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Best outdoor Christmas lights for 2023: illuminate your home with some festive joy

If you really want to show off your festive spirit this Christmas, there’s no better way to do it than with a twinkly light display on the outside of your house. Take a look at our picks of the top outdoor Christmas lights to buy this year.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Oct 11, 2023

House decorated with Christmas lights

In the depths of winter, there’s nothing quite like coming home to a house all decked out in sparkly Christmas lights.

If you’ve only ever decorated the inside of your house before with lights on the tree and around the fireplace, it can be a bit intimidating to know where to start with buying lights for the outside.

There’s so much choice from classic fairy lights and twinkling icicle lights to fun projector displays and illuminated animal figures for your front lawn. To make your decision a little easier, we’ve done the hard work for you and found the best outdoor Christmas lights recommended by Mumsnet users and authentic reviewers, with something to suit every taste and budget.

If you're still on the hunt for Christmas décor, check out our guides to the best Christmas tree lights, the best Christmas cracker fillers and our overall guide to the best Christmas decorations.

Here are the best outdoor Christmas lights to buy in 2023.

Best outdoor Christmas lights 2023: at a glance

John Lewis Christmas tree lights
Best overall

John Lewis
Green wire, LED lights in warm white

Buy now
Box of Netta Christmas lights
Best budget

Fairy Lights

Buy now
House lit up with Christmas projector images
Best projector

Christmas Projector Light

Buy now

1. Best overall: John Lewis 720 LED Lights, Green Wire/Warm White

John Lewis Christmas tree lights

Price on writing: £55 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Dimensions: 62m in length | Indoor or outdoor? Both | Bulb spacing: 7.5cm | Distance from power supply to first bulb: 8m | Wire colour: Green | Light colour: Warm white | Number of bulbs: 720 | Power supply: Mains

Reasons to buy

  • Long length so great for outdoors

  • LED bulbs so energy efficient

  • 720 bulbs so plenty of coverage

Reasons to avoid

  • Powered by mains

What Mumsnet users say

"Always warm white here, definitely look classier imo." namechangedforhelpx

Our verdict

Our favourite feature? Every year, these LED lights from John Lewis are a popular purchase by Mumsnetters from the retailer. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage, these long length lights are great for transforming your home to a festive wonderland. There's 720 bulbs in total, spaced around 7.5cm apart and 8m of wire between the transformer and the first bulb. The green wire is flexible, and the classic warm white lights are ideal for any Christmas tree, staircase, or outside feature.

What's better, the LED bulbs are energy efficient, and consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs and have a longer lifespan - meaning you'll get more for your money for longer as you'll use these lights time and time again each Christmas.

2. Best remote controlled outdoor Christmas lights: Ollny Christmas Fairy Lights

Brightly coloured fairy lights

Price: £39.99 for 640 lights | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 80m cable/640 lights | Bulb type: LED | Colours: Warm white and multicoloured | Power source: Mains | Power cable length: 3m | Warranty: Lifetime no-hassle policy

Reasons to buy

  • LED lights so energy efficient

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

  • 11 different lighting modes

  • Dimmable control and three timer modes

Reasons to avoid

  • Mains powered so need a plug socket

  • Only 3m power cable length

Our verdict

These outdoor fairy lights from Ollny are the perfect choice to add a bit of classic Christmas sparkle to your home.

There are an impressive 640 LED lights along the super-long wire, so one set of these lights will go a long way. You can hang them up on the front of the house with hooks, or wrap them around any trees or bushes you have in the front garden. The wire is designed to be really flexible so you can bend and twist it however you like to create the look you want.

These lights also have 11 different lighting modes and come with a dimmable control and three timer modes, so you can set them up to turn on and off automatically at the same time each day. They are mains powered, however, so you will need to have access to a plug socket to use them.

3. Best budget Christmas lights: Netta Fairy Lights

Box of Netta Christmas lights

Price: £13.99 for 100 lights | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 10m lit length/100 lights | Bulb type: LED | Colours: Available in cool white, warm white, and multicoloured | Power source: Mains | Power cable length: 5m | Warranty: Full 365-day warranty

Reasons to buy

  • Different colours available

  • LED lights so energy efficient

  • Budget option

Reasons to avoid

  • Shorter in length and less bulbs

  • Mains powered so plug required

Our verdict

If you just want a little bit of festive sparkle outside your home and don’t want to spend a fortune to get it, these lights from Netta are a great budget option.

You can get them in cool white, warm white, and multicoloured versions so whatever look you’re going for, you can get it with these lights.

There are 100 LED lights on this set, but you can also get these with up to 1,000 LED lights for £44.99.

Whichever option you go for, you get eight lighting functions to choose from including 'steady on', 'chasing', and 'twinkle'. The different effects are controlled by a button on the plug adapter, making it really easy to change things up whenever you want.

These lights have been designed for indoor and outdoor use, with a five-metre power lead that should make installation nice and easy.

4. Best sunset Christmas lights: Qbis Premium LED Cluster Lights

A set of red, orange and yellow fairy lights

Price: £24.99 for 120 lights | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 2m lit length/120 lights | Bulb type: LED | Colours: Red, orange, and yellow | Power source: Mains | Power cable length: 4m | Warranty: 2 and 3-year extended warranties available

Reasons to buy

  • Different than traditional Christmas lights

  • Can be used all year round

  • Indoor and outdoor use

Reasons to avoid

  • No plug cover included

What Mumsnet users say

“I bought some very nice ‘sunset’ fairy lights on Amazon. They are warm red and orange, as l like strong colours… l always get a lot of compliments on them.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Moonface123)

Our verdict

For something a bit different from the usual white twinkly lights, these sunset lights come highly recommended.

The unique berry cluster lights are made with red, orange, and yellow LEDs enclosed in opaque berries that create a really cosy atmosphere when they’re turned on.

With 120 lights on thin, bendable black wire these Christmas lights would look gorgeous wrapped around a small tree in the front garden.

They’re designed for indoor and outdoor use, but you do have to make sure that the plug doesn’t get wet.

5. Best vine lights: John Lewis 960 LED Vine Lights, Pure White/Green Wire

John Lewis Vine Lights

Price on writing: £70 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Cable length: 8m | Indoor or outdoor? Both | Light colour: White | Lit length: 6m | Number of bulbs: 960 | Power supply: Mains

Reasons to buy

  • Energy efficient LED bulbs

  • Flexible wire so suitable for tree, outside or staircase

  • Available in different light and wire combinations

Reasons to avoid

  • More expensive than other options on the list

Our verdict

This string of energy efficient LED bulbs from John Lewis comes with a flexible wire, and different wire and light combinations to give you a choice of different looks when choosing. Each of the LED bulbs is set at the end of a twisting strand of wire, giving the appearance of a natural vine - great if you want to decorate outside this Christmas, or add some pizazz on your staircase or mantlepiece.

6. Best meteor Christmas lights: BlueFire Meteor Shower Rain Lights

House decorated with meteor Christmas lights

Price: £26.99 for 10 tubes, each containing 54 LEDs | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 10.3ft main decorative cable + 9.85ft lead wire / 10 helical tubes, 50cm per tube, 54 LEDs per tube | Bulb type: LED | Colours: White (also available in warm white, blue, and multicolour) | Power source: Mains | Power cable length: 2.6ft | Warranty: 1-year warranty

Reasons to buy

  • Great for a grotto-like look

  • 10 feet of cable for long coverage

  • LED lights so energy efficient and safe

Reasons to avoid

  • Only 10 helical tubes in each pack

What Mumsnet users say

“Look up meteor lights – they’re a bit different and very pretty!” (Type of decoration recommended by Mumsnet user MyKittensMittens)

Our verdict

If you want to go all-out and create a real grotto-like look at home, then these meteor lights would be perfect. Along 10 feet of cable, you get 10 helical tubes that each contain 54 LED lights which light up in turn to look like shooting stars or falling snow. The lights are super bright, but because they’re LEDs they are really energy efficient and safe to use.

7. Best solar-powered Christmas lights: LE Solar String Lights

A set of hanging solar powered lights

Price: £36.99 for 25 lights | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 25ft / 25 lights (plus 1 spare)Bulb type: LEDColours: Warm whitePower source: Solar and USBPower cable length: Not specifiedWarranty: 2 and 3-year extended warranties available

Reasons to buy

  • Ec0-friendly option

  • Can be charged via USB also

  • Great if you don't have access to a mains plug

  • Low-energy

Reasons to avoid

  • If weather is dark and dreary, may not charge fully

What Mumsnet users say

“We have solar-powered festoon lights in our garden and they work brilliantly.” (Type of light tried and tested by Mumsnet user showmethegin)

Our verdict

Solar-powered lights are a brilliant option if you don’t have easy access to a plug socket for mains-powered ones. They’re also a great way to keep your festive decorations as eco-friendly as possible.

If the weather is particularly dark and dreary though, you can also charge this set of lights via USB, so whatever the weather you can keep your festive display going.

There are three flashing modes to choose from or you can stick with the ‘always-on’ option, and there’s even a built-in light sensor that will turn these lights on automatically as the sun goes down.

Whichever mode you decide to use, these solar lights are a great low-energy way to get in the Christmas spirit. With eight hours of sunlight charging you get six to eight hours of lovely twinkly lights, which is plenty to be able to enjoy them each evening.

8. Best LED string lights: Yosion Warm White LED Outdoor String Lights

Lit up LED string lights

Price: £77.99 for 35 lights | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 37m total cable length / 35 lights (plus 3 spares) | Bulb type: LED | Colours: Warm white | Power source: Mains | Power cable length: 3m | Warranty: 2 and 3-year extended warranties available

Reasons to buy

  • Can keep them up all year round

  • Works well in the summer, as well as winter

  • 35 bulbs on each string

  • Waterproof tail socket to connect different strings

Reasons to avoid

  • Not your traditional look Christmas lights

What Mumsnet users say

“We live in a really wet part of the country and have had these up since before Christmas. They seem really well sealed and they’re connectable so you can add to them. Light effect settings mean you can have them on a very low glow or on ‘full’.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Newoneforthis28)

Our verdict

At £77.99, these Christmas lights are more of an investment than others on this list, but the look and style of them means you can keep them up all year round if you like.

They’re brilliantly bright light-bulb style lights that work just as well in the summer for warm evenings in the garden as they do for adding festive cheer in the winter.

Each string has 35 bulbs along it, but if that’s still not enough for your outdoor space you can easily connect up to three strings together thanks to the waterproof tail socket.

9. Best lights for sparkle: John Lewis NOMA 10 LED Crackle Ball Lights in Gold

John Lewis NOMA 10 LED Crackle Ball Lights, Gold

Price on writing: £55 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Cable length: 8m | Indoor or outdoor? Both | Light colour: White | Lit length: 1.3m | Number of bulbs: 10

Reasons to buy

  • Great for a child's bedroom or playroom

  • Could be used on a smaller tree

Reasons to avoid

  • Not too many bulbs for the price

Our verdict

In need of some sparkly lights to give a smaller tree some Christmas love? These mains-operated crackle balls are different, but will give any room in your home a soft, golden glow. They can be used outside too, and would look lovely on a small bush or tree in your garden. Just make sure the low voltage transformer is located inside if the lights are outside!

10. Best projector light: HappyGoo Christmas Projector Light

House lit up with Christmas projector images

Price: £32.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Projection distance: 8-18M | Bulb type: LED projector light | Colours: Multicolour | Power source: Mains | Power cable length: 5m | Warranty: 2 and 3-year extended warranties available

Reasons to buy

  • Great for something different

  • Safe to use in all weather

  • Three festive displays to choose from

Reasons to avoid

  • Mains powered

Our verdict

For the families who really want to add some festive fun to their homes, you can’t beat this projector light. You simply set it up so the Christmassy lights are projected onto the side of your house.

There are three different festive displays to choose from, with our favourite being the snowflake display.What’s really great about this projector is that it also comes with slides you can use for light displays at Easter, Halloween, and birthdays throughout the year.

It’s designed to be safe to use outdoors in all weather, so it's waterproof, heat resistant, and frost resistant. And you can angle the projector however you like to show off your festive display wherever you want outside your house.

11. Best LED icicle lights: Ansio Outdoor Christmas lights

Box of icicle lights

Price: £27.97 for 220 lights | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 7.5m lit length/220 lights | Bulb type: LED | Colours: White (also available in blue, red, and green) | Power source: Mains | Power cable length: 10m | Warranty: 2-year extended warranty available

Reasons to buy

  • Eight different light modes

  • Timer built in

  • Suitable for indoor and outside

Reasons to avoid

  • Mains powered

Our verdict

For adding a subtle bit of sparkle to your home this Christmas, these icicle lights come highly recommended. They’re suitable to use inside and outside and are mains powered and energy efficient. You can choose from eight different light modes including 'slow fade' and 'twinkle', and there’s also a timer you can set that will turn the lights on for eight hours each night.

12. Best lights for lining the path: Lights4fun LED Star Garden Stake Lights

A set of star shaped stake lights

Price: £17.99 for five lights | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Size: H - 39cm, Stake spacing - 0.35m | Bulb type: LED  | Colours: Warm white | Power source: AA Batteries (not included) | Power cable length: 2m | Warranty: No warranty specified

Reasons to buy

  • Battery powered

  • Up to 80 hours of lights before batteries run out

  • Timer included

Reasons to avoid

  • Only five lights included, so quite pricey for larger gardens

Our verdict

Light the way to your home with these magical star-shaped stake lights. They’re battery powered so you can place them wherever you want without needing to worry about being near a power socket.

The set comes with five star lights that glow with a beautiful warm white light for up to 80 hours before the batteries will need to be replaced.

All you need to do is stake the lights into any area of soft ground in your garden and you’re ready to go. You can simply turn the lights on and off when you want, or set the timer for them to come on for six hours at the same time each night.

13. Best reindeer family lights: Lights4fun Swinsty Acrylic Light Up Reindeer Family

A set of reindeer lights

Price: £249.99 | Buy now from Lights4fun

Key specs

Size: Stag: (H) 1.2m, Doe (H) 90cm & Fawn (H) 60cm | Bulb type: LED | Colours: Icy white | Power source: Mains | Power cable length: 8m | Warranty: 2-year guarantee

Reasons to buy

  • Eight meter lead wire so can place anywhere in garden

  • Six hour timer if you forget to switch them off

  • LED lights so energy efficient

Reasons to avoid

  • Expensive compared to other options

What Mumsnet users say

“We bought reindeers from this site last year. They're lovely and have great customer service.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user 4forkssake)

Our verdict

At £249.99, these are the most expensive lights on our list, but if you want some statement pieces that you can put out year after year they’re worth the investment.

The eight-meter lead wire is long enough that you’ll have some flexibility over where you place the family outside your house. And the six-hour timer means you don’t have to worry about remembering to switch them on and off each night.

The figures are made from acrylic and feature 540 bright white LEDs all together, so they’ll add a really pretty wintery glow to your garden.

How to choose the best outdoor Christmas lights for you

Here are the things you might want to consider when it comes to choosing outdoor Christmas lights:

  • Power source: If you have an outdoor socket or easy access to an indoor socket, a set of mains-powered lights will be great. If not, you might want to consider battery or solar-powered lights.

  • Style: There are so many different types of Christmas lights to choose from; you need to decide if you want something bright and fun or something more subtle.

  • Safety: Make sure the lights you pick are designed to be used outside and won’t be damaged or dangerous if they get wet.

  • Neighbour-friendly: You need to be considerate of your neighbours so look for lights that come with a timer so they turn off at a decent time of night if there’s a chance they’ll be shining into other homes.

Are LED outdoor Christmas lights better?

LED lights are the best option for outdoor Christmas lights. They tend to be brighter and last longer than other types of lights, while staying cool to the touch and being much less likely to break.

They also don’t burn out like traditional fairy light bulbs do, so you don’t need to worry about replacing them.

What are the best outside Christmas lights?

The answer to this depends on what you want from your Christmas lights. If you want something eye-catching but elegant, the reindeer family from Lights4fun is a great choice. And if you want something really fun for your family, a light projector could be the winner.

The best Christmas lights to cover most tastes and needs though are our overall favourites, the Ollny Christmas Fairy Lights. They’re simple, classic fairy lights with enough different modes and options for every family to get the festive look they’re going for.

How we chose our recommendations

We’ve thoroughly researched the best outdoor Christmas lights you can buy in 2022, including tried and tested experiences from a wide range of reliable, trusted sources. Here's how we carefully selected our picks.

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

We know that there’s nothing quite like a real recommendation from other parents, so the first thing we did was search through the Mumsnet forums for our users’ tried and tested recommendations for the best outdoor Christmas lights.

Expert opinions

When it comes to seasonal items like Christmas lights that you want to be able to use year after year, you want to know you’re getting the best possible quality for your money. So we researched the outdoor lights that have the best reviews from industry experts.

Authentic customer reviews

Finally, we evaluated the lights that had featured on various bestseller lists and scrutinised authentic reviews from different retailer sites to see which products were best rated.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.