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How to Select the Best Lights for Your Indoor Christmas Tree

If you are like me, selecting the best Christmas lights for your tree is the least of your concerns. I am generally more concerned with making sure the tree doesn't fall out of the stand, and that it is reasonably straight. However, there are a lot of choices on the market now for Christmas tree lights, and there are a few things you should consider when making your selection.

LED Christmas Lights vs. Incandescent Christmas Lights

LED Christmas lights have a number of advantages over standard incandescent Xmas lights. LED lights are highly efficient, and the lights use about 90% less energy than incandescent lights. This should certainly be a consideration when making a purchase; however, if you are only using a few strings, the cost savings can take a while to add up. Fortunately, there are also additional advantages to LED holiday lights. The two biggest advantages of LED lights, are related to safety, and durability. One of the reasons LED Christmas lights are so efficient, is because they waste little energy in the form of heat. As a result, the lights remain cool to the touch even after several hours (or days) of illumination. The cool operating temperature of LED holiday lights make them safer for interior applications. In addition, because the lights draw so little power the risk of overloaded electrical circuits is significantly reduced. LED holiday lights are also much more durable than incandescent lights because they contain no glass. The bulb (or lens) that covers the LED lamp is constructed of an acrylic plastic that is virtually unbreakable. With the durable bulb cover, and super-efficient LED bulbs, they will last much longer than Incandescent lights - Saving you on replacement costs too!

For additional information on this topic, please see our article LED Holiday Lights vs. Incandescent Holiday Lights: Time to Convert?

Selecting the best bulb style for your Christmas tree lights

Selecting a Christmas light bulb style used to be easy, there were two choices: mini lights, or the larger C7/C9 style bulbs. Now there are a variety of bulb styles to choose from, including but not limited to: 5MM wide angle, G12 raspberry, M5 mini lights, C6 strawberry, and the more traditional C7 or C9. So which are the best lights for your Christmas tree? This is a difficult question to answer, because a large part of the answer has to do with personal preference. However, there are a few general rules of thumb, that can help you select the best bulb style for your tree:

  • Select a bulb style based on the size of your tree – Smaller Tree = Smaller Bulb Style – Larger Tree = Larger Bulb Style
  • The 5MM wide angle LED lights, or G12 raspberry LED lights, will produce the most evenly distributed light, no matter which way the bulbs end up pointing.
  • The larger the bulb (lens), the less bright each bulb will appear – The 5MM bulb is very small, but will produce a very bright pin-point of light. In contrast the C7 or C9 bulbs are very large, but they will produce a more diffused, larger area of light. (This is because the LED inside is the same, but in a larger bulb style, that same LED has to fill up (light) so much more space)
  • For additional information on the difference in bulb styles, and their uses, please see our article Selecting The Best Bulb Shape


The best color lights for your Christmas tree

Selecting the right color for your Christmas tree lights should be the easiest part, because it is entirely subjective: choose the colors you like best. Aside from this advice, we can offer a few other things to consider.

  • If you are considering White, you will have two choices:
    • Warm white Christmas lights, which will create a more traditional or classic look, and will be the closest in color to incandescent clear.
  • Pure white Christmas lights used alone will create a brighter and more striking appearance, but beware, this is often too bright of a color to use by itself on an indoor tree. (If you really want to use Pure White instead of Warm White, try mixing it with another solid color, or with Multi colored lights)

  • Multi-colored is always a popular choice, and it LED, this combination is stunning!

  • If you choose colored Christmas lights, be sure to stick with a multi-colored set or stay with complimentary colors.