How To Hang Christmas Lights on a House with a Metal Roof

By Tom •  Updated: 09/11/23 •  8 min read

Hanging Christmas lights on a metal roof requires a different approach and materials when compared to hanging them on more common shingle roofs. 

(I’ve covered those other scenarios extensively in 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 Gutters with Gutter Guards)

If you have to get up on the roof it’s a bit more dangerous and the types of clips and connectors are going to be different as well.

In this article you’ll learn: 

(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.)

What are the options for hanging Christmas lights on metal roofs?

Make sure you’re buying the right attachment for your particular type of light and, pro tip, buy 10% more of the lights and clips than you’ll need to account for any breakage or miscalculations.

Magnetic clips

First, you thread the clips onto the string of lights while you’re on the ground. Then position them anywhere along the roof edge or peak. Magnetic clips can be placed freely around the roof and the placement of each light is easy to adjust. Be sure to not place the lights too close to the edge though – if a few lights are blown down and fall off the roof it could take the whole string down.

(Test your metal roof with any common magnet you have around to make sure it will hold well.)

These are excellent options:

Strong Magnetic Christmas Light Clips
  • Without the use of other tools, simply place magnet clips on metal roofs, doors, flashes, handrails and many other metal surfaces, easy to install and remove, and leaves no marks
  • High quality materials are not easy to be deformed and broken, can be firmly fixed in heavy rain, snow, sleet, hot and other bad weather, and can be reused

Watch this really helpful video covering how to hang lights on a metal roof using magnetic clips:

Command strips (Adhesive clips)

While the previous option relies on magnetism, these rely on strong adhesive. Prep the surface by removing any dirt and debris using a dry cloth. After installing the clips, it’s recommended that you leave them in place for an hour before clipping your lights on. They work in temps down to -20 degrees so unless you’re living in the harshest of climates, these will work for you.

A benefit of using these is that they blend in well and you can barely see them after you hang your lights. As an added bonus these stick to more than just metal including vinyl siding, soffits, fences, tiles, etc. so you can run your lights all over the place! (Just not rough surfaces like brick.)

When you’re ready to uninstall: hold the top of the strip and pull down to remove each hook.

While the hooks are replaceable, you’ll need to buy replacement strips.

Command Outdoor Light Clips
  • Use one light clip for every 2 feet of lights
  • Damage gree hanging: Water- and UV-resistant, these outdoor clips hold strongly through rain, snow, sleet and heat to let you hang outdoor lights on a variety of smooth indoor or outdoor surfaces without tools

Magnetic Lights

Now this is a cool option because you don’t have to buy anything separately. If you are buying lights for your magnetic roof specifically, you can guy them with the magnetic backing already built in directly to the lights. Follow the same guidance as the above magnetic clips option for installation. Litenetics offers great options in this space.

Suction Cups

First, you attach the suction cup where you want the light strand to cross over and then you hook the strand into the holder. You do have to make sure the roof is as clean as possible wherever you are placing the suction cups or else they will fall off. These particular suction cups are best for mini lights:

Christmas Light Suction Cups
  • Powerful light suction cup small in Size, provides a powerful hold on surfaces while also being gentle so as to not leave damage behind.

Why Hanging Lights on Metal Roofs Can Be Challenging

Metal roofs can be more slippery than other roofing materials, especially when wet or icy. Safety is a major concern, and you need to be extra careful if you’re planning on walking on a metal roof. 

The right footwear with a good grip is essential to avoid slips and falls. You should also avoid walking at all on steeply pitched metal roofs unless you are wearing a harness to protect yourself from a fall.

Finally, you’ve also got to watch out for any sharp edges that the Christmas light wire may come in contact with. Excessive rubbing against a sharp edge could cause fraying.

Preparing to Install Christmas Lights on a Metal Roof

Gather the necessary tools and materials

Tools and Materials needed: 

Check the weather

I’d recommend only hanging up lights on a day that has great weather conditions. Avoid working in rain, snow, or heavy winds.

When to Consider Professional Help

30 degree angle

If your roof slants more than 30 degrees do not attempt to hang the Christmas lights by yourself. Or if you must, use a properly secured safety harness. (That’s outside the scope of this article!)

Further, if you are at all unsure about the load-bearing capabilities of the roof, do not stand on it. It may be that you’ll need someone with a boom lift to come and do the install for you.

Step-by-Step Guide to Hanging Lights

Planning the pattern of your light strands

Getting up there to hang your lights

Handling corners and sharp edges

Managing potential roof damage


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