When Should You Take Christmas Lights down?


We’ve all had that one neighbor that leaves Christmas lights up for way too long.

Look, we love decorations. Twinkling lights around the holidays truly are magical. However, when does leaving your decorations up become too much? 

How long is too long?

Some people say they should come down around the 6th night of Christmas (the twelfth night) while others say the lights should come down right after Christmas day. Some even say it is bad luck to leave up lights a day past the 6th.

It isn’t luck we are concerned about though. We are thinking about your safety.

That’s right; leaving those decorations up too long can actually be dangerous.

In a previous blog, we talked about the safest way to put up decor on your siding during the holidays. Now, however, we want to talk about what happens after the holidays, and the best time and way to remove your decorations.

First things first, the most important thing is your safety. So please be careful. 

Make sure everything is unplugged to avoid any contact with electricity. If you are using a ladder for any reason whatsoever, take your time. Do whatever you can to be safe up there. We don’t encourage going on your roof yourself but if you absolutely must, do everything possible to be careful. That is the primary concern.

Now let’s talk about decorations. Anything that turns on is really not meant to be used consistently year-round. 

Lights, in general, are not super safe. They cause around 40 percent of Christmas tree fires. Even your lights outside should be inspected before putting them up to make sure there is no damage. Leaving them up too long allows for more of a chance for damage to happen. Broken lights can start fires, especially if they are close to any branches. 

They always must be unplugged when taking them down, and if you intend to reuse them the following year, inspect every bulb to check for broken pieces. Broken bulbs should be replaced. If this isn’t possible, just get new lights. We also don’t recommend leaving lights on all night long. It is good to be home and awake when decorations are on to be aware if something goes wrong. 

Some lights are also safer than others (for example, LED lights don’t get as hot). 

The constant electricity used for lights adds up fast. Keep this in mind when considering how long to leave them up. Can you afford the higher electric bill?

When taking decorations down, make sure to take your time. If anything has been hammered into the roof or siding (which we do not recommend doing. Clips should be used instead) be mindful of not yanking on the lights to pull them down. This can break the materials of your house.

You should always be gentle with your roof when putting up or taking decorations down. If something is too heavy, it can weigh on the roof over time and damage it. Make sure to have control over the item when taking it off of the roof so that it doesn’t pull on the shingles or siding. This is also why clips are better than nails in the first place.

In the end, it is completely up to you how long you choose to have your decoration up. However, if you really must leave them up for an extended period of time, make sure to do so safely. Check in on how anything electrical is doing. Look through to see if anything is broken. Also, read the lifespan on the box of your materials. This is a very helpful way to know an exact timeframe.

Be safe and we hope you are having a great first few weeks of the new year!

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C3 American Exteriors is dedicated to delivering high performance, long lasting exterior solutions. Our roof, gutter, siding, windows, doors, and more exterior home improvements ensure that your greatest investment – your home – will continue to appreciate in value.