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Nothing warms the holiday season like the nostalgic glow of Christmas lights. Whether you’re hanging stockings with care, lighting the menorah or the kinara, the “Festivus” season simply wouldn’t be complete without them.
Recent years have seen an overwhelming revamp of traditional light sets. With things like additional safety features, energy-efficient LED string lights, eco-friendly sets, and a resurgence of the retro-loving oversized C9 bulbs, the choices are limitless to add a little glimmer to your holiday season.
Whether you are channeling Hank Griswold this year or going with traditional white, we’ve found some highly rated, popular sets to make your holiday merry and bright.
01 of 07
Best Overall: Everglow 2980-22 100 Clear White Wire Light Set
Sometimes sticking with the basics is the best choice of all. The Holiday Wonderland light sets are ideal for indoor and outdoor use. These mini-incandescent bulbs hold up remarkably well to the elements and don’t overheat, making them a safe bet for decorating the Christmas tree, the mantle, or anywhere outdoors.
The 100 count light set measures 20' end to end but 18' of lights. Two replacement bulbs are provided with this set in case you bulbs blow out. Reviewers love the set for the simplicity, warm light it gives off and low cost making it easy to decorate a large tree or bush outside on a budget.
02 of 07
Best LED: TaoTronics Dimmable Waterproof 100 LED Lights with Remote Control
LED lights are long-lasting, energy efficient, and durable, making them a superior pick for any outdoor or indoor decorating. These highly rated string lights come with red, yellow, blue and green lights that will add a festive glow to any garland, Christmas tree, or outdoor space.
TaoTronics Dimmable lights give you ultimate control with 10 settings to adjust brightness and lighting modes like a strobe function, flashing, fade and more.
They come in warm white or our favorite pick, the multi-colored set. Featuring 33 ft. of easily adjustable, bendable, sealed copper wiring, this set allows you to wrap and illuminate any holiday decorating project. And if you’re not 100% satisfied—no problem—they come with a 12-month warranty.
If there’s a downside, it’s that these festive little lights cannot be connected to additional strings. Because of this, if you have a large area to cover, you will need to have access to multiple outlets.
03 of 07
Best Icicle Lights: Holiday Wonderland 300-Count Clear Christmas Icicle Light
It simply wouldn’t feel like the holidays without a set of icicle lights strung along your home’s roofline. This set of icicle lights is one of our faves. Measuring at 8.5' in lighted length and 9.5' in unlighted light this set can be connected with up to 30 other sets so you can light up your whole house and neighborhood!
The bulbs are LED so they use 80% less energy which eases your electric bill during the holiday season. These are suitable for indoor and outdoor use — so string them outside or on your mantel for your most festive holiday season yet.
04 of 07
Best Projection Spotlight: 1byone Magical Laser Light
Why get all strung up with Christmas lights when you can have a spectacular display with simplicity and ease? The Magical Laser will illuminate 2,100 square feet of your home with festive rotating green Christmas trees, red stars or both. Complete with 2 color choices, 2 patterns and 10 different lighting effects.
We love that this laser can be used indoors or out. And set up couldn’t be easier. Simply install the unit using either the provided yard stake or the base, place it approximately 25 feet from the intended display surface, give it a few minutes to warm up and watch your home glitter and glow.
The Magical Laser has an ambient light sensor that automatically turns the laser on at dusk as well as an auto shut-off after six hours of run time. If you want to light up your season but don’t want the work of hanging string lights, then this highly rated laser is the way to go.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Solar Light Sets: Lalapao Solar String Lights, 2-Pack
Energy-saving, eco-friendly solar powered holiday lights have come a long way. This set from Lalepao will illuminate your home in a warm-white glow for 8 or more hours. They come with two sets each measuring an impressive 72 feet long. And eight different modes allow you to set your lights to a variety of options: slow fade, flashing, steady-on, combination, sequential, slo-glo, and firefly twinkle to create a magical landscape.
Each set comes with its own solar power pack equipped with a removable garden stake for easy install. The dark green wire is easy to conceal, adding to the overall aesthetic. And waterproof housing ensures that harsh elements won’t damage these lights. While solar lights are dependent on the sun to recharge the battery for use, we think you will absolutely love the “starry night” glow these create in any season.
06 of 07
Best Ceramic Outdoor Lights: Good Tidings Holiday Light Set, 25-Lights
Who doesn’t remember the brightly colored retro glow of ceramic Christmas lights? The opaque blue, yellow, green and red bulbs trimmed the trees and rooftops of fond childhood memories and iconic holiday movies. To recreate the retro Christmas feel, you can’t pass up the festive colors of ceramic Christmas lights.
Nothing beats the intensity of these 2.2” ceramic bulbs set on 24" of black wire. For longer sets you can connect up to 3 sets together for an overall length of an impressive 75 feet. Available in multi-color or transparent you can dress your home in any color combo you can dream up. While C9 bulbs are known to give off more heat than LED lights or mini sets, this set is rated for safe indoor and outdoor use. They boast 3000 hours of burn time. However, with this retro-loving set it’s best to order a spare set of bulbs for burn outs or breaks.
07 of 07
Best Animated Light System: Mr. Christmas Lights and Sounds of Christmas
We know the die-hard Christmas light lovers are out there, and no holiday display would be up to par without the ability to synchronize your lights with your favorite holiday songs. The Mr. Christmas all-in-one light and sound system does just that for you. With 20 holiday songs to choose from and six outlets capable of powering an impressive total of 7,200 lights, you can create intricate and entertaining light displays for your home or business. Mr. Christmas comes complete with volume control and the option to choose songs or set to random play. And no worries about harsh weather conditions because this all-in-one sound and light system has protective, waterproof coverings over all outlets and controls.
Mr. Christmas comes pre-loaded with traditional Christmas tunes as well as several selections from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Your lights will dance with the holiday rhythms to light up the block in yuletide splendor.