Written by DESIGN & DÉCOR

Christmas Lights Ideas Outdoor – Complete Guide

christmas lights

There are many different ways you can decorate the outside of your home for Christmas using lights. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Wrapping trees with lights: One classic way to decorate your outdoor space is to wrap trees with lights. You can use a single color or mix and match different colors to create a festive look.

Creating a light display: Another option is to create a light display using lighted decorations such as lanterns, figurines, or garlands. You can arrange these decorations in a pattern or design to create a unique display.

Using projection lights: Projection lights are a popular choice for outdoor Christmas decorations because they can create a festive atmosphere without taking up too much space. You can project holiday-themed designs or patterns onto the side of your house or trees and shrubs.

Illuminating walkways and driveways: Use string lights or lanterns to light up walkways and driveways. This will help guide guests to your front door and also add a warm, inviting touch to your outdoor space.

Decorating with lighted window displays: You can also create a festive look by decorating your windows with lighted holiday displays. This could be as simple as using string lights or as elaborate as creating a scene using lighted figurines or other decorations.

No matter which approach you choose, the key is to have fun and get creative with your Christmas light display!

Best Christmas Lights Ideas Outdoor

Outdoor Lighting In Winter

With a beautifully illuminated outdoor area, you underline the Christmas mood in the garden, on the balcony, or terrace. Outdoor lighting also contributes to safety during the cold, dark season, as the light illuminates the often icy, slippery paths outside. This helps you avoid tripping and slipping hazards. A well-lit outdoor space can also deter unwanted guests.

This article is all about the atmospheric effect of outdoor Christmas lighting. You’ll also learn which luminous decorations are suitable for the outdoors and what to look for when buying them.

We give tips for an outdoor light glow. Let yourself be inspired by the decoration ideas with fairy lights, illuminated figures, and light curtains and nets.

The Light Color Of Fairy Lights

The light color has a decisive influence on the effect of fairy lights. There are warm white, neutral white, and cool white or daylight white light chains.

The higher the red content, the warmer the light appears. However, the more the light shifts to bluish, the colder the light of the fairy lights appears. How warm or cold the lighting is indicated in Kelvin. This is why we also speak of color temperature.

  • 2,000 to 3,300 Kelvin: Warm White Light
  • 3,300 to 5,300 Kelvin: Neutral White Light
  • More than 5,300 Kelvin: Daylight White or Cool White Light

Christmas Lights Ideas Outdoor

A warm white rope light creates a cozy ambiance on the terrace or balcony. However, the lights of daylight-white outdoor light chains have a brighter effect. They are ideal for Christmas garden design, for example, and can be seen from a distance.

Which color temperature you choose has to do with the desired lighting mood and the respective outdoor area On the other hand, you can coordinate the light color with the rest of the Christmas decorations.

Tip: Cold white light goes well with tree decorations in cold colors, such as blue baubles. Red and gold Christmas tree baubles shimmer pleasantly in warm white light.

Decorate Bushes And Windows

With outdoor light chains, you can frame the windows, trace the silhouette of the house by laying light hoses along the eaves or illuminate balcony railings atmospherically. In the garden, you can also use Christmas lighting to effectively highlight paths and bed borders.

Decorate Balcony and Windows

Tip: In the pre-Christmas period, luminous Christmas garlands in particular create a special atmosphere outside. Wrap a fir garland with a string of lights. Especially festive: Decorate your garland with additional pine cones and bows. You can use binding wire to fasten it.

If you want to decorate larger areas on the facade or in the garden, light nets and curtains are ideal. Place the lights over shrubs, hang a light net on the balcony or fence, or decorate a window with a curtain of lights from the outside Christmas.

Decorate With Light Figures

An eye-catcher in front of the house, in the garden, or on the balcony are illuminated figures. With the right Christmas lights, Santa Claus with his sleigh full of presents will arrive even before the presents are handed out. Who prefers a more natural decoration, lets the reindeer shine outside. To put the winter for children in the right light, a glowing snowman is also suitable, especially if the snow for DIY is once waiting.

Decorate with Light Figures

Designs range from colorful shimmering acrylic figures to stand on, to flashing frames, to glowing outlines, so there’s a Christmas light to suit every taste from subtle to colorful to opulently festive.

With a mixture of fairy lights, light curtains, and luminous figures, you can set atmospheric accents around the house and garden. Combine different Christmas lighting elements for a harmonious picture.

Tip: With illuminated figures, it is advisable to stick to one design. Group similar figures of different sizes, for example, to create a herd of reindeer in the garden. Alternatively, you can create a harmonious scene by combining a Santa figure with a luminous sleigh, for example.

Decorate Christmas Tree In The Garden

An environmentally friendly alternative to the Christmas tree in the living room is a decorated fir tree in front of the window. The outdoor Christmas tree can remain in place after the holiday. For lighting, outdoor light strings, as well as outdoor LED candles, are a good choice.

Tip: To prevent the tree from leaving needles when decorating, you should place some foam, felt, or fleece between branches and clamps when attaching LED candles.

Decorate the Christmas Tree in the Garden

You can also create a festive glow outside with tree decorations. However, since it can be windy outdoors, it’s best to use baubles made of plastic instead of glass. This will prevent the tree ornaments from breaking. The baubles can be fastened with binding wire.

Painted pine cones can also be used for natural decoration. With edible natural decorations, you can turn the fir tree in your garden into a festive buffet for birds in winter. To make them yourself, you’ll need birdseed such as sunflower seeds, coconut oil, cookie cutters or muffin tins, and drinking straws.

Slowly melt the oil and then stir in seeds and seeds. Pour the mixture into either muffin tins or cookie cutters that you place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Insert a drinking straw into the center of each mold to make a hole. Once the mixture has hardened, you can thread a string through the hole and hang the natural ornament.

Tip: Natural jewelry hardens faster in the refrigerator.

Glowing Door Decoration

In the cold season, you create an inviting eye-catcher at the house with a door wreath. With the hot glue gun, you can decorate even simple wreaths made of moss or a cone wreath festively. Glue small Christmas balls, glittering stars, or cinnamon sticks onto the wreath.

Glowing Door Decoration

Even more, warmth radiates the Christmas decoration in the entrance area by lighting. Wrap the door wreath with a battery-operated string of lights made of wire and attach a large bow made of gift ribbon as decoration.

Tip: Hide the battery housing lengthwise between a double layer of gift ribbon. Wrap the battery case in a wide ribbon to form a small bag. Close the bag at the top with wire or a fine gift ribbon.

In the same way, you can also decorate other Christmas door decorations such as mistletoe or fir branches with lights. Take a bunch of twigs together with some wire and hide the binding point under the gift ribbon. Drape a string of battery-operated lights between the branches and hide the battery housing as described above.

Christmas Lanterns

Lanterns and candles are to Christmas lighting as cinnamon and cardamom are to Christmas baking. During Advent, many people decorate the garden lanterns in front of the house in addition to the candle holders in the living rooms. With moss, small Christmas figures and balls, fir branches, and cones, you ring in the winter season outside, so that one or the other light looks like a small Christmas village.

Christmas Lanterns

You can create atmospheric lighting accents with battery-operated outdoor light chains. If the lanterns are protected, for example in a conservatory, LED candles are also suitable for lighting. Solar lanterns are also an alternative.

Note: You should never leave real candles burning unattended – not even in lanterns. In decorated lanterns, there is also an increased risk of fire due to the flammable small parts. It is, therefore, better to use LEDs.

Advent Star For Outdoor

Whether on the Christmas tree, in the festively decorated window, or with the Christmas cookies – one shape appears again and again in the pre-Christmas season: the star.

As Christmas lighting, Advent stars now shine both inside and outside. Either permanently installed LEDs or replaceable LED bulbs in the socket provide the light glow.

Whether a poinsettia is suitable for hanging outdoors is indicated by the IP code. Christmas lights with an IP44 protection rating are splash-proof and suitable for installation outside the house.

The Right Timing For Christmas Lighting

There is a reason to be happy about the fact that it gets dark earlier in winter. Because dusk is the right time to switch on the Christmas lights inside and outside. The warm glow of the lights immediately exudes the Christmas spirit.

Right Timing for the Christmas Lights

Outdoors, you can choose between lighting elements that run on batteries and those that plug into an outdoor socket. To save costs, it is advisable to use a timer to control the lights. With the right setting, the fairy lights and illuminated figures will only shine when you enjoy them.

Tip: Even battery-operated Christmas lights usually have a button for setting the time on the battery housing.

Note: You should switch off flashing or particularly bright Christmas lights overnight so as not to disturb neighbors or animals in the vicinity.

Christmas Spirit, But Safe

Thanks to the LEDs used, the energy required for the Christmas lights decoration is comparatively low. With LED technology, the illuminants also emit significantly less energy in the form of heat, so modern fairy lights hardly heat up. Look out for the GS mark for tested safety on the products.

Note: Broken fairy lights with permanently installed LEDs often cannot be repaired. They should be disposed of at the recycling center or you can hand them in at your next visit to the OBI store.

Outdoor lighting must meet other safety requirements. Outdoor light chains should at least bear the IP44 marking. The abbreviation stands for International Protection Code and, together with the corresponding numerical value, provides information about the corresponding protection class. The left-hand number refers to the ingress of foreign bodies, while the right-hand number represents protection against the ingress of water.

  • IP44: Protected against splashing water such as light rain | installation on the house wall or under a roof possible.
  • IP65: Protected against water jets such as heavy rain, but not completely waterproof | installation outdoors possible
  • IP67: Waterproof, can be submerged for a short time | installation possible outdoors and in damp rooms

You can fix the Christmas lights outdoors with nails or screws. In covered areas, double-sided tape is sometimes sufficient.

Note: First put the nail or screw into the wall and then hang the Christmas lights to avoid damage to the electronics.