10 Ways To Decorate With Outdoor Christmas Lights

1. Wrap Shrubs

Adding just a few lights to the landscape can make a big difference in making the garden an inviting place to walk through or gaze at. In this walled garden in Manchester, England, a pair of clipped shrubs wrapped with white lights makes a lovely entrance to a garden room.

Get the look: To evenly cover outdoor shrubs, pick up “net lights,” which have bulbs distributed over a square or rectangular lattice of cords. Read the packaging to be sure the netting is large enough to wrap all the way around your shrubs.
Wilson Lighting
2. Deck Out Your Front Porch

This front porch in Kansas — done up with festive garlands, strings of lights and a planter shaped like Santa’s boots — looks lavishly festive without being overwhelming.

Get the look: Concentrating outdoor decorations in a single area, such as the entryway or a garden bed, can be a great way to go all out with holiday exuberance without turning your front yard into Disneyland.
3. Showcase Trees

Gardens this time of year are primarily quiet. Highlight the branch structure of deciduous trees by wrapping the trunk and individual branches with white lights. Choose a single tree as a specimen, or illuminate a cluster of trees for greater impact.

Pro tip: To get a professional look, Ryan Morici of Heritage Oaks Landscaping recommends swapping regular holiday lights for LED mini lights to save on power consumption. “The LED lights allow you to use many more lights per circuit versus the incandescent lights,” Morici says.
Lowe's Home Improvement
4. Line a Pathway With Luminarias

Welcome guests this year with an enchanting walkway lined with glowing luminarias.

Get the look: You can purchase luminarias or make your own with paper bags weighted with a handful of sand at the bottom. If you’re thinking of a large display, gather some helpers to place tea lights in each one — or use battery-powered candles — and light just before guests arrive.
5. Hang Snowflakes

Trade traditional string lights for a set with glittering snowflakes. Hang them where they have room to stand out, such as just below the eaves or along large branches of a tree in the front yard.
Heritage Oaks Landscaping, Inc.
6. Illuminate Potted Branches

You may not have small trees or shrubs to wrap with lights along driveways or paved entryways. But you can light up container plantings instead.

Get the look: Pick up branches from the backyard or a florist, and set them upright in containers filled with sand or gravel. Wrap the branches with lights of your choosing, and use conifer trimmings to hide the plugs and containers.
Landscape Illumination, Inc.
7. Add Magic to Snowy Landscapes

Lights twinkling like tiny stars hovering over a snowy garden are just about as magical as it gets. To mimic stars overhead, wrap branches that overhang garden walkways or beds to create a softly lit canopy.
Sarah Greenman
8. Light Up a Treehouse

As if a backyard treehouse weren’t magical enough, this one is fully decked out for Christmas. A Houzz favorite — with good reason — the treehouse was built by a Dallas couple, with the help of an architect, to give their grandchildren a place for imaginative play.
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives Of New Jersey
9. Highlight a Wreath

If you already have landscape lighting that washes a wall with light, use this as an opportunity to hang a holiday wreath or swag. Weave string lights into the wreath or simply leave it as is — either way looks classic and understated.
10. Outline the Eaves of Your Home

Perhaps the most classic style, perimeter lighting along a home’s eaves and roofline creates an inviting arrival. Pelham McMurryfrom Light Up Nashville shares these tips for getting a professional look at home:
  • Upgrade your lights. “Even the most expensive sets of LED lights at box stores are cheap-quality,” McMurry says. “Commercial-grade LED lights purchased from specialty retailers is the way to go if you don’t want to repurchase your lights year after year. Quality lights cost more, but in the long run, you’ll save time, frustration and money by not having to repurchase every year.” To get those perfectly straight lines, where every bulb seems exactly aligned with the next one, attach lights to your trim with commercial-grade clips.

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