Christmas Lights Buying Guide

Whether you want to brighten up your indoors or create a warm welcome outdoors, one of the simplest and yet most compelling ways to give your home that festive makeover is to invest in the best and most beautiful Christmas lights.

At Homebase, we’ve a fantastic selection of decorative designs to suit all tastes – from soft, subtle and stylish to bold, colourful and fun!

Safety first

However, before buying any Christmas lights, it’s best to consider where you want to use them and check if they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. Whilst all of our lights are suitable for both interior and exterior settings, check the packaging to avoid using them incorrectly and running the risk of blowing a fuse!

We also recommend hanging lights out of reach from pets and small children to keep them safe.

Christmas Lights Guide

Pick the Perfect Place

Whether dangling from your gutters, decorating your front door or adorning a tree, there are so many more ways to personalise your lighting displays and showcase your creativity. Here’s a few fun ideas to get you started…

  • Double the glow and glamour by wrapping lights around reflective surfaces such as mirrors and windows.
  • Create a dazzling decoration by curling twinkling fairly lights in a vase, bowl or lantern.
  • Celebrate in style by laying lights down the centre of your Christmas table and/or suspended above it.
  • Dress your stairs, mantlepiece and door frames by simply draping sparkling lights around them or weaved through a decorative garland.
  • Make your outdoor festive displays appear even more splendid by lighting up shrubs, trees and fencing, that offer notable variations in height and distance, to make your garden look bigger.

Power Source

Making sure your Christmas lights are safely protected should always be a priority, whether for indoors or outdoors – so it’s best to keep the socket indoors running the wire through a window or door corner or alternatively use a covered outdoor socket.

Of course, lights aren’t going to work without a power source and it usually comes down to two main choices…


If your garden has an outdoor socket already, then you’re perfectly fine to buy plug-in lights than run off the mains. Sometimes the plug just doesn’t stretch which is where an extension cable comes in handy. Just make sure any outdoor socket is protected from wet weather with a cover or case.

Top Tip: We recommend adding a Residual Current Device (RCD) adaptor to your outdoor sockets. If you get a power surge, it will cut off your electricity supply and help avoid any nasty accidents.



No plug handy? Don’t worry – there’s an enormous range of lights that are battery powered. This means you can put them virtually anywhere without worrying about trailing cables or power surges. Be sure to stock up on replacement batteries though, or rechargeable ones if you want to save some money.

Timer: For a simple way to turn your lights off when you’re not home or not outside, a timer switch is extremely useful. Some lights come with them already, but if not – adding one can be a good way to save time and money.

Number of Lights

Deciding how many Christmas lights you need can easily be a bit overwhelming. Whilst the shape of the tree can influence this number (a full profile tree requires more lights than a narrow tree of the same height), personal preference on light intensity plays a big role in how many lights are needed to get the look you want. As a general rule, for a full coverage we recommend using 100 lights for every foot in height of your tree.

Other Lighting Features

Bulb Type

Brighter, safer and more cost-efficient than old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, almost every modern Christmas light now uses LEDs both indoors and outdoors – especially as they now last longer without heating up, saving you money on replacement bulbs and electricity. What’s more, advances in technology and demand means you’ve got more shapes, colours and designs to choose from than ever before!

Colour Options

For a timeless classic colour that’s equally at home indoors and outdoors, white LED lights are the popular choice. Choose from ‘Warm White’ which gives off a golden glow or ‘Bright White’ that offers a cooler, sparkling effect. Alternatively for ultimate festive fun, why not select multicoloured LED lights for bolder and colourful displays – especially good for decorating outdoors.


One of our most popular choices, multi-function lights let you change colour or lighting effects at the push of a button. From static to twinkling, patterned or flashing, many of our lighting products offer this ‘multi-function’ feature across our extensive range of line lights, silhouettes and premium pre-lit trees.

Bulb Spacing

The closer the bulb spacing, the greater the light intensity. For that ultimate luxury lighting effect choose Compact String Lights or alternatively stunning Cluster Lights, available in cable and wire in a variety of colours and lengths.

Cable Length

Whilst the overall cable length combines the cable length from power source to first bulb and number of bulbs and spacing between, we think it’s important to consider the ‘lit-length’ when choosing your perfect lights. Look out for this information online or on pack, as we have string lights to light up the smallest to the very biggest of areas.

Lighting Types

String LED Lights

Our LED string lights are still the most popular choice for classically decorating the tree or wrapping around edges and objects in the home or garden for that extra glow. Whether you prefer them with or without decorative shades, we have a wide selection of sizes and shapes both mains and battery operated.

View string LED lights

Compact LED Lights

All the lights but less of the cable, our compact string lights are the easy way to create a professional finish in no time. With closer bulb spacing, they offer an abundance of light, making them an excellent choice both indoors and outdoors.

View compact LED lights


Cluster LED Lights

With multiple strands of lights leading off from a central cable, our garland-style cluster lights are perfect for creating a stunning cascade effect, whether dangling from your mantelpiece indoors or decorating a tree tinsel-style. Some are battery-powered too, meaning you can add a self-contained sparkle factor wherever you want.

View cluster LED lights


Micro LED Wire Lights

Contemporary and versatile, these lights come on a wire and hold their shape beautifully, whether curling around a tree, wreath, garland or simply put in a vase or lantern to give added sparkle. We offer a wide range from simple lines to gorgeous garlands, in a multitude of lengths, colour options and bulb sizes both regular and large.

View micro LED wire lights


Novelty Lights

From stars to snowflakes and lanterns to sparkling balls, create a magical light display that’s fun for the whole family. With a huge selection of shapes, sizes and colours, take your pick and give your decorating that finishing touch.

View novelty lights


Icicle LED Lights

Dress to impress the outside of your house with a wonderfully authentic winter scene, our stylish icicle lights are the way to do it. Typically hung from roof edges, guttering or draped from a tree branch, these attractive vertical light drops of varying lengths off a straight-line cable are fantastic to create a stunning snowy theme.

View icicle LED lights


Net LED lights

Forget the hassle of wrapping lights around your shrubs, trees or potted plants, giving your outdoors a festive makeover is now easier than ever with our handy net lights. With lights dotted around a wire mesh, they can easily be thrown over your garden greenery for a neat festive look or added to fencing to illuminate borders.

View net LED lights


Rope LED lights

Flexible and long lasting and available in standard flex or slimline tube light, rope lights are long strips of LED lights encased in protective plastic. Ideal for wrapping round trees, staircases, window frames or simply creating a welcoming path to your front door, the decorative uses are endless both inside and outside.

View rope LED lights



Whether indoors or outdoors, projector lights can create a magical festive pattern whatever wall you pick. Easy to set up, all you need do is plug in and point, with a choice of seasonal shapes, snowy effects or colourful lights displays, they will complete any Christmas scene and with bright LED bulbs, they give a crisp picture, every time.

View projectors


Silhouettes – 2D, 3D, Pathlights

The best outdoor Christmas lights are all about creating that festive feel and our silhouette lights are a great way to make that happen. From their magical glow to multi-function lighting effects, transform your garden into a Winter Wonderland from our stunning selection that includes, gorgeous woodland animals, glittering trees and sparkling stars and snowflakes.

View silhouettes – 2D, 3D, pathlights


Lighting Accessories

Once you’ve picked your perfect Christmas lights, we’ve got a few accessories for the best finishing touch – so you can focus on enjoying your festive display instead.

Hooks & clips

Keeping your lighting neat and tidy can be tricky, so our selection of hooks and clips can keep them under control both indoors and outdoors. From suction to self-adhesive hooks, gutter clips and net light fixings, we’ve got everything you need.

Socket adaptors

Christmas light plug too big for your plug socket? Large transformer plugs can be an unexpected hassle, so make sure you pick up an adapter to make it a breeze year after year.

Lighting storage

Once your lights come down after Christmas, you’ve got to keep them somewhere. Make sure they stay untangled in the attic and cupboard until next year with our handy storage sets.


We hope this guide has helped you to choose your Christmas lights. If you need more festive inspiration or advice – check out our dedicated Christmas Ideas & Advice hub today.



Writer and expert