It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas lights, especially as the nights are getting darker. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our best Christmas lights on the Ideal Home team’s radar to turn your home into a magical wonderland.
Incorporating Christmas lights is one of our favourite (and festive) budget Christmas decorating ideas, and they’ll instantly give your home a merry and bright makeover. You can decorate everything from your fireplace to your best artificial Christmas tree with these twinkling lights, and there are so many different options out there.
Yes, traditional fairy lights are definitely on the menu. But if you’re on the lookout for new indoor Christmas lights that break away from the mould, we’ve got them covered, too.
The best Christmas lights for 2023
Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Best Christmas lights
If you’re looking to add a modern vibe to your festive decorations, a neon light can certainly fit the bill. This neon star light is subtle yet stylish, and perfect for those who want to adorn their walls with something merry and bright. But if you don’t like the star, John Lewis also has neon holly lights, a neon ‘XMAS’ sign, a neon Santa, a neon Gonk, and even a neon penguin.
The White Company is one of the best places to buy affordable ‘quiet luxury’ Christmas decorations, and these mistletoe fairy lights prove it. Featuring 38 bulbs and a metal wire with mistletoe decoration, they’re so much cooler than your average fairy lights. They’ll look stunning wrapped around your tree, on your Christmas tablescape, or hanging atop your fireplace - just in time for Santa’s arrival.
Let’s be honest; a Christmas tree looks empty without presents underneath it. And if you refuse to put real presents under the tree until Christmas Eve, why don’t you put light-up presents underneath there instead? You can buy this set of 3 light decorations in either gold or silver, and they can either sit at the bottom of your tree or elsewhere in your house. In fact, they can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Do you love Christmas baubles? Do you love Christmas lights? If you answered ‘yes’ to both of those questions, you’ll love this bauble garland from M&S. Not only does it come in four different colourways (including silver, gold, red, and multi), but the integral LED lights also bring an extra sparkle to the garland. In our humble opinion, we think this garland will be the perfect addition to your mantlepiece or your bannisters.
Natural, wooden Christmas decorations are going to be all the rage this year. And if you want to add some warmth to your Christmas tablescape or your fireplace, this candelabra will certainly do the trick. At just £15, it’s an absolute bargain and is great for those who want a more traditional Christmas light to brighten up the home during the festive period.
There’s a high chance that you’ve already seen these Christmas house decorations on social media or in the shops. That’s because these adorable houses are a huge trend for 2023, offering homeowners the chance to add a subtle-yet-stylish festive feel to their house. But while many brands are offering them in candle holder form, these houses from Zara Home are battery-operated - meaning you don’t have to waste any tealights.
The limit does not exist when it comes to fairy lights. Especially over Christmas! And if you’re after some budget fairy lights that don’t break the bank, Amazon has always got your back. This pack comes with 600 bulbs and spans 41.9 metres, meaning you can deck out a whole room with fairy lights if you really want to. You can also choose from warm white, bright white, and multi-coloured.
If you were just as entranced by Stacey Solomon’s magical Harry Potter ceiling as we were, you might want to replicate this look yourself. To do this, you’ll need some magical floating candles - like these ones! Not only are the nylon strings almost invisible, but this pack of 10 even comes with a remote control so you can activate the flickering flames. All you need to do now is decide where you want to suspend them.
Want to give your windows some love this Christmas? This hanging curtain is perfect for brightening up your room while also brightening up the outside of your house, too. As well as offering 12 hanging moons and stars, this curtain also offers 8 different lighting settings to choose from - so you can tailor the brightness and the twinkle to your own needs and requirements. Plus, this curtain even has a timer.
Where to shop for the best Christmas lights
Got a specific twinkly style in mind? If our top picks above haven't made your Christmas dreams come true, then this is our round-up of the best places to shop for Christmas lights.
- Amazon Christmas lights
- Argos Christmas lights
- Asda Christmas lights
- Dunelm Christmas lights
- Cox and Cox Christmas lights
- Homebase Christmas lights
- John Lewis Christmas lights
- Lights4Fun Christmas lights
- Marks & Spencer Christmas lights
- Next Christmas lights
- The White Company Christmas lights
- Wayfair Christmas lights
- Zara Home Christmas lights
How to choose the best Christmas lights
If you’re on the hunt for the best Christmas lights, but you’re not sure how to choose the best of the best, there are a few questions you can ask yourself:
Do they fit your aesthetic? Christmas decorations are extremely subjective. While some people go bold and mish-mash, there are others who like everything to match their home decor perfectly. Because of this, you need to ask yourself whether the Christmas lights fit your aesthetics and your dreams for your festive home.
How are they operated? Indoor Christmas lights normally fall into two categories: mains-powered or battery-operated. This will rarely change the aesthetic or the look of the lights, but they may affect how practical they are - and, of course, the price. While mains-powered lights will up your energy bills, battery-operated lights will require you to buy batteries (unless the lights come with batteries included).
It’s also important to note that battery-operated Christmas lights will also be portable, whereas mains-powered Christmas lights are restricted to being near a plug socket. So, think about where you want to put the lights and decide from there.
Can they be used indoors and outdoors? It’s highly likely that you’re going to buy more Christmas decorations before the big day arrives, which is why opting for Christmas lights that can be used indoors and outdoors can be a great advantage. This way, you can move them in and around the house without having to commit to using them inside the house. Of course, if you’re confident that you won’t want to put them outside, there’s no need to buy Christmas lights that can also be used outside.
Do they have a timer? Timers are extremely handy when the festive months come around. By placing your Christmas lights on a timer, you can make sure that your energy bills don’t suffer too much. Many Christmas lights now come with these timers as standard, but some don’t. So, you may need to buy one separately.
How much are they? Christmas is a time to celebrate with your loved ones and enjoy some much-needed rest, which is why many people save up all year to spend lots of money on presents and decorations during this time of the year. However, we’d always suggest setting yourself a budget when it comes to Christmas lights. While we wouldn’t encourage you to buy the cheapest options on the market (as the quality might reflect the price), we also wouldn’t encourage you to spend too much. After all, you’ll only be using them for a few weeks.
Which type of Christmas lights are best?
It’s generally considered that Christmas lights with LED bulbs are the best, as these are more energy efficient and higher quality. In fact, they last considerably longer than alternatives, which will allow you to use your Christmas lights year after year.
You also need to consider the colour of these bulbs. In our humble opinion, warm lights create the cosy ambience many people are looking for when it comes to the best Christmas lights. However, there are others who prefer the ice-white bulbs reminiscent of a winter scene.
Are LED Christmas lights worth it?
Yes - especially if you want to save a bit of money over the Christmas period. While LED Christmas lights use considerably less energy than alternatives on the market, they don’t scrimp on quality.
If you want to fill your house with festive cheer this Christmas, the best Christmas lights are definitely the way to go.
Get the Ideal Home Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house makeovers, project advice and more.
Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
- Lauren BradburyContributor
How to make DIY air dry clay Christmas decorations for your tree, table and gifts - all for under £5
Homemade Christmas decorations just got a facelift
By Holly Cockburn
Nigella Lawson's clever fairy light trick instantly transforms a kitchen for Christmas – and it's easy to recreate
It's the glitziest Christmas decor display we've seen, and experts agree
By Jullia Joson
Make your life easier and save energy this Christmas with a £9 gadget that lets you control your tree lights
The smart gadget that will become your best friend this Christmas
By Tamara Kelly
The best Christmas tree alternatives for small spaces that will work in the tiniest of rooms
Make like a tree, and leave the pine needle trails outside with our top 10 Christmas tree alternatives that won’t overcrowd this Christmas
By Linda Clayton
5 tricks decor experts use to make an artificial Christmas wreath look expensive on a tiny budget
Jazz up your artificial wreath this Christmas with these budget hacks
By Lauren Bradbury
How to hang a wreath on a front door - including the best approach if you have a composite or glass door
Protect your door and display your wreath in style
By Lauren Bradbury
These Christmas lights are guaranteed to make your decor look more expensive – and they’re on sale right now
Merry and Bright meets Quiet Luxury
By Thea Babington-Stitt
What home fragrance experts use to make their homes smell amazing at Christmas – aside from candles
From Jo Loves to The White Company, we ask fragrance experts how they scent their homes for the holidays
By Thea Babington-Stitt
Lidl's real Christmas trees have returned for the festive season – and prices start at just £16.99
What's the holiday season without a Christmas centrepiece?
By Jullia Joson
How to decorate a Christmas tree – a step by step guide, with tips from the professionals
Ensure your Christmas tree is dressed to perfection for the holiday season with our expert tips
By Amy Cutmore
3 easy-to-copy ways to style Habitat's £16.50 wooden star for an expensive-looking Christmas display
This stylish decoration caught our expert stylist's eye as the ultimate affordable way to elevate your home decor this Christmas
By Rebecca Knight