14 Most Popular Types of Christmas Lights

For your holiday displays, Christmas lights that shine bright and with cheery colours make all the difference. Whether inside the house or decorating outside your home, planning and using different types of Christmas lights creates a variety that’s sure to please the eye. 

Christmas lights can be divided up by everything from bulb type to popular colours and the design of the display itself. The most important thing is that you love the look of what you have in front of you. If you need help with the setup, there are professional Christmas light installation services to assist with the labour.

Here are the most common types of Christmas lights homes use to illuminate their seasonal displays.

Type #1: String Lights

String lights are your classic Christmas light display. They cost less than any other display type. Multiple strands can be connected for larger displays as well. They are equipped for use indoors and outdoors and are customizable in shape and style.

Type #2: Mini Lights

Mini lights, aka dot lights, are similar to string lights, except the bulbs are tiny. Mini lights find much use at Christmas in wreaths and wound together with garlands. They are an excellent accent type of Christmas light, usually available in various lengths and colours.

Type #3: Net Lights

Net lights are Christmas lights clustered together across a net. This netting can then be thrown over a bush or tree and does not require any setup. Net lights come in various sizes and may be the most convenient type of holiday light.

Type #4: Solar Lights

Solar lights are staked into the ground. They absorb the sun during daytime hours and turn on at night, adding a glow to your yard. Solar Christmas lights turn on/off automatically, so no maintenance or reminder is required. They are also typical as pathway lights, coordinated into different designs or patterns.

Type #5: Icicle Lights

For a vertical display, icicle lights hang in strands. They can be spaced apart evenly as you see fit and are typically in pure white, single-colour design or can be adjusted. Icicle Christmas lights are often used to line eaves and awnings but can be used indoors along stairway railings, mounted to the ceiling, or hung across the wall.

Type #6: Projection Lights

More popular these days than ever are projection lights. No work hanging lights. It’s all projected onto the exterior of your home. The beauty of projection lights is that they can be bought in many patterns and colours and are sometimes themed so you can celebrate Christmas and other occasions throughout the year.

Type #7: Novelty Lights

There are also novelty lights and lights that are shaped in specific forms, such as a menorah light display for Hanukkah.

Type #8: Decor-Based Lights

Like novelty lights, decor-based lights are built around a specific item. There are lighted Christmas tree stars, lighted Christmas trees, lighted snowflakes, and lighted garlands, among other decor.

Type #9: Christmas Bulbs

The type of bulbs used in your Christmas lights display is a major differentiator. Mini lights can be shaped by specific iconography, typically using a C3 or C5 bulb. Larger old-fashioned bulbs are classics, such as the C7 or C9 bulb. The traditional Christmas light display uses C6 bulbs. For how you want your lights to come off, considering the different bulb types is smart.

Type #10: G12 Lights

G12 Christmas lights are in a round globe shape. The sphere of the bulb design allows these bulbs to project light in all directions, creating a unique halo effect. G12 lights are typical on Christmas trees or to wrap banisters.

Type #11: Christmas Light Colours

Another way to arrange types of Christmas lights is to select them by colour. White lights come in cool and warm shades and offer a classic twinkle to any display. Red adds a warm, festive accent. Green is relaxing and has depth. Blue is often used to create an ice-like effect or to represent Hanukkah.

Older-style Christmas lights also use multi-colour strands or multi-colour light displays, which are lively and adaptable.

Type #12: Warm White v. Cool White Lights

Here are the general rules for using warm and cool holiday lights. Warm white lights add warmth, are used indoors, and are the more traditional Christmas lights. Cool white often sees use outdoors, has a slightly icy aesthetic, and adds a fresh, modern look wherever they are added.

Type #13: Color-Changing Lights

If you can’t decide what colour goes best with your Christmas, colour-changing lights may be your best bet. With colour-changing lights, they can switch from one colour to another, usually automatically but sometimes on a schedule. They may also be arranged to follow a specific rhythm or pattern, adding a new dynamic to your holiday lights.

Type #14: Battery-operated Lights

Most Christmas lights are plug-in. However, battery-powered lights can be better for centrepieces, rails, wreaths, and displays where you don’t want wire showing or don’t have access to an outlet. Battery-operated lights are typical indoors.