10 Festive Outdoor Christmas Light Ideas for Your Yard

Festive outdoor Christmas lights on raised porch

The Spruce / Sarah Crowley

Get festive for the season—and be the best-looking house on the block—by sprinkling your front yard with loads of lights and Christmas decor. From string lights and icicles to solar-powered LEDs, there are plenty of ways to pour on the cheer without breaking the bank or tangling with bunches of electrical cords. Case in point: These 10 Christmas light display ideas sure to help you get into the holiday spirit.

When decorating the exterior of your home for the holidays, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, always opt to use string lights and bulbs specifically rated for the outdoors—this will ensure that they can withstand any wintery elements in your area (think: snow, rain, or ice) and will be a safe option for your home. Another tip: As you plan your Christmas light display, consider your home from the curb. You'll be able to easily picture how your home will look to your neighbors and those driving by, so you can be sure your design will impress!

  • 01 of 10

    Easy Elegance

    elegant holiday lightings
    Deborah Silver

    Deborah Silver, a Michigan-based landscape designer who owns The Branch Studio, decked out her home's front entrance with loads of natural elements and simple Christmas string lights. She called attention to the porch of her home with a lit evergreen garland, then illuminated two large urn planters with a spotlight and string lights, making for a dramatic statement.

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  • 02 of 10

    Charming Vintage

    Outdoor Christmas Lighting in Texas
    The Cavender Boys

    Resurrect the ghost of Christmas past with a vintage-inspired light display that packs on the charm. This festive yard by The Cavender Boys pairs traditional red and white lighting with old-school oversized bulbs to suit the mid-century modern style of the home. Another bright idea worth stealing: The previous year, the pair hired a professional electrician to install outdoor outlets under the eaves of the roof to make exterior lighting a cinch. 

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  • 03 of 10

    Gorgeous Greenery

    Natural Greenery with Christmas Lights
    Craftberry Bush

    If you don't want to go all out with the outdoor Christmas lights, you can still perk up your stoop with decorative tin lanterns for the holidays. Lucy, the do-it-yourself pro behind the blog Craftberry Bush, added four to her Christmas porch display, illuminating the boughs of greenery she chose to frame her double front door. When using lanterns, opt for LED candles inside instead of the real thing—they throw a bit more light than regular candles and are, of course, much safer.

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  • 04 of 10

    Festive Farmhouse

    Country Christmas Outdoor Lights
    Liz Marie Blog

    If you have an oversized or bold front porch, keep your lighting display simple to call attention to every architectural detail. Here, blogger Liz Marie spruces up the front porch of her farmhouse with cafe-style string lights and numerous Christmas trees (including one full-sized one!) all set aglow. Pro tip: Save yourself the headache and opt for faux trees so you don't have to worry about watering them!

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  • 05 of 10

    Icy Welcome

    Battery Christmas Lights for outdoors
    Tell It To Your Neighbor

    Erica Smith, the lifestyle blogger behind Tell It To Your Neighbor, says outdoor lighting makes her home more welcoming during the holidays. Dangling from the roof are white icicle lights paired with LED-lit Christmas wreaths on the driveway gate and windows; they're a festive match made in the North Pole.

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  • 06 of 10

    Bright Bulbs

    diy holiday lights
    Hoosier Homemade

    Give yourself and your neighbors a visual treat this holiday season with a tutorial by Hoosier Homemade that shares how to make balls of light for your front yard. The unique orbs will look great dotting any large trees or dangling off the porch overhang.

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  • 07 of 10

    Magical Marquee

    DIY Noel Sign with lights
    At the Picket Fence

    Get into the holiday spirit with this homemade outdoor marquee sign by Vanessa behind At the Picket Fence. This adorable project can be done with almost any festive phrase you can think of (like "joy," "cheer," or "merry"), and it's a great way to add a funky, modern touch to your front lawn.

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  • 08 of 10

    Tomato Cage Trees

    DIY tomato cage christmas trees
    17 Apart

    You do not have a drop a stack of cash at your local garden center to deck out your yard for Christmas. Mary and Tim Vidra, the married DIY bloggers who share budget-friendly projects at 17 Apart reveal how to transform wire tomato cages (they typically cost less than $5 each) into outdoor Christmas trees covered with lights. The best part? Each little tree only takes around 15 minutes to make.

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  • 09 of 10

    Mini Marvels

    holiday porch simple easy
    Sunny Side Up Blog

    Erin from the Sunny Side Up Blog decked out her front porch with lanterns and two pre-lit, artificial Christmas trees rated for outdoor use. She's got the right idea—if you're short on time, faux trees already strung with lights are an easy way to bring instant cheer.

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  • 10 of 10

    Shiny Stars

    Stick star yard display
    Duke Manor Farm

    Laura, the design blogger behind Duke Manor Farm, created her very own Christmas light show using handmade wooden stars wrapped in string lights. Each one measures around 8 feet tall and can be left up all winter long without feeling out-of-step with the season.