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What are Different Types of Christmas Lights?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are many lights to choose from when purchasing Christmas lights. In recent years color offerings of Christmas lights have changed dramatically. While the traditional blue, green, yellow and red is still popular, one can now find purple, pink, soft white or orange. As well, light shapes have never been more interesting. In the past people were mainly limited to bubble, large, or mini Christmas lights. Now many shapes can have you decking your halls in unique ways.

One of the principal differences between Christmas lights of today and those of yore is that LED lights are now offered in a variety of sizes and colors. LED Christmas lights use a semi-conductor to brighten up the tree or the inside or outside of the home. They are extremely energy efficient as compared to the old fashioned mini-lights. In fact, people estimate they save about 90% of their Christmas electricity bill by converting to LEDs.

LEDs come in mini lights, round shapes, and large pointed varieties, and they are more expensive in the onset. However, most people recoup their losses in extra expense on LEDs, particularly if they light their tree regularly.

Also, LED Christmas lights do not get hot and thus pose less fire danger than do regular mini-lights. They are slightly less bright, but can be connected to regular light strands as they connect end to end. Some say that the white lights do not mimic the brightness and glow of mini white lights. This can be addressed by buying a soft yellow or cream LED set instead.

Traditional incandescent Christmas lights are also still quite popular and exhibit many varieties. They can now be found arranged in icicle light formations, a quite popular outdoor decorating choice. Some vary this by using blue or green icicles instead of the more expected white.

For a while, the larger pointed bulb lights were not available. They did get hot and proved a fire danger. Now one can find both LED and incandescent bulbs available for the large bulb look outdoors or indoors. The bubble Christmas lights were also a once dangerous choice, though many people loved them. Safe bubble lights are now also available.

With any type of Christmas light, it is still important to practice safety. It is vital to replace very old strands with new ones. If you’ve had the same set for 15 years, your home deserves some new and safer lights. Additionally, turn all lights off prior to leaving the home, and turn all lights off prior to going to sleep at night. Also make sure that cut live Christmas trees are sufficiently watered to prevent them from drying out.

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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By bbpuff — On Nov 21, 2010

@doppler - I like those lights, too, they bring back a lot of memories. I also am very classic in my tastes and like just the plain white Christmas lights as well. There is something about those paired with blue lights that are perfectly lined around the edges of a home or driveway that looks so sophisticated. None of that crazy multi-colored mess for me, thanks!

By doppler — On Nov 21, 2010

@Leiliahrune - LED lights really are cost effective, but if you don't pay attention to your bill this year versus last year you won't notice the difference. That goes for changing out any bulbs to energy saving lights in your home. So for some people it won't seem worth it. I, personally, like the old style giant bulbs outdoor Christmas lights.

By leiliahrune — On Nov 21, 2010

@ChickenLover - I think the popularity really has a lot to do with their efficiency I guess you could say. They are said to cut costs by as much as $100 in the month of December. You basically have your Christmas tree lights on every night so it's a wise idea to invest in some quality lights like LEDs because they will help you cut electricity costs.

By ChickenLover — On Nov 21, 2010

LED lights are quickly becoming popular. They can be a little more expensive that traditional brands or regular lights, but they are worth it. We use our LED lights outside usually, but hanging Christmas lights outside can be dangerous, though, no matter what type of lights you have so be careful.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor,...
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