Home>Blog>The Best Outdoor Christmas Lights Guide to Decorate your Home

Christmas is only two months away, and families across the globe are already putting the finishing touches on their plans for the Yuletide season. Despite the pandemic that has wrought hardship upon humanity, people still deserve to cheer and celebrate, and they should. The age-long tradition of celebrating Christmas will be diluted without the presence of Christmas lights and trees dotting the length and breadth of our homes, streets, and cities.

1. Christmas Light Styles
2. Outdoor Christmas Lights Colors
3. How many outdoor Christmas lights do I need?
4. What outdoor power source will your Christmas lights use?
5. How do Christmas lights work?
6. Where can you buy outdoor Christmas lights?
7. How to hang outdoor Christmas Lights
8. What outdoor Christmas lights are the best?
9. Outdoor Christmas lights: LED vs. Incandescent lights
10. Conclusion

If you, like many others, are looking to beautify your home this season, you need to do so as to best as you possibly can. Using the right Christmas lights and decoration styles is the only way to turn your house into a heavenly wonder here on earth. Continue to read on to get as much information as you can to set you on your way to an amazing and merry Christmas for you and your family.

Christmas Light Styles

When it comes to lighting, the first thing you need to bear in mind is that there are so many different lighting styles in practice. Getting a good light is one thing, laying them out properly and attractively is another. The decoration style you adopt will have a significant impact on the appearance of your home at the end of the day so picking a suitable style is just as important as the type of light you use.

Here are some of the most popular light styles in use today.

#1. Novelty

Novelty light styles are exactly what they are called. Novelty.  This style is unique to the occasion and is used to send a message. Novelty styling can come in any shape but do bear in mind that you have to go with the material you are working with. Also, the shape of the building matters. You want a unique style that resonates with onlookers as well as it does with family and friends who come visiting. Combining lights of different shapes and sizes is the best way to go should you go for this style.

#2. Rope

Rope styling Christmas lights are special lights used by decorators to make shaped lighting decorations. The lights are small and flexible in form but can its tube can be bent towards any direction in a rope-like fashion to create words and letters. This lighting style can also be used to outline your building or an object. Businesses also use them to outline billboards and neon signage.

#3. Mini

Mining lights were introduced to the market in the 70s, and they’ve remained popular ever since. Mini lights are small in shape, and many of them have bulbs in diverse colors that consume minimal power. In many cases, less than 2.5 volts.

#4. Dome

This is the art of lighting your outdoor area with lights that converge in a dome-shaped form. There are even Christmas lighting that is done shaped in form. Dome-shaped lights can idea for ceilings and the edges of roofs.

#5. Wreath

Wreath Christmas lights are some of the most popular Christmas lighting styles in the market today. The lights are arranged in wreath-like shape to send a message of solitude. In Christian tradition, this lighting style signifies the everlasting life gained by man through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As for the circular shape of the wreath light itself, it represents the infinity of God, who is known to have no beginning and no end.

#6. Twigs and branches

This lighting style takes the shape of twigs and branches and is best suited for wooded areas. If you have trees around your home and you wish to blend your designs with nature, you may want to go with twigs and branches lighting.

#7. Scenes

The purpose of lighting up our homes and places of business during Christmas is to evoke a positive vibe and feelings in line with the season. Installing changing lights on your outdoor building creates a beautiful scene that attracts just as much as it mesmerizes. Scene lights do exactly one thing; they excite onlookers and make your building even more beautiful to behold.

#8. Tree Trunk Web

Tree trunk web lights are similar in design to twigs and branches design. Essentially, you can use this style to lace tree trunks. Imagine for a moment, hundreds if not thousands of lights lining the trunk of the trees surrounding your home? It will be wonderful, wouldn’t it? Well, that’s what tree trunk web lights are meant for.

Outdoor Christmas Lights Colors

Now when it comes to Christmas light colors, the fortunate thing is that you have numerous colors to choose from. You are also at liberty to pick multiple colors for your outdoors but make sure the colors you pick clean well with each other. The different types of Christmas light colors are:

  • White
  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Multi

The color red is by far the most popular lighting color for Christmas, but the multicolored version is even more popular. To create a perfect ambiance, we recommend that you go for multicolored lighting for your rooftop and the edges of your walls. Combining green, blue, white, and red will create an amazing glow for your surroundings.

How many outdoor Christmas lights do I need?

This answer is not as straightforward as it sounds. This is because your needs are unique to you, so getting the right amount of lights will depend on preference as well as the space area you are looking to illuminate. To illuminate your roof, here are the steps you will need to take.

  • Measure the linear footage of your roof, but if you don’t want to waste time doing that, start with at least 200ft of Christmas lights first. If that is not enough, you can add some more feet.
  • Areas you will need to measure include wall edges, hedges, and shrubs, fence lines, windows, and doors, as well as the distance between your lighting source and extension plugs.
  • Calculate the number of bulbs your property will need by including in your calculation, bulb spacing of at least about 12 inches between two bulbs
  • Calculate the number of light strings you will need by using a pre-wired light
  • Run a mock map of the area when preparing your estimate

To conclude your planning, you will have to compile a materials list as well. Having a materials list will help you make an informed decision about the number of lighting you require and how much to budget for it. The materials you will need to decorate your home with Christmas lighting include

  • Number of bulbs, cords, and light strings
  • Net lights in total
  • Plugs
  • Electrical tape and cords
  • Surge protectors
  • Timers
  • Installation hooks and clips

What outdoor power source will your Christmas lights use?

The power source for your light is also something you will have to consider and plan for. There are different power options to consider. Here are some of them.

  1. Plug-in

Christmas lights that come with plug-ins are some of the easiest lights to install. After hanging them on your roof or walls, all you have to do is to plug the light to a power source. When you turn on the switch, the lights come alive.

  1. Battery-powered

If you cannot trust the power supply, especially at night, you may want to go for a battery-powered Christmas light. This spec comes with a battery of its own. Some versions allow for battery changeovers though they are more expensive than plug-in lights.

  1. Solar

For those looking for constant lighting without the need to worry about the power going off or the battery running low, solar is their best option. By drawing energy from the sun to recharge the in-built solar panel, the lights can stay on for a very long time. As long as the sun is up, your lights will never go down.

  1. LED

LED lights are becoming popular by the day. If you look around your neighborhood during the Christmas season, you are most likely going to find many buildings beautified with LED lighting. LEDs use one or several lights emitting diodes to generate lights. LEDs are attractive and bright.

  1. Incandescent

Incandescent Christmas lights are by far the oldest lighting today. Although they are not as prominent since the rise of LEDs, they remain widely used.

  1. Projector

If you want to add a little spice to your illumination, try projector lights. With a magnifying glass, a projector will increase light intensity produced by a light beam.

How do Christmas lights work?

Christmas lights, or holiday lights as they are called in some countries, rely on electric currents. The lighting technology may differ, but the outcome remains the same. Illumination. Incandescent lights, for instance, work using a circuit and a filament. When current passes through the filament, it creates a bright glow. If more current passes through, the filament becomes hotter, thereby shining brighter. The functionality of Christmas lights depends on the unbroken nature of all the elements within the build. A broken filament or tube will make electric flow impossible and lighting improbable.

Where can you buy outdoor Christmas lights?

There are so many places you can get Christmas lights for your home or commercial property. You can either work into a Mall or hardware store to get one in person, or you can simply order for some online. If you wait for a little longer until December comes around, you stand the chance of enjoying rich discounts on prices. Notable online stores offer discounts to buyers to boost patronage and to stimulate sales. You can purchase good quality outdoor Christmas lights online on the following platforms.

  • Target
  • Tesco
  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Home Depot

How to hang outdoor Christmas Lights

When hanging Christmas lights atop buildings, a lot of planning has to go into the endeavor. Paying attention to safety measures and using the right tools is of the essence. Here are some steps to take when hanging Christmas lights in outdoor spaces.

#1. Be very cautious

Installing outdoor Christmas lighting requires a lot of caution. There are certain locations that you should never hang a Xmas light in. Wet tree trunks or trees close to power cables are a no go area. Before you even mount the building or the tree, make sure you plug the lights to a power source to be sure that the bulbs work. The last thing you want is to mount your roof for nothing. It is also important to take your time and not rush the process.

#2. Use reliable power sources

Never use a power source that is not located on the ground. Ground circuit interrupted are safe because they shut down current if there is a power surge. GCFI’s are the best for Christmas lighting. If you don’t have GCFI close by, you can either install one of simply buy a portable outdoor version from a local store.

#3. Use Extension cords meant for solely outdoor use

Remember that you are installing outdoor lights, so it is only wise to use outdoor lights that are meant for outdoor use. And more importantly, keep the extension away from the ground, especially if it is raining or snowing. Use the right amount of cord length to prevent yours from hanging above people’s heads.

#4. Use ladders that are sturdy and balanced

Using a sturdy ladder will keep you from falling off when you are above ground. Place the ladder close to the structure you plan to hang the light and make sure the ladder is standing on flat ground.

#5. Don’t install outdoor lights on windy or wet days

Roofs can be slippery, so you need to be careful. If it is windy or snowing or even raining, wait until the weather is right. Besides the fact that structures are slippery under wet conditions, you also run the risk of electric shocks if the cord is exposed.

In addition to the 5 tips above, it is also important that you only use outdoor light that is waterproof or water-resistant. Waterproof lights that meet industry standards of the American National Standards Institute last longer and are safe for outdoor use. Avoid using indoor Christmas lighting for outdoor purposes.

What outdoor Christmas lights are the best?

There are varieties of options, but like I always say, personal preference shocks influence your choice. Here are options to consider when making a choice.

  • Outdoor Christmas lights with timer

This option works with a timer. It means that you don’t have to take up every morning to turn it on or turn it off late at night. It works with a timer that you only have to preset. When it’s time to come on, it does, and it also goes off based on timing.

  • Outdoor Christmas lights with music

This option comes with music that plays out when it is turned on. They are amazing because they mesmerize the senses as much as the lights illuminate your environment. Many of them have pre-recorded carol songs.

  • Outdoor Christmas lights with battery

This is an ideal option if you don’t want to be disturbed by an epileptic power supply. They either come with inbuilt batteries or replaceable batteries that can be changed should the old ones become weak.

  • Outdoor Christmas lights with changing colors

Having only one light color hanging off your roof may seem boring, but what if you can go for lights that change colors at regular intervals? This type of light is sold online and in stores. They are beautiful and colorful and keep the viewer engaged as long as they are on.

  • Outdoor Christmas lights with remote

With a remote, you can regulate brightness, sound, and when power. Rather than switch it off by walking to the power source, you can simply switch it off using the remote.

Outdoor Christmas lights: LED vs. Incandescent lights

Incandescent lights were the first lights in use before the rise of LED lights. As great as LED lights have been, Incandescent lights are still popular and in wide use today. Choosing between both can be tricky, especially if you do not know much about lighting technology. To help you decide which to go for, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of each of them.

LED Outdoor Christmas lights


  • Energy efficient
  • Cost-effective
  • Ideal for the environment
  • Safer option
  • 50,000 lifetime hours or more
  • Bright illumination
  • Varieties of options for bulb or cord sizes


  • Expensive
  • A little complicated to install
  • Fewer lights on the strings
  • Hard to replace broken bulbs
  • Untraditional colors

Incandescent Outdoor Christmas Lights


  • Bright illumination
  • Cheap and affordable
  • More lights on the strings
  • Easy installation
  • Longer strings
  • Traditional colors


  • Heats up after several hours
  • Consumes power
  • Only 1000 lifetime hours
  • Environmentally unfriendly


Are outdoor Christmas lights Waterproof?

Yes, they are. Manufacturers use weatherproof materials to make them since they will be exposed to weather outside the house, and contact with moisture can lead to damage.  However, you should store them properly when not in use in a dry container.

Can outdoor Christmas lights stay on all night?

Outdoor Christmas lights can stay on all night but if you want to extend its lifecycle by a few more years, consider switching them off after dark. LED lights, for instance, can overheat, which may lead to a fire outbreak if it comes in contact with a dry leaf. It is advisable to turn off your Christmas lights after dark or when retiring to bed at night.

How to store your outdoor Christmas lights

If you want to avoid the possibility of spending scarce resources on new lights every year, you will need to store your current lighting properly and in a safe place. Here are some storage considerations for you.

  • Store them in a box: Wrap the cords around the interior of the box. Prevent the temptation of hastily stuffing them into the box.
  • Cloth hangers: Cloth hangers can also come in handy. Simply wrap the cords around vertically as neatly as possible. After that, hang it in your storage closet or a safe place.
  • Use Bunching: Another smart way to store your outdoor Christmas lights is to bunch them together in the same way they came with the cable or runner band previously used. Bunching entails you wrapping the cords in the same shape.
  • Cord Reels: There are cord reels used, especially for wrapping electric cords safely. You can use reels to store your Christmas lights. Just attach one end of the cord to the reel and roll the cords around the reel systemically. When next year comes around, you will be able to easily unspool the cords by rolling the reel in the opposite direction.


In keeping with the age-long tradition of celebrating the birth of Christ, families have used lights to commemorate the period for centuries. Hanging outdoor lights in and around your outdoor area beautiful your property in ways that words cannot begin to describe. However, buying the right lights, especially suited for outdoor purposes, is vital. Storing them safely after use is also as important. Just make sure that you imbibe safety standards when installing your outdoor lights. Also, remember to switch the lights off at night to prevent the bulbs from overheating, especially if you are using LED outdoor Christmas lights.

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