Christmas Lights

Brighten your holidays with energy-efficient Christmas lights

Christmas Lights - Christmas Lights

Nothing brings out the magic of the holidays like a dazzling display of Christmas lights. Whether you are trying to create a winter wonderland in your yard or you simply want to jazz up the interior of your home, the right lighting is essential for a festive home. This guide will walk you through the large selection of types, styles and colors available.

Types & Styles

All Christmas lights are classified for use in either outdoor or indoor areas, but the majority of lights at The Home Depot are both indoor and outdoor compatible. Outdoor-rated lights are optimized to stand up to harsh environmental elements while maintaining safe electrical connections.

Safety: Only use outdoor-rated lights outside.

  • Incandescent lights remain the traditional choice for Christmas lights. They can only display one color per bulb and will get hot to the touch, but they are the most inexpensive choice.
  • LED lights offer energy savings of up to 80%, a lifespan up to 20 times longer than incandescent lights, while staying cool to the touch. They do require a higher upfront investment, but they will last longer than incandescents.
  • Solar lights turn on automatically at dusk and charge during the day, even in cloudy conditions. These LED lights are available in icicle style-white, mini-white, mini-colored and icicle style-colored varieties and can be set as steady on or flashing.


The Home Depot offers several collections of Christmas lights:

  • Home Accents Holiday is an LED light set that allows up to forty-five light sets to connect together on one single outlet. They are available with many different bulb caps and shapes and replacement bulbs are sold online at homedepot.com.
  • Martha Stewart Living light sets feature continuous on-bulb technology where if one bulb burns out, becomes loose or breaks, the rest of the string stays lit. They are also flicker-free bulbs and come with a variety of specialty decorative caps. Warm white and softer color bulbs were specifically selected as they perform better than other types of indoor LED lights that can be too bright or harsh inside.
  • EcoSmart light sets contain the same features as the Martha Stewart Living sets mentioned above, but additionally offer super bright warm white and multicolored LED bulbs, exclusive replaceable water resistant bulbs and commercial grade LED bulbs. Sealed husks block moisture from getting inside the bulb, virtually eliminating rust or damage to the wires and increasing the longevity of the strand

Installation Tips & Storage

Start planning your Christmas lights display by thinking about your overall decorating objectives. Measure the areas where you want to hang your lights to ensure you have enough strands for proper coverage, then consider your budget and time constrains.

Installation Tips

To simplify setup and installation, break down indoor lighting projects according to each room. Outdoor lighting will need to be considered as a whole, but larger-scale projects can be separated into different zones based on the location of electrical outlets.

  • Remember where the outlets are when planning the number of strands of lights you will need for each zone. If one is unavailable, consider solar lights or battery packs
  • Additional items such as light-up or inflatable outdoor decorations should also be incorporated into your plan.
  • If you do not have GFCI outlets installed, consider adding them for extra safety.
  • Consider a light timer that will automatically turn your decorations on and off to conserve on your electrical bill and reduce electrical hazards.


Storage  

  • After the holidays, store away all of your seasonal decorations in a dry place, such as an interior closet.
  • Allow light sets that have been outdoors in wet weather or accumulated moisture time to dry out before placing them in storage.
  • Avoid storing lights and decorations in attics or basements where the amount of moisture fluctuates during the year.
  • Various types of reels and spools are designed exclusively for proper storage of holiday lights. Simply wrap your lights around these devices as indicated and place them in an appropriate storage bin, box or storage bag.
  • If you don’t have a reel or spool, try wrapping your light strings around a sturdy cardboard sheet or wrapping paper tube. Be careful not to wrap too tightly as this can put strain on the wires.
  • Inspect cords and wires for cuts, nicks and other damage as you wind your lights.

Safety

Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords. Typically, incandescent lights have a limit of 500 lights per strand, which means you can connect 10 sets of 50 lights or 5 sets of 100 lights.

When stringing multiple strands together, consult the manufacturer’s instructions and do not exceed the recommended number of connections. Never connect different strands of lights together on the same circuit or outlet, such as a C7 or C9 incandescent strand with a mini-light strand and never connect incandescent lights with LED lights.

In outdoor environments, wrap a piece of electrical tape around the connected plugs to provide further protection from the elements. For simple, convenient attachments to a roof, wall or other surface, look for plastic and plastic-coated fasteners, hooks and clips designed exclusively to hold holiday lighting.

  • Make sure you test your lights to make sure they are working and inspect all cords and wires prior to installation. Immediately dispose of any lights or cords that show signs of damage or wear.
  • Always unplug the lights when you leave the house or go to sleep. Automatic light timers can be used to turn your lights on and off at specific times of day.
  • Do not run electrical cords along high-traffic areas or place underneath a rug.
  • Always work with a partner when using a ladder to help prevent accidents, and never place ladders on snow, ice or slick surfaces.