How to choose the right Christmas lights to decorate the interior and exterior

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Unless you go for a very Aftermarket aesthetic, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without some twinkling lights intertwined among your tree ornaments or Christmas lights for your bushes showcasing your landscaping. But with so many sizes, shapes and colors of Christmas bulbs, how do you decide which string to buy?

Interior designer Benjamin Bradley, from the Netflix show, Holiday home makeover with Mr. Christmas, gave us some tips on how to choose the best Christmas lights for your home, tree, and anywhere else on your patio to help get you in the holiday spirit. Because, honestly, can you really ever have too many christmas lights?

“When it comes to quantities, my motto is always more is better,” says Bradley. “If you think 500 lights for your tree will be enough, buy 900. Holidays are all about abundance, and no one wants their holiday displays to look like Ebenezer Scrooge who controlled the purse strings!”

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Christmas light bulb table

Christmas light bulb table

Yeji Kim

The right size Christmas bulb is a matter of preference

Any size Christmas bulb can help decorate your hallways – it’s all a matter of taste. “It really all depends on your application and the desired end result,” Bradley says. “Bigger bulbs give out more light and are often preferable for outdoor installations. But miniature lights, if used in abundance, can be so magical in an outdoor situation.” He suggests using larger bulbs like C-7s and C-9s to highlight a specific spot, like your doorway or an outdoor tree.

That said, Bradley loves to mix different sizes of Christmas lights. “Big bulbs can give you visibility at greater distances,” he says. “Up close, the miniature lights fill the spaces between the larger bulbs, providing a fuller and more abundant display.”

He suggests combining miniature lights and C-7 bulbs or their larger cousin, the C-9, for the best Christmas lights for your home, while mini lights and C-7 bulbs are the best Christmas lights for your home. ‘Christmas tree. “They add interest, give texture, can emphasize certain elements of your screen, and add general ‘magic’ that cannot be achieved from just one type of bulb.”

White lights against multicolored lights

There is no wrong answer here. Most people tend to use clear white lights or multi-colored lights – and Bradley recommends sticking with the same Christmas light color scheme in every room.

Your lighting color scheme should work with the rest of your design elements. “I like to use white or clear lights, both miniature and large, when designing a classic home, townhouse, or want a more personalized look,” says Bradley. “If I’m looking for pure nostalgia, multi-colored lights are the way. Nothing says Christmas like a string of multi-colored C-7 bulbs!”

Twinkling lights versus flashing lights

If you are looking to add a little “movement” to your Christmas lights, go for sparkling bulbs, especially if you are using large Christmas lights like the C-7s. “These give a bit of movement and a Christmas sparkle feel without being boring,” says Bradley. “Unlike the old-fashioned flashing lights, these twinkle softly like stars.”

Pro tip: Whatever type of light you use, rather than draping your lights along the surface of your tree, garlands, or bushes, make sure you sink them deep into the branches. “It doesn’t all have to be hanging from the tips of branches,” he says. “Have the viewer do a little homework. Pushing your light deep into the tree or the garland adds depth and richness to the finished product.”

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When to consider LED Christmas lights

Bradley is a fan of the warmer, brighter glow of old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, which are great for indoor use. But there are reasons to consider LED Christmas lights that go far beyond their more eco-friendly and energy-efficient style.

“I love the tiny mini LED lights that they have used to light up artificial trees for the past two years,” he says. “They don’t go out like incandescent lights. No more testing light bulbs and no more frustration that a strand of light goes out once your screen is perfect!”

Additional Christmas light additions that go a long way

If you really want to wow your guests with the best Christmas lights, you’ll want to add a few new tools to your repertoire.

Dimmers: Adding table dimmers to your Christmas lights allows you to set the scene, so you can soften the glow to the perfect brightness. Battery operated Christmas lights aren’t as powerful as their plugged-in counterparts, but are ideal for illuminating small areas indoors where an outlet isn’t available.

Projectors: Spotlights are an underrated addition to your holiday lighting. “Don’t forget the good old projector,” Bradley says. “They can put more emphasis on a front door, a garden display or a tree. You get great value for money for very little money when using spots. “

Candle lights: Bradley also recommends Luminara, small candles that you can add to your tree. “They give a tree the most realistic glow and will be the closest you can have to the candlelit trees of yesteryear,” he says.


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