a man at the top of a ladder adjusting the strands of exterior Christmas lights he is hanging on his house

When you think of Christmas, what comes into your mind? Most likely, you’ll be thinking of presents, Christmas trees and a delicious roast lunch. There’s also the tradition of dazzling your house with Christmas lights! If you’ve always wanted to decorate your roof with Christmas lights, take this opportunity to get planning now. Not only can you take advantage of cheaper prices, but you can have all the time to get your designs sorted to have the most festive house in the neighbourhood!

Analyse and Plan

Before you even think of rushing to the shops and buying all the lights you can afford, you’ll need to figure out the compatibility of your roof. What’s the total area of the surface of your roof? Can your roof materials support lights? Are there easily accessible power points?

Carefully inspect your roof and figure out what it can support. This may involve getting the ladder out of the garage and making some measurements. The width and length of your roof will determine the type of lights and light clips you’ll need. You can hang lights off the gutters, roof tiles and rooflines, but different materials may require certain clips. Depending on your house, you’ll also need to figure out how you’re going to power the lights. You may have to end up using power sources inside your home. If you’re using music to sync with the lights, figure out how you’re going to achieve that.

Purchasing Lights

After you’ve figured out how many lights you’ll need, it’s time to start shopping! The two most common lights used for displays are C-7 and C-9 bulbs. These lights need special care and installation, as even though they shine bright, they burn extremely hot. There are also the more smaller bulbs such as incandescent and LED lights, which can be suitable for more detailed decorating.

When purchasing lights, consider how much power you’ll need to supply them all. To figure this out, multiply the wattage of each individual bulb by the number of bulbs on the string. Divide this number by around 115-120, and you’ll get the total amps. This number needs to be at least 10% less than the rating of your wire, otherwise you’ll need to upgrade to a higher wire rating to prevent blowing the fuse or tripping the circuit breaker.

Tools and Safety

Now that you’ve planned your decorating and purchased all the lights, it’s time to get installing. To ensure the safety of you and the people in your home, it’s important to have these tools before you get on the roof:

  • A sturdy ladder
  • Work gloves
  • Supportive shoes
  • Basic installation tools – screwdriver, mallet etc.
  • Light clips/Mounting hardware
  • Power stakes
  • Outdoor timer
  • Bucket to hold the strings

Before you install each string of lights, check to make sure they’re all working properly. Take them out of the box and plug them in to see if any bulbs are faulty. While you’re on the ground, attach the clips and mounting hardware rather than doing this on the roof.

When it’s time to install the lights, place the ladder on solid ground and make sure you can easily reach the strings. Attach the bucket to your ladder or place it on a solid, easy-to-reach surface. Make sure the weather conditions are also suitable for installation. Do not, under any circumstance, install or use lights during rain or storms. You also need to ensure the lights can easily be turned on and off. Use a power point with a safety switch, or purchase a portable safety switch.

Is Your Roof Festive Ready? Consult with Roof Top Industries!

If you want to ensure your roof tiles are fire proof and suitable for Christmas lights, talk to the experts at Roof Top Industries. We offer free measure and quotes, as well as quick and efficient installations to homes in Perth. Contact us now by calling 08 9309 3993, or enquiring online.