How to Shop for LED Christmas Lights

As LED holiday string lights have infiltrated the market over the past few years, I’ve been keeping an eye on pricing, hoping they would become so mainstream that the prices would get within reach for the common family on a budget. Finally, that time has come!

This year, not only does the pricing for LED light products seem more favorable than ever before, but the variety on the shelves has grown by 10x what was available in years past. Of course, there are tons of incandescent products in stores still, and DIY inspiration for installing lights of all kinds, but LEDs are slowly winning me over due to their efficiencies (15% the energy use of traditional strands), warranties (some upwards of 3+ years per strand), and qualities (did you know you can string dozens upon dozens of light strands together, end-to-end and into a single outlet? WOW-WOW-WOW, that makes light hanging easier!).

Maybe the hardest decision you have to make this holiday season is the shape of your LED strand light bulbs.
shopping for holiday lights

If you’re shopping, consider these tips:

Are vintage-looking strands your style? Upgrade your home with modern C9 bulbs, now readily available as LED strands in all of your favorite colors. For my home, we’re also investing in C7 and C3 bulbs, which are the just-as-vintage but slightly smaller counterparts to the classic C9.

Learn your whites. White strands are regularly sold as Pure White, Warm White, and Cool White. Shop carefully, like you would for your indoor lamps, because there’s a big difference between the three:

  • Cool White: The bulbs have a blue-ish hue to them. This color is most reminiscent of what manufacturers have been producing for years, and consumers have often been opposed to the unnatural coloring.
  • Pure White: These bulbs are closest to being flawlessly clear, with a light that is closest to actual white.
  • Warm White: Most reminiscent of classic white strand lights, the glow shines more yellow than the other bulb options.

Multicolor vs. Rotating Multicolor? With LED bulbs, you can still go for a classic multicolor with each bulb glowing a different color, but you can also buy a strand of lights where each light gradually changes colors, creating a rotating rainbow of color and an eye-catching display. And note — some brands even come with a remote control so that you can control what color is showing, or how the colors rotate!

Did you know you could go solar? As if LED strand lights weren’t efficient enough, manufacturers are also producing solar-powered LED light strands (undoubtedly awesome, right?). As far as pricing is concerned, you can find these products for about twice the cost of non-solar strands (roughly $20 for 50 lights, or $50 for 150 lights). These would be a good product to keep an eye out for during the post-holiday clearance sales!

And a quick tip: If you’re planning to cover shrubs with lights in a deer-ridden neighborhood, hang your holiday lights, and then be sure to cover the plant with netting to avoid the wires being nibbled. For more tips on installing holiday strand lights, watch this video.

Happy holiday lighting! For more inspiration, check out this photo gallery of real outdoor Christmas displays — if you go with even half this many lights, you’ll be glad you went LED.

5 Responses

  1. Jocelyn says:

    Thanks for the tips. Now I can enjoy the sparkle and colorful glow of my Christmas lights for years to come with these long-lasting LED Christmas lights.
    My recent post Best LED Light Cubes OnlyCubes

  2. Arteso is the global Architectural Outdoor LED Decorative Lighting provider who manufactures Architectural Outdoor
    Lighting, Handmade LED Decorative Lights, indoor luminaires, LED Design support, LED Decorative Lamps in Chennai, Outdoor LED Lighting in Chennai.

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  3. [...] part of our mission to transition all of our holiday lights to LEDs this year, we picked out new strands of small-but-classically-shaped multi-colored bulbs (Philips C3 Bulbs, [...]

  4. william D Barber Jr says:

    wishing for christmas lighting some one broke into my moms home and stole every christmas lighting from out side her home we had the Light o rama system and a killer out door sound system all stolen is there any one who can help me out with new system contact me at sirwilliam46@yahoo.com

  5. [...] 1. Dude, LEDs. We saved up some $$$ and decided to completely replace all of our outdoor lights this year. Did you know you can string dozens upon dozens of LED strands together without maxing out a single outlet? I didn’t. Did you know you can get solar-powered LEDs? So awesome. More helpful tips for your LED-loving pleasure can be seen here! [...]

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About Emily Fazio 

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I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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