The countdown to Christmas is officially on. As we get closer, it’s time to begin baking gingerbread cookies, organising secret santas with our mates and decorating everything from the office desk to our homes and gardens.
When it comes to decorating for Christmas, many of us simply do not have the time or budget to cover every brick on our house with lights, nor do we want to spend hours untangling and hanging lights. Plus, many Australians are looking for alternative and eco-friendly ways to decorate.
Below, we’ve answered common questions about types of christmas lights to use and how to decorate without a hefty electricity bill.We’ve also found 9 absolutely gorgeous and simple christmas light and decor ideas that will help get you in the Christmas spirit with minimal effort and money.
Christmas Lights FAQ
What are the best lights to use outdoors this Christmas?
Where possible, opt for solar LED lights. Not only are they affordable and budget friendly, they also draw energy from the sun, so it helps keep your electricity bill down.
Some string lights are also available in battery-operated solution, so you don’t need to connect them to a powerpoint at all.
How long do LED Christmas lights last?
If taken care of and stored properly, LED lights should last over 50,000 hours, so you can use them year after year for your Christmas light display. Imagine if you only have your lights on for 4 hours a night over the 31 days of December. You’d get approximately 57 years worth out of your Christmas lights—in theory.
What’s the best way to store Christmas lights?
Save yourself a huge headache the next year when you go to put up your Christmas lights by investing a little time in storing them away properly.
There are several ways to store Christmas lights. Some of our favourite ways include:
- Wrapping the lights around old wrapping paper tubes or piece of cardboard.
- Separating each set of lights into ziplock bags.
We also recommend checking each of the lights are still working and unbroken before packing them away. You should also do this when it’s time to put them back up again.
How many Christmas lights do I need for a house?
Before you decide how many lights you need:
- Ensure you’re using lights approved for outdoor use, if hanging outdoors.
- Work out a plan of where you’d like to hang lights.
- Measure the space for lights and ensure the cord will be able to reach a power source.
- Know your electricity output allowance so you don’t short circuit your house.
Once you’ve done the basics, it’s time to buy some lights. Ensure you keep in mind your measurements and the placement where the lights will go. For example, hanging lights will look better along guttering, while smaller lights look good when illuminating trees.
9 Simple Christmas Light Display Ideas for the Home & Garden
1. Decorate your trees or hedges.
One of the simplest ways to get your house ready for the festive season is to wrap solar LED lights around trees in your garden. You can create a gorgeous glow by wrapping rope style lights around the tree trunk, or cover each branch in decorative fairy lights. Any large bushes or garden hedges can also be decorated easily in just a few minutes.
Just remember, if they’re not independently powered, you’ll need access to a powerpoint and be cautious of running cords.
2. Add a fake Christmas tree.
If you don’t have any trees or hedges in your garden, why not add an already decorated faux Christmas tree? There are many styles to choose from, such as a fake pine tree, a wire tree covered in christmas lights, or you could even go for something a bit more tropical such as a palm tree.
3. Decorate your outdoor stairs.
Why pull out the ladder and risk the roof when you can simply wind some lights through your stair balustrading. You can go as simple or as extravagant as you like, choosing some elegant snowdrop-look lights, or creating an intricate design using additional wiring, tinsel, etc.
4. Create a stunning window display.
For those who are renting, you may not be able to put up a full light display outdoors. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t highlight your windows. Using some light, cardboard cutouts and some tape, you can create this rental friendly display.
5. Light up your pathway and garden beds.
Guide Santa right up to the front door by adding some lights low to the ground or tucked right along the edges of paths or garden beds. If you are feeling really festive, why not opt for some candy cane shaped lights which can easily be placed straight into the ground.
6. Add some Christmas critters.
Another way to add some Christmas decorations without needing a ladder is to add some twinkling Christmas creatures and critters around your garden. Add some deer, Santa’s reindeer or a snowman by the door or in the yard.
7. Hang Christmas lanterns.
A great alternative to using LED or solar lighting is to hang or place christmas themed lanterns around your home and garden. These can be lit up with a tealight candle and create a beautiful glow and are perfect outdoor decorations for celebrating with friends and family.
Just remember to never leave lit candles unattended and extinguish them fully before retiring for the evening.
8. Hang stars and snowflakes.
Turn your garden or patio area into a winter wonderland using hanging snowflakes and twinkling star lights. This is another great alternative to strings of lights, and is super simple to put up and bring down at the end of the festival season.
9. Use mason jars or empty candle jar to hold lights.
A mason jar or a cleaned out candle jar can become beautiful decor if you fill them with fairy lights. Place these around the front door or throughout the garden or, if you have some time up your sleeve, attach the jars to your fence or outdoor walls.