What are the best Christmas lights around? For many people, warm white Christmas lights are an excellent option. Let’s look at what these lights are, why they might work for Christmas decorations, and what other options are out there for holiday lighting—especially for permanent holiday lights.
What is the difference between warm white and cool white lights?
White lights come in a wide variety of shades—they’re all white, of course, but they’re different shades of white, with differences that could be very subtle or very distinct.
Even if you don’t know off the top of your head what the difference is between warm and cool lighting, chances are very good that you can recognize it immediately when you see it. Cool lighting tends to be more blue colored, while warm lighting is more orange or red colored. The light itself is still white, of course, but there’s just a slight shift in coloration, like mixing in a small amount of colored paint into a bucket of white paint. These colors give the lighting a different “feeling” to it, hence the difference between calling it warm and cold lighting. Warm lighting feels more natural and fire-like because of its orange tint; cool lighting feels more artificial, somewhat like a laboratory or hospital light. Cool lighting tends to be brighter, which is why it’s often used in settings where visibility is important (like in those laboratories we just mentioned), but warm lighting usually is more comfortable to look at for longer periods of time.
Warm or cool: what is the best way to go for Christmas lights?
Are warm or cool lights better for Christmas decorations? For most people, the answer will be that warm lights fit the look they want for Christmas much better than cool lights. Warm white lights might not be quite as brightly or universally illuminating as the cool ones, but that extra tint of orange or yellow in their coloration tends to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort—the perfect feeling for Christmas and the perfect contrast to the cold of wintertime (they are called “warm” lights, after all!). Warm white lights also tend to have a more old-fashioned appearance, which also tends to fit what people are looking for around Christmas time: many Christmas decorations and events are steeped in years of tradition, after all, and you probably don’t want to ruin the sense of timeless wonder with modern, harsh, cool white lights that just don’t quite fit the look of the other decorations.
Finally, if you’re planning to have these lights up and active for long periods every night, warm lighting will typically be easier on the eyes of anyone who is looking at your decorations.
Of course, this all comes down to personal preference, but most people will likely agree that warm white lights are a much better solution for Christmas lights than cool white lights.
Should I use LED lights for my Christmas decorations?
Almost definitely. Although standard LED lights can sometimes have a harsher, cooler look compared to traditional bulbs, plenty of LED options have been developed to use different, warmer shades of white light. They may even be programmable, allowing you to adjust their coloration depending on what you’re looking for on any given day. Getting LED color-changing lights is like having a wide variety of light options all built into one. If you want warm white LED lights, you can have that, but you can also switch over to a colorful pattern or to red or green lights, or anything else you think fits the occasion.
Furthermore, LED light strings have several benefits besides their adaptability. Chief among these is that LED lights are safer than a traditional light bulb. Whereas old-fashioned lightbulbs will produce a lot of heat along with their light, LEDs are designed to efficiently produce light without heating up much. This makes them much less likely to cause a fire with excess heat. As an additional bonus, this added efficiency means that LED lights require much less power to function properly, which can lead to lower energy costs. It also means that white LED lights can shine just as brightly as traditional ones for a fraction of the required wattage.
LED Christmas lights can come in many shapes and varieties, including rope light, string light, and icicle light versions, as well as fairy lights or other mini lights, track lighting, and novelty lights. There are even net light strands that can be used to easily light up a hedge or bush without much hassle. In short, you can find basically any kind of LED light that you can think of!
Smaller strands of LEDs may even work as battery operated lights, with no need to arrange them according to where your home has available outlets. No matter what shape and design you choose, LEDs are an excellent choice for both outdoor Christmas lights and indoor Christmas lights.
Can you mix warm and cool lights?
Many programmable holiday lights will often allow you to have cool white lights and warm white lights on the same section. For your outdoor lights, you could have different sections of your house lit with different shades of white light. Maybe you could have string lights display a warm white color along the edge of your roof, and icicle lights display a cool white running down the sides of the home. On the inside, maybe you have a brightly-lit Christmas garland that uses cool lights, but then some Christmas wreaths that use warm white lights.
On the other hand, some people find this contrast a little jarring, so make sure you experiment with your light shades and settings if you’re planning to mix warm and cool white lights in your Christmas decoration scheme. Of course, you may simply have warm decorative lights and cooler, brighter house lights (like lights used for security or visibility). In this case, the contrast makes sense, as the different kinds of lights are trying to do different things.
In short, it’s best to try things out and see what looks you enjoy the most!
What lights are popular for Christmas trees?
When it comes to decorating Christmas trees with lights, there are three popular options.
First, Christmas trees can be decorated with only white lights, especially warm white lights. This option hearkens back to the original method of lighting up these trees, which involved setting candles in their branches. White strings of lights can create a traditional, warm glow like old-fashioned candlelight without the fire risk!
Second, Christmas tree lights can be multicolored. This is also an old tradition, though, of course, not as old as using candlelight! The first colored Christmas lights were displayed in 1882. As these lights became cheaper to make and buy, they increased in popularity in the United States throughout the 1900s. These multicolored lights are still popular today and can be a great way to highlight various Christmas tree ornaments without relying too much on any color.
Finally, some Christmas tree lights can be made using a limited selection of colors—perhaps only red and white lights, or red and green lights (to match the typical Christmas colors). These lights are often used as part of a larger display; outdoor lighting exhibits with many lit-up trees may give each tree a single main color of light, for example. On a smaller scale, your home may have a theme or color scheme for your holiday decorations, and you can design your tree’s lighting to match those colors! For instance, if your Christmas decorations have many blue colors, you might choose a blue lighting scheme for your tree to match.
While these are the main approaches taken to lighting up a Christmas tree, there are, of course, other options. Programmable light displays may involve Christmas tree lights, for example, or you may have lights shaped like something holiday-themed, such as small stars or snowflakes. Some artificial Christmas trees may also come with specialized light displays. Because there are so many options, the limit is your imagination.
What are my options for permanent holiday lighting?
Permanent holiday lights are a popular solution for Christmas light decorations, partly because they are also usually customizable to fit other holidays or events as well. When you’re looking for these kinds of lights for your home, one the most common options you may find is lights that face downwards (sometimes called “downlighting”). These lights illuminate the walls of your home and are installed just under the lip of the roof. Another option would be lights that are installed along the roof’s edge and shine outwards rather than downwards, making them brighter and more direct but not directly illuminating the walls of the home around them.
These lights can also have customizable colors for their wiring to better match your home’s exterior. You might go with green wire lights for greenery, white wire or black wire to match the color of your home’s walls or roof,
How can Jellyfish Lighting help me?
One installer of permanent holiday lights that you should consider is JellyFish Lighting. They sell and install programmable color-changing lights for your property. These lighting systems can be easily controlled through a smartphone app, giving you literally thousands of options for different colors and patterns for your lights and the ability to change your light display in just moments, whenever you want. In addition, their system offers a variety of white light options that you can switch between, so you can choose the perfect balance of warm and cool white lights. When you’re deciding what will work best for your Christmas lights, JellyFish Lighting can help!
Contact JellyFish Lighting for a flexible, permanent outdoor system for your holiday lights, and get an estimate today.