Buying Guide

Best Christmas Lights for Your Home

Christmas Light Types
Styles of decorative light bulbs for the Christmas tree.

Christmas light bulb trends come and go, but what’s most important is you love the look. From mini lights shaped like tiny candles to larger “old fashioned” bulbs, stick with the bulbs that warm your heart because Christmas is timeless. C6 bulbs are considered the traditional Christmas light. C9 bulbs are a larger bulb of the same shape and are typically used outdoor. Many Christmas lights are both indoor and outdoor compatible.  


The best outdoor Christmas lights are built to stand up against harsh environmental elements while maintaining safe electrical connections. 

 

You’ll need to decide if you want to go with LED Christmas lights or the more traditional incandescent Christmas lights. Each has its own pros and cons.


Tip: Try different shapes and size bulbs to cast a variety light and to define areas of your Christmas light display. 

LED vs Incandescent Christmas Lights
LED - Christmas Lights
Incandescent - Christmas Lights
Description Lasts longer than traditional lights. Uses low energy. Stays cool to the touch. Typically made of plastic, durable. Very bright lights. Costs less up front. Known as traditional lights. Shows one color per bulb. Can heat up with extended use. Very bright lights.
Popular Christmas Light Colors
A string of Christmas lights for the Christmas tree.

White Christmas Lights:

  • Available in cool, warm and clear
  • Provides a frosted and twinkling look


Red Christmas Lights:

  • A classic and festive accent
  • Adds warmth to your display


Blue Christmas Lights

  • Creates an ice-like effect
  • Often used to celebrate Hanukkah


Multi-Color Christmas Lights: 

  • A bright and lively option
  • Complements any arrangement
Icicle Christmas Lights
Icicle lights for holiday decorations at your home.
  • Hang strands of icicle lights evenly about 12 inches apart. 
  • Available in white or multiple colors. 
  • Often used to line eaves and awnings. 
Net Christmas Lights
Net lights for holiday decorating at your home.
  • Net lights are easy to set up.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes.
  • Great for trees and bushes.
String Christmas Lights
String lights for holiday decorating at your home.
  • String lights generally cost less than other types.
  • Can be found in every bulb style.
  • Can connect multiple strands for larger decorating projects.
Solar Christmas Lights
Solar lights for holiday decorating at your home.
  • Solar lights turn off and on automatically.
  • Works in cloudy conditions.
  • Set as steady light or flashing.
Christmas Light Installation Tips
Installing Christmas lights for holiday decorating at your home.
  • Think about your overall look before you start working your Christmas lights display.
  • Break up your outdoor Christmas light decoration into different zones based on where your electrical outlets are located. Organize indoor lighting projects according to each room.  
  • Map the location of your outlets as you plan the number of strands of lights you will need for each zone. If an outlet is unavailable in a specific area, consider using solar lights or battery packs. 
  • Measure the areas where you want to hang lights to ensure you have enough strands for proper coverage, then consider your budget and time constraints.  
  • To line the eaves of the average home, start with 60 feet of string or icicle lights; add an additional 10 to 12 feet per awning.  
  • Add light-up or inflatable outdoor decorations to your plan. 
  • If you do not have GFCI outlets installed, consider adding them for extra safety.  
  • Consider using a light timer to automatically turn your decorations on and off. This will reduce electrical hazards and conserve on your electrical bill.  
  • Use plastic and plastic-coated fasteners to secure lights to the roof. Try hooks and clips made specifically to secure Christmas decorations. 
  • Use 100 mini lights or 50 traditional C7 lights per vertical foot on thick trees. Use half that amount for thinner trees. For example, for a full 9-foot tree you’ll need 450 C7 lights, and for a thin 6-foot tree, 300 mini lights. 
Christmas Light Safety
Power strip for holiday lighting at your home.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords. When stringing multiple strands together, consult the manufacturer’s instructions and do not exceed the recommended number of connections. 
  • Never connect incandescent lights with LED lights. 
  • 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. 
  • Use only outdoor-rated lights in exterior light displays. Wrap a piece of electrical tape around connected plugs to provide further protection from the elements. 
  • Always test your lights before installation to make sure they are working. Inspect all cords and wires and 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. 
  • Always work with a partner when using a ladder to help prevent accidents, and never place ladders on snow, ice, throw rugs or slick surfaces. 
  • Do not run electrical cords along high-traffic areas or place underneath a rug.
Christmas Light Storage
Storage for Christmas lights at your home.
  • Make sure outdoor lights are dry before placing them in storage.  


  • Wrap lights using a light reel or spool designed for proper storage. Place them in an appropriate storage bin, box or storage bag.  


  • You can use a sturdy cardboard sheet or tube for wrapping lights. Do not wrap too tightly before storing as this can strain the wires and contribute to fraying.  


  • Inspect cords and wires for cuts, nicks and other damage as you wind your lights and discard any damaged light strands.  


  • Store seasonal decorations in a dry place, such as an interior closet. Avoid storing lights and decorations in spaces where the moisture changes during the year, e.g. the attic, the basement or outdoor storage shed. 

Light up your holidays this year. Give your home the best outdoor Christmas lights and cheer for the whole neighborhood. Every room in your house deserves a boost of bright Christmas light color this year. We can help. Find the perfect lights with The Home Depot Mobile App. We’ll deliver online orders when and where you need them.