Best outdoor Christmas lights 2022: The best string lights and ornaments to adorn your home this Christmas


Share the holiday joy with the best outdoor Christmas lights you can buy, from just £10

Christmas is almost here, so you might have already started thinking about how you’re going to decorate your home. The tree is probably going to be your first priority, but if you’re really planning to embrace the Christmas spirit, you’ll want to decorate the outside of your home too with the best set of outdoor Christmas lights you can find.

The very mention of outdoor Christmas lights brings to mind the image of Chevy Chase shutting down the power grid with “a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights”. Our list, on the other hand, is a bit more modest, far more practical and definitely safer – while still allowing you to be the festive envy of your neighbours.

Read on for our pick of the best outdoor Christmas lights you can buy. If you’re still confused about what types of lights to buy – whether it be battery or mains-powered, festoon or ornament – we’ve put together a little buying guide to help you out.

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How to choose the best outdoor Christmas lights for you

Mains or battery powered?

As both mains-powered and battery-operated lights have their own pros and cons, this really depends.

The most obvious benefit of battery-powered lights is that they’re energy efficient and will save you a considerable amount of money. You also get more freedom of choice when it comes to where you put them. On the other hand, they’re not going to be as bright as mains lights and you might find yourself replacing the batteries regularly.

Mains-powered lights shine much brighter so they may be a better choice if you really want your decorations to be seen. One obvious drawback, however, is that you’ll need to work out how - and where - to plug them in (for which you may need to buy an outdoor extension lead). It also goes without saying that mains-powered lights are going to be more expensive to run, depending on how long you plan to keep them on.

What styles can I buy?

If you’re after a traditional festive look to decorate your roof, string lights are a good choice - whether mains-powered or battery-operated fairy lights. Depending on how much decoration you want, they come readily available in different lengths. Rope lights are also popular - encased in a thick plastic tube for weather resistance - as are icicle lights that hang down from a cord to give your home a wintery feeling.

A slight variation on the common string lights, festoon lighting is made up of bauble like bulbs that hang down and make an excellent festive awning. Traditionally, festoon lights are made of glass, but LED lights in a tougher plastic casing are more common these days.

Ornament lights are great if you want to make a bit more of a statement. Reindeer are a common choice, though you can get a whole range of different ornament lights including snowmen, Christmas trees, candy canes, Santas and penguins.

READ NEXT: The best Christmas tree decorations to buy

The best outdoor Christmas lights to buy in 2022

1. NETTA LED Fairy Lights: Best outdoor Christmas lights overall

Price: From £15 | Buy now from Amazon

It’s hard to go wrong with a decent string of Christmas fairy lights, and these mains-powered lights from NETTA are great for both indoor and outdoor use. They come with up to eight different lighting modes – including slow fade and a twinkling flash setting – all of which are controlled with a button on the plug.

There are three colours – cool white, multi-colour and warm white – as well as a range of sizes to choose from, from 10 up to 100 metres in length. In other words, you'll have no trouble picking out a string of lights that suits your home down to the ground.

Key details – Size: 10m (100 lights) - 100m (1000 lights); Bulb type: LED; Colours: Cool white, multi-colour, warm white: Power source: Mains; Power cable length: 5m; Warranty: 1 year

2. Koopower Battery Operated Waterproof Fairy Lights: Best battery-operated fairy lights

Price: £8.61 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re put off by the idea of increasing your electricity bill and energy consumption over the Christmas period – and you also don’t mind making a small sacrifice in the brightness department – then battery-powered is the way to go.

These lights are powered by three AA batteries that fit into a waterproof box. Some Amazon customers have reported getting a good three weeks use out of one set – although, naturally, this depends on what batteries you use and how often you use the lights. Despite being battery-powered, you still get eight different lighting modes – much like the NETTA fairy lights – as well as a six hours on/18 hours off timer function.

Key details – Size: 10m (100 lights) Bulb type: LED; Colours: Warm white; Power Source: 3 x AA batteries; Warranty: 14 months

3. ADORIC Festoon Globe Lights: Best festoon lighting

Price: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

These colourful fairy lights are sure to make your decorative set-up pop, with four different colours and eight different light modes that can be controlled with a remote from up to five metres away.

The translucent LED bulbs are waterproof and surprisingly tough, so they won’t break easily if dropped. As with the Koopower lights, you also get the handy feature of a timer function, which allows you to set the lights to be on for just eight hours a day, and then off for 16.

Key details – Size: 10m (100 lights); Bulb type: LED; Colours: Red, green, blue, yellow; Power Source: 3 x AA batteries; Warranty: 1 year

4. Studley Rattan Stag Light-Up Leaping Stag: Best outdoor ornament light

Price: £200 | Buy now from Amazon

While not the cheapest option on this list, this woven rattan stag is one of the classiest outdoor Christmas ornaments going, adding a lovely rustic charm to your own personal winter wonderland. Laced with 240 LED lights, the Rattan Stag twinkles with a warm white glow, lighting up your porch or lawn beautifully at night.

As there’s little point in having the stag lit up when everyone has gone to sleep, the lights can be set with a six-hour timer, automatically shutting them off and saving you from unnecessary electricity expenditures. If you’d like to complete the family collection – and you’ve got the money going spare – Lights4Fun also offers a doe and fawn model, in complimentary sizes.

Key details – Size (HWD): 125 x 108 x 20cm; Bulb type: LED; Colours: Warm white; Power source: Mains; Power cable length: 8m; IP rating: IP44

5. B&Q 300 LED Icicle String Lights: Best icicle lights

Price: £24 | Buy now from B&Q

[Excuse the stock image – we're working on obtaining a high-resolution image from B&Q]

Give your gutter some Christmas cheer with these icicle lights. Like many of the string light options on our list, they have eight different light modes – including a chasing light option to create a nice snowing effect.

These particular lights have 300 LED bulbs in a warm white colour – although cold white, white and blue, and multicoloured options are also available. The lights are 22 metres long in total but, unfortunately, B&Q doesn’t list the length of the power cable section (the length between the plug and the first light), so it’d be wise to have an extension cable to hand if you want to be on the safe side.

Key details – Size: 22m (300 lights); Bulb type: LED; Colours: Warm white, cold white, white and blue, multicolour; Power source: Mains

Buy now from B&Q

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