7 Festive (and Inexpensive) Alternatives to Christmas Lights

updated Dec 13, 2022
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Christmas lights hanging from roof
Credit: Shutterstock/Ryzhkov Oleksandr

It’s never too early to start prepping for the holiday season. Or (if you’re like me) to worry about prepping for it. Besides the logistics to organize, gifts to buy, and ugly sweaters to try on, you also have to plan your decorations, both indoors and out. If you’re someone who puts up outdoor lights every year, then you know they can be a lot of work. Whether you’re spending the money to replace burnt-out bulbs or climbing up the ladder to put them up yourself, sometimes it just seems like there should be an easier, cheaper way to make your home look ready for winter. That’s why we rounded up some alternatives to traditional holiday string lights that will give your outdoor (or indoor) space that festive glow. Below, you’ll find eight of our favorite alternative Christmas lights that’ll bring all the sparkle with none of the hassle. Happy holidays!

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If you’re hoping to avoid Christmas lights this season, then an outdoor light projector might be the next best thing. This one from Amazon will give you the look of lights (but even cooler) with minimal setup and take-down time. The projector displays red, blue, and green lights with different effects and has a timer so you can set it to shut off after a few hours.

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was $69.99

If you’re looking for something a little simpler than an outdoor projector but with the same effect, then check out this outdoor flood light from Amazon. Instead of a scattering of twinkly lights, you can color-block your space with one of 120 different colors. It has four modes and is waterproof, so you can use it inside or outdoors.

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Grandin Road
was $129.00

There's no need to get out the ladder for this holiday tree! This twig tree comes decorated with twinkle lights and is battery operated, so you don’t have to worry about finding an extension cord or a free outlet. Buy a single tree or make a whole forest of the 3’, 4’, and 6’ options — perfect for displaying inside or out.

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Home Depot

Whether you’re looking for a little more illumination inside or out, these bulbs are sure to set a festive mood with minimal effort. These indoor/outdoor lights come in seven different colors. At $5.97 each, they’re perfect for adding a pop of color to your porch light or indoor space.

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was $99.99

If you’re really going for that North Pole holiday look, this lamp post is sure to give your space a festive, fun feel. Thanks to its convenient plug, it's suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Whether you’re looking for an addition to your traditional holiday lights or a hassle-free replacement, this piece is sure to set the mood.

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was $79.99

A classy twist on string lights, this garland is an easy way to add a little illumination to your space. It’s 9’ long, so you have plenty of slack to work with, and setup couldn’t be easier. Hang these over your door, drape them on the mantle, or arrange them on your coffee table for a classic holiday look.

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Simple Christmas lights in a different form, these lighted snowflakes are an easy decoration for your windows — no ladder necessary. They’re battery-operated, have a built-in timer, and are on sale for just $37.99.