Using Christmas Lights to Brighten Outdoor Space - Year Round!

Diana Prater
by Diana Prater
I am a lighting nut. I have so many boxes and storage totes full of lights that my husband thinks I should be a lighting company! I decorate for every holiday and use traditional Christmas lights to add romantic hues to my patio area, fire pit, tree line, and play area for my pooches. I have lights, everywhere. So, I'm including some tips on how to use them year round to add a much needed face lift to many spaces.
We currently use LED battery operated lights in our planters right outside our front door. During the day you can barely notice them and at night they add a lovely glow that can't be missed. A steal at for $8.99
Nothing is more relaxing than lounging in the backyard on cool summer evenings with a glass of wine and a romantic glow!
Lining gazebos and free standing structures is easy. Any size light will do although I recommend C7 or C9 bulbs - bigger is brighter! Great for parties, dinners, and simple down time.
Rope light makes great borders for gardens and flower beds.
Diana Prater
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • DaOldOne DaOldOne on Jan 14, 2018
    This is Mr. Light Nut! I have been huge on lighting for a very long time. I have used Christmas lights every where and even rope lights and then the problems started. The plastic tube the rope lights were encased in, all turned black anywhere where it was exposed to UV rays - almost all of it and I had so much, you could not pick it all up at one time. Second, if you note, many of the Christmas lights out today have tags that say only for 90 days maximum use! WHY? But then it hit me how to beat it all. First, you purchase LED light strips that allow you to cut and join then wherever you want. You can put them on the house, around flower beds, your drive, walkways, swimming pools, and etc. Most of them are waterproof but be sure when you buy. The controllers and transformers on many are NOT waterproof but all you have to do is encase them in a plastic container you can seal with packing tape and the gorilla tape on top of the packing tape. You can also use a product called "Seal All". At Menards it is in the paint department although it is really considered as an automotive item. You can use it to seal all joints on your plastic box you are putting the controller and transformer in. Solar LED Christmas lights are the best way to go as you do not have to pay for electricity to power them nor batteries. Be sure the rechargeable battery in the solar system is replaceable but some are not. Fairy lights are also water proof and you can bend the wires to wrap around tree limbs and trunks. These are available in all types of power from A/C, to Solar, to battery. They are tiny lights and the wires come in all sorts of colors. These again may take special arrangements for the battery box or A/C connection. Then there are also "rice" lights which are smaller than fairy lights. They are a bit harder to find, but with BING, you can find anything and again they have different power types. Watch light sets from China. They might be labeled differently from what they really are so open the box and look. i actually recently viewed a set on Amazon that were labeled as "LED Fairy G3 Laser Micro lights." Sorry, they can only be ONE type in a set and not all different types. I tried to advise Amazon, but everyone knows how difficult it is to contact them about much of anything other than what they have programmed. Hope this helps!

  • Kevin Kevin on Jun 14, 2021


    Thank you for all the information.

    We use lights all year long white, red, and blue to compliment our coastal, nautical decorated home down the Shore here indoors and outdoors. We leave the lights on ALL night long look out back see pretty blue lights, etc, on the deck, on shrubs around our garden, etc.

    In the old days my dad took pride and took care of everything he owned including the same Christmas lights the 1950s screw in bulbs HOT to the touch adorned our yard for decades.

    When the season ended Dad would remove the lights wrap them up, tag them for use next year "fence", "hemlocks", "porch", etc., store them in the garage.

    Today lights do NOT last cheap lights disposable thrown out after a season or 2, maybe 3 if y'all are lucky.

    These battery lights are for the birds they don't last AND the batteries cost money $$$ add up through the holiday season.


    Sea Girt, New Jersey 08642