Things You'll Need
Vinyl siding hooks or outdoor-rated adhesive hooks
Nylon cable ties
Outdoor-rated extension cord
Vinyl siding hooks and adhesive hooks come in both metal and plastic. Clear plastic hooks blend in with the house siding and are the least visible. Hooks made to hang light strings have a flap or catch built in to secure the cord. You can also use hooks that have holes or slots, and attach the light string with a cable tie through the slot on the hook.
Adhesive hooks may be either permanent or removable. If you use removable adhesive hooks, remove the hooks and adhesive when you take down the lights after the holiday. This will prevent the adhesive from hardening with time and becoming difficult to remove. The hooks can be saved and reused with new adhesive strips.
Use caution when mounting a ladder to install hooks or hang lights. Follow the manufacturer's safety recommendations and ask another person to be present as a spotter and to steady the ladder.
All electrical products, power outlets and extension cords you use must be properly rated for outdoor use.
Vinyl siding has many advantages, but one thing you must not do is put holes in it. That presents a problem when it's time to decorate with light strings for Christmas or other occasions. Nails, tacks and cup hooks are not an option. However, there are products available that let you hang your lights and other decorations securely without fear of damaging your siding. Specialty hooks made for vinyl siding, or various types of adhesive hooks, meet these needs -- and most can be installed without tools. Before you begin, check your light string for signs of wear or damage, such as a frayed cord or loose sockets. Plug in the lights and check that all the bulbs illuminate. Replace any damaged cords or burned-out bulbs.
Measure the distance of the light string path to determine the number of hooks you need to use. Typical installations require one hook for every 2 feet of light string; this can vary, so check your product recommendations.
Install the hooks, following product directions, along the desired path of the light string. Vinyl siding hooks typically install by inserting the hook under the bottom edge of the siding piece. Adhesive hooks require a clean surface for mounting. Wipe the spot where you will place the adhesive hook with a paper towel or cloth moistened with all-purpose cleaner, and then dry the spot with another towel. Adhere the hook in the cleaned area and allow the adhesive to set for an hour, or according to product directions, before you hang the lights.
Hang the light strings on the hooks. Some hooks have a flap or catch to hold the strings securely during windy conditions. If your product does not have this feature, use a nylon cable tie with each hook to secure the light string. Slip the cable tie through the holes in the hook; fasten the tie around the light string, and trim the end with scissors. Twist ties or twine are alternatives to cable ties.
Plug the light string into an outdoor-rated power source.
Jan Burch has written about home, garden, wellness and other topics since 1992. Her articles have appeared in ByLine, Living Natural and New Mexico Woman. Based in Albuquerque, Burch is a Feng Shui consultant and Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner. A life-long crafting enthusiast, she holds a master's degree from the University of California.