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Outdoor Lights Buying Guide

The twinkling of outdoor lights is as much a part of our holiday recollections as the tree inside the house. When used well, outdoor lights can turn a dark home into a cornucopia of holiday cheer. And the market for outdoor lights has exploded, with options galore for everyone from the most restrained exterior decorator to those who embrace a more exuberant approach. Here's your guide to buying outdoor lights.

Types of Outdoor Lights

Types of Outdoor Lights

Each type of outdoor lights exhibits a very different look and feel on your home's exterior. And because of the flexibility and availability of different types of outdoor lights, you can quickly transform your home into holiday central. Start by reviewing the types that are most suited to your home's style and your personal decorating expression. Those may include spheres, LED lights, silhouettes, trees, icicle-style lights, nets, stakes, different size bulbs, or ropes.

Spheres

These round orbs vary in size and style. Some resemble grapevine wreaths, while others appear spun out of delicate string. The lights inside can also be of differing colors such as white, green, red, or blue.

LED

Many outdoor lights are now powered by LED light sources. In addition to producing intense white light, LED outdoor lights last longer and use less electricity than many other lights.

shop LED
Vickerman
$47.98 $53.98
at Hayneedle

Even Santa is stringing the Vickerman 50 ct. Red G12 LED Lights with Green Wire - Set of 2 around his workshop this year. With a s...phere shape, festive red hue, and multi-faceted texture, these lights make for a very merry Christmas - and you?ll get two sets with your order. Each set includes a 25-foot green cord with 50 LED lights spaced six inches apart. End connectors allow you to link the strands, too.Plus, the cool-burning LED technology is built to last and energy efficient, and you can string these stunners indoors or out - talk about a happy holiday. About Vickerman This product is proudly made by Vickerman, a leader in high quality holiday decor. Founded in 1940, the Vickerman Company has established itself as an innovative company dedicated to exceeding the expectations of their customers. With a wide variety of remarkably realistic looking foliage, greenery and beautiful trees, Vickerman is a name you can trust for helping you create beloved holiday memories year after year. read more

Vickerman
$43.98 $47.98
at Hayneedle

Even Rudolph?s nose can?t compete with the oh-so-merry Vickerman 25 ct. Red C7 LED Lights with Green Wire 8 in. Spacing - Set of 2.... With a bright red hue, multi-faceted texture, and timeless C7 silhouette, these lights come packaged as a set of two. Each set includes 25 lights spaced eight inches apart on a 16-foot green cord. End connectors allow you to link the two strands together, too.And even though they look like Christmas classics, these lights feature up-to-date LED technology, which burns cool and is energy efficient, not to mention wonderfully durable. String them indoors or out, on a tree, on an eave, or anywhere in the house. About Vickerman This product is proudly made by Vickerman, a leader in high quality holiday decor. Founded in 1940, the Vickerman Company has established itself as an innovative company dedicated to exceeding the expectations of their customers. With a wide variety of remarkably realistic looking foliage, greenery and beautiful trees, Vickerman is a name you can trust for helping you create beloved holiday memories year after year. read more

Vickerman
$43.98 $47.98
at Hayneedle

Purely perfect for any space, the pure white tone of the Vickerman 25 ct. Pure White C7 LED Lights with Green wire 8 in. Spacing -... Set of 2 will set an enchanting scene this Christmas. You?ll love how the classic shape and multi-faceted texture are oh so merry, and you?ll get two full sets with this order, each with a 16-foot green cord. On each cord, you?ll find 25 C7 lights spaced eight inches apart. The included end connectors allow you to link the two cords together, too.And these aren?t any old lights - the LED technology is cool burning, energy efficient, built to last, and suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Trees, hedges, doorways, mantels - you?re in a for a holly jolly holiday. About Vickerman This product is proudly made by Vickerman, a leader in high quality holiday decor. Founded in 1940, the Vickerman Company has established itself as an innovative company dedicated to exceeding the expectations of their customers. With a wide variety of remarkably realistic looking foliage, greenery and beautiful trees, Vickerman is a name you can trust for helping you create beloved holiday memories year after year. read more

Vickerman

This light strand has the brilliant light and energy efficiency of LED lights with the enchantment of twinkle lights. Approximatel...y every fifth light twinkles on and off to add a special effect to your holiday decorations - indoor or out. read more

Silhouettes

Silhouettes typically depict a holiday-related scene, such as Santa Claus or a snowman. The displays are usually vertical and may consist of various light colors and shapes.

Trees

Outdoor lights are now available in tree shapes; these typically have a top or star with a cascade of lights that flows down and out to the ground.

shop Trees
Dabmar

Features: Tree light Number of lights: 1 Finish: Verde green Durable cast aluminum construction Clear, heat resistant and tempered... glass lens Pre wired fixture Low voltage transformer required for installation (not included) Specifications: ETL approved for wet location UL listed wire and cable Bulb type: 20W - 50W MR16 base bulb Voltage: 12 Dimensions: 5.63" H x 2.97" W x 2.97" D, 0.6 lb read more

Mr. Light
$38.79 $51.00
at Casa

Mr. Light 5in Solar Hanging Tree Light, Color Changing LED, Snowball Shape with Hook Solar Hanging Color Changing 5 Ball with Hook... - Hang it from any tree branch or from the eave of your roof or balcony! Color changing LED within a beautiful ball design. 27 inches from the top of the hook to the bottom of each ornament. 14 inch long cord. These hanging solar powered ornaments are a great match when you combine them with our garden stakes; Solar Ornaments hanging down from the sky, and solar garden stakes reaching up to the sky from below! Product Measures: 6.5 x 6.5 x 26.5 IN read more

National Tree Company
$557.99
at Amazon

This nine foot tall fir tree makes a big statement. The hinged branch construction and pre-lit design allow for trouble-free assem...bly. Just add your holiday ornaments and trimmings and enjoy. 66" Diameter at base, includes metal tree stand. read more

National Tree Company
$159.99
at Amazon

The pencil thin shape of the Kingswood Fir makes it a great tree for display in tight corners and small spaces. Pre-strung with cl...ear lights and featuring hinged branch construction, this tree assembles quickly and is ready for decoration. 28" diameter at base, includes metal tree stand. read more

Icicles

Icicle-style lights are almost as common as traditional mini lights. These are created with a long strand of lights hung with shorter strands that hang down.

shop Icicles
Good Tidings
$15.00
at Amazon

Christmas light set with clear icicles features superbright bulbs that can be set to either burn continuously or as a blinking str...aight line. With four-inch bulb spacing, the cord features plugs at both ends for ease of connecting sets together. UL listed for indoor or outdoor use. End connector allows up to three lightsets to be plugged end to end. read more

Good Tidings
$33.99
at Amazon

50 blue and white bulbs. UL approved for indoor or outdoor use. LED lights stay lit even if one or more LED bulbs fail on the ...string. Because of the efficiency of LED lights, you receive up to 90% energy savings and a longer average rated lifetime. The lights are cool to the touch and the low working voltage and current lessen the chances of fire or electrical shock. read more

Nets

Net-style outdoor lights are an inventive solution to covering bushes and shrubs. Available in different widths and lengths, these lights string together bulbs in a weblike arrangement.

shop Nets
Gki Bethlehem Lighting
$29.99
at Amazon

Our net lights feature 70 LED single mold lights that are UL approved for outdoor use. They feature a unique zip tie that keeps th...em from tangling and ensures better spacing in your foliage. Each string comes in warm white or multi. read more

Vickerman
$89.95 $114.00
at Bellacor

Since 1940, Vickerman Company has been known for their quality seasonal decorations including traditional and realistic artificial... Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands. 5YR Seasonal warranty 150.00 Warm White Wide Angle LED Utilizes Energy-Efficient, Durable LED Technology Green wire. 2 ft. x 8 ft. read more

Vickerman
$89.95 $114.00
at Bellacor

Since 1940, Vickerman Company has been known for their quality seasonal decorations including traditional and realistic artificial... Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands. 5YR Seasonal warranty 150.00 Multicolor Wide Angle LED Utilizes Energy-Efficient, Durable LED Technology Uses Molded tips to achieve a realistic appearance Green wire. 2 ft. x 8 ft. read more

Stakes

Outdoor light stakes may sometimes be battery-powered for easy installation. A short stake topped with lights is inserted into the ground; it's useful to line a walkway.

Bulb Types

Outdoor lights differ by bulb size. Standard mini lights are most commonly found on strings and in different colors. Other, larger bulb sizes include C7 and C9.

Rope

Encased in a clear or semitransparent plastic tube, rope lights present an almost-uninterrupted stream of light that can be used on railings and other suitable spots outside the home.

shop Rope
Room Essentials

Room Essentials rope-string lights are ideal for decorating a patio space, garden, walkway or other outdoor setting. They enhance ...the overall appeal by adding a soft glow to the area with their tiny incandescent white bulbs. These clear string-lights are electrically powered and have an on/off switch. The cord is 15' long with bulbs spaced 3" apart. Use these outdoor string lights year-round or for special occasions to create an inviting outdoor space. Bulb Type: Incandescent: OutdoorSafety and Security Features: Safety On/Off ButtonBattery: no battery usedsee shipping and returnsguest rating overall4 of 5 stars Quality4.5 of 5 stars Value5 of 5 stars Durable4.5 of 5 stars see guest reviews read more

American Lighting
$100.95 $133.00
at Bellacor

Celebrate the holidays with this Snowflake F 36 inch rope light motif. It comes fully assembled. The hanging hardware is included.... UL-Approved. 6-foot power cord. read more

American Lighting
$64.95 $89.00
at Bellacor

Celebrate the holidays with this Snowflake F 24 inch rope light motif. It comes fully assembled. The hanging hardware is included.... UL-Approved. 6-foot power cord. Light rope is frosted read more

American Lighting
$107.99
at Amazon

American Lighting LED-WW-HSM-SNOWF24 Snowflake Holiday Rope Light Motif, 24-Inch. Led bulbs last three times longer and use 85% le...ss energy. LED rope light attached to durable steel powder coated frame. Available in multiple designs and a variety of sizes. 6-foot power cord with two blade 120V AC plug. Safe for indoor and outdoor use. read more

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Many holiday outdoor lights can represent a significant investment of both time and budget toward your exterior holiday decorating, so it's important to thoughtfully consider the factors that can influence your purchase. Price is, of course, a factor, as is storage of outdoor lights. The length or size of lights should be carefully considered, as should ease of replacement, operation, and installation. Think through these options before investing in your outdoor lights.

Price

Outdoor lights vary widely in price. Options that affect cost include type of bulb, length of strand, and complexity of design.

Storage

How you store your holiday outdoor lights should affect your purchase. Are strands able to be rolled and contained easily? Do large silhouettes need a special spot on shelves? Make sure you have room before finalizing a purchase.

Replacement Bulbs

Ease of replacing burned-out bulbs -- and whether strands or displays stay lit if a bulb burns out -- should be a purchase consideration for any outdoor lights.

shop Replacement Bulbs
Bulbrite
$61.95 $70.00
at Bellacor

Bulbrite?s LED C7 bulbs are the perfect replacement bulb for string lights, night lights, and any candelabra based application whe...re ambient colored light is needed. Long Life (50,000 hours) Bright LED replacement light in a true C7 retrofit shape Available in 8 different colors: Clear, yellow, blue, green, orange, pink, red, purple 0.35W LED equivalency to 7W Incandescent Energy Saving - $900 Energy Savings over the life of the bulb when replacing 25 7 Watt C7 bulbs with 25 Bulbrite LED C7 Bulbs ov (Based on $0.11 kWh) Lamp Type GAS: LED AMPS: 0.0029 Annual Energy Cost: 0.0422 Base: E12 Base description: Edison Screw Base Average Hours: 50000 Beam Spread: 360° Shape: C7 read more

Bulbrite
$68.95 $77.00
at Bellacor

Bulbrite?s LED C9 bulbs are the perfect replacement bulb for string lights, night lights, and any candelabra based application whe...re ambient colored light is needed. Long Life (50,000 hours) Bright LED replacement light in a true C9 retrofit shape Available in 8 different colors: Clear, yellow, blue, green, orange, pink, red, purple 0.35W LED equivalency to 7W Incandescent Energy Saving - $900 Energy Savings over the life of the bulb when replacing 25 7 Watt C9 bulbs with 25 Bulbrite LED C9 Bulbs ov (Based on $0.11 kWh) Lamp Type GAS: LED AMPS: 0.0029 Annual Energy Cost: 0.0422 Base: E17 Base description: Edison Screw Base Average Hours: 50000 Beam Spread: 360° Shape: C9 read more

Operation

Different outdoor lights operate with different power sources and various kinds of switches. Know how yours operate -- with a plug-in, an extension cord, a switch, or batteries.

Length or Size

Measure the area you want to cover -- either the length around a doorway or the spot in the yard for a silhouette -- before making any outdoor light purchase.

Holiday on sale
Vickerman

The LED lights use 85% less energy than a regular light providing brighter illumination for a greater impact. No glass cover or fi...lament to break means it is more durable and longer lasting. read more

25 LED C6 50 Light Strand, Single Mold, Multi, Green Wire
Vickerman

The DuraLit light strands are an advanced light strand with a microchip in each socket. This prevents the strand from going out ev...en if a bulb is broken, loose or missing. This is a present to yourself each Christmas. read more

46 Dura-Lit 100 Light Strand, Clear, White Wire
Vickerman

The LED is the latest in the Christmas light strands. It uses 85% less energy than a regular mini light providing brighter illumin...ation for a greater impact. No glass cover or filament to break means it is more durable and longer lasting. read more

34 LED Wide Angle 100 Light Strand, Red, White Wire
Zest Avenue
$47.99 $73.56
at Overstock.com

Decorate your home with this Lighted Witch to greet trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. Dressed in a purple cloak and holding a ...black cauldron, she watches guests as they arrive with her bat and black cat. 35 orange mini-lights Display stand is included for easy installation Type: Indoor Collapsible construction for easy storage Cord length: 40 inches No tools required Dimensions: 34 inches high x 25 inches wide x 6.5 inches deep Plugs into any standard outlet Imported read more

34-inch Lighted Wire Black Witch
Zest Avenue
$49.99 $78.36
at Overstock.com

This Lighted Wire Black-winged Monster will scare your guests as it looks on. The monster sits and awaits his next victim, seated ...but ready to fly off with any random guest. Includes: One 1 lighted monster Materials: Plastic Color: Black Lighted black wire monster with 70 mini-lights, enabling it to see victims at night Resembles a seated gargoyle with wings and claws Use indoor and outdoor for versatility Collapsible construction for easy storage Cord length is 40 inches to reach tough places Plugs into any standard outlet for convenience No tools required for easy assembly Dimensions: 24 inches high x 18 inches wide x 24 inches deep read more

Black-winged 24-inch Lighted Wire Monster
Zest Avenue
$47.49 $67.02
at Overstock.com

These Lighted Arched Wire Black Cats are the cats meow, though neither looks happy this Halloween. Both 2-foot cats in the set hav...e arched backs and are ready to pounce on any guest who crosses their path. Includes: Two 2 lighted cats Materials: Plastic Color: Black Use indoor and outdoor for versatility Collapsible construction for easy storage Cord length is 40 inches to reach tough places No tools required for easy assembly Display stand is included for easy installation Plugs into any standard outlet for convenience Dimensions: 24 inches high x 13.5 inches wide x 7.5 inches deep read more

Lighted 24-inch Arched Wire Black Cats (Set of 2)
Mr. Light
$76.49 $95.99
at Casa

Mr. Light Solar 42 ft. Long, 100 LED Blue Multi-Function Stringlight W/ Green Wire No electricity needed to decorate with this set... of lights, just a sunny day to charge the solar panel and the 100 bright blue LEDs will glow all night. The multi function switch allows you to choose between eight different modes, including steady, flashing, chasing and more. Measuring 38 feet from first LED to last, the set is perfect for decorating porches, trees or bushes. A 6-foot lead wire is connected to a solar panel that swivels at the top to angle towards the sun. 1.3 -Watt solar panel and three AA rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries are included. A built in automatic photocell control turns lights on at dusk and off at dawn. Light string and solar panel meet IP 44 waterproof standards. Solar panel measures 6- x 4-1/2- x 1-1/4 es. read more

Mr. Light Solar 42 ft. Long, 100 LED Blue Multi-Function Stringlight W/ Green Wire
Mr. Light
$69.99 $95.99
at Casa

Mr. Light Solar 42 ft. Long, 100 LED Warm White Multi-Function Stringlight W/ Green Wire No electricity needed to decorate with th...is set of lights, just a sunny day to charge the solar panel and the 100 warm white LEDs will glow all night. The multi function switch allows you to choose between eight different modes, including steady, flashing, chasing and more. Measuring 38 feet from first LED to last, the set is perfect for decorating porches, trees or bushes. A 6-foot lead wire is connected to a solar panel that swivels at the top to angle towards the sun. 1.3 -Watt solar panel and three AA rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries are included. A built in automatic photocell control turns lights on at dusk and off at dawn. Light string and solar panel meet IP 44 waterproof standards. Solar panel measures 6- x 4-1/2- x 1-1/4 es. read more

Mr. Light Solar 42 ft. Long, 100 LED Warm White Multi-Function Stringlight W/ Green Wire
Artcraft
$432.60 $865.20
at Homeclick

Claremonts 3 lite mini chandelier features beautifully shaped arms in polished nickel finish, elegant crystal jewels with small ov...al shade in white string fabrics. read more

Artcraft AC380WH Claremont 3 Light Chandelier in Polished Nickel with White String Shade
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