Types of Christmas Lights: 25 Ways to Brighten Up Your Holiday Display

Pick the perfect type to lighting up the hose in a holiday style

Published: January 26, 2023

Each year, stores in the United States sell approximately 150 million Christmas lights, which means there is plenty of competition for a great lighting display. Many families also have a tradition of driving to “Candy Cane Lanes” or neighborhoods that commit to lighting up the whole street in a holiday style. Whether you’re a part of a community effort or just want your house to feel more festive, we’ve created this guide to clear up the confusion about the many different types of Christmas lights so you can create a display to remember.

In this article, we’ll discuss the following:

  • LED and Incandescent Christmas Lights
  • Powering Your Christmas Lights
  • Christmas Light Sizes
  • Christmas Light Colors
  • Styles of Christmas Lights
  • Christmas Light Shapes
  • Dynamic Christmas Lights

Whether you prefer a more traditional setup, feel adventurous, or lie somewhere in between, there’s something to please everyone on this list.

Continue reading to stay in the know about these 25 types of holiday lights.

LED and Incandescent Christmas Lights

The main types of Christmas lights fall into one of two main categories, each with its benefits and drawbacks. You can’t go wrong with either, and the decision is ultimately up to you!

1. LED Christmas Lights

LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights glow when they come in contact with an electrical current. LEDs are more energy-efficient than incandescent holiday lights and last a long time. Some brands even boast burning for up to 100,000 hours. These work well both indoors and outdoors. They come in warm and cool-toned hues, which we discuss in the colors section of this blog post.

2. Incandescent Christmas Lights

These lights consist of a glass bulb with a metallic filament inside. Good old-fashioned Christmas lights emit a soft and warm glow you’ve come to associate with the Christmas season. More affordable upfront than incandescent bulbs. These are more fragile and require replacing more frequently.

Powering Your Christmas Lights

Though it may not be as visible a concern as the bulb type, the power source of your Christmas lights does matter. The cost, lifespan, and environmental impact of your lights depend on their energy source.

3. Plug-in Christmas Lights

Tangling with plug-in Christmas lights probably comes to mind first when thinking about how they’re powered. The downside is having to deal with potentially unsightly electrical cords entering your landscape.

4. Battery-Powered Christmas Lights

This option can solve the problem of lighting an area too far away to be plugged into a power outlet. Many variables determine how long these last without you having to switch out the batteries. Make sure to include the cost of the batteries if you use these lights in your holiday mix this year.

5. Solar Christmas Lights

As their name suggests, these lights connect to solar power as their source of electricity. Solar lights are the most sustainable option for powering your Christmas lights. It can be risky to rely on the weather for your lights to function properly. If you have large swaths of a shaded area, this option could be challenging to implement successfully.

Christmas Light Sizes

The size of your Christmas light bulbs can also impact their color, brightness, and adherence to a theme. Don’t overlook this aspect, even if it may seem like a more technical consideration.

6. Mini Christmas Lights

These small bulbs allow for a dainty amount of decoration that’s not too overwhelming. There are the most used lights nowadays. They’re versatile and can be used on trees, bushes, doors, and walkways.

7. Large Bulb Christmas Lights

These bulbs can give a retro feel to the Christmas decorations around your home. Some examples of these lights are called C3, C5, C7, C9, and G40, and the numbers refer to the size of the bulb. Nothing says “Christmas spirit” like a bunch of letters and numbers.

Christmas Light Colors

Color is arguably one of the most important factors when planning your Christmas lights. Don’t get caught up in the details. There are infinite options!

8. Warm White Christmas Lights

Warm white is the most classic color choice, and it’s the way to go if you’re after a traditional “Hallmark Holiday” look.

9. Cool White Christmas Lights

These lights offer a sharper, icier look than the glow of a warm white light. They are perfect for those looking to create a more modern visual landscape.

10. Blue Christmas Lights

Blue lights can turn your home into a true winter wonderland. It’s a unique stand-out option from the usual white lights. You can continue your theme inside by placing blue ornaments on the Christmas tree.

11. Multicolor Christmas Lights

Multicolored or rainbow Christmas lights bring an exciting variety to a holiday light display. They provide a colorful charm and create unity.

12. Color-Changing Christmas Lights

If you’re indecisive, many companies now offer color-changing light options. These either cycle through a pre-arranged set of color combinates or put you in control of what color shows up.

Styles of Christmas Lights

There’s plenty more out there than your typical strands of green braided wire lights. You might come away from this section feeling inspired to run out and turn your home into the most creative house on your block.

13. String Christmas Lights

The string light is probably the most classic example that comes to mind when you think of Christmas lights. They’re universal and can accomplish various tasks across a yard.

14. Rope Christmas Lights

Rope lights consist of lights held within a plastic tube. They are commonly used to line doorways and windows. Designers created these lights to withstand extreme weather and temperature conditions. They can also lend themselves to more intricate designs, as they offer more control than typical string lights.

15. Wide Angle Christmas Lights

Because of their conical shape, these lights allow for greater brightness than traditional mini bulbs. They’re the most used in commercial projects, which means they’re good enough for you to consider for your home.

16. Smart Christmas Lights

With today’s technology, you can manage your Christmas lights right from an app on your smartphone. The app allows you to control the color, intensity, and duration of the lights from the palm of your hand.

17. Projector Christmas Lights

Installing a projector in your yard is a simple alternative to hanging lights outside. You can adjust the lights’ angle, direction, and color quickly, usually with a provided remote.

18. Net Christmas Lights

Net lights offer a simple Christmas lighting solution for large bushes and shrubs. They generally use an interlocking pattern, so you don’t have to worry about excessive hanging or wrapping.

19. Pathway Christmas Lights

Christmas pathway lights typically line the walkway up to one’s front door. They add an elegant component to an array of holiday lights.

20. Trunk Wrap Christmas Lights

These lights make it easier to hang lights from tall trees outside. You just have to place them over some branches, and the wrapping will create an attractive grid pattern.

Christmas Light Shapes

Holiday lights now come in many shapes and sizes. Look at some of the fun – albeit campy – options out there. You can get the most fun and creative ones on this list.

21. Icicle Christmas Lights

This type of light, when strung from your house, gives the appearance of melting icicles dripping from the roof. It’s a fun optical illusion to give a little mysticism to your typical design.

22. Novelty Christmas Lights

You can find novelty Christmas light strands in various snowflake shapes – each as unique as a snowflake. Other figures like stars, candy canes, and Christmas trees are available too.

Dynamic Christmas Lights

If you easily tire from looking at the same still image all the time, you might enjoy adding some lights programmed to change. Dynamic light sets can definitely spice up your usual Christmas lights.

23. Animated Christmas Lights

These computerized light displays allow for movement and additional whimsy to your front yard. There are plenty of novelty scenes and designs to choose from when picking out a “moving” piece of Christmas light art. Think of a bell tolling from side to side or Santa playing golf with a candy cane club.

24. Twinkling Christmas Lights

Another option if you are hunting for movement in your Christmas light scheme is to try out some strands of twinkling lights. These offer a gentle option for those looking for something different from a completely static light fixture for a holiday.

25. Blinking Christmas Lights

Blinking lights offer a quicker, more intense transition between on and off lights. You should be able to adjust the speed at which they oscillate.

Key Takeaways for Types of Christmas Lights

We hope you got some helpful tips from this list. If anything seems overwhelming to tackle by yourself, try working with an expert to execute your plan. People who’ve been in the holiday and event lighting business will have invaluable advice on what will work with your setup, time, and budget.

Let Blingle advise you on the holiday lighting options to complete your vision with a free consultation.

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