Outdoor Christmas Lights

Holiday Bench Decor
Christmas lights are sure to illuminate your holiday spirit! Decorate your home this season with our creative and classic outdoor lighting solutions that can only be described as magical.

Christmas Light Planter

Bring new light to an old planter by adding yellow, red, and white Christmas lights to its base. A shimmery ribbon wrapped around branches adds an extra hint of holiday glam.

Christmas Light Tip: Vintage Christmas lights are an easy way to add fun and festive flair to your outdoor decor. Use alone or pair with simple white lights.


Birdbath Revamp

Who says your trusty bird bath can only make a warm-weather appearance? Fit a wreath, red Christmas lights, and other holiday decorations into the center of a bird bath to keep it relevant in the wintertime.

Cranberry Luminaries

This Christmas, light the way to your home with this inexpensive lighting option. Set a small glass vase filled with fake snow, cranberries, and a candle atop bundles of fir branches.

Christmas Light 'Burning Bush'

Don’t ditch your tangled outdoor Christmas lights from last year! Instead, turn them into an outdoor lighting spectacle by laying them over soil and branches to mimic a burning bush.

Glowing Holiday Globes

These glowing globes create a picturesque holiday scene right in your front yard. Scatter them around or bundle them up for different looks and light intensities.

Christmas Light Tip: To make your decor even more sophisticated, try battery operated Christmas lights. You'll no longer have to hide those pesky extension cords!

Starry Nights Basket

Make hanging baskets sparkle all winter long by lighting them from within. Use coiled vine baskets without liners, and push a 100-bulb string of small pearl lights from inside to out around each basket. Place clear plastic ornaments in the basket as filler. On top, pile a 50-bulb string of small white lights and a string of prelit metal stars to shine above.

Welcome guests and neighbors with these beautiful outdoor holiday decorating ideas. They're easy to do and a fun way to bring your seasonal style outdoors.

5 Outdoor Decorating Ideas

Watch as we show you just how easy it is to add a warm glow to your yard this holiday season. At least one of our five outdoor decorating ideas is sure to light up your eyes!

Luminous Lanterns

Old-fashioned lantern posts are classic, but this holiday season wrap them in lush garland and glowing globes for an ethereal holiday look.

Tips for Christmas Lights: To save power and keep your lights burning longer, try using LED Christmas lights.

Earthy Entrance

Build tall floral arrangements by tightly wrapping white and red lights around pillars along your entryway. Top the pillars with twig and evergreen wreaths. Then add green mesh material and red curly twigs found at crafts stores for a fun, earthy entrance.

Dreamy Door

Dress up a boring doorway with a red and green color scheme. A door outlined with garland, glowing lights, and red bows complements the hanging wreath. A grouping of poinsettia plants adds the perfect punch of holiday cheer.

Glowing Garland

Embellish a porch or balcony with loops of garland intertwined with glowing Christmas lights. Big red bows are a welcome sight to any holiday visitor.

Hanging Icicles

These icicle Christmas lights, made with window screen and plastic wrap adorned with white lights and baubles, are as perfectly imperfect as the real thing.

White Christmas Lighting Display

If wrapping endless strings of lights around tree branches leaves you tangled up in knots, try something simpler. Wire trees that come with prestrung lights are ready to be "planted" indoors or out. They're available in several heights and colors, so you can vary the look from natural to whimsical. Hardware stores often carry the widest selection.

Star-Bright Lights

A loose stringing of lights on a sparse tree gives the look of stars twinkling in the night sky. A spotlight on an elegant wreath will light the way for weary travelers.

A Warm, Lit Welcome

Clustered on a pine table, a mix of new and antique lanterns greets holiday guests. Be sure to include a range of styles and sizes. Elevate some lanterns on pedestals to vary heights. As a final touch, sprinkle in natural elements, such as moss-covered twigs and evergreen sprigs. Be sure to never leave an open flame unattended.

White Magic

Give new dimension and beauty to an exterior building, such as a garden shed or detached garage, by illuminating it with winter white lights. Line the walkway with votives, too, such as these large metal votives specifically designed for outdoor use.

Let It Glow

Turn paper bags into dramatic luminarias by cutting out your own designs with a crafts knife, hole punches, and scissors.

Oh, Christmas Tree

Reminiscent of a circle of carolers, candle-filled buckets ring an evergreen tree for a luminous display. Fill the buckets with snow (or sand) and insert cylinder-shape glass globes to keep the wind from blowing out the candles. A variety of bucket, candle, and globe sizes gives the grouping a quirky quality. If you don't have enough buckets of the same color, spray-paint them.

Cherub's Bouquet

Make the most of a garden statuary when planning your outdoor decor. This garden angel's gleaming bouquet creates a dramatic interplay of light and shadow on the sculpted stone.

Winter Topiary

Make a topiary of light and air by wrapping tiny white bulbs around a wire form. Perch the lit orb in a garden urn.

Window Wattage

Windows outlined in white lights stand out in the darkness, illuminating a home full of welcome and cheer.

Lantern Pendants

Hang multiple lanternlike, outdoor lights from a sturdy tree branch to create a welcoming glow on a cold winter's night.

Window Box Chic

Fill a window box with greenery studded with lights to glitter in the icy air all season long. For a nontraditional spin on the look, incorporate color by adding blue or pink Christmas lights.

Swags of Light

When creating an outdoor light display, work with the layout of your home, fence, or gate. Light swags work perfectly on the fence shown here, accented by a slender twig tree that sits in front of the tall brick pillar.

Arbor of Light

Here's a great look for those living in warmer climates. Icicle lights have been draped over a vine-covered arbor, creating an archway of holiday magic.


This mound of shimmering spheres looks like snowballs just waiting to be thrown. Arranged in an urn beside the front door, the spheres are plugged into a power strip hidden inside, then stacked and accented with boxwood greenery. A single strand of fishing line wrapped around the spheres keeps the stack secure.

Wrapped in Light

Coils of white lights loop over the rails of a garland-draped fence. Choose strings with large frosted bulbs for a nostalgic feel. While making the coils (use one string of lights per coil), twist the cord and adjust the loop lengths so the bulbs face outward, spaced unevenly. Secure the coils with plastic cable ties. Simply toss them over fence posts where the garland swoops upward. This effect can also work on a porch rail or stair banister.

For the Birds

To illuminate hard-to-reach places, stuff strings of battery-operated mini lights into the glass cylinder of a galvanized bird feeder. No need to worry about extension cords, though you will need to replace the batteries fairly often.

Hanging Lanterns

Hung from the roofline of a shed or garage, lanterns herald the holiday season. Hooks for hanging baskets keep the lanterns a safe distance from the structure.

More Outdoor Decorating Ideas

From jolly musical Christmas lights to pretty Christmas bubble lights, check out more outdoor decorating ideas for the holiday season!


Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.