With no dearth in style, creativity, and type, Christmas lights make it easy to create a unique atmosphere every Christmas. Be it outdoor Christmas lights or indoor lights, there’s just so much you can do with everything available. The possibilities are endless.
For your Christmas lights decoration to come out perfect, you must ensure your selections fit the purpose. There might be a broad range of lights, but if you are not using them as you should, that magic just won’t materialize.
Let’s talk about 25 types of Christmas lights based on features such as bulb type, color, bulb size, and power source. For each one, I will give an overview of their best usage and what to expect when you use them.
Christmas Light Types Based on Bulb Sizes
Mini lights are one of the most popular ones. They thrive on versatility as you can use them on pretty much any object. From Christmas trees to bushes, rooflines, guard rails, and doors – anything.
The ‘C’ in C3 stands for cone – the shape of C3 bulbs and every other bulb in the C-series. C3 bulbs are the smallest in the series. They are best for lighting Christmas trees and bushes. You may also use them to line your roof.
C6 bulbs are very traditional Christmas lights and are larger than C3 bulbs. However, like C3 bulbs, they are best for lighting trees, decorating bushes, and lining roofs.
C6 bulbs are pretty efficient. So, they are worth a shot if you are looking to keep your energy bills down. They are also durable, so they should serve you for a long time.
Alongside C9, C7 is the joint most popular bulb from the C-series. C7 bulbs look like C6 bulbs, except they are larger and rounder.
The best way to use C7 bulbs is for decorating outdoor Christmas trees, hedges, and bushes.
You can get C7 bulbs in LED and incandescent. The LED option would be better if you want a wintry feel and are conscious of your energy bills. But for a cozy atmosphere, the incandescent option might be better.
As you may have guessed, C9 bulbs are larger than C7 bulbs. Not only are they larger, but they are also brighter with higher energy consumption.
C9 bulbs are best for outdoor lighting displays. You can use them on your roof and outdoor trees, especially when the roof and trees are pretty long.
In many cases, you’ll find C9 being used commercially. This is not surprising since they consume a fair amount of power. So, if you are worried about your utility bills, keep this in mind.
Types of Christmas Light Styles
Christmas projector lights may not be the most popular. However, they are still a great option if you’re looking to try something new.
They are best for when you want a highly-variable light display that is useful beyond Christmas.
With projector lights, you can use as many decorations/projections as possible. The setup is pretty straightforward and takes less time. Also, projector lights are relatively safer.
Bubble lights use a unique technology that involves heating and lighting a fluid (usually methylene chloride) with incandescent light. The fluid, which stays in an ampoule-shaped container, lights up into multiple colors and creates a fiesta-like atmosphere.
The primary downside of bubble lights is their potential for toxicity. For one, methylene chloride is a potential carcinogen. But beyond that, it becomes carbon monoxide when absorbed into the body; carbon monoxide is a toxic gas.
Usually, the potential toxicity of bubble lights is not a problem because their containers are well sealed. However, if it ever breaks, you should clear the area.
Net lights come in the form of a net, hence the name. They are best for decorating bushes, tree trunks, and hedges.
The ease with which you can cover bushes, hedges, or tree trunks with net lights is one of the top advantages of using them. After ease comes speed.
Icicle lights create an icicle-like appearance. Hence, the name. They are best used for decorating rooflines. But you may also use them for railings, windows, outdoor trees, and fence lines.
Due to their flexibility, rope lights are best for when you really want to get creative with your lighting. They can bend around easily, so you can make them into almost any shape you want.
String lights are the most popular type of Christmas lights. It’s no surprise they’re pretty versatile. If you want a Christmas light to decorate anything – outdoor or indoor – you can always use string lights.
String lights are available in various bulb sizes. So, you may want to opt for the bulb size big enough for the structure you intend to decorate.
While string lights are versatile, decorating with them is sometimes time-consuming.
Wreath lights have one purpose – to create a wreath-like effect with lights. They are best used when you want a very bright wreath design. Ordinarily, instead of wreath lights, you could decorate wreaths with light strings. But this may not be bright enough for some decorations.
Tree wraps are the best for wrapping trunks. They are somewhat like net lights. But then, they are much longer, making them more suitable for trees.
Pathway lights are perfect for lighting up walkways and pathways during Christmas. They come in various designs, and you can get a different magic every holiday season.
Christmas Light Types Based on Lighting Pattern
Chasing Christmas Lights
A chasing Christmas light is a type of light with parts that come on and off sequentially, creating an animated effect. Of course, they are best used when you want to create an animated decoration.
Going by their history, chasing Christmas lights are pretty much a Christmas identity at this point. They’ve been around for a long time. Unsurprisingly, they typically use traditional incandescent bulbs. So, as long as the heat and power consumption of such bulbs are no issue for you, you’ll love using them.
When you want to create a light display of some scene related to Christmas, this is the best option.
Whether you’re recreating the birth of Jesus or the journey of the three wise men, scene lights will give the best display.
Christmas Light Colors
While Christmas lights come in virtually any color, the most popular ones are blue, green, red, and white lights.
These are great when you want to create a cool effect. When used as outdoor Christmas lights, laying them out on a dark background creates magic. You can also combine them with other colors – white, red, or green.
The color blue is a catholic symbol for the virgin Mary. So, as a catholic, you can honor the mother of Christ by decking with a blue Christmas light.
White Christmas Lights are available as warm white and cool white. Warm white lights are best for warm, cozy decorations. Cool white, on the other hand, is great for creating a cool, wintry feel.
The best thing about white lights is that you can readily combine them with other colors.
Red Lights are best for adding life to your decoration. There’s just this intensity to the display when you cover a Christmas tree in red light.
Red Christmas lights are typically used alongside green or white lights.
Green Lights are best for when you want to highlight the holiday season. As one of the main colors of Christmas, you can never go wrong adding green anywhere in your decoration. Be it the Christmas tree, wreath, or lights.
Types of Christmas Light Bulbs
Incandescent Christmas lights are perfect for when you want to create a cozy atmosphere. Their warm glow is just soothing.
Besides the coziness of their glow, incandescent lights give off heat that could be useful if you need extra warmth in the house during Christmas.
Incandescent bulbs are relatively cheaper than other bulb types. However, they typically burn out quickly because they generate a lot of heat. Since they burn out quicker, you may have to replace them more often. In the end, you may spend more on incandescent bulbs than LED bulbs, which are more expensive.
LED Christmas lights are brighter than incandescent lights, and they do not emit heat. So, they are best for when you want a bright, cool ambiance.
LED lights are more expensive than incandescent bulbs. But then, they are also less likely to go bad. So, you won’t have to replace them frequently and spend more.
Besides brightness, durability, and absence of heat, LED lights are more efficient. So, if you worry about your electricity bills, you should opt for them.
Christmas Light Power Sources
Battery Powered Lights
Battery-operated Christmas lights are best for when you want your Christmas light in a place outside the range of a power outlet.
Of course, if you buy battery-operated lights, you’d have to spend on batteries, even if the batteries are rechargeable. That aside, as the batteries get weaker, your Christmas light may go dimmer.
Plug-in Christmas lights are the popular option. Of course, you have to use them close to a power outlet. Then again, you can get extension cords to get them to their power source.
Plug-in lights will not work during a power outage. But you may not have to worry about that. Besides your electricity bills, you wouldn’t incur recurrent costs on them. Also, as long as there’s no fault with your home’s electrical system, they’ll always be as bright as you make them.
Solar Christmas lights are best installed in areas that get a lot of sunlight. They are an eco-friendly alternative for decorating and can help you save on electrical bills.
A solar Christmas light runs on electricity generated using the sun’s energy. This means it cannot work without sunlight. This might make it unreliable. But then, many solar lights come with batteries. So, sunlight charges the battery and the battery powers the lights when there’s no sun.