Dazzling Display

Christmas Light Options and What to Look for in an Installer

By Cheryl Alexander


Twinkling lights hanging from eaves and trees and winter scenes depicted in front yards are typically the first cue that the Christmas season has arrived. The kids see them as the sign that Santa is on his way, while you realize someone has some work to do. For some, too, a level of rivalry is evoked as neighbors compete to outdo one another with their displays. No matter how you look at it, the outcome — an outdoor salute to the season of hope — brings an enhanced sense of community and elicits miles of smiles.

To join in the fun, even just a little, you’ll need to invest in some of the best outdoor Christmas decorations. These days, you can buy everything from wreaths to full-blown, music-synced lighting displays. In addition to your traditional string of lights usually hung from eaves, newer outdoor trends include inflatable Christmas figures, light-up characters, projectors, oversized ornaments, garlands, yard sculptures, music, and more.

But you can’t go wrong with the right roof lights. Here are a few ideas.

C7/C9 Bulbs – These are the classic Christmas lights. Both C7 and C9 bulbs are popular along roof lines due to their large size and overall presence compared to other roof lights when viewed from afar.

Icicle Lights – An elegant display makes icicle lights a beloved option, especially for roof awnings, overhangs, peaks, and windows. Traditional white is the most popular, but they also come in color combinations.

Cascade Light Tubes and Falling Icicles – The unique dripping icicle effect and subtle motion displayed by these less familiar styles is a dynamic departure from the usual, and they’re great for creating stand-out displays. Plus, they’ll fit standard C9 and C7 sockets.

Popular Light Colors

With Christmas lights available in a full spectrum of colors, there’s no limit to the possibilities if you’ve got a theme in mind. Cozy, classic, and still very popular, clear incandescent lights are iconic, simple, and generally inexpensive. However, they require more electrical planning to handle the additional wattage they use.

White LED Christmas lights can be found in warm white or cool white. If you love the traditional look of incandescent bulbs, you can find LEDs with an opaque finish and visible filament bulbs that create a cherished classic glow. Additionally, LEDs use up to 90% less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs, making way for more lights that shine brighter for longer.

Consider multicolor outdoor roof displays to maximize Christmas cheer. Multicolored Christmas lights are easy to find in all the most popular roof lighting options, including C7 and C9 bulbs, icicle strings, and even net lights so that you can carry the roof display into your yard. 

Hiring an Installer

  • Don’t go for the cheapest option: Significantly lower costs typically mean lesser quality.
  • Check out their lights: A professional installer should only be sourcing lights from dedicated, commercial Christmas light suppliers.
  • Upfront costs: If the upfront fee seems high or is more than half the total cost, take that as a red flag and find another company to perform the job.
  • Verify they are insured: Due to the risks involved (probably why you’re hiring a professional in the first place), make sure they have commercial and workman’s comp insurance.
  • Ask for references: Companies that have been in business a while and have references to show the quality of their work are typically the best ones for the job.
  • Problem Resolution: Problems may arise. What happens if some lights stop working before the end of the holiday? Or, what if you disagree with some of their design ideas? A real professional will have policies in place for resolving issues.
  • Hire a team: Professional installers will be a team, not a single person, that knows what they’re doing, works quickly, and delivers a quality result.