How to Choose the Best Outdoor Christmas Lights

an image of a variety of outdoor Christmas lights including inflatable lights, projector lights and string lights

One of the simplest and most satisfying ways to give your home a festive makeover is by investing in the best outdoor Christmas lights. From drives to gardens, we’ve got a huge selection of versatile styles and designs on offer, and we’re here to help you find the perfect Yuletide pick for your outdoor space with our handy guide.


Safety first

an image of the front of a house with gold icicle lights, a Christmas wreath and silhouette Christmas lights

Before buying any outdoor Christmas lights, it’s best to check carefully whether they’re designed for indoor or outdoor use. While plenty of lights are suitable for both, using indoor lights outside can lead to damage and running the risk of blowing a fuse.

And it’s not just the electrics either, we recommend keeping pets and small children well away from outdoor lights for their safety, often by hanging them out of arm’s reach.



Find the Perfect Place

First and foremost, where you’re planning on hanging your lights will decide what type you should get.

String lights 

an image of multicoloured outdoor string Christmas lights

Best suited for brightening up your roof or running along your fence for a magical glow, string lights are quick and easy to put up – since they’re usually all strung together in one long line.

Projector lights

an image of white outdoor projector christmas lights

With a wide range of shapes, colours and styles to choose from, projector Christmas lights are the perfect choice for decorating your house without the hassle – shining holiday shapes onto any surface. All you need to do is plug in, aim and enjoy.

Novelty lights

an image of multicoloured novelty lights in a garden

If you’re looking for festive shapes that aren’t projected, look no further. Novelty lights are either string or bulb light silhouettes pre-woven into Christmassy shapes, like reindeer, snowmen and Santa, or coloured inflatables with a light inside.


Netted lights

an image of silver netted lights

If you’ve got trees and shrubs outdoors, save yourself the hassle of wrapping lights around the branches and go for netted lights. They do exactly what they say on the tin, dotted around a wire mesh that you can easily throw over your garden greenery for a tidy festive look.

Power supply 

an image of a variety of outdoor christmas lights including inflatable lights and gold icicle lights outside the front of a house

Of course, outdoor lights aren’t going to work without a power source – no matter how pretty they are – 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. That way, you can simply switch on your lights whenever you want to enjoy them. Just make sure your outdoor socket is protected from wet weather with a cover or case.

Top tip: Want to be on the safe side? We recommend adding a Residual Current Device (RCD) adaptor to your outdoor sockets too. If you get a power surge, it will cut off your electricity supply and help avoid any nasty accidents.


For those of us without outdoor sockets, 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.


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.


Bulb type 

an image of coloured outdoor Christmas lights

Although you can still find warm glowing Christmas lights out there that use old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, most modern lights use LEDs. Brighter and cheaper than other types, our LEDs don’t heat up – making them safer and longer lasting than similar bulbs too.

If you’re looking for the best LED Christmas lights, you can choose from several types:

Compact LED

Bringing hundreds of lights together, our warm white, bright white and multi-coloured compact lights are perfect for creating a shimmering sense of Christmas style inside and out.

Multifunction LED

Ideal for trying out a different look every day of Christmas, multifunction LEDs have tons of settings on offer – with twinkle, flashing and static functions. Choose your favourite between warm white, bright white and multi-coloured.

Cluster LED

Also available in garlands and strings, these luxurious lights come in green, silver and gold to help you accentuate your home’s Christmassy feel. Choose from streamlined regular size bulbs or large bulbs for a real statement piece.

Line LED

A traditional shape, our battery-powered line LEDs come in three festive colours – bright white, warm white and multi-coloured. Whether strung through your trees or your bannisters, you can control when they light up with their in-built timer feature too.



an image of colourful outdoor christmas lights with Christmas silhouette lights and projector lights

Our outdoor Christmas lights are available in a huge range of stunning and eye-catching colours. Whether you prefer a real wintery look with white or pale blue lights, or a warming festive feel with golden or red shades, you’ll find it all right here.

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