How to Straighten Outdoor Christmas Lights

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Straightening outdoor Christmas lights is a common task for holiday lighting.
Straightening outdoor Christmas lights is a common task for holiday lighting. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Christmas lights can be difficult to manage once you open the package. Most manufacturers tightly coil the lights on a piece of plastic that has several clips. Winding the lights on this plastic creates a natural coil in the lights, which can make hanging the lights in a neat and orderly fashion somewhat difficult. Removing this memory coil is often necessary prior to hanging the outdoor lights.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer
  • Heavy duty stapler
  • Cord keeper

Before Hanging

Open the box of lights.

Unclip the lights from the plastic packaging.

Stretch the lights out on the floor.

Heat the lights carefully with the hair dryer. Once flexible, leave the stretched lights on the floor for a few minutes prior to hanging them outside.

When Hanging

Lay the lights on your lawn close to where you will hang them.

Staple the lights to either a wood eave or deck. Staple the lights on the left side of each bulb.

Flatten any loops or bubbles in the lights with a staple.

Tips & Warnings

  • After taking the lights down for the year, wrap them on a cord keeper or in a circle that will limit the amount of memory coil in the light strand.
  • Overheating the lights can damage them, making the strand unusable.
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