When you think of Christmas, your mind may automatically conjure up images of mince pies, bauble-filled trees, turkey roasts and no doubt, twinkly outdoor lights.
The festive season marks the perfect opportunity to transform the shorter days and longer nights into a seasonal wonderland with rows upon rows of fairy lights that will give your home the ultimate Christmas makeover.
For some Christmas collectors, the bigger and more extravagant, the better. So go all out this year and invest in lights to cover your entire home as well as giant winter-themed figurines like reindeers, mini Santas or penguins that will ignite the seasonal cheer and amp up your celebrations. Or keep it simple with the addition of warm fairy lights or a battery operated wreath and garland.
We have gathered products that will stand the test of time - no matter what the British weather has in store - and are easy to put up to take the stress out of the decorating process.
There are plenty of things to consider before you purchase a new set, from where you plan to use them to the power source you need and the style you want. We’ve broken down the key questions you’ll need to answer before you part with your money.
This may seem like an obvious one, but bear with us. Are they going on your roof? You’ll be wanting string lights if so. Or are they going on a tree? It might be more sensible to opt for a netted version. Planning ahead will help you avoid the inconvenience of trying to repackage the wrong set of lights whilst simultaneously trying not to fall ten feet to the ground.
Warm glowing lights tend to be on the cheaper side but often cost more money to run. LED lights often have a bluer undertone, so look colder, but are brighter and more energy efficient. Think carefully about where you’re willing to make concessions before making your purchase.
If you’re after plug in lights, you’ll need to consider where you’ll be getting your power source from and if you’ll be needing an extension chord. Battery operated lights often work on a self timer, making them more cost effective as well as convenient to power on.
Getting familiar with the language used to describe lights will ensure you don’t accidentally purchase the wrong ones. Here’s our breakdown:
String lights: Traditional fairy lights, strung together by connecting wires – perfect for wrapping around trees or attaching to a roof.
Rope lights: Lights are encased completely within a plastic tubing, making them a great option for areas that are likely to see rain. They also look great when framing a door or window.
Net lights: Net lights do exactly what they say on the tin – the fairly lights are connected by a net making them ideal for throwing over a Christmas tree or covering a panel of roof. The best thing about these is that they’re quick and easy to put up and often look the neatest too.
Icicle lights: Designed to look like a string of icicles, these lights hang from an overlaying chord of wire and look best when placed over a window or door.
Projector lights: Projects different holiday themes like snowflakes and Christmas trees onto any surface
Here’s our pick of the best outdoor light sets to buy for this year’s festivities to turn your home into a Christmassy wonderland.
A classy Christmas pairing, this pre-lit garland and berry wreath set will make an elegant addition to any home. Using six x AA batteries (sold separately) you can set a timer for six hours of gorgeous nighttime illumination.
Suitable for outdoor and indoor decoration, this 10 metre multicoloured Festoon globe light strand comes complete with a remote control where you can select eight different types of flashing modes.
Using three AA batteries, this set is also waterproof and offers a one year replacement and refund warranty — so if something should go awry within those 12 months, you'll be okay for next Christmas.
This small five meter box of warm LED battery operated lights is perfect for city flats and those looking to decorate with a sprinkling of Christmas rather than a smothering.
Give your windows the Christmas treatment with magical icicle embellishments. These LEDs can be used both inside and outside with eight function like a chasing effect to bring sparkle and festive feels. There are 400 LEDs on an eight metre wire. They come in white, warm white, blue and this mix of blue and white.
Add shimmer and sparkle to your home with this epic 960 LEDs set of fairy lights that will serve to illuminate the entire space. There are eight speed settings for the full Christmas touch. It is 23.8 metres in length and can be use both indoors and outdoors.
Hang the icicle lights at the front of your house or from one tree to another for a cascading water effect. There is five metres of cable and the lights can be used inside and outside.
Add an interesting touch to the outside of your home with these fairy lights that designed to resemble snowflakes but with a colourful twist. The statement pieces can be placed both inside and outside to decorate your home or trees.
Wrap these versatile lights around any trees, fences or across your home to transform it into a winter wonderland. The lights come in multi-coloured, white, blue, yellow or a mix of white and blue and in various lengths to suit your needs.
No matter the size of your garden, these cable lights will bring a homely feel that we think would work all year round. They are available in yellow, white, red, multi-coloured or a mix of blue and white and from 10 to 50 metres.
Decorate the trimmings of your building, along fences or on the roof with these handy fairy lights with a beautiful icicle design. The lights are composed of 220 LEDs set along an extra-long 10m cable. There are eight functions, including combination and waves among others for a stunning effect.
The product is mains operated,but they use an extra safe low voltage so there is no risk of an electric shock. They also come with a 12 month warranty.
Bringing all the festive charm that you can ask for, these fairy lights composed of green and red lights to resemble a holly berry. While this results in a vibrant colour display, it is not just aesthetics that has made this a popular option.
These adorable snowflake fairy lights have steady and twinkle settings to creative a truly jolly effect. The battery operated lights have an on/off switch as well as the option for a 6 hour timer where the lights automatically switch off and then 18 hours later come back on at the same time as the previous day.
Decorate your house and garden with these electric blue fairy lights that feature 100 LEDs on the row. Wrap around tree trunks outside or around a bannister indoors for the full Christmassy effect. The lights are 10m long but if you need for a larger surface, you can connect multiple together by just screwing them at the end of each set
This adorable penguin will make a cute accompaniment to your winter wonderland. The piece is durable, designed to stand the test of time and is energy efficient with long-lasting LEDs.
These reindeer lights will give Santa’s Grotto a run for its money and give your home the full Christmas look.
Your festive decorations are not complete without the addition of this light-up tree that has LED lights built in. There are eight functions and the piece can be placed either outside or inside.
Measuring 72cm in height, this snowflake will make a statement addition to your outdoor light display so all you need is a snowy Christmas.
This trio of lights will have you feeling all warm and festive inside bringing a glow to your garden. Place along the entrance of your home to bring the wow-factor. Each of the stars are individually mains operated on an eight metre cable.
Make your home feel like the North Pole with the addition of this adorable skiing polar bear light up display. The piece is mains operated and can be placed inside and outside.
Let the whole neighbourhood know how to find you with these colourful outdoor Candy Cane lights. Don't have a path to place them on? Plunk them down in a few indoor house plants for the Christmas party season.
Perfect for space-saving city dwellers who want a sprinkling of Christmas rather than a slathering of it. These sweet baby finch lights can be used both outdoors and indoors and look adorably Christmassy arranged alongside other Christmas themes or set out alone across a window seal or mantle. These lights are freestanding (plug included) and are water and weather resistant.
This display piece will make a bold centrepiece for your light display. An eye-catching statue, it composed of a sleigh and reindeer that will sit sparkling in front of your house. The statuesque is 50cm high with 150 bright LED lights on a study metal frame.
Set the Christmas ambiance with a festive star display to fully capture the seasonal magic. The projector can be used outside and has a five metre cable length. There is also a one year guarantee.
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Project Santa and his friends onto your home or garage and bring the magic of the North Pole to your neighbourhood.
Prepare for your Christmas lighting game to be stepped up a notch with this multifunctional projector. The device features 17 slides including designs for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and birthdays. There is a double headlight which are independently controlled, giving you the option to have the designs set to a wave effect. Just set the projector at around 3-5m away for the best quality and affix to the ground or hand on a wall using the base and stake provided. The projector is powered by a remote as well as being rain and snow-proof.
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