You bought the tree, baked the first batch of many, many cookies, queued up the holiday playlist and pulled the ugly sweaters out of storage. Now, to truly up those festive holiday vibes, it’s time to hang some lights.
And whether you choose to go tasteful when you make your trees, windows, railings and rooflines merry and bright or go full Clark Griswold (electric bill be damned), we’ve rounded up 23 Christmas lights worth investing in this season. From classic white, multicolored and fairy lights, to festive outdoor and LED varieties, to novelty picks to show off your personality, there’s a Christmas light sure to suit your decor taste. Time to deck those halls.
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Opt for clean and classic white lights. Minimalists will veer toward simple string lights, while others may be lured by fun shapes (stars and snowflakes and strawberries, oh my!). The best thing about keeping your lights all white? They’ll go with any home decor.
Pretex Clear White Christmas Lights ($13.99, originally $16.99; amazon.com)
These highly rated, classic lights come on a 100-count wire string that stretches up to 18.5 feet. Perfect for indoor or outdoor use, they can be connected to up to five other strings to form longer sets of lights.
Twinkle Star Curtain String Lights ($21.99; amazon.com)
Bring some starlight, starbright feel to your holiday decor with this strand of curtain lights that includes six big and six small star ornaments. With eight settings (from steady to flash), the LED lights will look great through New Year’s Eve and beyond.
The Holiday Aisle Snowflake String Lights ($23.99, originally $25; wayfair.com)
These fun, wintry lights get rave reviews for their bright output and 20 battery-powered LED bulbs. Each string stretches to 160 inches and works well on a mantel or patio.
Home Heritage Warm White Christmas LED Lights ($56.99; target.com)
Bring a bit of vintage flair to your decorating this season with these 100-bulb strings of LED lights in a traditional strawberry shape. Use them on wreaths, your tree, the banister — wherever! — for a soft, festive glow.
Kringle Traditions White Icicle Lights ($19.99; amazon.com)
Create a winter wonderland with these clear white lights that feature 100 traditional lights on a white wire, giving the illusion of icicles. For indoor or outdoor use, drape them across a fireplace mantel, along a hallway, across your house’s eaves or along a fence.
If your holiday decor theme points to festive, multicolored lights are the way to go. Strands glowing red, green, blue, yellow and orange add dimension and fun to your Christmas display.
Wintergreen Multicolor Rope Light Kit ($29.99; amazon.com)
Great for wrapping tree trunks or lining stairs, under cabinets or across mantels, this easy-to-use kit includes an 18-foot incandescent rope light, power cord and hanging clips. Durable with a steady light display, they work both inside and out.
Wintergreen Multicolor Garland Lights ($29.99; amazon.com)
Turn basic greenery-style garland into a vibrant display with a multicolored strand with 300 incandescent mini lights strung on green wire. Whether you wrap them around a tree, wreath, banister or doorframe, they’ll add instant oohs and aahs to your Christmas decor.
Philips LED Multicolored Faceted String Lights ($8, originally $12; target.com)
You’ll bask in the glow of your Christmas lights with this strand of 60 LED faceted lights in yellow, red, purple, green, orange and blue. It stretches to 22 feet, and you can connect up to 45 sets for a whopping 2,700 potential lights that can be hung indoors or outside.
If you’re all about dainty decor, you’ll want to add mini fairy lights to your display. Hang them on trees and wreaths or from curtains, windows or mantels. Drape them around pillars, stair rails or bushes. They’re bright and cheery without being overwhelming — or, in other words, just the right amount of twinkle.
Yihong Battery-Operated Christmas Fairy Lights ($18.99; amazon.com)
With more than 8,000 rave reviews, this set of two strands of LED fairy lights is easily adjustable via remote: Make them flash, twinkle, hold steady or slow fade. Want them to turn off after you’re in bed? Just set the timer and drift off as dreams of sugarplums dance in your head.
Twinkle Star Fairy String Lights ($10.99; amazon.com)
Hang this Amazon bestseller for Christmas, then just go ahead and adjust the shape to leave up year-round. Three strands of copper-wire LED lights offer 66 feet of ambiance that you can easily shape into your desired look. The remote allows you to choose from eight modes — from steady to waves to flash — and they work inside and outside.
Minetom Multicolored Fairy String Lights ($10.99; amazon.com)
Add festive ambiance to any room, nook or cranny with these flexible mini LED lights that look amazing in glass jars and potted plants, twisted into shapes or strung on trees. You may just want to buy several to brighten up every room in the house.
Plow and Hearth Fairy String Lights ($34.95; wayfair.com)
Festive outdoor lights
Some folks stick to windows or trees, others trace their rooflines and then there are those holiday-obsessed folks who leave no trace of their yard not dripping in lights. Whether you keep things simple or go all in, adding some variety of outdoor Christmas lights is practically required this time of year. How else will Santa find you?
Philips Christmas Laser Projector ($44.99; target.com)
Get the effect of a house coated in lights in an instant with this adjustable remote-controlled projector that will cover most homes when set up 25 feet away. Weather-resistant, with no assembly required, choose from red, green or red-and-green lights with motion, steady or flash options. Want even more ease? Use the timer to light six hours on and 18 hours off.
Aluan Meteor Shower Rain Outdoor Lights ($18.99, originally $21.99; amazon.com)
Love a starry night? These waterproof beads give the feel of a meteor shower or falling snow, giving a new twist to popular icicle lights. Hang them along your roof or patio for a unique and beautiful display.
Toodour LED Icicle Lights ($42.99; amazon.com)
It doesn’t matter if you live at the beach and keep your AC cranked year-round or find yourself shoveling snow from September to June. Add some icicle string lights to your roofline and bring Frosty the Snowman weather home. These connectible lights include eight modes (combo, waves, sequential, slo-glo, chasing, slow fade, twinkle and steady) and can be put on a timer.
Joomer LED Outdoor Christmas Net Lights ($42.99; amazon.com)
Make decorating a hedge a snap with this mesh panel netting filled with multicolor lights. Connect up to three sets for more coverage and choose from eight modes to get your desired light show effect.
Not only are LED Christmas lights energy-efficient and super long-lasting, but they can also be safer than traditional lights, as they put off little to no heat. Best of all? They often allow you to choose from multiple display modes and include built-in timers. Consider these Santa’s little helpers this season.
The Holiday Aisle LED String Lighting ($34.99, originally $45.99; wayfair.com)
Your tree will glow bright with these medium-size, multicolored LED lights in a classic strawberry shape. At 24 feet, connect your strings to other sets for full coverage.
Home Accents Holiday LED Snowflake Icicle Light ($19.98; homedepot.com)
For a fun twist on traditional icicle lights, try this snowflake version that comes in a warm white light. Water-resistant and low-voltage, they’re made for outdoor use and are easy to hang across windows and gutters.
Maggift LED Curtain String Lights ($25.99; amazon.com)
Create an instant mood and backdrop with color-changing curtain lights. Made to cover nearly 10-by-10 feet, choose from warm white or multicolor and eight mode settings. Holiday Instagram selfies? You’re all set.
While we have mad respect for traditional Christmas lights, sometimes adding a little quirk to the situation is just the thing your decorations need to go from ho-hum to HO, HO, HO! Swap in a string of lights that shows off your personality for some truly original holiday good cheer.
Kurt Adler Gingerbread Light Set ($23.97; amazon.com)
You made the gingerbread house and the gingerbread cookies and bought the gingerbread candle. Now keep the theme rolling with these cute gingerbread man lights. The 48-inch wire string includes 10 lights and gets high marks for the warm glow and bold gingerbread man size (about 3 inches high).
Twinkle Star Cactus String Lights ($11.99; amazon.com)
Live in the Southwest or just have a fondness for the desert? Each 10-foot string of these lights features 20 bright, 3-inch LED cactus bulbs, complete with a battery box, making them perfect for hanging on a tree or wall. (Chips and salsa extra.)
Camco Retro Travel LED Lights ($19.44, originally $22.11; amazon.com)
For folks who love to car camp, RV or road trip, these retro camper-trailer lights are the perfect way to inject some of that wanderlust spirit into holiday decor. Each 8-foot strand includes 10 lights and is suitable for use inside and out.
Brooklyn Lighting Company Taco Lights ($19.29; amazon.com)
If every day is taco day in your house, why not light things up with your favorite crunchy food? This 12-foot-long bendable strand is battery-powered, features 36 LED lights and stays decor-appropriate long after the last gifts are unwrapped.