One of the best things about Christmas is lighting up your house. It creates a warm, glowing welcome when you arrive home. And festive light displays always put people in a good mood!
Christmas lights can be confusing because there are so many types to choose from. For help in understanding what to consider when choosing your holiday lights, and for a look at our five great lights we recommend in this article, keep reading below!
1. LED Lights
Until recently, the majority of Christmas lights were incandescent. However, manufacturers of everyday lights and Christmas lights alike have been replacing incandescent bulbs with newer technology. This has led to the rise of LED light bulbs.
LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode.” The bulb is the same shape and size as a standard mini bulb, but the surface is heavily faceted, giving it a crystal-like appearance.
Another notable LED light is the wide-angle bulb. This bulb is the same width as a standard T mini bulb, but instead of a tube, it is shaped as a single flat cylinder, short and convex. Compared to other LED bulbs, the wide-angle lights stand out in brightness, due to light projecting straight out of the bulb.
LED bulbs require less wattage to run so that you will use less electricity to power the same number of lights over standard string lights. This can save you up to 80% on your electric bill this season when compared to regular Christmas lights. This is a benefit for those who like to create a large display.
2. String Lights
String lights and fairy lights are one the most popular types of Christmas lights. They can be used in all sorts of ways.
Hang them from your eaves, window frames and conservatory roof. Trail them along fences and paths or wrap them around tree trunks and other structures. You can also use short battery-powered versions to decorate wreaths and pile into jars and storm lanterns to decorate steps.
String lights are also available as rope lights, which have the bulbs encased in a flexible plastic tube. Or try icicle lights, which mimic frozen icicles hanging from your house. Look for versions where the light moves down the icicle so it looks like dripping water.
You can also use net lights, which are string lights in a square grid. They are ideal for draping over bushes and shrubs to make the most of your garden structures without trying to get string lights to stay in place.
3. Icicle Lights
Icicle lights consist of a series of light strings connected to a center cord. Usually only a few inches apart, the strings - or drops - hang down anywhere from 5 - 30 inches each. The drops are usually of staggered length to prevent the lights as a whole from looking too uniform. When hung along an edge, the lights drape down over the side like a series of lit icicles, hence their name.
4. Rope Lights
Rope lights are a special type of light used to make shaped decorations. Basically, they are a set of lights - usually mini or LED - wrapped in a flexible plastic sheath. The tube is rigid enough to hold its shape when bent somewhat, and can be used to create figures and shapes, even letters or words. Rope lights are often used to outline objects, or to imitate neon lighting.
Additionally, we also have a number of tape light options available. With lights on the front and tape on the back, tape lights are a great choice to outline windows, cabinets and more.
5. Mesh Lights
Mesh lights are made to cover wide areas, and are good for evenly distributing lights on unusual shapes as well. Arranged in a grid-like pattern, the rows of lights are attached by a web of wires going horizontally and vertically. While this leaves a relatively small size (most nets are around two feet by eight feet, or four by six), they consist of a large number of lights.
A couple of mesh lights that we have available are net lights and trunk lights. Net lights are most commonly used to cover bushes and shrubs. As they are a flexible set, they can be draped or wrapped around an object. Trunk lights are designed to wrap around a tree trunk in your yard.
Wrapping strings of conventional mini lights in the same situation can lead to an untidy, uneven appearance, but net lights are very uniform so they will give equal, clear coverage.
Before You Buy
Remember to check the product carefully before buying to ensure you know exactly what you’re buying and where you’re going to use it.
It’s important to note whether the product is recommended for use indoors or outdoors. Many of our lights are safe to use in both environments, however some lights may be limited to indoors only if they are made of delicate materials that could be damaged by the weather. Always keep lights out of reach from small children and pets.