LED Lights Buying Guide

Technology has made inroads into holiday lighting, with the wide availability and affordable price of LED lights increasing the options for holiday decorating. LED, or light-emitting diode, illumination offers several distinct advantages for homeowners, including direct, bright white light; lower electricity usage; and longer life. And LED lights are now available in a range of holiday lighting types.

Types of LED Lights

Types of LED Lights

Every year more and more types of LED lights become available, including those for holiday-theme uses. Types differ based on several characteristics, including bulb size and color; silhouette or shape; icicle, cascade, or net; and strings or ropes. As you start shopping for holiday LED lights, review the options and various types to find the LED light that works best with your holiday setup. Here's your guide to adding LED lights to your holiday decor.

Bulb Size and Color

Holiday LED lights come in a variety of sizes, including mini, as well as larger, more retro-inspired shapes, such as C7 and C9 bulbs. LED lights are also available in a variety of traditional and nontraditional holiday light colors.

Silhouette or Shape

LED lights can also cast Christmas shapes or silhouettes, which are often used on the exterior of a home or in a yard. These may include shapes such as a snowman or a tree that cascades down from a central point.

Icicle, Cascade, or Net

Many homeowners are familiar with icicle, cascade, or net holiday lights that use traditional incandescent bulbs. LED versions of these lights now exist to decorate roof eaves, shrubs and bushes, or other spots on the home.

Strings or Ropes

LED bulbs now power virtually every type of holiday light, including traditional strings or ropes, which are often used to decorate trees or mantels.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

While they are much more affordable than they were just a few years ago, LED lights for holiday uses still represent a significant investment. Fortunately, they last longer and use less energy. Still, before you make any purchase, it's important to review all the factors that influence use and budget. Power source, replacement, storage, and price all affect the LED lights you may want to purchase for your home and how well they'll work for your intended use. Here's a quick guide to buying factors to consider.


LED lights tend to be more expensive than incandescent lights, but prices continue to decline each year. Expect to pay a bit more for the tradeoff of longer life and less energy use.


Any LED-powered lights for the holidays will need to be stored in an appropriate spot once the season is over. String lights may be stored in a container, while larger shapes may need a bigger spot.


Although rare, LED bulbs do burn out. Make sure your LED light display will stay on if a bulb burns out, and that you can easily replace the bulb.

Power Source

LED lights can be powered in a number of ways. Some are plugged in to an electrical outlet, while others are battery-operated. Review convenience of operation before making a purchase.

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