The Best Christmas String Lights for Every Part of Your Home

updated Dec 9, 2021
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While opinions may vary, one of the best parts of Christmas decorating is Christmas lights. From big prjector displays and lighted blowups, to twinling figurines and more there are lots of ways to incorporate lighting into your holiday set up. But the most popular way is through a great set of string lights. However, finding a durable, stylish pair can be a bit hard with so many to choose from. Fear not — we scoured the web and found the best ones for you so you don’t have to. Below, check out 12 of our favorite Christmas string lights as well as some of favroite ways to incorporate them beyond your tree.

Tips for Decorating with String Lights Beyond the Christmas Tree

  • Add some cozy charm to your fireplace. Drape string lights over the garland on your mantle to create the ultimate cozy fireplace. If your fireplace is purely decorative, consider gathering string lights together in the hearth to brighten up the space.
  • Actually use your Christmas lights for lighting. Rather than hanging your string lights, try gathering them up in a Mason jar or cloche to create additional soft lighting in your home. The effect is both aesthetically pleasing and much more festive than a regular lamp.
  • Show off your Christmas cards in style. Want a surefire way to add holiday cheer to your home? Hang up your loved ones’ Christmas cards on string lights using small clothespins instead of storing them in a basket.
  • Get crafty with the whole family. If you’re looking for a fun craft project to do over the holidays, consider cutting out stars from leftover wrapping paper and attaching them onto your Christmas lights. Another idea (from A Bubbly Life) is to shape copper coils into spheres and wrap string lights around them to create an alternative to the traditional Christmas wreath.
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Great for everything from decor and crafts to indoor and outdoor use, you can't go wrong with a good set of twinkle lights — something AT's Founder and CEO Maxwell Ryan seconds. "I first bought these lights about five years ago, when LED really started to hit this category. Tiny, bright, cool to the touch, and able to sip electricity, I still love these lights for use year-round. They come in tons of colorways and look great bunched up into a cluster. I've used them as an awesome nightlight when my daughter was young. You must be careful not to get them too tangled, however, as they are super challenging to straighten out!"

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Classic frosted lights are a staple for a reason: they never go out of style. A staff favorite, this light strand gives off a retro-inspired vibe with its soft frosted lighting and old-school bulbs. Aside from looking great wrapped around your Christmas tree, this set is also weather resistant making them a great pick for outdoor use, too.

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Free People

Like the traditional light look but want a pop of color? The Ariana Ost Classic Christmas Lights from Free People may be just what you're looking for! It comes with 27 feet of multicolored glass, candle-shaped bulbs perfect for a vibrant display.

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A more sustainable update on the classic Christmas lights, this colorful option from GE uses Energy Smart LED bulbs, which can help you save up to 80 percent on your holiday lighting energy costs. Another perk: unlike older versions, these lights won’t malfunction if a single bulb burns out. Note: This set some with two packs of lights for double the fun!

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If you’re looking for a fun twist on the old reliable colored Christmas lights, these color-changing lights from Amazon are a great option. With eight color modes — Combination, In Waves, Sequential, Slo-Glo, Chasing/Flash, Slow Fade, Twinkle/Flash, Steady on — it's easy to create a fun lights display in your home.

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Once the icicle lights start going up, you know the holiday season is here. A favorite for their flowy, draped design, this set is an Amazon best-seller and comes with eight feet of traditional clear incandescent icicle lights on a white wire for the ultimate icy look.

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Simple and understated yet still joyful, these clear lights from Prextex are a staple in many homes for their durability. Perfect for wrapping around the tree, draping across a balcony, or wrapping around your entryway banister, each set comes with 18 feet of lighting and end to end connections for as many lights as your heart desires.

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These cute little star lights are simple yet effective. Similar to the standard twinkle lights, the star-shaped bulbs can be used anywhere, and make for a modern lighting option any time of the year. These lights are battery-powered, feature eight twinkle modes, and are even waterproof!

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Looking for a colorful, yet understated pick? These colorful glass bulbs don’t sacrifice fun for a minimalist style. Battery Powered and covered in orange, olive, rouge, grey and clear colored bulbs, the Mini Pebble Colored Glass String Lights pack a big, festive punch in a small package.

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These clear glass bulbs from Better Homes & Gardens are stylish and simple. They come with 18.7 feet of lights and are made for both indoor and outdoor use, making them great for anyone looking for a year-round set.

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Grandin Road
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Grandin Road is a treasure trove of whimsical holiday decor, but we especially love these vintage-inspired ornament-like glass bulbs. They’re a great alternative to ornaments if you want an easier method of tree decorating, but are definitely attractive enough to be used on their own.

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West Elm

If you really want to make a statement with your holiday lighting, consider these Pine Cone lights from West Elm. Perfect for railings, mantels, doorways, and more, this set puts a fun spin on holiday lighting and is a set you can keep up around the house all winter long!

Sarah M. Vazquez also contributed to reporting.