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.

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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.

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Modern Christmas Tree
$799.00

Up the drama factor this holiday season with the Modern Tree - Ruby with Silver Ornaments by Modern Christmas Tree. The tree is ma...de out of numerous rings of transparent red acrylic that are suspended from the ceiling. Matte silver glass globe ornaments and crystal pendalogues add extra sparkle to the resulting light pattern around the tree, which looks a whole lot like a candy cane. Who says holiday traditions can't be contemporary? The Modern Christmas Tree was created in 2011 by Matthew Bliss as a tribute to his grandfather, Lawrence "Bud" Stoecker, who built the first Modern Christmas Tree in the 1960s out of cardboard. The current tree designs--with suspended acrylic rings and crystal and glass ornaments--offer a graphic, sparkling twist on the classic evergreen. read more

Modern Christmas Tree
$799.00

Make your holidays festive and bright--and perfectly modern--with the Modern Tree - Pearl with Silver Ornaments by Modern Christma...s Tree. Instead of branches, this tree is made with Pearl acrylic rings suspended from a single ceiling-hung topper. A multitude of matte silver glass globe ornaments and crystal pendalogues sparkle with the light of the LED uplight. Who says holiday traditions can't be contemporary? The Modern Christmas Tree was created in 2011 by Matthew Bliss as a tribute to his grandfather, Lawrence "Bud" Stoecker, who built the first Modern Christmas Tree in the 1960s out of cardboard. The current tree designs--with suspended acrylic rings and crystal and glass ornaments--offer a graphic, sparkling twist on the classic evergreen. read more

Modern Christmas Tree
$799.00

The Modern Tree - Pearl with Red Ornaments by Modern Christmas Tree brings flash, color and unique contemporary style to your holi...day season. The tree itself is made out of Pearl acrylic rings suspended from the ceiling. Crystal droplets and shiny red glass globe ornaments are included to adorn the rings and sparkle warmly with the glow of the LED uplight. Who says holiday traditions can't be contemporary? The Modern Christmas Tree was created in 2011 by Matthew Bliss as a tribute to his grandfather, Lawrence "Bud" Stoecker, who built the first Modern Christmas Tree in the 1960s out of cardboard. The current tree designs--with suspended acrylic rings and crystal and glass ornaments--offer a graphic, sparkling twist on the classic evergreen. read more

Modern Christmas Tree
$329.00

Double up on holiday style with the Modern Half Tree - Pearl with Red Ornaments by Modern Christmas Tree. This model features half...-rings of Pearl colored acrylic that hang down against a wall from a single wall attachment. A mix of glossy red glass globe ornaments and crystal drops are provided to add extra festive color and sparkle. Who says holiday traditions can't be contemporary? The Modern Christmas Tree was created in 2011 by Matthew Bliss as a tribute to his grandfather, Lawrence "Bud" Stoecker, who built the first Modern Christmas Tree in the 1960s out of cardboard. The current tree designs--with suspended acrylic rings and crystal and glass ornaments--offer a graphic, sparkling twist on the classic evergreen. 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.

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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.

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Noma/Inliten
$15.16 $14.99

Holiday Wonderland, 150 count, green bulbs net-style light set with end connector, size 4' x 6', 24 inch lead wire, green wire, fo...r replacement bulb use #1115-2-88, TV #513-687, connect up to 3 sets.This product adds a great value. Product is highly durable and very easy to use. This product is manufactured in China. read more

Noma/Inliten
$13.20 $12.99

Holiday Wonderland, 150 count, red bulbs net-style light set with end connector, size 4' x 6', 24 inch lead wire, green wire, for ...replacement bulb use #1115-2-88, TV #513-687, connect up to 3 sets.This product adds a great value. Product is highly durable and very easy to use. This product is manufactured in China. 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.

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RopeLight
$279.99

Descriptions Friendly Tip: The price is for Single Item. The item sold Separately. The (ROPE150FTGRN) LED (Light Emitting Diodes) ...rope light comes in green and are a bendable form of lighting and you can place them anywhere in or outside your house.... read more

RopeLight
$279.99

Descriptions Friendly Tip: The price is for Single Item. The item sold Separately. The (ROPE150FTYL) LED (Light Emitting Diodes) r...ope lights in yellow are a bendable form of lighting. You can place them anywhere in or outside your house. Some of the... read more

RopeLight
$279.99

Descriptions Friendly Tip: The price is for Single Item. The item sold Separately. The (ROPE150FTRED) LED (Light Emitting Diodes) ...rope light comes in red this light is a bendable form of lighting and you can place it anywhere in or outside your house.... read more

Lumabase
$17.19

Find String and Decorative Lights at Target.com! These 3 revolutionary mini battery operated Led string lights each have 20 LEDs (...about the size of a grain of rice) on a ultra thin bendable waterproof wire (battery pack is not waterproof). Each Led looks like a glimmering water droplet clinging to a shiny silver wire. Perfect for wrapping around a vase, centerpiece, flower arrangement or place in any type of water feature for a stunning display. Light Time: 10 Hours on a Fresh Set of Batteries Color: Clear. 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
J. Hofert
$7.07

Replacement bulbs for electric candle lamps. 2 per card. Blister card. 7W. No. 1406-2: Color: Clear, Wattage: 7W, Shape: Torpedo

LSD
$18.42

Description: Frosted Replacement Bulbs for 7 Watt 120V Electric Candle Lamps. Candelabra base with real frosted glass. Come in pac...ks of 2 bulbs. 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

Gemmy Lightshow
$208.99 $9.82

Light up the holiday season with this Snow Flurry projector! Using advanced and energy-efficient LED technology, this spotlight cr...eates dazzling images of projected light that you have to see to believe. It's the perfect way to turn the heads of... read more

Melrose
$199.99 $172.24

With a light-up lamp post and traditional Victorian dress, let these Christmas carolers illuminate your holiday Requires (3) AA ba...tteries (not included) Dimensions: 20"H Material(s): polyresin read more

Adams
$7.99 $7.49

Pack Of 25 Christmas Outdoor Light Stakes Item #9104-99-1640 Decorate and illuminate sidewalks, driveways and landscaping quick an...d easily! Patented S-shaped fastener will hold any size Christmas light. Tough and durable, will last for years Each stake... read more

RAZ Imports
$59.99 $47.78

This lighted lamp post with snowman will be an adorable addition to your holiday decorating Features a frosted snowman wearing a p...ine cone top hat topped with a red cardinal and holding a pine needle wreath Standing next to a lighted street lamp... read more

Northlight
$24.99 $17.34

Product Features: Candles feature a flickering flame and dripping wax design to give it a realistic look Color: amber wide angle b...ulbs / green wire Number of bulbs on string: 10 Bulb size: led wide angle(c5 cover) Spacing between each bulb: 10" Lighted... read more

DMEL
$132.99 $108.24

Exquisite lamp post decorations are embellished with wreaths and garland with red bows, and have reindeer on the glittery snowy ba...ses Lamps are lit from within by LED lights Dimensions: 19"H Material(s): polystone read more

RAZ Imports
$97.99 $76.49

Set the seen with this nostalgic lamp post accented by a winding vine, sprigs of pine, berries and pine cones Product Features: To...tal number of bulbs: 20 Bulb color: clear / white wire Bulb size: mini 55.5 inch white lead cord Additional Product... read more

Lightshow
$69.99 $39.95

Dazzle the neighborhood with the stand-out display of LightShow magic. Starry Night creates a peaceful twinkling effect like stars... in the sky. Lights create a beautiful display of lights on your roof line. read more

Gemmy Lightshow
$31.24 $17.97

Create a wonderland of color outside of your home with these Lightshow Kaleidoscope Lights. They are constructed with plastic mate...rials and a variety of electronics to provide you with spectacular color. These multicolored lights are a suitable... read more

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