Cool to the touch
Several flashing patterns
Can’t control built-in timer
No simple flashing patterns
Bulbs are spaced far apart
No end-to-end connectors
If you’re tired of basing your holiday decorations around the locations of electrical outlets, you’ll understand the appeal of the Novolink 100-Light LED Battery Operated Decorative String Light. These lights have a battery pack at the end of the strand, allowing you to place them just about anywhere without worrying about whether there’s a plug nearby. However, we wanted to see if these battery-powered lights were worth the money, so we used them as part of our Christmas decorations for more than a month. Read on to find out what we think are the best—and worst—features of these holiday lights.
Setup: As easy as finding a few batteries
The Novolink 100-Light LED Battery Operated Decorative String Light comes in a surprisingly small package—but don’t worry, your 34-foot string light is in there! When we unboxed the lights, they were tied up neatly with the end of the cord, and luckily, they were easy to unwrap, as nothing was tangled.
Once we had the lights unwrapped, all that was left to do was pop three AA batteries into the control box. The batteries aren’t included, so we had to dig through our junk drawer to find some. This setup process was as easy as it gets—it will take you two minutes as long as you have batteries handy. Then, it was time for the fun part: putting up our holiday decorations!
Design: Fun, versatile decor that doesn’t need an outlet
As mentioned, these string lights are 34 feet long and feature 100 warm white LED bulbs. The strand is made up of two clear wires twisted together, and there’s a light every 3.5 inches. The lights themselves are cylindrical shaped with flat tops (as opposed to classic mini lights, which are pointed), and their hard plastic exterior seems quite durable. Our only real complaint is that the bulb spacing is a little longer than usual, and it throws off the wire-to-light ratio.
The appeal of these lights is that they don’t have to be plugged in, which allowed us to get creative when decorating.
The battery/control box is located at one end of the strand, and to operate it, there’s a single button to push. You can press it to cycle through the different flashing patterns (which we’ll discuss a little later), and you have to cycle through all eight options to turn the lights off.
Naturally, the appeal of these lights is that they don’t have to be plugged in, which allowed us to get creative when decorating. We chose to wind them around a display of honeycomb shelves on the wall, and because the strand is so long, we were actually able to go around the shelf display twice. We ended up resting the battery box on top of one of the shelves. A word to the wise: The battery box is fairly big—3x2x1 inches—so you’ll have to find a place to hide it if, for instance, you use these lights on a wreath or as part of a tablescape.
However, because these lights are battery-powered, you can’t connect multiple strands together like you can with traditional Christmas lights.
While 34 feet of lights was plenty for our needs, you’ll probably need additional strands if you want to decorate a full tree or other large area. However, because these lights are battery-powered, you can’t connect multiple strands together like you can with traditional Christmas lights. This means you’ll have to have a battery box for each individual strand.
Performance: Long-lasting gentle light
While there are cool white and multicolor options available, we purchased the warm white lights, and we found that they give off a gentle, relaxing glow. In fact, the light is so soft that you can barely see it during the day. At night, it gives off a soothing light. It provides nice ambiance but won’t disrupt your sleep or TV watching. And because these lights aren’t overly Christmas-y, we can even picture someone using them as part of year-round decor.
Take a peek at some of the other best string lights for bedrooms you can buy.
The light bulbs are LEDs that stay cool to the touch, so you can safely put them near fabric, if desired. Plus, the manufacturer says the batteries will last for up to 60 days if the lights are on for six hours a day—true to this claim, we used the lights daily for more than a month and never needed to change the batteries.
Because these lights aren’t overly Christmas-y, we can think of ways to use them as part of year-round decor.
Features: Timer and flash patterns could be better
The Novolink LED string lights have two noteworthy features: a built-in timer and eight various flash patterns. Let’s start with the timer. When we turned the lights on, the timer automatically started, leaving them on for six hours and then turning them off for 18. Following this pattern, the lights will automatically turn on at the same time every day.
Overall, we found this feature helpful—we initially turned the lights on at around 5 p.m. when it started getting dark, and they would automatically shut off at 11 p.m. However, we do wish it was possible to turn off the timer for days we wanted the lights to stay on longer. It would also be useful if we could adjust the length of time the lights stayed on.
The other cool feature is the flashing patterns. There are eight options in total: combination, wave, sequential, slo glo, chasing, slow fade, twinkle, and regular. We found that these descriptions don’t really match the patterns—for instance, we expected the “wave” to send a ripple of lights down the strand, but in reality, it makes every other light blink in an alternating pattern.
While we enjoyed playing around with the various flashing options, we do wish there were more “gentle” patterns. With the exception of “slo glo,” we found that most of the settings are rather in-your-face with rapid flashing patterns. These settings might be fun in some situations, but they’re not great when we wanted to create a relaxing, welcoming holiday atmosphere. For that reason, we left the lights on regular or slo glo most of the time.
Want to take a look at some outdoor lighting options? See our guide to the best outdoor Christmas lights.
The Novolink 100-Light LED Battery Operated Decorative String Light retails for $14.98, which is fairly standard for a set of battery-operated Christmas lights. Given that this product has features like a timer and flash settings, we think it’s worth the price. (Plus, you can often find it heavily discounted during the off-season.)
Competition: It depends on your decoration style
The Holiday Aisle 25 Light Pinecone LED String Light: If you’re looking for larger lights, you might like these cute pinecone shaped bulbs. They come on a 17.5-foot strand with 25 lights, so they’re not long enough to decorate a tree. However, they are a festive novelty product for decorating small areas.
Holiday Wonderland Mini Multi Color Christmas Light Set: For more traditional Christmas lights, you can’t go wrong with these classic multicolored Christmas lights from Holiday Wonderland. You get two 39-foot strands with 300 total lights for around $15—the perfect amount to decorate a holiday tree.
See more reviews of our favorite indoor Christmas lights available for purchase.
Incredibly versatile, fun string lights.
Even though we weren’t 100 percent pleased with the timer and flashing options of the Novolink 100-Light LED Battery Operated Decorative String Light, we were still really happy with the lights’ performance as part of our holiday decorations. The lights are versatile and easy to control, and the 34-foot strand is long enough to use in many different ways—including as part of year-round decor in a bedroom or other part of your home.
- Product Name 100-Light LED Battery Operated Decorative String Light
- Product Brand Novolink
- MPN SL-1005-WW
- Price $14.98
- Color Warm white, cool white, multi-color
- String Length 34 ft.
- Battery Life 60 days (6 hrs./day)
- Warranty 90-day return period