5 Best Outdoor Christmas Lights for 2021: Reviews & Buyers Guide - Backyard Boss
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5 Best Outdoor Christmas Lights for 2021: Reviews & Buyers Guide

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to start being jolly than investing in Christmas decorations for both the interior and exterior part of the house? If you’re lucky enough to live in a house (and by “lucky” we mean that having a yard is awesome), then you’re surely tempted in decorating the exterior of the house for the winter holidays, which is why our focus of the day is outdoor Christmas lights: how to choose them and where to buy them.

Adecorty Lights - 5 Best Outdoor Christmas Lights for 2021: Reviews & Buyers GuideAdecorty Lights
  • Bulbs: LED
  • No. of lights: 144
  • Length: approximately 126 inches
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1byone Christmas Outdoor Laser Light Projector - 5 Best Outdoor Christmas Lights for 2021: Reviews & Buyers Guide1byone Christmas Outdoor Laser Light Projector
  • Bulbs: LED
  • No. of lights: 2
  • Length: N/A
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Minetom Lights - 5 Best Outdoor Christmas Lights for 2021: Reviews & Buyers GuideMinetom Lights
  • Bulbs: LED
  • No. of lights: 100
  • Length: 33 feet
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KFK Light String - 5 Best Outdoor Christmas Lights for 2021: Reviews & Buyers GuideKFK Light String
  • Bulbs: LED
  • No. of lights: 100
  • Length: 32.8 feet
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Ollny Net Mesh Lights - 5 Best Outdoor Christmas Lights for 2021: Reviews & Buyers GuideOllny Net Mesh Lights
  • Bulbs: LED
  • No. of lights: 200
  • Length: 6.6 x 9.8 feet
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Types of Outdoor Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are generally divided into categories based on two main criteria: the type of bulbs and the actual design of the lights. Most outdoor Christmas lights have either LED bulbs or incandescent lights.

LED or Incandescent

Incandescent lights are lower in cost compared to LED lights and have a specific warm glow to them.

LED lights are the most popular ones, even if they are more expensive. They’re favorites because they last longer and don’t consume as much energy as incandescent bulbs.

Incandescent multicolored christmas light mini bulbs on white string

Light Shape & Size

Another way to divide Christmas lights into categories is by shape and size of the lights.

Large Bulb Light. They go by many different codes, such as G40, C5, C7, and C9 and they are preferred by people who want to decorate their house in a more retro vibe.

Mini Lights. These bulbs are smaller compared to the ones you usually find on Christmas lights. They can create a really magical setup because of their small size, especially when there are multiple small bulbs grouped together in a single setting.

Wide-angle LED Mini Lights. These can be recognized thanks to their conical bulbs that disperse out a lot of light.

Icicle Lights. As you’ve probably guessed from the name, these lights will imitate icicles and are wonderful for draping.

Battery-Powered Lights. These lights use the power of batteries instead of requiring a power outlet and are more ecofriendly.

Solar-Powered Lights. Some outdoor Christmas lights use the power of the sun to charge up, but they are not very practical considering that the solar panels get less light exposure during the winter and the days are shorter as well.

Net Lights. Just as the name suggests, these lights are connected to one another in such a way as to form a net of bulbs and wires. They are also used for draping.

Choosing Outdoor Christmas Lights

If you think that the same lights that you use indoors are perfectly fine for outdoor use, guess again. It is a completely different environment they have to spend the winter in, which means that lights designed for outdoor use should have different requirements compared to those that are used inside.

indoor outdoor led christmas lights


Lights designed for outdoor use need to be waterproof. This is non-negotiable because these lights will be outside in rain and snow and they need to be weather resistant. As soon as the water gets into the wrong parts, your lights will be destroyed, and the resulting electrical shortage could cause a fire.

Power Supply & Usage

You need to consider lights that are easy to supply with power.

Solar lights are an option, as they charge through small solar panels that power the battery. However, these lights need to stay exposed to as much sunlight as possible, which is typically not an option during the winter.

You also have battery-powered outdoor Christmas lights, but some people complain that the battery runs out too quickly, in which case you want to look for lights that have rechargeable batteries.

Your third option is choosing plug-in lights, but you will need to consider the proximity to a power outlet. In some cases, that even means that you’ll have to use an extension cord. Is there any place to put this cord without any water reaching it?

Because Christmas lights are designed to be used for days on end, you might want to consider buying ones that conserve energy. LED lights usually champion at that.

Outdoor Christmas Light FAQ

What are the brightest outdoor Christmas lights?

5mm conical wide-angle LED bulbs are the brightest choice possible for Christmas lights. In fact, they are so intense that they’re not even recommended for indoor use at all.

Do LED Christmas lights stay on if one burns out?

Usually, LED bulbs don’t burn out the same way you’re used to seeing other types of lights do. A string of Christmas lights is usually made from a series of sub-strings, and if one light should go out, at most the sub-string would go out as well, but not the entire string. So yes, LED Christmas lights will stay on if one of them burns out.

Are LED Christmas lights worth it?

Here is the thing about LED lights: while they are typically more expensive, the number of benefits they bring to the table makes it worth the initial investment. They last longer and consume less energy, stay cool while in use, and won’t go out all at once.

outdoor xmas lights full house wide

How many strands will it take to cover the area?

There are two things that you have to consider when it comes to this question: how long the string is and what’s the space between two bulbs. These two characteristics are very related to one another. If you’re looking for lights that you can wrap around something, then you want the string to have more space between the bulbs, while strings with lower bulb spacing are great for other purposes. You also need to consider the fact that even if two strings of light have the same number of lights, that doesn’t mean they are of the same length, as it depends how much space there is between two bulbs.

How many outdoor Christmas lights do I need for an outdoor tree?

Of course, there is no exact science for this, but there are some general tips that we can give to help you out. Consider having about 200 small lights for every vertical foot-and-a-half of a tree. If you want to wrap the lights around bushes and shrubs, you can use icicle lights which help you cover a greater area with fewer lights. Slender trees don’t need that many lights, and the best strings for tree branches are those that have between six and eight inches of bulb spacing.

outdoor xmas lights front close lighted house in Greece

Best Outdoor Christmas Lights

Time to get down to business and show you some of the best, more durable, and most magical outdoor Christmas lights that money can buy right now, so sit tight and happy shopping!

Best Christmas Lights for Outdoor Trees

There are plenty of lights suitable for decorating outdoor trees for the winter holidays, but we particularly loved the ones made by Adecorty. They are made to be weather-resistant but also durable enough to withstand corrosion as well. These are cascade or icicle lights that create the optical illusion of a rainfall, blending in perfectly with what you’d expect a dream Christmas decor to be.

Every light is made from eight tubes with a total of 144 LEDs. The lights are designed to have every tube drop the lights randomly, to create a more natural and beautiful effect. Each of the tubes measures 11.8 inches and require a power outlet to function. Take note that while the lights are waterproof, the plug is not, so make sure you protect it from water.

Adecorty Lights
    If you’re ready for a cascade of light falling down from your outdoor trees this Christmas, the Adecorty lights will give you the scenario and visuals you crave for.



Best Outdoor Laser Christmas Lights

Laser Christmas lights are an explosion of colors that can be projected on the exterior of your home, making it the most Christmas-equipped house on the block. These lights are designed to provide a stunning visual effect. They are powered by a remote control that allows you to modify the settings as you wish.

They can cover an area of up to 2,100 square feet, and you can opt between stationary and flashing lights. They have an automatic built-in timer that can turn them off after six hours and then automatically turn them back on after 18 hours. The casing is IP65 waterproof rated and the power adapted itself has a waterproof rating of IP44. Don’t be fooled by the fact that only see a red and a green light on the product, as the projection will literally look like a burst of thousands of lights.

1byone Christmas Outdoor Laser Light Projector
    If you want a lighting projector with laser lights that turn your house into the envy of the neighborhood, these 1byone fixtures are the perfect product to buy.



Best Solar-Powered Outdoor String Lights

I know that I mentioned solar-powered lights aren’t a viable option considering the scarcity of actual sunlight during the winter but for some people, they might be the best choice. If you fancy purchasing these particular lights, let’s take a look at the Minetom string. You can purchase a pack of either two or four lights and solar panel fixtures, depending on how many lights you want.

They are waterproof and designed to withstand a lot of harsh weather conditions. They have solar panels that can be stuck in the ground in spots where they can get as much sunlight as possible. The solar panel can be rotated to follow the path of the sun without you having to switch the fixture’s position all the time. There are eight light modes to choose from, including steady-on, twinkle, fade, and waves.

Minetom Lights
    If you don’t want to worry about power adapters, extension cords, or batteries that require changing, the Minetom outdoor Christmas light strings are definitely an option worth considering.



Best Novelty Outdoor Christmas Lights

When you think about winter, you think about snow, which makes these snowflake-shaped outdoor lights a perfect item to add to this list. With a waterproof construction and a gorgeous magical shape, the KFK string lights are a sight for sore eyes, even if snow isn’t generous in your area. These decorative lights are designed with 100 LEDs in a cool white color.

They require a power outlet to function, and that might be a slight inconvenience for some people. There are eight different lighting modes to choose from: steady on, twinkle, slow fade, flash, slogs, sequential, and waves. These safe-to-touch lights are UL certified and they will create a perfect outdoor atmosphere whether they are wrapped around a shrub or use to decorate the patio.

KFK Light String
    If you love the idea of having playful snowflake-shaped outdoor lights because you want to add some of that snowy magic to your house’s exterior, you’re going to love the looks and functionality of the KFK string lights.



Best Mesh or Net Outdoor Christmas Lights

We end our series of reviews with what we consider to be the best net outdoor Christmas lights that you can currently spend money on. Measuring 6.6 x 9.8 feet in dimensions, we’re looking at a set of 200 warm white LEDs that are brought together to create a beautiful curtain of outdoor lights to decorate your house for the winter holidays.

One of the best things about these net lights is that all the components are IP44 waterproof, including the plug itself (still a scarce feature that should be appreciated when seen). There is an included remote control that grants you access to important features. You have eight different light modes to choose from, included chasing or twinkle. You can also select one of the four available brightness levels for more ambiance control.

Ollny Net Mesh Lights
    If you’re looking for a curtain of outdoor Christmas lights that also want to use throughout the rest of year to decorate your patio, exterior walls, shed, trees, shrubs, or whatever, the Ollny lights are a product worth looking into.



Bottom Line

While we’ve shown you some of the best outdoor Christmas lights, you can rest assured that there are hundreds of other viable options to choose from, so maybe our list will provide you with at least some inspiration if not a solid purchasing decision. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing outdoor lights for the winter is that the waterproof factor is not negotiable, and these lights need to be designed to withstand moisture and harsh weather unless you want to throw money down the drain.