If you’re like us, you’ve spent every day since December 26th counting down the days until it’s Christmas time again. If you’re like us, David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” is the greatest song ever written.
If you’re not like us, well, you still don’t want to be a total Grinch this holiday season, do you?
With sunsets getting earlier and earlier, it’s absolutely essential to light up our homes and bring a little Christmas joy to our neighborhoods. Whether you’re lighting the way home for a beloved family member or passive-aggressively battling your neighbor for the title of “Best Lights on the Block,” we’re here to help. This is the ultimate guide of best Christmas lights, 2021.
If you’ve been looking for gifts for your children online, STOP NOW! This is much more important. Just get them this moon lamp.
LED vs. Incandescent Lights: Glow and Behold!
The first major decision when buying Christmas lights is choosing between LED and incandescent. There are pros and cons to both types of lights, and it’s important for you to know the difference. Thinking that you bought one and you actually bought the other is scarier than the Ghost of Christmas Future.
Incandescent lights are your more traditional Christmas lights. These lights work from heating a wire filament until it glows. They tend to produce warmer colors than LED lights and are often cheaper to buy. However, like some of our traditions in the United States, just because we’ve been doing it forever, doesn’t make it a good idea.
Incandescent lights are cheaper than LED, but over time, they’ll cost you money because they’re far less energy efficient. Because of the heat they produce, they’re more dangerous than LED lights, and they don’t last nearly as long.
LED lights have grown massively in popularity in recent years. An LED is a “Light Emitting Diode,” which is an electronic component that lights up when a current passes through it.
As we said in the previous section, LEDs last far longer than incandescent lights, are cheaper in the long run, and never heat up, so they are less dangerous. Because of this, you can also connect more LED light strings to the same outlet without the risk of short-circuiting.
The only negative when it comes to LED lights is that the type of light tends to not feel quite as “Christmas-y.” But in our opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons. If you’re a huge fan of incandescent hues, then maybe use some on your Christmas tree or in your windows. Other than that, it’s time to move into the future and switch to LEDs.
And speaking of LEDs— Check out this flashlight: It’s an absolute beast.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Lights: Why Not Both?
When it comes to Christmas decorations, we’re a big fan of a nice, understated interior… and then going full “Deck the Halls” on the exterior. You don’t want a giant, glowing snowman looming over you as you sit in front of the fire with a cup of cocoa. But having one outside your house…. Well, that’s sure to turn the heads of people driving by.
We’ve compiled a list of the very best types of Christmas lights for you to decorate with in 2021.
Did you know that falling icicles result in a significant mortality rate? It’s been in multiple TV shows and big picture movies: Life influences art, after all. Keep the beauty but skip the danger with icicle lights. Icicle lights bring you all the beauty of this winter phenomenon, with none of the danger!
Icicle lights are often used to line house rooftops. The most traditional color you’ll see is white, but they also come in different colored varieties. If you’re looking to decorate for a party, these lights can be used indoors too.
For instance: they’re perfect for illuminating a dance floor and allowing couples to slow dance to “Silver Bells” without the danger of an icy, pointed death stick dangling over their heads.
String Lights: Let It Glow!
For the second entry on our list, we’re sticking with another classic. String lights are very common and can be used on anything, from Christmas trees and banisters to rooftops and chimneys.
There are a few things to look out for when it comes to buying string lights. The first is the size of the bulbs themselves. The bigger bulbs may look more impressive on the box, but often long strings of small bulbs create the best effect.
The second is the color of the string. If you’re using string lights on your Christmas tree, you want to make sure the string is green. If the string is white, that could be better against a snowy backdrop.
Candle Lights—One if by Land, Two if by Sky
What better way to say “Santa is coming!” than with a lantern in the window? The most basic of all indoor lights, these are some of our favorites. Take a dark, gloomy house and stick candle lights in the window? Boom. Understated Christmas cheer.
Driving around, you tend to see a lot of warm, white candle lights. But we always recommend adding a little color. Going with something like green lights is a great way to stay unique and create a point of conversation in the neighborhood (that isn’t gossip).
LED Laser Lights
LED laser lights are becoming more common now, and we are here for it. These are bold, exciting, and a super fun addition to the outside of any house. Plus, you can bring them inside to light up a room and have a fun dance party with the kids.
The absolute best thing about these lights is just how easy they are to set up. String lights and icicle lights usually require hours on ladders, untangling, nailing, and hooking. But with laser lights, you just stick them in the ground, turn them on, and you’ll have the most exciting house on the block.
We recommend the LED Light Show Projector from Bulbhead. It stakes easily into the ground and covers 50 feet of space. Plus, it has multiple different color settings so that you can go with combos like red and green or with one solid color.
Inflatable lights… where to begin? These fall into our high-risk/high reward category. If you are someone who always picks “Dare” while playing Truth or Dare, these lights are right up your alley.
The pros of an inflatable with LED lights are great: They’re bold, they’re unique, and you can have a lot of fun creating your own winter wonderland scenes featuring snowmen and reindeer.
But, there are quite a few cons: First of all, they usually need to be plugged in and have the fan constantly running to work, which uses a lot of energy.
Plus, if the fan stops working, old Frosty suddenly looks like he’s in Miami in July. These things usually aren’t super durable, and in the harsh winter elements, they last a year or two at most.
Okay, okay, we’re being a downer. This is Christmas, after all. They look awesome. Seriously. And they’re relatively inexpensive (just make sure to take them down if it gets super windy).
Animated Christmas Lights
The final lights on my list are different from the rest. They’re really expensive. But hey, if you have the money, more power to ya. Animated Christmas lights are some of the coolest lights you’ll see this time of year.
You can buy basic scenes like a train moving or a bell ringing, or you can have entire scenes like snowball fights playing out in your front yard. They’re relatively easy to set up and will last you longer than their inflatable counterparts.
Let There Be Light!
This is 2021. It’s been a hard few years for most of us. But the holiday season is a time that brings people together and reminds us that there is plenty in life worth celebrating. Humans have celebrated the winter solstice for thousands of years: Having a feast, gathering with friends, etc. Only now, we have the capacity to celebrate using ultra-bright LED laser beams.
Humans are truly incredible. So flick on those lights, start that fire, and get ready to argue with your extended family because it’s Christmas time!