Hanging Christmas Lights With No Ladder And No Fuss

Getting up on a ladder to hang Christmas lights is a great way to hurt yourself if you’re not careful, and winter conditions only add to the peril. One enterprising hacker has whipped up a neat way to avoid ladders entirely, by hanging their lights while planted safely on the ground.


The build uses hefty magnets and triangle eye bolts, attached at regular intervals to the string of Christmas lights. The magnets are used to hold the lights to metal roof siding, while the hooks allow the lights to be lifted into place using a hook on a large extendable pole. Washers, spacers, and screws are used to attach the magnets and hooks to the lights.

For a layout that follows the lines of a simple peaked roof, this hack works great. For more complicated installations, you might still have to climb up a ladder. We’ve featured great primers on getting started with advanced Christmas light displays before, if you’re looking to up your game.

Meanwhile, no matter how much you enjoy seasonal decoration brinkmanship, don’t even think about watching Deck the Halls (2006). Danny Devito has saved a lot of films, but he couldn’t save this. Happy holidays!

26 thoughts on “Hanging Christmas Lights With No Ladder And No Fuss

    1. The general negativity here can be ridiculous at the best of times.

      Christmas lights are typically on for a few hours at a time and are usually LEDs these days. Overall impact on energy usage is minimal.

      Why not promote a little automation (timers, on/off schedules) and a little fun instead of the humbug?

    1. Those magnets aren’t anywhere near strong enough to not be able to pull apart by hand, for an adult with regular hand strength. Maybe a young child or a person with reduced hand strength and/or mobility would have trouble. If you attach the magnets with the same pole facing out, which is likely since they have a chamfered hole to put the bolt through, the accessible faces will repel instead of attract.

      If you store them by attaching the magnets something metal, they might even be easier to untangle than ordinary light strings.

  1. Global warming is a total scam. When I see the top 1% who are preaching this religion park their private jets and yachts and downsize their multiple mansions to a single 500 square foot apartment then talk to me about some Christmas lights. It will never happen. Let the lights burn bright!

  2. Hope this works on my house this year. Everything I know about Christmas lighting I learned from Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and Tim Taylor (Tim Allen). I want my house to blind my jerk neighbor, cause all the turbines at the hydro plant to overheat and be seen from space ! 😂

  3. Skip the fancy (I’ve never seen one) triangles and just use fender washers for diameter. Use a forked end to loft into place. Most drip rail is aluminum though, maybe use a spring clip and catch the bottom flange of the drip rail? I’ve seen a product in stores this time of year that has either prepositiioned things or tabs that you stick under the shingles.

  4. When I saw the headline, I imagined some kind of “railroad” setup where an engine would pull the lights along some kind of track to install them. But I suppose if you were going through the work of installing a track, you might as well permanently install some sort of hardy, programmable, unobtrusive lights.

    1. I put up a couple of white LED strings maybe 10 years ago (or more) I haven’t taken them down. They fired up this afternoon for another season (I hope).
      Pretty good considering Minnesota winters and summers.

      1. Ido wonder why that’s not done. Instead we have Clark W Griswold putting up his light extravaganza each year, after untangling the ligyts.

        One neighbor, who doesn’t even celebrate Christmas, has lights permanently on a tree. It’s very nice, and he can turn it on through the dark days of winter. There’s a tree further away thay has had lights for years, you only notice that the bulbs are up when you get close. It’s great.

  5. I used cup hooks and a long pole to put up and take down my lights. Worked great until we installed cement-board in place of the wood. I would love to see an article on how to PROPERLY put a screw into cement board. One or two is not too bad, but anything complicated falls apart when there are tens or hundreds to install.

  6. Village Lighting sells products for putting lights up quickly, as they target professional installers.

    I used their magnetic clips, which sit around a bulb assembly and magnet onto the bolts that hold my gutters on. For getting them up to the roof, I duct-taped a broom to the end of a painters pole. Broom works well because instead of a single little hook or clamp to hold the light in, you’ve got a large surface area of bristles.

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