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Outside Christmas Light Ideas

For Your Front Porch, Home, and Yard

You will love the outside Christmas light ideas we found in this California neighborhood. Whether you are here to lift your spirits or to find ideas for your front porch and home, we know you will enjoy these beautiful photographs and lighting tips.

Mary and I love to walk around and see houses decorated with outdoor Christmas lights. Do you, too?

Mary and I really enjoy the lights of the season and are thrilled we get to share these photos with you.

We have a collection of houses decorated with Christmas lights. Come see on Front Porch Ideas And More

We spent an evening with Tom and Heidi, the owners and photographers of Painted Bench Photography, in the Seaside Ranchos neighborhood of Torrance, California. This beautiful neighorbood prides itself on amazing holiday light displays. We are proud of the way that Tom and Heidi captured these houses decorated with Christmas lights.

One great way to get ideas for displaying Christmas lights on your front porch and home is seeing what other have done.

From different style lights to seeing how they are used, these photos are sure to inspire.

In addition, we share outdoor lighting tips to make your installation job easier!

Outside Christmas Light Ideas and Tips

vibrant display of Christmas lights and inflatables
Festive Christmas Lights and Decorations

A mix of traditional outside Christmas lighting and popular inflatables combine to make a magical holiday lighting display.

Use LEDs for Vibrant Color

Outdoor LED lights give off true or more vibrant colors whether it be red, blue, green, etc. Incandescent lights on the other hand, give off subtle colors because the bulbs are "color coated" on the outside.

Christmas lights on ranch home in Torrance California
Photos on this page by Painted Bench Photography

Christmas Lights on a California Bungalow

Effective use of 6-inch spaced lights under the eaves. It exudes a simple yet aesthetically pleasing lighting appeal.

How Many Light Strings on One Run?

Wire size determines how many strings sets you can put together along with the wattage used on those wire sets. A typical 100 light string of incandescent Christmas lights uses about 33 watts. If they are on a 22-gauge wire, you can run three strings. If using an 18-20 gauge wire you can run six strings.

But you use LED light strings you could possibly run up to 25.

Be conservative and don't run a lot of string sets together. Break them up and use outdoor approved extension cords to be safe. If running a lot of lights we recommend you contact your electrical provider and have them extend your electrical capabilities.

classic outdoor Christmas lights on entry to home

A mix of white, red, and green with twinkly lights combine to create a welcoming entry to this home.

Santa in the window of home with colorful outdoor Christmas lighting

Note the effect of combining both interior and exterior lighting to create a theme- almost like visiting the North Pole!

Professional Tip for Hanging Outside Christmas Lights on Your Trees

Forget the ladders and do it like the pros.

You can hang outdoor Christmas lights on trees up to 25ft tree from the ground without a ladder and in no time at all.

Use an extendable pole and paint roller (without the roller). The poles usually extend up to 18 feet. Bend the paint roller so the holder is vertical to form a hook.

Connect your Christmas light strings together and with one person walking in front of you, use the roller to place the lights on the tree. You can loop it at the top and bring it back down. Tie it on and begin your next string if needed.

One person can do a tree that is maybe 12 13 feet. It takes two people to do taller ones; a husband-and-wife team can do it without too much trouble.

amazing yard light display with polar bears and penguins for Christmas

A beautifully lit yard and front porch for Christmas - balanced but not too ostentatious; we love the look!

candy cane front porch columns and lights for Christmas

Love the wide rounded front porch steps! Traditional outdoor Christmas lighting - it never goes out of style.

Hanging Outside Christmas Lights on Your Roof

This is not a DIY job. Hire professional roofers instead.

Professional outdoor lighting expert Bob Lyons of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives advises to have professional roofers install lights as they do also.

Bob states:"They have their license, they are bonded, and they are insured. If something happens the homeowner has no liability. I don't care whether you are Chevy Chase or not, you don't go up on the roof because it is too dangerous."

Listen to our podcast with Bob - lots of great information you can use!

icicle lights, lighted wreath, and lighted deer display for Christmas on front porch

One of our favorites - there's nothing quite like the look of a front porch decorated for Christmas. The animated lighted deer add a special touch not only for adults but also for kids!

We hope you are enjoying these outside Christmas light ideas!

nativity scene in front yard with Christmas lights

One of the best nativity scenes we've seen in a long time. Tis the reason for the season and makes for wonderful front yard Christmas enjoyment.

Optimum Outdoor Light Spacing

The wire is the most expensive part on the deal. So they put them every 2 inches or every 2-½ inches. When you are trying to light a tree you need 6 inch spacing, otherwise, you are putting too many strings sets on the tree and they are too close. No matter the type of tree, it's still better to use four or six inch spaced lights.

Low-cost light sets may be 16 feet long with 100 lights while commercial lights may be 33 feet long for 100 lights.

You can purchase lights with different kinds spacing. Look for commercial lights sets and determine the spacing. Most are 4 inch; others 2 ½. You can purchase 6 inch spaced lights sets on the internet if you can't find them locally.

California bungalow with Christmas lights near front patio

A little southern California Christmas lighting. Yes, that's a patio in front of this neat home; what a nice way to enjoy all of your neighbor's holiday lighting!

Safety First - Always!

Installing and hanging Christmas lights outdoors can be dangerous. Often times you must consider wet conditions, ladders, working with electrical line, receptacles, and circuit breakers, and GFCI's, along with other factors that make hanging lights inherently risky.

Make sure you adhere to all safety recommendations and if not 100% sure of what you are doing consult with a reputable electrical contractor or outdoor lighting company.

About Painted Bench Photography

Painted Bench Photography logo Tom and Heidi Morris are the founders of Painted Bench Photography where they work together on creative photography projects.

They are college sweethearts from the midwest now living in the LA, California area. Their dreams of working together in their photography business began with their handmade homemade Christmas cards nearly 10 years ago. (Amazing cards, we can attest!)

The best part for us - they are a part of our family: Our son and daughter-in-love!

painted bench photography logo Stop by Painted Bench Photography's photo gallery and enjoy the beautiful images they capture on their photo expeditions.

Gift Ideas for Porch Lovers

Advent cabin from Plow and Hearth Beautiful pine cone berry wreath from Plow and Hearth

Sweet advent cabin and pine cone berry wreath from Plow and Hearth.

Lighted holiday sled decoration from Plow and Hearth Christmas cottage bird feeder from Plow and Hearth

This lighted holiday sled decoration would be an adorable decoration on the front porch. And if you feed birds like Dave and I do, we bet you will enjoy this cute cottage bird feeder from Plow and Hearth.

Hand hooked holiday dog pillows from Plow and Hearth Cat hand-pulled pillows from Plow and Hearth

Dog lover? Cat lover? These lovable hand-hooked dog pillows and cat pillows make an absolutely wonderful gift from Plow and Hearth.

Musical Christmas lantern from Plow and Hearth Waterhog door mat with Merry Christmas greeting from Plow and Hearth

Nothing as nostalgic as this musical Christmas lantern and snow globe. Plays eight Christmas carols and changes light colors. So enchanting! And as pretty and cheerful as this Christmas doormat is, did you know it will hold up to 1 gallon of water? Great for snowy boots. Both are from Plow and Hearth.

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Our Sponsors

The Porch Store
Porch Store
Custom Porch Products

Shop for Porch Parts at Vintage Woodworks.
Vintage Woodworks
For Your Porch Parts

Screened porch windows at
DIY Eze Breeze
Screen Porch Windows

Aluminum screen doors from PCA Products
PCA Products
Complement Any Home!

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