It wouldn’t be a truly ultimate outdoor lighting checklist if we didn’t cover EVERY area that you can don with the most dazzling of lights and decorations. Before we begin, make sure you’re getting the full benefit from this checklist—check out part one to discover all of the fresh and familiar ways to dive into outdoor Christmas lighting.

Now that you’re ready, let’s dive into part two!

Fill out Your Foliage

As we continue going top-to-bottom, we start part two at the lush greenery of outdoor foliage. These plants are perfect canvases for creating bright attractions that spread cheer around your yard. Nets and string lights are both excellent for decorating the hedges and shrubs that comprise your collection of outdoor plants.

LED net lights are easy to install and remove, and prove a marvelous match for evenly proportioned foliage such as square hedges or round shrubs. Hand lighting with string lights opens the door to more creative opportunities, such as mixing bulbs for contrast like conicals with larger styles to create visual intrigue and texture. Outdoor Christmas lights suitable across all greenery include 5mm wide angle conicals, as well as C6, C7 and C9 string lights.

Light nets are a nice option for easy and convenient lighting, while hand lighting shines with quality and creativity. Find out which style of lighting is best for you in this comparison.

If you decide to go the route of hand lighting, learn how to put outdoor Christmas lights on your greenery like a pro with our expert tutorial that takes you step-by-step through the whole install.

Knock Knock

Your doorway can help to introduce a warm, welcoming atmosphere with your guests before they even step foot in your home. Go simple or all out—either way, decorating your doorway is a must in any arrangement that knocks on the door of excellence.

Wreaths

A wreath is a classic symbol of holiday tradition. Keep that tradition alive with a lit or decorated wreath that brings character and style into your arrangement. Pre-lit wreathes are perfect for keeping the continuity of lighting across your home’s outdoor arrangement. Our pre-lit wreathes are available in many flavors, complementing any look you aim for. If ornaments are your fancy, then put up a pre-lit decorated wreath for both light and additional appeal.

Garlands

The decorating doesn’t stop at just the door, either. The door frame is fair game to line with lights or pre-lit garland to create a magical entryway. Put an adhesive hook at both top corners, then another hook or two in the middle of the frame above the door. Place the garland around the door, resting in the hooks, and your home’s entry will beckon a warm welcome.

If your home has an arch that precedes the door, line its perimeter using the same lights as your roofline lighting. See how it’s done in this helper video.

Finish off the entry to your home with a fairy light tree near the doorstep, or place one on either side of the door for a cheery festive greeting.

Getting to the Garage

It’s easy to skip over the garage during decorating, but put it in the brilliant shine of pro-grade lights and you’ll see how it fits in a wonderful outdoor Christmas lighting arrangement every holiday season.

We recommend keeping things consistent and using the same lights from your roofline for the garage. Big and bright retrofit C9 bulbs with empty light line are the ideal choice for these lights.

Install is easy: put a bead of hot glue between each light socket and the exterior surface of the garage, and ultimately line the perimeter edge around the garage doors. Brick and concrete are the most viable surfaces for this install, while stucco and wood may be stripped when the glue is unseated from the surface during take-down.

For an install method that does not rely on glue, consider using PVC pipe that spans the perimeter edge around the garage doors. You’ll need three lengths of PVC pipe—two measured to the height of the doors, and a long piece measured to the width of the doors put together. Connect the pieces with a couple elbows, and simply wrap your light line around the PVC pipe using zip ties as needed.

Covering Ground

The following attractions may be at the bottom, but that doesn’t stop them from being just as eye-catching as their counterparts above!

Stake Lights

Stake lights are one of the best ground decorations in an outstanding holiday display. Put stakes and C9 lights with light line together for gleaming outlines to your yard, hedges, and driveway. Stake lights are also look exquisite around tree beds, especially when the trees are wrapped in matching C-style lights.

With stake lights, consider the foot traffic around your property and how to light paths and showcase your yard’s features safely.

Want to break ground on stake lighting? Here’s a helpful walkthrough that will teach you how to install stake lights like a pro.

Frozen Lakes

Some decorators enjoy creating “frozen lakes” and streams in their Christmas displays by placing Christmas net lights or conicals on the ground. It’s an imaginative attraction that can easily draw attention, but it has its drawbacks as well.

First, frozen lakes are difficult to make look professional against the look of lights laying about. Second, they should only be set up in dry climates: you don’t want your lights sitting in water or snow throughout the season.

If these aren’t issues for you, then we recommend doing this decoration justice—turn your sea of lights into a true spectacle with Twinkly RGB smart lights! Their color shifting capabilities that display every conceivable hue will make your frozen lake stand out among your outdoor Christmas lighting wonderland!

Detailed Decorations

These are some of the most interesting attractions to introduce into your arrangement. LED trees, LED props and characters, and lit inflatables are beloved fixtures in yards, helping your display tell an intriguing story. These type of decorations are excellent for filling in darker open areas so that your arrangement keeps the glow going throughout.

Something to See on the Sidewalks

The last stop on our top-to-bottom ultimate lighting checklist might be farther away from your house, but an opportunity where you can bring the magic of your display close to neighbors and visitors.

Create LED loops and tunnels with PVC piping, and zip ties to secure the lights, each individually fashioned into arches. A variety of ravishing styles are available to try this decoration with, from lit garland to fairy lights to C6 stringers. Loops and tunnels can be beautiful complements to your arrangement when you coordinate them with the rest of your display.

Different homeowners associations (HOAs) have different rules (and exceptions) regarding sidewalks, so be sure to check what you can do if a HOA is a factor.

Bonus: Outdoor Christmas Lighting Tips

You’ve gone through the checklist. You’ve explored outdoor Christmas lighting ideas for your home, top-to-bottom. Now it’s time to take note of a few tips that will tighten up your planning and decorating.

The Sooner the Better

Holiday decorating is like a chain. Each step in the process links after the next. And like how the links farther down a chain lag when the chain first moves, the steps to holiday decorating lag behind the earlier ones. Decorating happens only after preparation, and preparation happens only after planning. If any part of the process is delayed for some reason, every part that follows will be delayed too. So start your planning early and stay on course for decorating early as you anticipate any bumps in the road along the way.

Budget? Set. Inventory? Check.

Know your budget and take stock of what you already have. Because one of the most wonderful things about Christmas decorating is that each set of lights, every decoration you purchase can go toward your next arrangement. If you already have lights for roofline lighting, or stringers for tree wraps, then you’re well on your way to building a bigger and better arrangement.

Want to bring the most out of your budget? These money-saving tips will help keep spending on outdoor Christmas lights more comfortable for your wallet.

Out with the Old

Your incandescent lights are ready for retirement. But fear not, for the best and brightest LED lights are up to the job!

Incandescents were great in the past, but LED Christmas lights have excelled—and are now better in every way. From brightness to energy savings, LEDs are the definitive lights to have for any and all Christmas decorating. Replacing your old incandescents is cause for celebration with the joy of shiny, new LEDs.

Refer to this checklist for a reminder on what a full arrangement entails, or if you’re ever stuck on where to go next with your Christmas lighting and decorating. Want to know more? Reach out to us at info@christmasdesigners.com or call 1-800-391-5280 and you’ll come away with answers to your outdoor Christmas lighting and decoration questions.