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What are the Best Types of Christmas Lights?

For a long time the gold standard for Christmas lights was the classic C-9 Christmas light bulbs, often in a warm white or multicolored light set clipped to the edges of roofs and laid on top of trees and shrubs. But even the best outdoor Christmas lights were a hassle: extension cords, dead bulbs, and other obstacles made Christmas decor difficult for outdoor use.

Then LED Christmas lights ushered in a new era to compete with the classic C-9 with brighter lights, more colors, energy efficiency, and a modern look. It was much easier to find a single replacement bulb for LED electric lights than to replace an entire incandescent string light. LED bulbs also last longer and are often brighter than incandescent lights.

This solved a lot for Christmas lights, but consumers still complained about having to get on the roof every year to hang lights or pay a company to do it. This is what inspired the new Christmas light solution, permanent Christmas lights. At first it was primitive Christmas tree lights in a track to hide the wires, but it has evolved into an elegant product that is invisible during the day, yet brighter with more functionality than standard Christmas lights or LED Christmas lights.

The Best Permanent Christmas Lights

When it comes to finding the best permanent Christmas lights, the most important characteristics to look for are customization (can you control each light?), the look of the product during the day (is it hidden or an eye sore?), brightness, and accent & security functions.

From our research and testing, the best provider is JellyFish Lighting. It is an elegant system that is hidden during the day and allows for use year-round. JellyFish Lighting matches the color of the eaves to be discreet from the street. The track is small, ¾ of an inch by 1 and ¼ inches. From our testing, you can’t see the lights when you drive by a home with JellyFish Lighting during the day.

The lights are very bright, even on two and three-story homes. The customization seems somewhat endless, each light can be controlled with different movements, colors, and effects. They also double as accent and security lights for everyday use, which makes them even more valuable.


DIY or Professional Christmas Lights?

When it comes to Christmas lights, one of the hardest questions is to hire professionals or to do it yourself. If you hire professionals, you may have to pay large upfront fees or sign a multi-year contract with ongoing fees for storing the lights. If you do it yourself, you will have to design the look of your lights, run the wires, possibly climb a ladder running the risk of injury, hang the lights, and store them. This is once again why permanent Christmas lights are the best solution. Depending on the cost of professionals hanging Christmas lights for you, it typically takes 2-4 years to recoup the cost of a permanent Christmas light system.

If you install a permanent Christmas light system yourself it would take even less time to recoup the investment. Although four years seems like a long time, and it is, permanent Christmas lights typically last longer than that and you get more functionality from them, there are less people on your roof, and you can turn the lights on with the touch of a button.


The Best Classic C-9 Christmas Lights:

Although C-9s are a classic, we think it’s worth it to upgrade to LED C-9s. They last longer and use less electricity. From our research, we think some of the best C-9 LED bulbs are by Noma. Not only do they have spring-loaded clips for faster hanging, but they are also available in a variety of colors, including the classic warm white!

Image via Noma

The Best LED Christmas Lights:

With so many options it’s hard to decide which is best. Our top pick is the Outlyts Christmas string lights.

Image via Amazon

Icicle, Snowflake, and Unique Christmas Light Bulbs:

Any unique lights certainly have their place in the running for best Christmas lights. They can even pair well with permanent Christmas lights or more traditional LED Christmas lights as well when placed on railings. We like the look of the Toodour icicle LEDs for the spacing and coloration.

Image via Amazon


Although it’s been said many times and many ways, the best Christmas lights are permanent Christmas lights! JellyFish makes outdoor Christmas lighting easy because you don’t have to rig them up every year. We install easy holiday lights (or allow DIY options if you’re up for it!) so you can enjoy all kinds of colors for all kinds of holidays.

If you’re ready for permanent JellyFish Lighting, click here to get a quote! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!