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Your Complete Buyers Guide To Outdoor Christmas Decorations.

Outdoor Christmas decorations have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many families spending as much time and effort decorating their garden and the outside of their homes as they do the inside! Here is your complete buyers guide and everything you need to know about decorating the outside of your home and creating a winter wonderland in your garden. Just make sure you have enough lights so that your house can be seen from space!

Christmas is always the perfect time to show off how excited you are with a wonderfully festive display in your front garden. Whether you want to keep it simple with a traditional wreath on your front door, make your house glow with a few external LED lights or go all out with huge inflatables and displays on your lawn, there is so much choice out there now it is easy to get a little overwhelmed. To help you out, here is your expert buyers guide to everything you need to know about outdoor Christmas decorations.

Planning your outside decor. 

This probably sounds a little obvious, but it is really important that you spend a little time taking a long hard look at your home and planning out exactly what you want it to look like. Do you want enough lights for your home to be seen from space? Do you want a more traditional look? Do you want it to look as if Santa’s workshop has just exploded all over your garden? There are no right or wrong answers here, it is all dependent on what your tastes are and what you want, but it is important to take the time to figure out exactly what that is.

Measure, measure, measure.

If you want to run string lights over every part of your home, your fence and your driveway, you will need to know exactly how many you will need. String lights come in a wide variety of lengths, but there is nothing worse than getting half way and then running out of lights and having to go and get more. Measure up properly and buy enough right from the start. The same goes with any lawn decorations, external trees or inflatables you want to include. They will all require enough room, so just have a look at what ornaments or inflatables you want and make sure they can all fit safely.

Decide on a colour scheme.

Modern Christmas lights come in every colour imaginable. Maybe you want your house to be a festive rainbow glitterball explosion, that is absolutely fine, buy as many varied colours as you want and knock yourself out, but if you want a more traditional look perhaps consider something with a warmer glow. Maybe you want to go for a crisp, cold winter wonderland white, or perhaps you want to coordinate with a specific colour, it is entirely up to you, but when buying your decorations it really does help to know what look you want to achieve beforehand. So what colour options do you have with Christmas lights?

Warm white.

Lights that are described as warm white have that soft, almost yellow glow that help you create that soft, welcoming atmosphere. 

Cool white.

These are the brightest, crisp white lights that are perfect for that cold, winter wonderland feel. Be careful though as too many can be quite overpowering.

Multicoloured lights.

Probably the most popular style of Christmas lights and often coming with the advantage of being able to have multi colours or stick to just one depending on the type of lights you get, nothing screams Christmas like a bunch of red, green, blue and other colours all twinkling side by side!

Getting ready to decorate.

Preparing your outside space for Christmas can be a lot of fun, but first things first you need to do a little bit of preparation, so get out there and do all those little maintenance jobs you have been putting off, tidy up that garden and take a good long look at your house itself. Measure up the surfaces you may want to string lights up on and make sure that you know the right sizes and lengths of lighting to buy. Boring stuff done and out of the way? Great. Now let’s get down to the fun stuff, all those festive decorations you can buy! 

Outdoor Christmas lights.

Outdoor Christmas lights are one of the best and most popular ways to instantly give your outdoor space that instant festive atmosphere, and have become increasingly ubiquitous over the last decade as lighting has become more readily available and much cheaper. The big problem is that it can sometimes be quite confusing because there are just so many different types to choose from, so let’s go over the basics of what you need to know.

Types of bulb.

It does seem obvious to say this, but it is really so easy to get confused it does need saying anyway, there are two types of lights, indoor and outdoor and they should not be confused. Internal lights are not meant for outdoor use and it should be obvious what will happen to electricals left out in elements they are not prepared for.

On top of this there are also newer, more modern LED lights to choose from or more traditional incandescent lights. Both are still popular and there are pros and cons of choosing each one, but whichever you choose it is generally a good idea to stick to one type for all of your decor.

In very general terms modern LED lights are brighter, longer lasting, more energy efficient, use a lower voltage, safer and cheaper to run. It is hardly a surprise that these are often more popular with most people, but old fashioned incandescent lights give off a more traditional, nostalgic glow that LED lights just cannot emulate. Which one you choose depends on your tastes.

Power supplies.

There are essentially two types of power options available to you, mains powered and battery powered, and which ones are right for you will depend on your specific needs and what you have available to you.

Mains power obviously plugs into your mains electricity. This means you will need an external power source that is fully protected, a safety RCD adaptor which acts as a circuit breaker, and you will also need to make sure that all cables and connections are fully waterproof.

Battery powered lights are the relatively safer option but the downside to these is that you will need a good stock of batteries. You can buy rechargeable ones which does make it easier, but you will still have to replace them periodically.

Regardless of which option you choose, a good electrical timer is a great idea. Some lights will have one built in but many don’t so make sure you check beforehand.

How much power do external Christmas lights use?

Modern LED lights are extremely energy efficient, long lasting and cheap. On average an LED light uses approximately 0.1W per bulb, a fraction of the energy used by non LED lights, so you can leave them on for a long time and it won’t add all that much to your electricity bill. 

Types of Christmas lights.

String lights.

String lights are probably the most popular type of external Christmas light and are often found stapled to the silhouette of every house, window, door, fences, tree trunks and even hedges every Christmas! They come in a wide variety of forms, from LEDs encased in thick clear hose to stunning looking icicle lights which really give a strong winter wonderland vibe.

Silhouette lights.

Another popular type is the silhouette light, these are similar to string lights in a way but are pre shaped into festive forms such as reindeer or Santa’s sleigh. These are perfect for attaching to large empty walls on your house and leave an instant festive impression.

These also work really well when multiple lights are used together in one large display. For example, the Santa’s sleigh looks great on its own, but imagine buying 11 other solo reindeers to go with it and stringing them all together in one long display! After all, Rudolph never worked on his own, right? 

Light up twig trees. 

These outdoor decorations are usually made of a thin wire frame that resembles a winter tree and have a range of LEDs built in to create a stunning, brightly lit display at night. They come in a range of colours like white or champagne so you can easily choose one to fit your decor. Or instead of just one, why not have a whole mini forest of light up trees in your garden?

Maypole Christmas trees. 

These modern looking LED Maypole trees, sometimes called pop up trees. give your garden a contemporary feel with strings of micro LEDs cascading down from a central pole (hence the name) in the vague shape of a Christmas tree. 

Light walls.

Light walls are the perfect way to quickly, cheaply and easily decorate any outside space with a glittering blanket of light. These are basically strings of LEDs hung from a central line that you can tie to any fence, pergola or anything else you can think of to hang it off. 

As well as being used for simple Christmas decorations, many aren’t Christmas specific and can also be fantastic for creating outside spaces in your garden at any time of the year. Put a pergola over a hot tub and surround it with a wall of light on three sides to create a party space or decorate a blank wall in a dark corner of your garden, this will even make an epic seating area for those evening barbecue parties. It’s a perfect excuse to avoid having to take them down when Christmas is over!

Inflatable decorations.

Probably the only outdoor Christmas decoration that has become as popular as lights in recent years are inflatables. When December comes around you can’t walk down any street in the UK without a few of these inflatable snowmen or reindeers popping up everywhere! 

It is hardly surprising they have become so popular; these huge, bouncy balls of Christmas joy are easy to set up, come in a huge variety of styles and are really budget friendly. If you want to check out just how many styles of snowmen, Santa Clauses, festive arches and even penguins there are available, just have a look here.  

Taking care of your inflatable decorations.

Inflatable decorations are relatively easy to take care of. They are generally made of a hard, durable material that is relatively weatherproof and are inflated by a tube attached to an air intake unit. Some even have integrated lights for nighttime displays. One of the key aspects of making sure your inflatable decoration lasts the winter is ensuring that there is enough room for it in your garden! One of the biggest mistakes most people make is trying to fit too large an inflatable in too small a space or putting it next to something that can potentially cause it damage, so make sure you plan out your display well!

You will also need to make sure they are properly secured to the ground. Most inflatables should come with all the equipment you need to secure it properly but keep an eye out for any extreme weather conditions and consider taking them down if there are any high winds expected.

Once Christmas is over, you can take care of your inflatables by ensuring they are completely dry before deflating them, you don’t want any damp mould forming, then simply folding them away into their original box and storing them until next year. 

Christmas Wreaths.

With all the innovations in Christmas lighting and decor, the humble, old fashioned Christmas wreath has managed to consistently remain one of the most popular decor options around for decades and are a staple of outdoor festive decor everywhere. 

Christmas wreaths are extremely versatile and come in a wide variety of styles and colours. They are perfect to adding an extra finishing touch to an all out display or creating an understated traditional display all on their own. 

Where To Hang Your Christmas Wreath.

Traditionally Christmas wreaths are hung on the centre of front doors to welcome in guests, but many people hang them on the inside of large windows, have long wreaths hanging across entire door frames or even hanging loose from a porch, but the truth is there are no real rules when it comes to festive decorations. It is entirely up to you.

How To Hang Your Christmas Wreath.

There are a whole range of ways to hang your wreath from your front door, and a lot will depend on what type of door you have, what material it is made from and what type of wreath you are using. Some of the most popular ways include: 

  • Hanging with a ribbon.
  • Using existing door furniture like handles or knockers.
  • Metal door hangers.
  • Suction cups and command strips.
  • Magnetic hangers.

Top tip: Use double sided tape to stick small pieces of foam or cut up sponge to any metal hangers or the back of a heavy wreath to act as a barrier to your door and avoid any potential damage.

So now that you have a good overview of outdoor Christmas decorations and have everything you need to know to create your own seasonal masterpiece outside your home, check out all of our outdoor lights, inflatables and other decorations and make your house and garden feel as festive as the inside of your house!