How to Hang Christmas Lights on Gutters with Gutter Guards

By Tom •  Updated: 09/11/23 •  7 min read

While gutter guards tout the benefit of increasing flow and decreasing the number of times you have to clean your gutters, they do add an element of difficulty when hanging Christmas lights.

(Some of the below links are affiliate links which means I get paid a bit if you click through and buy something — it doesn’t add anything to your cost! Just helps keep the lights on.)

If you’re used to using something like the ladderless clips (Amazon aff) method of hanging your string lights, sadly you’ll have to change your tactics! But don’t despair.

Yes, you CAN hang Christmas lights on gutters with every type of gutter guard.

Thankfully, it usually isn’t much of an issue, you just have to us slightly different equipment and strategies to hang your holiday lights. Also, if you are GOING to get gutter guards installed ask your installer if they can either recommend or throw in a few free clips for your specific gutter guard.

What options do you have for hanging lights on gutters with gutter guards?

You have 5 main options that cover most, if not all, scenarios of hanging Christmas lights when you have any type of gutter guard:

  1. Metal light hangers
  2. Leaf screen clips
  3. Shingle clips
  4. Adhesive clips
  5. Under gutter all in one clip

I personally would figure out another way to do it rather than bending the guards up or unscrewing them at all. That can just lead to headaches and a lot of work.

Here are some other Christmas light hanging scenarios that I’ve covered as well: How to hang Christmas lights on a roof without gutters How to Hang Christmas Lights Without a Ladder, and How To Hang Christmas Lights on a House with a Metal Roof

How to prep to hang your lights on gutter guards

I’d highly recommend buying your supplies as far ahead of when you need it as possible because as you get closer to the holidays, some supplies might sell out.

It is also a good idea to set them up before it gets too cold and snowy!

So, you’ll need to decide on the types and amount of lights you will buy first. Then you’ll need to evaluate the best method for hanging the lights given that you have a gutter guard. I have a few options for you to consider below.

Third, you’ll need to plot out how you’ll power the lights.

Finally, you’ll need a ladder that is sufficiently tall to get to the gutters in question. Don’t forget to follow ladder gutter safety to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself or damage your gutters with your ladder! As mentioned, since you have gutter guards, you can’t rely on the ladderless clips that allow you to stay on the ground while you hang your lights.

If you’ve already got lights from previous years, get them out ahead of time to test them, make sure the strands are still working and replace any broken bulbs.

Important note! Make sure the types of LED, incandescent or string lights you have or will buy (C7, C9, icicle, mini string lights) are compatible with the type of light hanger or clip you buy.

1. Metal Light Hangers: Good for Mesh, Screen and Perforated Gutter Guards

Christmas light hooks (Amazon) are a great option if you have a mesh, screen or perforated hole on gutter guards.

Christmas Hook - Light Hanger for Gutters with Mesh Leaf Guard
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These are metal hooks made in the US and work with all types of mesh leaf gutter guards. You just slide the long end of the hook (which is about 3.5 inches) into the mesh so that the small hook sticks out on the front of your gutter. You then hang the lights and you can crimp the small hook to hold the light string in place until you need to remove them.

The DIY version is to take a bunch of extra metal hangers and cut them into 7 inch long pieces. Then bend them into the same type of shape as the hooks linked above using needle nose pliers.

Or in a pinch, if you’re really desperate, you can use a sturdy paper clip that you can bend to your needs.

2. Leaf Screen Clips: Good for Leaf Screens

Now, if you have leaf screens, you have another option: use a leaf screen gutter clip. They hold all types of Christmas light types.

3. Shingle Clips: Good for most types of gutter guards

If the gutter guards don’t have perforations large enough, you can get clips that hook under the roof shingle. So the lights sit above your gutters they don’t hang off the front of them.

You slide the shingle clip in under the bottom roof shingle — don’t try to pry up the second to last row of shingles as that can damage them. You should be able to slide them in under the shingles that are resting right above your gutter guards. This All in one clip is a great option (Amazon).

4. Adhesive Clips: Good for any type of gutter guards

Another option is to get the kind of clip that sticks to your gutter via adhesive (Amazon). You can put them on the front of your gutter and they are water resistant.

Outdoor Damage Free Hanging Light Clips with Adhesive Strips
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With these kinds of clips you have a lot of options: you can stick them on the outside of your gutters, under them, even on the siding.

5. Under Gutter Soffit Clip: Good for most gutters

If you’re STILL looking for another method to hang your lights on your gutter guards, you can clip them in under the soffit. You can check out these soffit clips which allow you to stick the hook into the soffit holes underneath your gutters.

How many hooks and hangers do you need?

You should not have clips further than 16 inches apart, so just figure out about how many feet of gutter you want to hang the lights on and divide the number of feet by 1.333. If you want to make sure to keep the light line extra straight you should get enough clips to space them out at 12 inches apart.

And then if you want to be EXTRA sure, add another 10% more to your order. You never know if you’re going to lose or break a few.

How do you install christmas lights on gutter helmet gutter covers?

Gutter helmet gutter guards are a bit different than others, so they require a different strategy from mesh or perforated gutter guards. Your best option (and probably the most common) is to grab the types of shingle clips mentioned above like the All in One clip (Amazon). (Note this might not be the best option if you anticipate getting a ton of snow which could bury your lights. In that case go for an under-gutter or adhesive option (Amazon).)

If you’re clipping on the front of the gutter, make sure the part that clips on to the gutter is able to fit into a slot that is 3/8ths of an inch wide

Can you hang Christmas lights on LeafGuard gutters?

Yes. You’ll want to use either the adhesive method or the clip method.


A few years ago I bought my first house. It’s 100 years old. It’s clearly had a history of less-than-professional DIY handymen/women. And APPARENTLY you’re supposed to actually put work and money into it if you don’t want it to look terrible or water to rain down on you while you’re sleeping. About YouTube Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram