A sure sign that Christmas is just around the corner is the first time you see a house decked out in outdoor Christmas lights. Or maybe it is your house leading the charge. For most of us, the holidays are the most joyous time of the year, and some people decorate well before the first of December because they are eager to bring on the Christmas cheer.

Whether you are in the don't rush the season camp or the season can't start soon enough camp, the first step in putting up Christmas lights is making a plan. Do you like classic white lights and only white lights? Do playful oversized lights make the holidays brighter for you? Do you go for a monochromatic color scheme? Traditional green and red? Candy cane red and white? Blue and white? There are so many ways to bedazzle your home with Christmas lights and so many types of lights available that just getting started can seem overwhelming.

What Different Christmas Lights Say about You

Have you ever noticed that you seem pulled towards certain colors when you start to plan your outdoor Christmas display? It turns out the colors that speak to you can say a lot about your personality. Have you ever wondered what your outdoor Christmas light color choices say about you?

Are White Lights Your Style?

White or clear lights are the most traditional choice. The color white symbolizes peacefulness, equality, and new beginnings. People who prefer white Christmas lights are considered fair, non-judgmental, and they look toward the future with hope.

Are Green Lights Your Style?

Green represents nature, renewal, good luck, serenity, and health. The color green can also relieve stress, perfect for the busy holiday season. A traditional Christmas color, green also means spiritual renewal.

Are Red Lights Your Style?

The color red symbolizes energy and passion and is often associated with contentment, love, health, and power. Whether popularized by advertising or based on the legend of St. Nicholas of Smyrna, who wore a red robe as he gave gifts to poor children, red is the color of Santa's suit, making it a perennial Christmas favorite.

Are Blue Lights Your Style?

Blue is connected to tranquility and peace, something the world could certainly use more of. The color blue was a difficult color to make, so it was not used in early Christmas decorations. However, as one of the most popular colors in the world, it is now one of the five main colors found in Christmas lights. People who love traditions tend to use the color blue in their outdoor displays.

Are Purple Lights Your Style?

Purple or violet is a non-traditional Christmas color that is gaining popularity. If you prefer this color in your decorations, you have a vibrant imagination and strong emotions. This color is also associated with spirituality and wisdom and represents royalty and wealth.

The variety, shape, and color of the Christmas lights on your house can reveal a lot about you and your family. It's fun to consider what the colors mean, but in reality, Christmas lights mean what they mean to you. The choices have grown tremendously since the days of the traditional multicolored strings. You can find so many different types of lights, from net lights to decorate your shrubbery to eco-friendly, energy-saving outdoor LED Christmas lights to brighten your home. Whatever your outdoor Christmas light style, how you illuminate your home conveys your family's character.

Different Places to Put Christmas Lights

Before you begin hanging your lights, it's a good idea to take a step back and create a plan. Maybe you do the same or something similar every year or maybe want to try something new. Regardless, a plan will keep you on track.

Take inventory of the lights you have, determine if you have enough for your plan, and if needed, purchase new holiday lights and other supplies so you'll have everything you need to get started. Check your shingle flexibility and gutter thickness to figure out the best way to hang lights along your roofline.

Choose a focal point: a focal point gives your design structure and balance. Without a focal point, your lights will look like a disorganized mess. If you have columns around your entryway, this is an excellent place to start. Wind some lighted garlands around the columns and hang a wreath on your door to create a foundation for your display.

Popular places to put outdoor LED Christmas lights include:

Roofline or eaves: there are a ton of options for lights along the roofline, including clear and blue icicle lights, warm white icicle lights, clear globe lights, multicolored diamond lights, and more.

Hedges, bushes, and trees: clear or multicolored net lights make decorating bushes and hedges easy. You can also use these indoor/outdoor lights to create a stunning wall of lights indoors. Create a festive look with multi lights tree wraps or clear tree wraps, if you prefer. You get all of the beauty with none of the hassles.

Posts, pillars, and deck railings: pre-lit garlands wrapped around posts, pillars, and railings give your home a warm, welcoming glow.

Windows and door frames: carry the theme throughout your display by outlining windows and door frames with clear mini lights.

Pathways and lawns: line your pathways with lighted figures such as Santa, a snowman, Snoopy, or other holiday figures. A three-piece lighted deer family brings Christmas cheer to the entire neighborhood. If go big or go home is your decorating style, add some inflatables, such as an airblown Grinch with Max or a Merry Christmas banner.

How Many Christmas Lights Will You Need

To determine how many strings of outdoor Christmas lights you need to decorate your house, you need to check your plan – before you start. Make a list of everything you need, where you want to put them, and how you will attach them. Once you've finalized your plan, measure the places – pillars, railing, trees, bushes, roofline, windows – where the lights will be attached. And note where you will be placing any inflatables.

A key consideration when deciding on Christmas lights is to be sure to use outdoor or indoor/outdoor lights for your displays. Indoor and outdoor lights often look the same, and you may be tempted to use them interchangeably. Lights rated for outdoor use are made to handle cold and wet conditions, whereas indoor lights have been tested to ensure they are not a fire hazard for trees. Indoor/outdoor lights are safe for both. LED outdoor Christmas lights are often rated safe for both areas because they generate less heat and are less of a fire hazard. To make sure you get the right amount of lights, separate your lights for each plan – indoor and outdoor – so you don't get them confused.

Measuring for outdoor Christmas lights can be a time-consuming and challenging task. But, you only have to do the most challenging parts once since the dimensions of your house won't change. You may have to check the measurements of bushes and trees each year and make allowances for any change in plans if you decide to do something different.

Measure each area where you intend to hang or install light from end-to-end with a measuring tape. For instance, if you plan on outlining your door frame or windows with diamond globe lights, make sure you measure from the top to the bottom, across the width, up to the top, and back across. Check the length noted on the lights' packaging to calculate how many you'll need.

For trees, measure the circumference of the trunk or each layer if it is a smaller tree. Add a little extra length to ensure you have enough lights. For smaller trees, add about 2-5 feet, for taller trees, add about 10-20 feet. This will give you enough strings of light. If you have leftovers, you can use them next year, but running out means you will either have to skimp on lights or make a quick trip out to get more.

When to Buy Christmas Lights

When looking for the best outdoor Christmas lights, look no further than Old Time Pottery. You'll find a wide variety of lights, wreaths, garlands, inflatables, and more – all at affordable prices. If you have a specific plan for your outdoor display, it's best to buy your lights as soon as possible so you'll be sure to have enough to complete your vision.

Christmas lights are a representation of the holiday spirit and the source of many beloved moments and memories shared with family and friends. Whether you choose subtle white lights or a mega display that Santa can't miss, creating an outdoor Christmas display is a lovely way to share the joy of Christmas.

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About Our Blog

When it comes to home decor inspiration, we think our shoppers have the best ideas! We have a passion for the unique and beautiful - whether it's decor, food, or furnishings. You'll find simple, inspired ideas to enhance your home and excite your family from real Old Time Pottery fans. Browse all of the looks from Instagram and Pinterest to others' #otpstyle, and use the hashtag to show off your own styles.