Merry and bright: these 9 sets are the best Christmas lights of the 2023 holiday season

Read on if you're searching for a fresh string of lights to hang outside your home or across your mantle — or if you're in need of some expert advice from a Christmas lighting pro

An illustration of an illuminated branch
(Image credit: Illustrated | Schoolhouse)

Holiday rule no. 1? It's not Christmas without Christmas lights. The minute the displays go up, the season begins in earnest. It's just the way it is. Sure, there are indoor and outdoor string lights and fixtures you can hang and enjoy 24/7, but the specific kind of holiday lights that come 'round once a year are in a league of their own.

Toss a strand around your favorite Christmas garland, or wrap some around your favorite Christmas wreaths. Pick some up while buying other holiday pieces at one of your favorite stores. Or pull off that set you've had since you were a kid that's currently collecting dust in your parent's basement. 

Whatever works, just make sure you have 'em! Below, we've compiled our favorite Christmas light must-haves for the 2023 season, from where to buy Christmas decorations and what to buy lights-wise, and hope you find something you love for your (compulsory) festive decor. Sorry, we don't make the rules!

The Livingetc edit of the best Christmas lights

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How often should I replace my Christmas lights?

LED bulb Christmas lights, which are 'ideal as they last longer, are safer since they don’t overheat, and are more commonly found nowadays,' should 'last you years,' Sheva Knopfler, decor expert and co-founder of, tells Livingetc. 'Most LED string lights are projected to last you anywhere from 5 to 10 seasons, depending on weather conditions, usage, and storage.'

Is there a lighting hack to make hanging my lights easier?

Sheva's 'biggest tip' to 'make sure you store your Christmas lights in a safe and organized manner. Remember to label your string lights with the bulb color and string length so you can easily pick what you need each season. Wrap the cords loosely so they do not wear down and can last you longer.'

Should I hire a professional to hang my lights?

'If you are limited in mobility and resources, hiring a professional to hang your lights may be a good option for you,' Sheva says. 'Otherwise, hanging Christmas lights can be an opportunity to come together as a household to prepare for the season and start spreading the holiday cheer.'

Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a Style Editor at, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.