Safety

ladder and stucco house
Don’t use a common painter’s ladder (as shown here) for hanging lights high on your stucco house. Use a good quality, sturdy extension ladder.

2. Tool Safety

3. Hire an Outdoor Lighting Professional

For homes with difficult access points or expansive lighting needs, your safest, most efficient option is to hire a professional with lots of outdoor lighting experience and knowledge of safety issues. They have the experience to safely hang lights on stucco walls.

Christmas lighting pros don’t just hang lights. They design the display, take precise measurements, install, take down, and ensure that the lighting can be used for years if need be.
Christmas Lights professionally hung on stucco house
This is the result of an elegant install that is maintained and can be used for years using a professional outdoor lighting specialist in Cincinnati.

The Value of Professional Lighting Services

While DIY installation can save money, professional lighting services offer benefits like:


Learning how to hang lights on stucco can initially seem daunting, but with the right materials and techniques, you can achieve a beautiful and festive look for your home. 

Whether you opt for the non-invasive adhesive method or decide to drill, ensuring you follow the steps carefully will guarantee a successful light display that neighbors will admire. Happy decorating!

Need More Help?

Need an expert who knows how to hang lights on stucco 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.