The 11 Best Indoor Christmas Lights of 2023

Put a little extra twinkle and fa-la-la-la-la in your holiday celebrations with indoor Christmas lights.

By Stacey L Nash | Updated Nov 6, 2023 10:02 AM

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The Hayata 6.6-Foot 7 Count Color Christmas Bubble Lights with a flocked Christmas tree in the background.

Photo: amazon.com

What would the holidays be without Christmas lights? These twinkling decorations can illuminate even the darkest of winter nights. Christmas lights are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, from globe lights to lights with “smart” features, which can make shopping for them a frustrating task. When choosing the best indoor Christmas tree lights, look for lights that are both functional and eye-catching.

  1. BEST OVERALL: JMEXSUSS 33-Foot 100 LED Indoor String Lights
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Lidore 100 Clear Mini Christmas String Lights
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Brizled 200 LED Christmas Lights
  4. BEST BATTERY-OPERATED: Loende 50 Battery-Operated String Lights
  5. BEST LONG: MZD8391 105-Foot 300 LED Christmas Lights
  6. BEST COLOR: Twinkle Star 66-Foot 200 LED Fairy String Lights
  7. BEST VINTAGE: Hayata 6.6-Foot 7 Count Color Christmas Bubble Lights
  8. BEST SMART: Twinkly 157-Foot 600 App-Controlled Christmas Lights
  9. BEST NOVELTY: Twinkle Star 100 LED Star String Lights
  10. BEST LED: Holiday Essence 60 LED Mini Christmas Lights
  11. BEST GLOBE: Louis Choice 100 LED Globe String Lights
The Twinkle Star 100 LED Star String Lights arranged on a table next to red hearts and a small decorative house.

Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Indoor Christmas Lights

We researched more than 90 indoor Christmas lights from almost as many brands. Specifically, we looked at user experience, reliability, and durability. LED lights were more likely to make this list because of their energy efficiency and ability to work with smart technology. However, incandescent bulbs also made the list for their soft, warm light and affordability.

Finally, we considered design. Bulbs, both large and small, globe and novelty, made the list, but they had to have the durability and reliability to warrant their inclusion. We tried to represent a wide range of options and brands to fit different preferences.

Our Top Picks

The top picks listed here feature different styles and types of Christmas lights. Durable enough to last several holiday seasons, they fall within different price ranges. These lights meet the criteria previously listed, but they also are attractive and offer a positive user experience.

Best Overall

The JMEXSUSS 33-Foot 100 LED Indoor String Lights wound in a circle and set on a counter providing a warm yellow glow.
Photo: amazon.com

The JMEXSUSS string lights offer 33 feet of clear-wired holiday illumination. Each string is equipped with 100 LED lights, which emit a warm-white light. The clear wire blends in with different backgrounds like mantels, Christmas trees, banisters, or garlands.

A button on the electrical plug switches through eight lighting modes, which include combination, waves, sequential, flash, slow fade, chasing, slow glow, and steady. If the strand is unable to reach a convenient electrical outlet on its own, this string has a 10-foot lead wire that provides extra length. Finally, the lights include a memory function, which means that when they’re turned on, they revert to the last used lighting mode. However, they can’t connect to another string of lights.

Product Specs

  • Length: 33 feet
  • Color: Warm white
  • Number of bulbs: 100

Pros

  • Energy efficient compared to similar options on the market
  • Warm-white glow provides plenty of Christmas ambience for trees, mantels, and stairwells
  • 8 lighting modes can suit multiple user preferences
  • Memory function provides ease of use; lights will not require resetting every time

Cons

  • Can’t connect to other lights, which limits use to 33 feet of lights

Get the JMEXSUSS indoor Christmas lights at Amazon.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Lidore 100 Clear Mini Christmas String Lights arranged in a fan shape on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

The Lidore indoor string lights go back to basics with white wire and traditional incandescent bulbs. These mini lights are strung on a 21-foot wire with a 16-inch lead and 4-inch tail, so most of the wire is devoted to the 100 lights. The white wire option blends with flocked trees or white Christmas ornaments. It can also mix well with tulle and other Christmas fabrics.

Designed so that the entire string will stay lit if one of the traditional incandescent bulbs goes out, the set includes two replacement bulbs. Multiple strings connect to create a continuous light display. The incandescent bulbs aren’t as energy efficient as LED lights, but they emit a traditional warm light. However, these lights may not last as long as standard LEDs, especially if used constantly over several weeks.

Product Specs

  • Length: 21 feet
  • Color: Warm white
  • Number of bulbs: 100

Pros

  • Warm-white light for subtle ambience; suitable for stairs, trees, and other festive displays
  • Traditional incandescent bulb design for a classic look
  • Designed to stay lit even if a bulb dies
  • Can connect to additional light strings to provide ample length

Cons

  • Potentially short lifespan compared with other options on the market

Get the Lidore indoor Christmas lights at Amazon.

Upgrade Pick

The Brizled 200 LED Christmas Lights arranged in a circle, half warm white, half multicolored, on a white background next to their plug and remote.
Photo: amazon.com

Plugging in and unplugging Christmas lights is a thing of the past with the Brizled LED Christmas lights. All 200 of these warm white and multicolored LED lights are remote controlled, can be used indoors and outdoors, and come with 11 lighting modes to provide any ambience desired. Plus, these lights come with four different dimmer settings to emit a warm glow or bright spectacle.

To make Christmas morning even more relaxing, shoppers can rely on the 26.25-foot range of the remote control for quick adjustments and the programmable timer so the lights stay lit as long as needed. Plus, this 82-foot strand of lights can be connected to two other strands of Christmas lights, extending the lighting effects to more than 246 feet.

Product Specs

  • Length: 82 feet
  • Color: Warm white and multicolored
  • Number of bulbs: 200

Pros

  • Remote has a 26.25-foot range so users can make quick and easy adjustments
  • 11 lighting modes and a dimming feature are included to create any ambience desired
  • Programmable timer allows for easy, automated changes during parties or for everyday use
  • Affordable price point for the number of lights, modes, and dimming features

Cons

  • Connecting to more than 2 strands of lights may cause malfunctions

Get the Brizled LED Christmas lights at Amazon.

Best Battery-Operated

The Loende 50 Battery-Operated String Lights arranged in a fan shape on a white background next to their plug.
Photo: amazon.com

These Loende battery-operated string lights provide versatile decor options and reduce presence of wires and cords. The LED lights operate on three AA batteries and include a built-in timer to help conserve battery power. The lights follow a 6-hour-on, 18-hour-off schedule. The battery pack has a small loop to hide it on wreaths or other decorations.

The Loende lights also come in multicolor and white with a white wire option as well. Each type has eight lighting modes, including combination, slow glow, flash, slow fade, sequential, waves, twinkle, and steady. These lights are waterproof for indoor or outdoor use.

Product Specs

  • Length: 16.4 feet
  • Color: Warm white
  • Number of bulbs: 50

Pros

  • Built-in timer helps conserve battery power for long-term use
  • The battery pack loop offers versatility; can be used to hang a wreath or decorations
  • Multiple lighting options can suit many preferences and uses, whether indoors or outside

Cons

  • Cannot connect to additional strings; does not provide a lot of light

Get the Loende indoor Christmas lights at Amazon.

Best Long

The MZD8391 105-Foot 300 LED Christmas Lights arranged in a circle on a white background next to their plug.
Photo: amazon.com

Whether it’s for a 10- to 12-foot tree, a very long stairway banister, or even for hanging around the ceiling, the MZD8391 105-foot Christmas lights can fit the bill. This option has eight different light modes, a copper wire in PVC construction, up to 20,000 hours of life, and LED bulbs to help lower holiday energy consumption. Plus, each of the 300 LED lights stays cool to the touch, no matter how long they are in use.

These Christmas lights also come with the benefit of a memory function and an IP65-rated waterproof construction to double for outdoor use. The end-to-end design supports connecting up to four strings of lights together for a maximum length of 420 feet. Finally, this option comes in multiple colorways and has an easy-to-use remote control.

Product Specs

  • Length: 105 feet
  • Color: 8 options
  • Number of bulbs: 300

Pros

  • 8 different light modes and color options suit multiple preferences; memory function retains choices
  • 20,000-hour lifespan per strand; suitable for year-round use or multiple holiday seasons
  • IP65-rated waterproof copper wire and PVC construction for long-term use and durability; lights can be hung outdoors
  • LED bulbs help lower holiday energy consumption

Cons

  • Some users report problems with remote or shorter lifespan than noted

Get the MZD8391 Christmas lights at Amazon.

Best Color

The Twinkle Star 66-Foot 200 LED Fairy String Lights arranged in a circle on a dark background.
Photo: amazon.com

The Twinkle Star fairy light string includes 200 energy-efficient mini lights densely strung on a 66-foot green wire on the lighted portion, which has a 16-foot lead wire. The Twinkle Star lights can connect to an additional four strings, extending their reach to create a unified lighting display.

In addition to the standard “steady” mode, these mini lights also can be used in a combination of their various functions: waves, sequential, slow glow, chasing, slow fade, and twinkle. The control box on the lead wire manages the various modes. Their small size works well for indoor displays, but they’re advertised as indoor-outdoor lights. However, if used outdoors, they must plug into an indoor outlet.

Product Specs

  • Length: 66 feet
  • Color: Multicolor
  • Number of bulbs: 200

Pros

  • Long and extendable, these can be connected to 4 additional strings if desired
  • Dense bulb placement provides more light per inch making it suitable for decor and Christmas trees
  • Can be used as indoor or outdoor lights for added versatility
  • 8 lighting modes can suit multiple user preferences

Cons

  • Plug must be kept indoors, and it’s not as moisture-resistant as some other options

Get the Twinkle Star Christmas mini lights at Amazon or Target.

Best Vintage

The Hayata 6.6-Foot 7 Count Color Christmas Bubble Lights on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Made to resemble authentic vintage decorations, the Hayata bubble lights have a retro vibe straight from the 1940s. While each string is only 6.6 feet long and contains seven lights, it can connect to an additional 11 sets for a total of 12 strands.

The Hayata lights contain traditional incandescent bulbs, so their soft, warm light feels vintage, too. These lights also come in different colors and one additional theme (Halloween). Replacement bulbs can be purchased separately.

Product Specs

  • Length: 6.6 feet
  • Color: Multicolored
  • Number of bulbs: 7

Pros

  • Traditional incandescent lighting provides a classic look for Christmas decor
  • Extends to 12 strings to provide more light if desired
  • Vintage design and style can be used in wreaths, Christmas trees, and garlands

Cons

  • Does not include extra bulbs; may need to be purchased separately

Get the Hayata indoor Christmas lights at Amazon.

Best Smart

The Twinkly 157-Foot 600 App-Controlled Christmas Lights rolled up on a white background next to their plug and box.
Photo: amazon.com

At almost 160 feet long, the Twinkly multicolor LED string holds 600 LED lights. It comes with a free app that lets users map the lights using the camera on the connected device. From there, map out the lights’ location and set colors and effects by section.

The app can connect to other devices and control several smart light strings at once. Smart capabilities allow users to set timers, turn the lights on and off from anywhere, and create custom effects. These lights can sync with music and connect with another set of string lights. However, all the cool effects come with a relatively high price, and the app may have connectivity issues.

Product Specs

  • Length: 157.5 feet
  • Color: Multicolored
  • Number of bulbs: 600

Pros

  • Wide range of control options available through the app; completely customizable
  • Music synchronization is included create a complete Christmas atmosphere
  • Users can control and sync lights with multiple smart devices for automated use
  • Available in different sizes

Cons

  • Poor connectivity has been reported by some users

Get the Twinkly indoor Christmas lights at Amazon or Best Buy.

Best Novelty

Three rows of the Twinkle Star 100 LED Star String Lights strung up before a blurred background.
Photo: amazon.com

These Twinkle Star lights bring the Christmas star front and center. They can connect to a maximum of 10 strings. Those connections stay close together with an adaptable design that lets users remove the 16-foot lead wire when connecting strings.

Eight lighting modes are available, including sequential, combination, flash, twinkle, stead, slow fade, and waves. While these lights are white, they are definitely a cool white. They’re indoor-outdoor lights, but the transformer must be kept inside, limiting the number of ways the lights can be hung outdoors.

Product Specs

  • Length: 49.2 feet
  • Color: Cool white
  • Number of bulbs: 100

Pros

  • Connects with 9 additional strings for more light if desired; emits a cool white light
  • Adaptable design; the 16-foot lead wire can be removed if desired
  • Can be used as both indoor and outdoor lights for ample versatility
  • 8 lighting modes to suit multiple preferences

Cons

  • Plug must be indoors, and it’s not as weatherproof as some comparable options

Get the Twinkle Star Christmas lights at Amazon or Target.

Best LED

Five individual bulbs of the Holiday Essence 60 LED Mini Christmas Lights on a white background.
Photo: amazon.com

Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, the Holiday Essence mini Christmas lights come with 16 feet of LED Christmas lights with more than 60 LED lights per strand for ample light during the holiday season. These mini lights come in six colorways including blue, cool white, green, multicolored, red, and warm white to suit multiple preferences, and they can be connected to more than 45 other strands of lights at a time.

As for durability, these mini lights are listed as indoor and outdoor lights and should last for greater than 25,000 hours of use. Plus, these lights come at an affordable price point, which makes buying multiple units a cinch.

Product Specs

  • Length: 16 feet
  • Color: Blue, cool white, green, multicolored, red, and warm white
  • Number of bulbs: 60

Pros

  • Works for indoor and outdoor use for ample versatility; perfect for patios and gazebos
  • Can connect to 45 strands at a time for those who need to cover a lot of space
  • Lasts for 25,000 hours of use; can be used for more than 3 years
  • Comes in multiple colors: blue, cool white, green, multicolored, red, and warm white

Cons

  • Shorter length than comparable products; may require multiple purchases

Get the Holiday Essence Christmas lights at Amazon.

Best Globe

The Louis Choice 100 LED Globe String Lights in a bundle on a white background next to their plug.
Photo: amazon.com

The Louis Choice shatterproof LED bulbs save energy, but they’re also equipped with a built-in timer that runs on a 6-hour-on, 18-hour-off schedule. A 49-foot string provides adequate length to use on a large Christmas tree or banister. However, 16 feet is devoted to the lead wire to help the string reach an outlet.

This model can extend by an additional nine light strings to lengthen its overall reach. A memory feature turns the lights on in the same mode in which they were turned off. Eight modes are available, including slow fade, twinkle, steady, combination, sequential, waves, slow glow, and flash. The package includes 10 twist ties for installation. The globe portion of the light is attractive, but it’s plastic, which can be quite fragile.

Product Specs

  • Length: 49 feet
  • Color: Warm white
  • Number of bulbs: 100

Pros

  • Extendable with up to 10 connected strings for those who need a lot of light
  • Built-in timer integrated into the design; provides automated use
  • Memory feature saves users’ preferences; no need to reset the lights each time they come on

Cons

  • Plastic globes may not provide the durability of some other options available

Get the Louis Choice indoor Christmas lights at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing Indoor Christmas Lights

Everything from the string length to the bulb size and power source can affect the look and feel of Christmas lights. The following considerations are important to take into account before starting to browse for the best indoor Christmas lights for the home.

Types of Indoor Christmas Lights

  • Mini-twinkle: These tiny lights are often incorporated into modern Christmas decor. They’re small and may provide a steady or “twinkling” light.
  • Globe (G12): The round globe of these lights emits a wholesome, warm glow. Depending on the rest of the holiday decor, globe lights can bring a modern or whimsical vibe to the space.
  • Large bulb (C6, C7, C9): Large bulbs, either C6, C7, or C9 (bulb specifications) have a vintage feel that accentuates antique ornaments and retro decorations. Their size makes them appropriate for larger displays (e.g., banisters, mantels, or large Christmas trees).
  • Vintage: Vintage bulbs are typically C9s (large bulbs), though some are shaped like candles or even Santa Claus for a unique, vintage look.
  • Novelty: Novelty bulbs come in fun shapes, including snowflakes, stars, and reindeer, among others.

LED vs. Incandescent

Traditional incandescent bulbs work by creating enough heat to make a filament inside the bulb light up. Consequently, these lights use a lot of energy and release a significant amount of heat. However, they’re less expensive than LEDs and have a warm white glow that LEDs don’t.

LED Christmas lights have diodes that emit light via the movement of electrons within the semiconductor. LED bulbs are significantly more energy efficient and durable than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also release far less heat. LED bulbs are used in most smart lights, offering up to several million color choices.

Power Source

Distance to a power source is a concern when buying and installing Christmas lights. For indoor lights, power must come from electricity or batteries. Lights with an electric plug require access to an electrical outlet or an extension cord. Electricity provides consistent power that never runs out (unless the power goes out). Several strings can connect to each other to use power from a single outlet. However, outlets can get crowded with all the light plugs.

Battery-powered Christmas lights are less common, though they are convenient. They can hang almost anywhere without proximity to an outlet. However, battery-powered lights have a short runtime and will dim as the power runs out.

Length and Size

Wire lengths vary from short 10-foot strings to 66- to 100-foot strings. A longer cord means fewer outlets and connection points between strings; however, experts recommend using strings in lengths appropriate for the decor job at hand. Use a tape measure to estimate the distance required to wrap around the tree or run down the banister.

Bulb size should be to scale with the rest of the holiday decor. Delicate ornaments may get overpowered by large bulbs. If unsure of the right size, mini lights blend into the background no matter the style or theme.

Color and Shape

White, single-color, and multicolor sum up the Christmas light color options. Whites can be warm (yellowish) or cool (bluish), and single colors can be red, green, blue, orange, purple, and various hues in between. Pick a color or several colors that complement holiday themes. White makes an ideal neutral when unsure of which color to choose.

Shapes range from globes and small teardrop lights to vintage bulbs shaped like candleholders or snowmen. The shape should complement the rest of the decor, just like the color and style.

Light Modes

A few lighting modes include twinkle flash, slow glow, chasing flash, slow fade, and steady on. Smart LED Christmas tree lights offer the most lighting options. Some allow the user to set the colors by section or offer variable brightness adjustments. Lights that feature lighting modes may cost more than a typical string of Christmas lights, especially if they’re smart lights, because they usually cost more.

Extra Features 

  • Remote control: A remote control makes it easy not only to turn lights on and off but also to change the light mode easily.
  • Smart control: Some lights include smart capabilities, including a timer setting, color adjustment settings, or dimming and brightness settings, all of which can be changed with a remote or mobile device.
  • Music syncing: Rock a holiday party by syncing the Christmas lights to the music. This fancy feature is usually found on smart lights, but a few standard lights can get with the beat, too.
  • Built-in timers: Built-in timers turn the lights on and off according to a schedule. Most have a 6-hour-on and 18-hour-off schedule, although some smart lights adjust to a customized schedule.

FAQs

Choosing the right lights with the perfect length, color, and style isn’t an easy decision. We’ve answered the most common questions to help make your choice easier and get those twinkling Christmas lights up and running.

Q. What Christmas lights do professionals use?

The Christmas lights used by professionals are usually LED lights with coaxial connectors, which are a little more hard-core than domestic lights. The wiring may be different, but the lights are not.

Q. What color Christmas lights are the best?

Color depends on the decor theme and personal preferences. White offers a clean, classic look, while a single color adds mood. Cheerful multicolor lights bring fun to the holidays. Think about the look you want to create, and go with a color that supports your decor.

Q. Are LED lights better on a Christmas tree?

Incandescent bulbs are approved for safe use on Christmas trees. However, LED Christmas lights don’t get as hot, which probably makes them a safer option for a live tree.

Q. How do I find a bad bulb on a string of Christmas lights without a tester?

Remove each bulb one at a time, placing a piece of foil in the socket after removing the bulb. If the lights turn back on, you’ve found the bad bulb.

Q. How long do Christmas lights last?

Longevity and durability vary by brand, but incandescent bulbs typically last two or three seasons, and LED bulbs typically last six or seven seasons. Both can last longer if cared for and stored appropriately. Certain conditions, such as living near the ocean or in an area that experiences extreme heat, can shorten their lifespan.

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