While a show-stopping outdoor Christmas lights show relies on a variety of decorations, the right lights, used in the right spot, add undeniable star power.
Aside from traditional strings of outdoor Christmas lights, what other options do you have to light up your home with Christmas cheer? Turns out, there’s plenty of variety in Christmas light styles these days. Here are a few that may have caught your eye:
Net Lights & Trunk Lights
What they are: As the name implies, Christmas net lights are strands of mini incandescent and LED lights woven into a grid-like net for even light distribution.
Where to use them: Larger-sized 4 foot by 6 foot net lights make covering bushes quick and easy. You also can drape net Christmas lights along fences and porch rails. Smaller net lights, typically 2 foot by 8 foot, are also called tree trunk lights because they are the perfect width to wrap the trunks of mature trees.
Good to know: Christmas net lights offer micro light, mini light or wide angle light options. Net and tree trunk wrap lights come in all shades, in both single color and multicolor styles.
Snowfall Lights or Meteor Lights
What they are: You may have seen these cascading light cylinders hanging from trees or rooflines. They’re known by several names, including snowfall lights, rain lights, dripping icicle lights and meteor shower lights. Each tube features rows of cascading white or colored lights that give the appearance of movement.
Where to use them: Snowfall LED lights look spectacular along eaves and dangling in trees.
Good to know: Cascading icicle lights can be pricey, may need a separate adapter and often cannot be connected to other light strands.
Pay close attention to product descriptions, including the number of lights in a single tube, as well as the number of lights in a set of snowfall Christmas lights, as these figures vary widely.
Wide Angle Lights
What they are: Wide angle LED Christmas lights have a conical lens that emits a uniformly bright light in all directions. The tiny but mighty lights are watertight and self-contained
Where to use them: Super-versatile wide angle Christmas lights can be used indoors or out, on your Christmas tree, mantel, porch and landscaping. Battery-operated strands are useful to decorate wreaths and garland.
Good to know: Available in a wide range of lengths, light colors and wire colors. May be combined with other light strands.
Novelty Christmas Lights
What they are: Novelty lights describe shaped or themed lights, such as strands of lighted snowflakes, Christmas trees, candy canes or stars.
Where to use them: Use novelty lighting to add a little whimsy to your Christmas tree, drape them around a mantel, bookshelf or mirror.
Good to know: Check product specifications. Many novelty Christmas lights are not rated for outdoor use. Some lights cannot be connected with other strands.
What they are: Think of garland lights as a mashup of Christmas lights and traditional garland. Christmas lights garland offers many more lights per inch to mimic the look of several light strands wound together.
Where to use them: Hang where you want to make a big impact. Use indoors and out around windows and door frames, around mantels and stair rails. Use Christmas lights garland outdoors in trees, along fences or porch rails, pick out prominent architectural features and rooflines.
Good to know: Most sets have end connectors to combine multiple strands.
What they are: You’re probably already familiar with rope lights, but have you thought about using them to make your Christmas lights display truly dazzling? These days, you’ll find rope light in single color and multicolor options, as well as remote-control color-changing varieties.
Where to use them: Flexible LED rope lights easily wrap around tree trunks, posts and pillars. Weave rope lighting through fence posts; edge walkways and gardens, or bend it into free-form shapes.
Good to know: A versatile year-round landscape lighting option for deck rails, garden edging, stair treads. Water-resistant. Many LED rope light sets include clips for mounting.
These days, there are more lighting options for your Christmas light display than ever before. Use a few strings of white lights for a setting that’s simple and serene, or go to extremes for a spectacular Christmas light show.
Either way, you’re sure to find a wide variety of Christmas lights to make your home glow.
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