Of all Christmas decorations, Christmas lights are by far the most popular. You can make a big impact in a jiffy with just a few inexpensive string lights. Plus, nothing brightens a winter night like outdoor Christmas lights.
Lights on houses, trees and fences. Lights on bushes, fences and pillars. Lights framing doorways, windows and eaves. It seems any non-moving surface is fair game for a string of lights.
The beauty of Christmas lights inspires many to decorate their own homes. However, there are so many types of Christmas lights that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Look at All the Lights!
You can clear up some initial questions by checking out our Christmas Central Lighting Resource Center, which offers a comprehensive guide to Christmas light styles.
Knowing all your options is a great way to start planning your Christmas light display. Practically speaking however, your choice of lights will be guided by a couple of decisions.
What Kind of Lights Do You Like?
For instance, if your choice of Christmas decor is big and bold, multicolor C9 Christmas lights might be perfect for you. Prefer serene and understated? Mini white Christmas lights could be more your style.
Pick your favorites, but don’t head to the checkout line or cart just yet.
Consider Christmas Light Safety
Before hanging outdoor lights, check the package or product description to make sure your lights are rated for outdoor use.
Wattage is another consideration many people overlook. Our Lighting Resource Center offers technical lighting information that can help explain how to calculate the wattage of your Christmas lights. You never want to string more lights together than your outlets can safely handle.
Many Christmas lights have a plug end that allows you to “chain” similar light strings. In general, you can connect more LED lights than incandescent lights. When in doubt, however, use power strips and several outlets to plug in multiple Christmas light sets.
Plan Your Light Display
Don’t try to create the most elaborate Christmas light display in the neighborhood if you know your patience and enthusiasm will melt as quickly as the first snowflake. You can always start small and add a little more each year.
For a quick and easy holiday lighting project, loop rope lights around your stair rail, spread net lights over your shrubs or hang icicle lights from the gutters. Even a simple frame of Christmas lights or prelit garland around a doorway adds a festive look in flash!
How to Hang Outdoor Christmas Lights
Rather than limiting your lights to the entry, try to spread your Christmas light installation from one end of the house to the other. Light areas close to the house, but also set out lighted decorations on the lawn for depth. Don’t neglect architectural elements like pillars, stair rails and fences, as well as your landscaping. And if you’re not afraid of ladders, shed light on your house from the gutters to ground level.