Guide to buying Christmas lights

Nothing says Christmas like trees and streets adorned with beautiful shining lights. Whether you want to decorate your tree, bannister or mantelpiece, or festoon your entire house inside and out with Christmas cheer, here's our guide to buying Christmas lights. Make this Christmas one to remember with Christmas lights, decorations and a Christmas tree, which bring the spirit of Christmas magic to your home.

What's the difference between the types of Christmas lights?

There are a few different types of Christmas light: Incandescent commonly known as Fairy lights, LED, Battery Operated and Solar. All will bring Christmas cheer, but vary in brightness, cost and style. The first thing to look for when purchasing Christmas lights is if the lights are for indoor or outdoor use. Bulbs that are marked "outdoor only" should not be used indoors, as they may burn quite hot, which could result in a fire. Bulbs that are marked "indoor only" are generally not durable or strong enough to survive the conditions outdoors, especially if they are being used in a location that has a harsh climate.

Buyers are advised to check the product carefully before buying to ensure that they are getting the lights that are right for the use that they have in mind. Read our advice below to find the right lights for your home, and then browse our Christmas lights online.

Incandescent Christmas lights

Incandescent lights are most commonly known as Fairy Lights or Micro Lights. They work by burning a filament, like a Tungsten light bulb. The bulbs are glass and because they are low voltage powered then they are predominantly used indoors to decorate the home, around the tree and windows. They are very traditional and the bulbs tend to be smaller and more closely spaced together thus providing a lovely warm glow. These types of lights are long established, being popular for much of the 20th century, and are often seen as more "Christmassy" than other types of Christmas lights. They come in a variety of lengths and colours.

LED Christmas lights

LED Christmas lights use light emitting diodes to produce light in a very efficient manner. These lights are a relatively new addition to the types of Christmas lights available, and have gained a lot of popularity through the beginning of the 21st century.

LED lights are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. The light they emit is generally very vibrant and they come in a myriad of different colours and bulb designs so they are perfect for all your Christmas decorating needs. They are incredibly durable and are ideal for both indoors and outdoors. An additional benefit is that they are energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than some other lights, so they are good for the environment.

Battery operated Christmas lights

Battery operated lights are another popular option at Christmas time, particularly if you are looking to hang lights outside, far away from a plug socket, or you want a standalone Christmas display. Our 'Look No Plug' range of battery operated lights are the perfect solution. They are fully weatherproof so they can be used indoors and outdoors and the patented technology means they will run for 60 days on 1 set of batteries. So you can turn them on at Bonfire Night and they will shine until New Years day without needing replacement batteries!

How many lights do I need for my Christmas tree?

While lighting is down to personal preference, there is a rule of thumb that you can use. However, if you don't like the effect you get when you follow the rules - break them! It's your Christmas tree and it's meant to make you happy.

  • For medium lighting, use around 100 lights per vertical foot of the tree
  • For heavy lighting, use 200 lights per vertical foot

Indoor and outdoor Christmas lights

At Christmas time you can light up your entire home, or select just a couple of rooms for decorations. Just be careful not to overload your plug points, and make sure all indoor lights are unplugged if you are leaving the house. It's also wise to keep string lights away from small children and pets.

Indoor lights give a festive feel to any house, while outdoor lights ensure night time has a touch of Christmas magic. Why not check out our range of Christmas lights and choose some decorations to get your festive season off to the brightest start?

Indoor light display

Make your house look like it's in a fairy tale by adding strings of lights around bannisters, mantelpieces, windows and mirrors. Adding sparkle to your surroundings, and bringing the Christmas spirit into your home, you can choose all sorts of colours and patterns to complement your furnishings and delight your family. If lights are marked 'outdoor only' please pay attention. These lights will burn brightly for a long time and can be a fire risk if used inside.

Outdoor light display

We've got outdoor lights for different spaces, from the garden to the street. You can put them on paths and around porches, or create shapes on your walls and across the roof. If you are buying outdoor lights, invest in a timer. This way, your lights will go on when it's dark - and off when it's not - and you'll save money on your energy bills. You'll also need extension leads that can be used outdoors. Indoor lights should not be used outside as they are not designed to be strong or durable enough to withstand bad weather conditions.

Whether you are having a Christmas party or you simply want your home to look amazing for the kids this year, take a look at our Christmas lights.