I was at Lowes about a week ago picking up a few more 100ct white lights to finish my arches. I noticed these clips by St. Nick’s Choice that claimed to allow you to put lights on your gutters and shingles without a ladder. I was fairly skeptical, but with my recent health issues I’m really not supposed to be lugging around a ladder, nor am I really supposed to be climbing up one all that much. I figured I’d give it a try.
They had sets of 50 clips for $7.97 that could be used with any painter’s pole, and they had a kit, complete with 40 clips, an 11′ extendable pole, and a neat little attachment for the pole to aid in placing lights in trees and the like. The kit was $19.97. I went with the Gutter/Shingle clips that can be used on both gutters and shingles (as I think this is all Lowe’s had, but I could be wrong). According to their website, they make clips for just shingles, just gutters and for eaves.
I was initially going to just get the clips and then try and find a cheaper painter’s pole in the paint section, but I found that an extendable painter’s pole wasn’t any cheper than the kit, and the kit also came with the “v hook” for placing lights on trees. I ended up with one kit and two boxes of extra hooks.
Today I put it to the test. The concept isn’t bad. You screw the first clip onto the pole, and place the end of the lights into the clip and lift them onto the gutter or shingles. Once it is in place, you unscrew the pole from the clip and place another on the end. This time you snag the lights with the clip (because now they are up higher than you are) and then place it just as before. I was worried about the part where you have to snag the lights, but it really wasn’t a problem at all. I simply held onto the loose end of the lights and the wires slid right into the clip, then up to the roof they went.
I had read about some people having problems with the already placed clips coming back off while trying to snag the wire with the next clip, and I only had this happen to me three times. Each of those, however, I believe were my fault in that I didn’t get the prior clip seated properly on the gutter. It seems that for my gutters, once I had the clip on, I need to pull the pole away from the house at an angle to get them to seat properly before removing the pole. Any time that a clip did pop off, I found it easier just to place a new clip, rather than trying to get the old one off the wire or trying to get it screwed back onto the pole while it is 10′ in the air.
Overall I was very pleased with the system. I was able to put up 80′ of icicle lights today with very little effort and no use of a ladder at all. It seemed to take a bit less time, but since I’ve never timed myself the old way, I couldn’t say for sure. I have yet to try the combo clips on shingles yet, but from what I’ve seen I don’t expect any problems.