The Genius Hack That'll Speed Up The Process Of Putting Up Christmas Lights

Decorating with Christmas lights is usually a fun activity that the whole family can get involved with. If you live in a house (not an apartment building) and love to get in the festive spirit every year by hanging twinkly lights outside, the project takes on a much larger scale. Most of us outline the edges and top of the roof with lights as well as the vertical borders of the house. While it looks gorgeous, it's a time-consuming and somewhat challenging yearly project. However, it just got way easier thanks to this genius hack. You can attach strong magnets onto long PVC pipes, wrap your lights around the pipes, and snap the magnets onto your rain gutter — a much faster and easier process.

There's one crucial caveat about this hack you must know to make it work — you need to know what your house's rain gutters are made from. They're usually either vinyl or metal. You might want to borrow a magnet from your refrigerator, then take it outside and see if it sticks to the rain gutter. If it does, you're in luck because it's made from steel. If it falls right off, it's probably made from aluminum, vinyl, or even copper.

How to make hanging Christmas lights outside a breeze

Going up to the roof to hang decorations takes some stamina, but with this method, it's much simpler. Instead of rigging the lights once you're up on the roof, you'll put the whole kit together in your garage or living room. You will need to purchase several 3/4-inch PVC pipes (as many as necessary to cover your rain gutter), three rare earth magnets per pipe, zip ties, and Christmas lights rated for outdoor use. 

First, screw the three magnets onto each PVC pipe with an electric screwdriver, one in the middle, and one at either end. Wrap your lights around each pole, securing them with zip ties (and snip off the excess zip tie once you've secured them). Attach the poles to your magnetic rain gutter and plug them in. If you're feeling especially festive, cut one pipe into five lengths of two feet each, add the magnets, wrap them with lights, and illuminate your refrigerator door for the holidays!

You can get the PVC piping at Home Depot ($6.29, but if you get 10 or more, it's cheaper at $5.03 per unit). The rare earth magnets, aka neodymium magnets, come with a hole in the middle that'll allow you to screw them into the pipes. They're available for $2.27 each at K&J Magnetics. There are also a variety of Christmas light options available, allowing you to customize the look of your decorations.