Christmas lights can be hung without using nails using a variety of other attachment devices, including tape, adhesive decorating clips, brick clips and plastic hooks. The type of attachment device chosen depends on the surface on which the lights are being hung.
Strands of Christmas lights can be attached to a wall using strips of transparent tape. One piece of tape every five lights is usually enough to hold up the strand, unless the lights are especially heavy or are placed in an elaborate design. Adhesive decorating clips function somewhat like clothespins to hold lights in place. The adhesive on the back of the clips attaches securely to walls without leaving holes, though the clips may be difficult to remove cleanly from some paint finishes.
Brick clips grip allow hanging of Christmas lights on brick walls. While brick clips are more visible than some other hanging solutions, they are very strong, so usually fewer of them are needed. Plastic hooks can be used to hang lights on the outside of houses. The hooks hang on to the edges of rain gutters or eaves and have a lower hook for holding the Christmas lights. HomeTips warns that Christmas lights should not be hung using staples, which can puncture the insulation surrounding the wires and cause an electrical hazard. The same hazard is present when nails are used.