Gutter light clips are a simple yet necessary tool to hang festive lights on your gutters, but why do you need these little clips anyways? Can’t you hang the lights directly? Well, that’s where this blog comes in! Christmas time has come around again, so we’re here with some tips on decorating your home’s exterior in a harmless way.
At Sol Vista Roofing, we ease your roofing doubts and help you prevent problems with your home before they happen. This blog explains the purpose of gutter light clips and recommends some of the best light clips, hangers, and hooks for your home’s gutters.
What Are Gutter Light Clips?
Gutter light clips are a device used to hang lights on rain gutters without damaging the gutter channel and guards. The clips are made from lightweight materials like plastic and steel, which are inexpensive and easy to attach.
Festive decor can cause damage to the gutters, siding, and roof in many ways. No homeowner wants to compromise their home’s safety and curb appeal for the rest of the year. So it’s beneficial to have additional elements like clips and hooks to protect your home while decorating in beautiful and unique ways!
How Do Lights Without Clips Damage The Gutters?
There’s a reason these light clips, hangers, and hooks exist. Early on, people tried to stick or nail down the lights on fascia boards, gutters, and under the shingles. However, this created a lot of mess and damaged the roof. That’s when people realized these are not the best techniques to attach lights to your roof. Not all adhesives are suitable for applying lights on the gutters and shingles, and adhesives that are not made for your roof can peel away the paint on the gutter channels, and cause shingle granule loss.
Similarly, nails will damage the gutters, shingles, and fascia boards. Nailing creates holes and cuts that are never good for your roof. This gives easy access to pest infestation and moisture intrusion, which leads to mold, algae, rot, and more. In fact, some shingle clips also develop gaps between the shingles and drip edges.
That’s when manufacturers felt the need to invent something that would hold the lights in place for weeks without damaging parts of the roof. In the 1970s, many companies and engineers developed gutter light clips and other hanging devices to make it easy for homeowners and lighting installers to attach, move and detach decorative strands of lights.
It’s wise to hang lights using these clips so you can light up your home for as long as you want. Otherwise, the damage caused without using them will become a reason to call for gutter repair services later on. Gutter light clips are inexpensive and have multiple variations to fit any gutter type and light strand.
Types Of Gutter Light Clips
Light clip models range from basic, to heavy-duty and all-purpose. There are specific features for each type of light clip, especially in the way they attach to the gutter system. Below are some popular types of gutter light clips and hangers you can choose from.
Plastic Gutter Light Clips
Plastic clips are usually transparent and lightweight. They are made to look almost invisible, so they don’t clash with your decor. Plastic light clips are a good option if you don’t have gutter guards. Make sure to use good-quality gutter light clips that are small and sturdy. This will ensure they hold the strands of light properly without adding much weight to the gutters. Plastic gutter light clips in an S-shape are the most popular style and give you the ability to hang lights vertically or horizontally from the gutters.
Metal Light Hanger For Gutter Guards
Metal light hangers are thin steel cords that allow you to hang festive lights from gutter guards. With a standard dimension of 14.5 x 24 inches, these clips are small enough to go through the hole of a screen or mesh gutter guard and be secured. The gray color of the clips does not interfere with the look of your lighting, and blends in seamlessly with the color of your gutters, shingles, and the cold night sky.
Magnetic Light Clips
Magnetic clips stick to the parts of your roof that are made of metal, for example, the fascia board, gutters channels, gutter guards, and metal roofing panels. You need one clip for every bulb, so these clips are better suited for bigger lights that fit perfectly inside the clip’s holder.
Most magnetic light clips are suitable for C7 and C9 lighting cords and bulbs. After you decide what kind of lights and clips you want to go with, there is some additional planning and preparation for you to do. Read these helpful tips below before you go shopping!
Tips To Hang Festive Lights On Gutters
When you hang lights on the gutters or shingles, you want them to illuminate your house for as long as you intend to keep them up. The lights shouldn’t come off until you take them down yourself. The simplest and most cost-effective way to brighten your home without worrying about damaging your gutters, or losing strands of lights is by hiring a gutter contractor or light installer. They offer economical packages that include:
- Water-resistant extension cords
- The installation service
- Use of slip-resistant shoes and other protective equipment
- Measurement specification
If you plan to do it yourself, here are some tips to prepare and hang the light strings on your gutters safely.
Check The Condition Of Your Gutters
Before you buy and install lights, it’s crucial to inspect the gutters. Check for discoloration, rust, leaks, peeling paint, and sagging gutters or rooflines. You can also call for a free gutter inspection to be 100 percent sure. If the gutters are leaking or damaged, it’s necessary to get them repaired before hanging the lights.
Clean Out Your Gutters
This may seem obvious, but it’s essential to take the time to clean out your gutters before you hang your lights. Clean out debris, leaves, insects, nests, and other things that might have accumulated in the gutter channels throughout the season. Whether you’re using a leaf blower or a brush, make sure to remove any debris you can so that when you hang your lights you won’t be adding more weight to already clogged, and heavy gutters.
Note The Measurements
Before you buy a strand of lights, it’s essential to note the measurements of your gutter system. You’ll need this information when shopping for ladders, lights, and clips to find the perfect amount to cover your designated area.
Measure from one end of your gutter to the other. This will tell you how long each side is and how long each light strand should be. Once you know the length, count how many lights per row make sense for your roofline. If there’s not much space between windows or doorways, consider making shorter rows, so it doesn’t look crowded.
For the next step, measure the distance from your gutters to the ground. This will determine the required height of the ladder you’ll need.
Figure Out Where You’ll Plug In The Lights
Before you start hanging your lights, figure out where you’ll plug them in. Most houses have a single power outlet on the side of their home that can be used for outdoor lights and decorations. If there’s no outlet nearby or your lights are too short to reach it, look into getting an electric extension cord.
Choose The Right Gutter Clips And Lights
You will also need to choose high-rated clips to hold the weight of the lights and strings. When you select the lights you want to use, look at the total weight of one row and buy clips that are rated to hold that particular weight.
Check the weather forecast before buying and hanging your lights. If rain or snow is predicted, install them below the gutters, so they don’t get wet or covered in snow. In such cases, the ideal place to hang the lights will be the soffit, and you’ll need a different type of lighting setup to hang them there.
Buy The Supplies
After buying the lights and clips, remember to grab safety gear and an appropriate outfit. Grab these necessary tools and accessories to hang the lights safely and correctly:
- Hard hat
- Protective eyewear
- Slip-resistant shoes
- Shock-proof gloves
You can buy these at any hardware store near your home or purchase them online from eBay or Amazon.
Don’t Walk On The Shingles
Climbing up the roof may seem like the obvious option while working on a one or two-story house. However, this is risky and can be harmful to both you, and your roof. It is not safe to walk on the roof, especially in wintertime. The roof can be extremely slippery due to moisture, rain, ice, or snow. Instead, you can resort to using a higher ladder that reaches up to high gutters, and for added protection, you can even use a safety harness. Even if your roof is not very high, walking on it can cause the shingles to crack and wither, as they are especially vulnerable during cold weather. If this happens, you will need to pay to have your shingles repaired, which may cause a great inconvenience during your holiday season.
Festive lights provide beauty and cheerfulness during the holidays. Make sure you hang these lights safely and correctly to continue enjoying your holiday in high spirits!
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on gutter light clips, and tips you can use to install them yourself. If you are looking for a free roof and gutter inspection around Denver, Colorado, call us at (720) 712-351. Our team will be delighted to be a part of your holiday season!