Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. Last year, we picked our favorite Christmas lights, but this year, we decided to go deeper on all kinds of string and holiday lighting. Below, the best in Christmas light shows. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Animated wire frame elves and Santas add a bit of cartoon-like fun to your lawn. You can get penguins that throw snowballs at each other and reindeer that run. The animation can be jerky, like a crude Flash movie, but these are real smile-makers for young kids. Plus, they’re big. Some are 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide, so there’s a lot of bang for your $300 to $1,500.
Restore a festive flair to that old light strand with this deLIGHTful pack of transparent C9 replacement lamps! 25 multi-colored C9 replacement lamps are double-coated with pigment to shine brightly with rich color. Commercial grade, these replacement bulbs feature weatherproof bases and fade-and peel-resistant coatings to withstand winter weather and corrosive ocean air.
“Very happy with these lights. They look great on our tree! And all four that I purchased worked right out of the box — no dead LEDs. They’ll probably pay for themselves in energy savings within a couple of years, since we like to keep our tree lights on nonstop throughout December. And no worries about fires since these babies put out zero heat. My only dislike is that they contain some white LEDs. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think they belong on a color strand. But they are hardly noticeable unless you look for them.”
Tired of downsizing? Throw political correctness to the wind with giant-size outdoor ornaments for your eaves, porch and trees. Up to 4 feet tall and featuring a high-gloss finish, unbreakable plastic and polyresin ornaments mimic glass in Paul Bunyonesque proportions. Some have built-in lights. Lots of styles and colors are available for $100 to $150.
Meant to embody the ambiance of a snow-covered wood, cast in a moonlit glow, this Wisp Tree evokes a subtle, grace, not traditional of seasonal decoration. The fresh white, 5mm lights are small, yet emit a brilliant halo of light that surrounds the tree in an almost ethereal glow. Merely place a white base layer at the tree's trunk to create a truly magical, yet elegant winter scene.
Create an enchanting warm atmosphere in your home or garden and illuminate the night with these beautiful solar powered lights. Aleko solar powered decorating lights require no outlet. Now decorate anywhere without dangerous extension cords and without being limited to just decorating inside your house or near outlets. Drape these lights around your yard trees, bushes, fences, and much more. Solar panel converts sunshine into electricity during the day and lights turn on automatically at night....

You’ve lit up the outside of your home with Christmas house decorations, Christmas lights and other outdoor decorations, but what about the inside? Pier 1 has the “brightest” Christmas candle holders and Christmas lanterns to add a holiday glow to any space in your home. And don’t forget to spruce up the brightest spot in your home—the fireplace. Hang your Christmas stockings on festive stocking holders from Pier 1 that coordinate with your other unique Christmas decorations.
There is a variety of lights to choose from. First and foremost, always use waterproof or water-resistant lights with a tag marked underwriters lab (UL). This means the lights meet national industry standards with the American National Standards Institute. Also, when you're buying Christmas lights to use outside, make sure they are rated for outdoor use (just like your extension cords). Never use indoor Christmas lights outdoors.

The indoor decorator will find a wide selection of mini light colors and themes to light a home year round. Use novelty lights as tree lights or theme décor. The outdoor lover can bring the passion indoors or light up the night with string lights along the porch, patio, or campsite with an array of outdoor lights. Friends and family will ask where you found those stunning lights! Let the joy and warmth of Christmas glow inside and outside your house this holiday season. Bronner's can light every part of your home whether it be your tree, wreath, doorway, mirror, stairway, centerpiece, or window with Christmas lights. To center décor on a theme, Bronner's offers novelty light sets, LED light sets, miniature light sets and traditional Christmas light sets in every color of the rainbow. Top your tree with a lighted star or angel. Simplify Christmas with artificial pre-lit trees. No more tangled mini lighting strands or missing lights. Pre-lit trees and unlit trees are available in many sizes. Flocked trees are also in the pre-lit selection or unlit. Once the inside of your house is holiday bright with xmas lights, many lighted ornamentals are ready for display in your windows and yard. Smaller window designs can be used indoors or outdoors including snowflakes, stars, angels, snowmen, flags, bunnies, pumpkins, turkeys etc. Warmly welcome holiday guests with lighted pathway markers for driveway or sidewalk. Tell the Christmas story with a large, outdoor, lighted Nativity display. Holographic and wire-frame designs include snowmen and reindeer. Large, lighted plastic displays include Nativities, Santa, elves, and more.
In many countries, Christmas lights, as well as other Christmas decorations, are traditionally erected on or around the first day of Advent.[5][6] In the Western Christian world, the two traditional days when Christmas lights are removed are Twelfth Night and Candlemas, the latter of which ends the Christmas-Epiphany season in some denominations.[7] Leaving the decorations up beyond Candlemas is historically considered to be inauspicious.[8]
Light up the autumn evening with this versatile Light up the autumn evening with this versatile Squatty Pumpkin Luminary from Desert Steel. Measuring 14 in. W x 15 in. H this creative take on the classic fall gourd was individually crafted by hand for detail and quality. Made from galvanized steel this stunning luminary is maintenance-free and rust-resistant ...  More + Product Details Close

Restore a sapphire flair to that old light strand with this deLIGHTful pack of transparent C7 replacement lamps! 25 blue-colored C7 replacement lamps are double-coated with pigment to shine brightly with rich color. Commercial grade, these replacement bulbs feature weatherproof bases and fade-and peel-resistant coatings to withstand winter weather and corrosive ocean air.

Friends and family are sure to gobble up our turkey lighted ornamental this holiday season! This pre-lit ornamental features a festive-looking, plump turkey in colors of gold, russet, orange, and red, with 10 clear mini lights strung from behind with 28" of lead wire on a white cord. Beautifully crafted of PVC, our shimmering feathered friend measures 16" tall and is UL listed for indoor or outdoor display. A suction cup is included for hanging, with no assembly required. A brilliant way to brighten your holidays!
Bring a touch of holiday joy to your Bring a touch of holiday joy to your home with the 150-Light LED C6 String in Multi-Color. Each strand features 150 long lasting LED lights that use 80% less energy than a typical incandescent bulb. LED lights stay cool to the touch and provide flicker-free lighting for a consistent glow. ...  More + Product Details Close
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Have the Most Beautiful House on your Street this Year!