75 Outdoor Christmas Lighting Ideas That Will Have the Town Talking - Page 3 of 3 - Backyard Boss
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75 Outdoor Christmas Lighting Ideas That Will Have the Town Talking

Table of Contents

Create an Animated Light Display

Snowman Christmas Lights
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If you’re a tech-savvy person and enjoy working with computers, this is a fun decorating idea that will have the whole neighborhood talking. Rather than using a basic holiday projector and sticking with the images that they display, program your own high-tech display. Picture a giant snowman on the side of your house, singing along with your favorite Christmas carols or telling holiday-themed jokes. In addition to the projection itself, you will also need to set up a speaker that is loud enough that people can hear it when passing by. You can also incorporate other lights into your display, having them fade or flash along with the music.

After putting all the work into this display, you will likely have visitors stopping by to enjoy the show. Setting up a radio station that they can tune into will help those that are watching in their heated vehicle. Consider putting out a donation bin for anyone that wants to show their appreciation. This can help to cover the costs of your display or you can make a donation to a charity that is close to your heart.

Add Lights to Your Fountain

The Mushroom fountain
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Outdoor fountains are often an overlooked feature when considering holiday decorating, however, in some areas of the country the temperature is still warm enough for the water in the fountain to continue flowing freely. Consider using waterproof lights designed for ponds or pools to add some festive fun to your fountain space. These submersible lights are usually battery-powered and often come with a remote control to allow you to change the colors without pulling them out of the water every time. This will make it easy for you to adjust your lights to fit with your other decorations seamlessly.

String Lights Over Your Seating Area

Christmas coziness
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Entertaining during the winter months doesn’t have to be restricted to the indoors. With some careful planning and preparation, you can set up a beautiful outdoor seating area that’s comfortable for your friends and family. There are a few different features that you need to incorporate for this space to be fully functional. You will need comfortable seating, some form of heating, overhead shelter to protect your guests from the elements, and, of course, lighting.

Rather than installing regular porch lighting in this space, try using Christmas lights to give the space a truly magical touch. Simply take string lighting in your favorite color and hang it up around the shelter space. If you are looking for a lighting option that will suit more than just the holiday season, consider using warm white lights or a lighting set that includes a remote control to easily change the colors from season to season.

Incorporate Meteor Shower Icicle Lights

meteor shower lights
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A unique type of icicle lights, meteor shower lights tie in both the beautiful dangling nature of the traditional icicle lights with some extra movement to add depth and interest. Known as meteor icicle lights or meteor shower lights, they feature a cascading movement like that of a meteor shower with the LED lights moving down the light string in a sequence. They can be purchased in a variety of different colors. The most popular colors for holiday decorating are blue and white, as these colors look like snow falling in the night sky adding to any winter wonderland scene.

Repurpose Wine Bottles or Beer Bottles as Luminaries

Wine bottles with Christmas Lights
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Wine and beer lovers, here’s a fun way to incorporate your love into your holiday decorations this season. It’s also a great way to repurpose the empty bottles that have been taking up space in your garage, waiting to be returned. Before you get started, take the time to carefully rinse each bottle out and allow them to fully dry. For every bottle, you will need a string of lights with plugs on both ends so that they can be hooked up in succession. Carefully feed the lights into the bottle, leaving both ends outside. Connect the bottles in a row, lining them up along your porch, down your front steps, or beside your front walkway. You can also plug them in individually if you are interested in using a single luminary in a smaller space.

Create a Chandelier with Icicle Lights and a Hula Hoop

Outdoor Chandelier
Image credits: step-svetlana from Pixabay

Are you looking for a beautiful statement piece for your front porch or entryway? If so, why not create your own beautiful outdoor chandelier. All you need for this DIY project is a hula hoop, icicle lights, and wire or string for hanging your finished lighting. Carefully attach the main wire of your icicle lighting to the hula hoop. For a subtle glow, use a single strand of icicle lights all the way around. Take the lighting up a notch and create a more elaborate chandelier by laying additional lights on top of one another until you are happy with the end result. Secure your string or wire to four evenly spaced points on the hoop. You can use electrical tape to cover the hoop if you are looking for a more polished look.

Run Rope Lights Along the Walkway

Red and white rope light twisted around a railing
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This option is a great year-round solution to lighting up your front walkway. Run a high-quality rope light along each side of the walkway, creating a lighted border between the walkway and the rest of your yard. Secure the lighting in place using stakes to make sure that it doesn’t get moved around accidentally as people are walking past. While most rope lighting is a single-color option, you can purchase color-changing rope lights complete with a remote control to allow you to customize your space for any holiday or event. When shopping for your lights, make sure to purchase a waterproof solution that can handle the ongoing exposure to the elements.

Add Some Fun with A Laser Light Display

Christmas decorations
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Using laser beam technology, a laser light projector is a quick and easy way to create a light show that will impress all your visitors. These units are set up in the yard, just like a holiday projector, displaying its show across the exterior wall of your house. Use the projector on its own or incorporate it as part of a larger festive decoration plan. While the individual laser beams are rated as safe in the event of accidental exposure, you should avoid looking directly into the projector for any length of time. Be sure to contain your laser display to a wall or other fixed surface, avoiding allowing the beams to extend out onto the roadway or into the air. If the lights accidentally flash across someone’s eyes, they can be disorienting causing an accident.

Hang a Shooting Star Display

Christmas shooting star
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Christmas light manufacturers have made decorating easier than ever with a wide assortment of fun light display pieces. One popular option that can be found at most big box stores or home improvement stores in their seasonal décor depicts a shooting star. Mount your display on the wall or hang it in a tree where everyone can see it. There are different options, depending on your personal preferences, including solid light displays or lights that flash or mimic movement. If stars aren’t your style, there are many other premade lighting displays available including Santa Claus, snowmen, reindeer, penguins, and more.

Light Up Existing Statues and Decorations

White Concrete Statue with String Lights
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Do you have a landscaped yard or garden complete with statues or other outdoor decorations? If so, try incorporating them into your decorating plans. Position outdoor spotlights to shine colorful light across these statues to draw attention to them. Add additional holiday accessories to take your holiday decorating to the next level including Santa hats, elf hats, or reindeer antlers. If spotlights don’t work with the rest of your holiday decorations, you can opt instead to use holiday string lights, wrapping them carefully around all your garden decorations.

Add Lights to Your Hanging Plants

Hanging Plant with Lights inside Greenhouse
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Leading up to the holiday season, many big box stores and garden centers display holiday-themed planters to decorate your porch. Showcasing boughs of greenery, they are often accented with pinecones and a red velvet bow. If this is a look that you embrace on your own porch, you add an extra pop of festive cheer by adding lights to your hanging plants. A string of mini lights can be easily worked in and around the items in your planter to give it a warm glow. Warm white lights will match the traditional aesthetic while bright colors can help add a little fun.

If you don’t have any holiday-themed hanging plants, you can always reuse the hanging pots from your garage. All you need is a square of florist’s foam (which can be purchased at any craft store), some evergreen boughs, a string of mini lights, and a selection of other holiday decorations. Secure your evergreen boughs in the florist’s foam, filling out as much of the pot as possible. Use other decorations such as pinecones and colorful tree ornaments to fill in the spaces around the boughs, concealing the foam. Finally, work your lights into the display.

Light Up Your Fence with Festive Stripes

Christmas lights outside on fences and trees
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Rather than viewing your privacy fence as a barrier to sharing your holiday decorating, why not treat this large surface as a blank canvas just waiting to be decorated? There are many ways that you can decorate this space, but an easy one is to create festive stripes of color by securing Christmas lights across the surface. Select two or more colors based on your decorating theme. You can stick with a more traditional theme with strips of red, green, and white, or opt for an untraditional color combination such as purple, blue, and orange. Lights can be secured to a wooden fence easily with a staple gun, just be careful not to drive a staple through the cords of the lights.

Hang Icicle Lights from Your Trees

icicle christmas lights
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Shopping for Christmas lights can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming with so many different options available. One type of festive lighting that has been gaining popularity is the classic icicle light, a great way to add some bright light to your house by creating the illusion of icicles hanging from the edge of the roof. However, the roof isn’t the only use for these fun holiday lights. This season, try hanging your icicle lights from the trees in your yard, making it look as though Jack Frost himself paid a visit to your house. Tie in some additional winter-themed decorations like snowflakes and snowmen to create your own winter wonderland.

Display Santa’s Sleigh with Light-Up Reins

Reindeer and sleigh lights
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It’s a popular image that many homeowners incorporate into their holiday decorating. What says Christmas more than Santa with his team of reindeer and his sleigh full of presents ready to be delivered? If this is a decoration theme that you enjoy showcasing in your own yard, here’s a fun way to add some extra holiday magic by adding lighting to the mix. When you’re setting up Santa’s team of trusty reindeer ready to fly him around the world, trade in the standard reins for strings of Christmas lights. Other areas where lights can easily be added are in and around the sack of toys, along the edges of the sleigh itself, and, of course, for Rudolph’s glowing red nose.

Build A Tunnel of Lights Leading to Your House

Light tunnel
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I already discussed creating archways across your driveway, but this idea uses the same concept in a fun and slightly different way building a tunnel of light along your front walkway. To begin, you will need to construct arch structures like those for the driveway but on a slightly smaller scale. You want them to be wide enough for your walkway and tall enough to accommodate guests of all sizes. If you’re unsure as to how tall to go, err on the side of caution and go a little taller than you believe you will need.

After you have the necessary structures in place, it’s time to add lights. To create a lighted tunnel effect, will need net lighting in your desired color. This style of lighting makes it easy for you to bridge the gap between each of the arches both along the sides and along the top to create a solid tunnel of light. If you want a little extra glow, you can also wrap the arch structures themselves with string lights before laying the net lighting on top.

Mix Soft White Lights with Evergreen Foliage

Christmas Tree Lights
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We’ve already touched on the use of evergreen foliage in lighted garland along your patio railings as well as in a wreath on your front door, but there’s an even simpler way to incorporate this traditional look into your decorating. All you need is a selection of evergreen foliage, a large vase, a string of soft white LED Christmas lights, and a large decorative bow. You can purchase artificial foliage from your local craft store, collect foliage from your yard or repurpose any branches that you are cutting off your live Christmas tree. Place all the foliage in the vase, arranging it until you’re happy with the way that it looks. Take your lights and carefully work them in and around the foliage. When you’re finished, simply secure the bow to the front of the vase and you’re ready to put it out on display.

Create Glowing Snowballs

Snow lantern
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This decorating idea is much more subtle than many of the others included but the effect is one that will make your home stand out from the others in your neighborhood. It’s also small enough to easily incorporate into smaller spaces, such as on apartment balconies or even as part of a window box display. To create your own glowing snowballs, all you need are the old globe-style lights that can be found in most thrift stores and second-hand stores, a jar of mod podge, and white glitter.

Paint a coat of mod podge all over the outside of the light before sprinkling glitter across the surface. Alternatively, you can put the glitter into a bowl and roll the mod podge covered light in the glitter, encouraging as much glitter as possible to stick to the exterior. Give it time to dry before painting another coat of mod podge and adding a second layer of glitter to make sure that the surface is adequately covered. A final layer of modge podge will seal everything in, ensuring that your snowballs are able to stand up to being outside in the elements.

Take a string of battery-operated LED Christmas lights and feed them into the globe and you’re done. When displaying your glowing snowballs, surround them with white foam balls to represent additional snowballs (which can also be glittered using the same technique, if you prefer) to cover the base of the globe.

Hang Curtain Lights for a Wall of Color

Christmas Lights on Wall with Bokeh
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Do you have a large exterior wall on your house or detached garage that looks like it needs a festive touch? If you’re looking for an easy way to dress up this space for the holiday season with minimal effort, why not cover it in a wall of color quickly and easily using curtain lights. This style of lighting is a great solution for large areas with several strings of light hanging from the main cord. You can use a single color across the wall of a uniform look or mix and match. Try overlapping curtain lights to include two different colors simultaneously while incorporating even more light into the space. This can also be used as a fun backdrop for any festive scenes that you are planning to set up in the yard or even be used to section off a portion of your yard, hiding it from view behind a wall of light.

Build Lighted PVC and Fabric Christmas Presents

Christmas Presents Illuminated at Night
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With so many fun and festive Christmas tree decorating ideas on this list, you may be looking for a way to add some presents under your tree to complete the look. Unfortunately, once the sun goes down, anything that doesn’t incorporate light may simply fade away into the night. This easy DIY tutorial will help you to create Christmas presents that glow, making them visible any time of day while also helping to light up the yard around them. They can be displayed under a tree, in Santa’s sleigh, or even just stacked up in a pile on their own.

You will need PVC piping from your local home improvement store, fabric in your color or design of choice, a wide ribbon to make a bow, a string of LED Christmas lights, and a glue gun. Start by assembling your PVC piping to create a 3-D box. This will require lengths of piping for each side as well as the necessary corner elbows to connect them all together. When you’re happy with the shape and size of your present, you can secure this piping using your glue gun. This will be the frame of your present. Try experimenting with different sizes to include in a pile of presents.

Take your Christmas lights, carefully arranging the lighting inside the box. To make the whole present glow, you will need to attach the strings of light in a way that they cross back and forth inside the box. You can temporarily attach the lights to the PVC with a small piece of wire or use your hot glue gun for a more permanent assembly. When you’re happy with your lighting, carefully wrap your gift with the fabric, securing it to the framing and trimming any excess fabric off. Make sure that the plug for your lighting remains outside of the box where it can be plugged in. Finally, finish your present off by wrapping it up with the ribbon, creating a large festive bow on top.

Decorate the Dog House

Dog house
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What about Fido? If you’re taking the time to decorate your house, try including your dog’s house in the festive fun as well. Adding lighting to your dog’s house as if it were simply a miniature version of your own home is a fun way to tie the two together, or you can choose a different theme for your dog’s house to make it stand out as its own element. Be careful selecting and hanging lights to keep your pup safe. Avoid exposed wires that your dog may be tempted to chew on. It is also recommended that you avoid using a laser projection light when decorating a dog’s house as they may be tempted to investigate the light, looking into it for too long leading to eye damage.

Layer Different Types of Holiday Lights

House with Many Colorful Christmas Lights
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In this list, we are sharing many different options for lighting including not only different ways to display these festive decorations but also different types of Christmas lights that can be purchased. The good news is that you don’t have to restrict yourself to a single type of lighting. Instead, try layering different types of lighting across your porch and in your yard to create an eye-catching holiday experience for anyone that is coming to visit. For example, you may choose to hang icicle lights from your roof while also using a projector light on the front of the house. Using this mix and match approach will also make it easier for you to change up your decorations from year to year by adding or removing elements for a new result each time that you decorate.

Light Up Palm Trees in Warmer Climates

christmas background palm tree
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Decorating in the warmer climates of the south often looks different than it does for those of us further north. In these areas, you aren’t working around piles of snow or preparing your decorations to stand up in the event of a large blizzard. Even the native plants and trees in the area can look different, but don’t let that interfere with your goal of creating a festive holiday lighting display. Embrace the differences in your yard and decorate accordingly. If you have palm trees in place of evergreen trees, then run with it. Wrap net lights around the base of your tree or string lights up among the leaves. You can stick with traditional holiday colors or choose something more tropical to really play up the aesthetic of the area. Take it a step further and add Santa and his elves sunbathing in your front yard. After all, everyone deserves a vacation somewhere warmer, even Santa himself!

Hang DIY Snowflakes with Christmas Lights

Christmas Snowflake Light
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Whether you have snow in your area or not, you can still add some fun snowflakes to your holiday decorations. This is a simple DIY for those that may be nervous about taking on a larger project. You will need several paint stir sticks, white paint, a glue gun, white electrical tape, and LED string lights with white wires. Begin by laying your stir sticks out in a pattern to create a large snowflake. If you are creating several, remember that no two snowflakes are the same. Get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment with the designs until you are happy with how they look. When you have figured out the right layout for your snowflakes, glue the paint sticks together using your glue gun and then paint the whole structure white.

Take your LED Christmas lights and start wrapping them around the snowflake carefully covering every stick with light. Use your white electrical tape to hold the lights in place. When you are finished, there are many ways that you can display your snowflakes. Sit them on your porch as part of a festive porch display, leaning against the wall, or hang them from the trees in your yard to create the impression of large snowflakes floating in the sky at night.

Craft Paper Bag Luminaries

Paper bags with light
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This is another DIY option that is fun to do with the kids, allowing you to get the whole family involved. All you need are white paper bags, black paint or sharpies, and battery-operated candles. Be sure to choose paper bags that are thinner, allowing light to glow through the side when your candles are inside. Lay the bag out flat and decorate the surface, drawing silhouettes and festive designs on the bags, or writing holiday-themed messages for everyone to enjoy. Keep in mind that anywhere you place black paint or sharpie will remain black when the luminaries are glowing. Sit your luminaries out on your porch, on your front steps, or along your walkway. You may want to place a couple of heavy rocks in the bags to help weigh them down and prevent them from blowing away. Add your candles inside the bags and wait for the sun to go down. As the candles flicker and glow inside, they will show off your artwork.

Share Your Message by Writing with Lights

Illuminated Merry Christmas sign
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There are many words and messages that have come to be associated with the holiday season. This year, why not choose your favorite and share it with the world by displaying that word in large, bold, glowing letters across the side of your house. All you need is strong wire (or old wire clothes hangers) and LED Christmas lights. Bend and shape your wire to create letters. You can use a single piece of wire with cursive writing or use a new piece of wire for each letter. Make your letters large enough that they can be seen from a distance. When you’re happy with your wire message, carefully wrap each of these letters with Christmas lights. Hang your message on the wall and light it up when the sun goes down. Some popular messages include ‘Ho Ho Ho’, ‘Peace’, ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Hope’, or even a full message like ‘Santa Stop Here’.

Anything is Possible with Your Holiday Lighting

The most important thing to remember when choosing your holiday lighting this season is that anything is possible with a little creativity and hard work. If you have been dreaming of a specific display or aesthetic, this is your sign to run with it. The best part is that even if you bought the exact same lights and outdoor decorations as your next-door neighbor, no two houses end up looking completely the same. So, make it your own, add your personal touch, and have fun putting your festive display together for all to enjoy.

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