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How To Hang Curtain Lights?

Curtain lights offer a fun and visually attractive way of lighting a space in a room, giving you a gentle glow across a much wider area than a regular string of fairy lights could provide.

But with a curtain of lights, you need to think carefully about how you will hang them.

They need to be secure enough to support the weight of the lights and all the interconnecting wires.

How do you do it?

The best way to hang curtain lights is to wrap them around a curtain rod, but where that isn’t possible, you can either drill permanent hooks into the wall or use command hooks – sticky hooks which won’t leave permanent damage when removed. Tape and clips are further options.

In this guide, I’ll explain:

  • How to hang curtain lights without damaging your wall
  • Whether it’s safe to have fairy lights resting against curtains
  • How to hang lights on the curtain rod
  • Where you can hang fairy lights in your bedroom

How To Hang Curtain Lights Without Damaging Wall?

string lights on the curtain

While drilling hooks into a wall would be the ideal way of holding up a set of curtain lights, you don’t often want to permanently damage your home in this way.

Especially if you rent. Small drilled holes may be relatively easy to repair and paint, but do you want to go through that hassle?

There’s no need when there are some effortless ways to install curtain lights that don’t leave a mark.

You could use invisible tape – scotch tape would likely do. It could take the paint off, though, and it may still be visible unless you’re neat with it.

Plus, it’s not the strongest.

Curtain lights tend to weigh little, but depending on the height of the lights, there may be too much weight (with the wires included, too) for small, subtle bits of scotch tape.

So instead, you’ll be better looking into adhesive clips or adhesive hooks.

These are designed to stick to your wall and can be removed later by pulling at the adhesive tab behind the clip or hook.

These are the best choice for hanging curtain lights on a wall or above a curtain rod without leaving any lasting damage.

There may be some residue left behind, but that is usually washable.

To hang the lights:

  • Hold the curtain lights up against the surface, so you can use just the height you want them to be. Mark this lightly with a pencil
  • Begin adding the hooks or clips to the wall in a straight line. Use a tape measure with a spirit level to get a straight line
  • Once the hooks or clips are installed, hang the cable onto them

Depending on the type of curtain lights, you may wish to change the spacing for your hooks:

  • For curtain lights that hang down on straight wires, support the weight with a clip or hook on either side of where each wire will hang down
  • For net-effect lights where the cables run in a netted pattern, space the hooks or clips out evenly to cope with the dispersed weight

Is It Safe To Put Fairy Lights On Curtains?

curtains decorated with colorful fairy lights

Many people are concerned about whether or not it’s safe to hang fairy lights on curtains.

After all, lights tend to get hot, and fabrics are often flammable. Should you be concerned?

The answer is typically no, but you’re right to at least think about it.

Modern fairy lights use LED lights, which get less hot than older bulb types.

However, they still emit heat and could overheat and cause a fire if they were in a secluded area with no airflow.

But if you’re hanging fairy lights down curtains and not attaching them to the curtains themselves, you’ll have airflow around each of the lights.

It’s okay for the lights to rest on the curtains because they won’t rest on them flush.

There will be gaps where air can circulate around each light.

So yes, hanging fairy lights on curtains should be safe. However, to make sure you avoid hazards:

  • Don’t attach every light directly to the fabric – let them hang loose
  • Avoid buying cheap LED lights where the manufacturing process will have been done as basically as possible, potentially rendering the strips less safe. Aim to buy lights from a reputable brand if you can, and always read reviews to look for any stories of faulty lights

How To Hang Curtain Lights On A Curtain Rod?

string lights on the curtain rod

Hanging curtain lights on actual curtains is often easiest if you use the curtain rod itself.

But it depends on the style of the rod and the wires at the top of your curtain lights.

Some are a single straight wire, whereas others will come with loops built in to hang from the rod.

If it comes with the loops already built in, this is really easy since you’re just going to remove the blocker from the end of the rod and slide the lights onto it.

Depending on how your curtains are hung, you may need to remove those and alternate a loop of a curtain, a loop of curtain lights, and so on.

Otherwise, the curtain lights may be able to slip past the existing curtain hooks.

If your curtain lights have a single wire, it’s a little more complicated.

For a round rod, wrap the wire around it, trying to make sure the dangle lights aren’t caught up in the loops – only the top wire is wrapped around.

It may slip, so you’ll probably want to secure it. This would be an excellent time to use scotch tape hidden behind the back of the rod.

It doesn’t need to be as strong because the weight of the lights isn’t on the tape. Instead, it’s on the curtain rod.

With flat curtain rods, you could still wrap the wire around it or use the command hooks mentioned above directly onto the curtain rod.

In summary:

  • If the curtain lights have wired loops, hook them onto the curtain rod – just be aware you may need to remove the curtains and then add them back in, alternating with the lights
  • If the curtain lights have a single top wire, either wrap it around the rod or use command hooks on the rod itself

Where To Put Fairy Lights In The Bedroom?

bed with headboard decorated with string lights

With curtain lights, you have many options for where to hang them in a bedroom.

Yes, the name is a clue – one place worth considering is the curtains themselves.

It can add a gentle glow to the window space at night and provide a less-powerful version of the sunlight you’d have received during the day.

If you want the light to be even more subtle, you can put the lights on the reverse of the curtains – although if you have blackout curtains, you won’t benefit from the light at all, so be mindful of that.

You shouldn’t have to worry about neighbor complaints, though – curtain lights aren’t powerful enough to cause light pollution.

But curtain lights don’t need to be limited to curtains. They look great on any bare wall or behind the head of your bed.

They’re available in many different sizes, too, so make sure you measure the width and height of your space before you buy the lights, so you get ones to suit.

Final Words

Hanging curtain lights is relatively easy, provided you buy the right tools for the job.

Command hooks make it simple – ensure you space them out to manage the weight of the lights.

If you plan on hanging them on the curtains, try using the curtain rail first, as you may not need anything extra.

Have you hung curtain lights in your home? Where did you place them, and how did you hang them?