Christmas lights are one of the most exciting parts of Christmas, making it pretty disappointing when it comes time to light up and you find your bulbs have fizzled. Whether you’re looking to buy some new ones or even splash out on a light display to make your neighbour jealous, you’ve come to the right place. Canstar Blue sheds light (pun intended) on where to find the best Christmas lights to buy in 2022.
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The best classic Christmas lights
Mirabella Christmas Star Lights ─ $7
If you’re looking for something a little funky, Mirabella offers a set of string lights in a fun star shape. The LED string lights have 26 star-shaped lights along a 5.5m length, but with a price that sparkly, you can pick up a few sets without breaking the bank. The lights are powered via a connection to the mains and can be used inside or outside the house.
Kmart Anko 250 LED Warm White String Lights ─ $15
There’s no need to mess with the classics, especially when it comes to Christmas lights. You can’t go past the festive look of a string of yellow twinkles, perfect for adorning verandahs, trees, bannisters and doorways. This set from Kmart is very nicely priced at $15 and gives you 22.4 metres of string lights to play with. It has 250 low-voltage and energy-friendly LED bulbs that glow a warm white, providing a subtle but cheerful addition to any set-up. They can be used inside or outside the house.
Jingle Jollys LED Net Lights ─ $87.95
Glow very bright indeed with this set of Christmas lights from Jingle Jollys. Whether you’re looking to light up a hedge, garden fence or even a wall for a Christmas garden party, these lights will ensure your guests are feeling the season’s cheer, as well as stopping anyone from running into a bush. The lights span six metres across and feature 1,000 LED lights in a warm white. They’re water-resistant, low energy, have a lifespan of 25,000 hours and come with a handy controller. While they’re certified safe for outdoor conditions, they’re just as good for inside and there’s no reason you can’t start lighting up every room in the house.
The best colourful Christmas lights
Anko LED Pearl String Lights ─ $15
Anko is throwing it back with this retro design of traditional, coloured Christmas lights. This joyful little assortment contains 70 pearl-shaped light bulbs, strung along a 6.9m length, in colours like red, blue, green and gold. The bulbs are low voltage and powered by a connection to the mains.
Lytworx Multicolour LED Rope Light ─ $31.79
Line your garden with festival vibes with this delightful multicoloured solar light rope. It uses 192 LED lights, eight light flashing functions and is powered by solar. The 8m lights are conveniently contained inside tubing, easy to manouver into any shape you like.
Jingle Jollys Icicle Lights (Myer) ─ $55.95
If you’re the type of person to leave your lights up into March, these colourful icicle lights will do the trick. They have a working lifespan of 25,000 hours (that’s over 1,000 days) and come with a solar battery panel, for effortless charging. The set has 800 ultra-bright coloured bulbs with eight lighting modes including: waves, slo-glo, chasing, flashing, twinkle, steady and slow fade. The lights hang in varied lengths, mimicking the pattern of icicles and lending an inviting glow to any Christmas set-up.
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The best Christmas light displays
Mirabella Christmas Inflatable Kangaroo ─ $44
If you’re loving the big Christmas characters, but want to make it a little more Aussie, Mirabella is offering a 1.5m inflatable Christmas kangaroo. This cheerful marsupial dons a Santa hat and is holding a Merry Christmas sign so there’s no doubt as to what he’s about. This light model is self-inflating, uses low voltage bulbs in a white LED and can be set up inside and outside.
Lytworx Battery Warm White Stag Head Light ─ $70
If you’re looking to get a little fancier this Christmas, but don’t want to go all out with a neon nativity scene, check out the stunning warmth of this stag head light décor. It’s fairly large spanning 80cm high and 66cm across and uses 80 warm LED lights in geometric shapes combined to look like a stag’s head. The unit is battery-operated (with batteries included in the box) and shines brightly for six hours before automatically turning off for 18 hours to conserve battery life.
Lytworx 1m Solar Blow Mold Soldier ─ $109
Pop up and stand out with this cute little Christmas soldier. He is easy to set up, stands 100cm tall, and glows loyally for six hours at a time. He is very helpful and charges automatically via a solar panel during the day so he’s always ready for Christmas-fun duty. This light model is built with IP44 weather resistance, able to withstand the rigours of outdoor life.
Jingle Jollys LED Reindeer Light (Myer) ─ $147.95
Stepping it up a notch is this Christmas light display from Jingle Jollys. Not only is this adorable set a 3D recreation, but it also moves! The reindeer light comes in a family of three reindeers: a buck, a doe and a baby. The buck moves its head side to side, and the doe moves its head up and down, while the baby remains still. You can place it front and centre on your lawn to bring some magic to the whole neighbourhood, or even put it in your living room to truly bring Christmas to life.
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The best Christmas tree lights
Mirabella Genio Tree Lights with Stars ─ $35
If minimalism is on your Christmas list this year, this tree may have just answered your prayers. Glowing a warm white, this set of lights is made up of five individual strands of string lights, with a 17cm high detachable star perched at the top – a flexible decoration that can be shared around. They can be fixed to a wall or onto a tree if you’ve already got one. The lights are Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled via an app on your smartphone, perfect for trying out the number of flashing lighting functions.
LED Solar Spiral Christmas Tree Light ─ $59.99
Once you pile in the family, food, presents and decorations, it can start to become a little tight in the house, leaving little room for a giant Christmas tree! Luckily, ALDI has you covered with a combination of Christmas lights and a Christmas tree in one. This spiral Christmas tree light stands 1.8m tall and is covered with 24 metres of LED rope light in a Christmas tree shape topped with a sparkling star at the very top. Best of all, it’s powered via a solar panel, with a 3m lead so you can pop the charging battery outside and let the sun do its work.
Twinkly Smart String Lights (Amazon) ─ $179.99
Nothing is too good for the star of the festive season – the Christmas tree – which is why splashing out on these app-controlled cascading string lights is a smart decision. With just a push of a button, or a vocal command, you can coordinate your very own light show without having to move from the couch. This set has a lighted length of 20 meters, consisting of 250 RGB 4.3mm diffused flat lens LED, specifically designed with a flat head to reach impressive brightness levels and perfect tone of colour. Each LED can be controlled individually, giving you control over 250 lighting zones. If you want to take it a step further, you can combine different sets of Twinkly lights, and even set your lights to music with the Twinkly Music USB device (sold separately).
What’s the most energy-efficient Christmas light?
LED bulbs are the most efficient Christmas lights, as they require less energy to run, and last for longer, meaning you get extra bang for less buck. Luckily, LED Christmas lights dominate the market, so they are not hard to find. If you’re using older Christmas lights, or lit-ornaments handed down over time, they may be using incandescent bulbs, which are more expensive to run.
How much does it cost to run Christmas lights?
LED Christmas lights will only add $0.1 to $1 to your electricity bill over the Christmas season. Nearly all modern-day Christmas lights are LEDs, which have become popular due to their minimal electricity usage. After comparing dozens of lights, we found the average set of Christmas lights will consume 1.2W to 2W of electricity for every 100 LED light bulbs.
Incandescent Christmas lights could consume up to 90% more electricity than LEDs and consequently cost considerably more to run. A standard set of incandescent fairy lights will consume 40W per 100 lights, and may cost the average household $17.79 per 1,000 bulbs through December.
For a comprehensive breakdown of how much Christmas lights cost to run, including tables and light bulb comparisons, read our article ‘How much electricity do Christmas lights use.’
Is it ok to leave Christmas lights plugged in?
While we would all love to see the Christmas fun go on forever, leaving Christmas lights plugged in for too long can damage the bulbs, and create the potential for a fire hazard, so it’s best to unplug them and put them away come January. That said, this largely applies to Christmas lights that are powered via an outlet and use electricity to glow. If you have a solar set-up outside, it’s ok to leave those for a little while longer, although it’s best to pack them up after Christmas to protect them from the elements and extend their lifespan for the next year.
Picture credits: Myer/IgorAleks/arjma/Shutterstock
*Prices accurate as of December 2022, sourced from respective retailers.