Tips for Lighting the Ceiling or Sky with Christmas Lights

It’s a breathtaking experience to walk underneath a blanket of Christmas lights. Is it a snow-filled sky? A forest of fireflies? Or a glittering spectacle of stars? Starry night lights are created with Christmas lights draped along the ceiling, trees or poles, and they lend an enchanting touch to any holiday display or special event. Christmas light sky displays are dramatic and wonderful because they create the atmosphere of a glowing winter wonderland.

Christmas lights hung in the ceiling or skyStarry night lights are typically hung in vertical lines like curtains or in horizontal rows like a canopy. It’s common to see these ceiling Christmas lights around wedding venues, tree lines, and strung from high ceilings in shopping centers during the holidays… especially around a Christmas tree centerpiece!

christmas lights hung vertically or horizontally along the ceilingIt may look complicated to install Christmas lights along the sky or ceiling, but with a design strategy and pro grade products, you can create this look for your indoor or outdoor display. We’re here to show you the ropes (and the strings) on how to create a starry sky with Christmas lights, including important tips and installation tricks.

Hanging from Above: Where to Install Your Christmas Lights

Indoor Starry Ceiling Displays

When planning an indoor Christmas light display, don’t think from the ground up. The ceiling can be a great place to drape Christmas lights that draw attention to attractive architecture or important parts of the room. Look around for rafters, interesting room features, windows and/or trees to help guide your design. It’s also important to take electrical layout into consideration. Look for beams, corners, drapes and other places to hide Christmas light wires so they aren’t distracting.

For home installations such as a bedroom or office, eyelet hooks can be installed in the ceiling to support lightweight strings such as fairy lights or wide angle conical lights. Take it a step further with some moody buffering, such as this Twinkly cloud display with cotton batting. Gauzy fabric is an ideal covering for a soft effect like this.

Twinkly lights for starry ceiling display

Outdoor Christmas Lights in the Sky

Outdoor “starry sky” Christmas lights can be very impressive. Without a ceiling or supporting framework, installers must rely on what's around the application area, including surrounding trees, light poles, building walls, and other elements. These outdoor elements will help create framework where the Christmas lights hang. Heavy duty rope and cables can be used to build framework where the lights will hang.

outdoor christmas light installationsPro Christmas Lights- Creating Sky and Ceiling Displays

Wire Color for Ceiling Christmas Light Displays

With no tree branches or foliage to disguise wires, your light cords are on full display with this lighting design. Choosing a consistent wire color across the application area is important. Many people opt for transparent or white strings to match the ethereal aesthetic of white lights. But black wires can be very beautiful, drawing sharp lines and contrasting colors across the room.different types of christmas lights for sky displaysWide Angle Conical Strings

With a variety of bulb counts and string lengths, Pro Christmas wide angle conical strings are by far the most popular option for Christmas light sky displays.

RY Conical Lights

Starry Christmas light displays are uniform and even, so it’s distracting when a light string is out because it’s unplugged. For outdoor canopies in trees and on streets, RY Christmas lights are extra secure because the connections screw together. Between wind, birds, storms, and traffic, your light strings will go through a lot during the holidays. It’s a good idea to use coaxial LED lights to stand up against the outdoor elements.

Cluster Lights

Clusters are a stunning choice for ceiling displays, and you can bunch them into balls along the string. With more bulbs comes more money, so know that cluster lights are a more expensive option for ceiling lights.

Curtain Lights

Curtain lights are wonderful because the strings are evenly spaced, saving you the time for measuring during application. Consider creating a “waterfall” look with curtains strung vertically along the ceiling.

Icicle Lights

Like shorter curtains with staggered lengths, icicle lights give the ceiling light look its own beautiful appearance.

Fairy Lights (Indoor displays)

Fairy lights are a wonderful option for interior home displays. The strands are lightweight and pliable, so the LED bulbs can be stretched and scattered along the application surface.

Weights and Accessories

For vertical drops, weights can be added to each string that help them hang straight.

christmas lights hanging from the sky and ceilingHow to Create a Star Sky with Christmas Lights

Want to design your own starry sky with Christmas lights? There are a few important decisions to make before embarking on installation.

Coverage area

What kind of application area are you working on and what coverage do you want? Whether you're applying a smattering of lights along the ceiling, a long line of lights along a streetscape, or a 360-degree immersion into the galaxy, gather all the lights and materials accordingly. To avoid distractions in your display, It's very important that your lights are consistent in color, length, and spacing, so it's critical to use commercial quality LED lights for your installation.

Christmas light displays displayed in the skyDirection of your Light Strings

Is there anything special to accent in your application area? Vertical strings draw your eyes upward, making them ideal for long ceilings and accenting Christmas trees. Horizontal strings surround the area with soft, magical lighting. Some slack will keep the lines looking relaxed, a more ideal approach for outdoor lighting displays.

If you’re hanging the lights vertically, consider the weight of the wire and bulbs. Along with gravity, you sometimes need additional accessories to keep the light strings taught. Weights and bars are common tools used to keep light strings nice and even.

Lights at the Gaylord Christmas treeColor and Animation Choice

The color you choose for your ceiling string lights will greatly impact the look and feel of the display space. As the lights will take up a significant part of the view, they will also serve as a primary light source from above. Warm white lights will create a cheery, charming, nostalgic feeling that gives onlookers a sense of comfort and joy. Pure and cool white lights conjure feelings of snowfall, blissful winter walks and energy, especially when paired with other bright colors.

Turn up the excitement even more by considering some strobing strands of light. We love the 1/5 strobe string lights because they introduce just the right amount of twinkle, subtly shimmering like snowfall. It’s important not to introduce too many heavy animation effects with ceiling light displays. For these particular light designs, moving lights can cause dizziness, vertigo and feelings of chaos, especially when are looking up to view them.

Christmas Lights for Ceilings and Sky Displays

Are you ready to take on your own starry night Christmas light design? Remember to keep it professional with a solid game plan, measured technique and plenty of supplies. Hanging lights from the ceiling or sky is one of the more challenging ways to apply Christmas lights to a space, but it's also what makes these light sky displays so breathtaking. Let us know if you need help planning your display… we’re always a call or email away.

christmas string lights in the sky