New technology including LEDs and Fibre Optics, means that you are now spoilt for choice when it comes to filling your home with dazzling decorations that will continue to sparkle throughout the festivities.
With modern exterior lighting you can create a spectacle that will be the envy of your neighbours, a stunning show to brighten the bleakest mid-winter is now far easier and cheaper than you might expect.
Types Of Lighting
These energy greedy globes of coloured light, that have been a very visible part of Christmas for so long, have had their day. However, traditionally shaped bulbs and decorations can still form part of your display, as outwardly these lights are the same as those your dad hung around the tree or in the garden, but on the inside but they are now lit by brighter and more energy efficient LEDs.
LEDs bring a brilliance to Christmas that traditional filament bulbs cannot match. Vivid and crisply colourful, LEDs can decorate large areas of your house and garden at Scrooge-like expense when compared to previous lighting.
They are very energy efficient consuming up to 90% less power than conventional light bulbs – 1000 LEDs are equal to only 60 watts. They last much longer, emit less heat which is so important when used in the home, and if one does fail, all the rest stay on. This means that you have a much brighter Christmas and save money on energy while benefiting the environment, not a bad result.
These are flexible, transparent glass fibres, very thin strands that transmit light from one end to the other, and can be used to great effect for Christmas decorations. They allow artificial Christmas trees and ornaments shimmer with subtle and soft changing colours producing a magical effect.
Fantastic party effects can be achieved by lasers both inside the home and in the garden, and with smart technology these can be linked to bluetooth speakers to synchronize sound. Operating on low voltage, the lasers are very safe and can project animated and very colourful patterns on outside or indoor walls.
Indoor lighting and ornaments powered by domestic batteries are a very safe and economical way to decorate your home, and there is no need to be near a mains socket. When mains power is used, a transformer can reduce it to low voltage.
230v mains electricity is used for exterior lighting, with 24v systems employing a transformer.
Where it is impractical or impossible to lay cables and there is no mains electricity, battery and solar power can be effective alternatives. Solar powered lighting has also increased in popularity in recent times due to environmental concerns and rising electricity prices.
A fully charged solar battery may last for about 20hrs and the panels do not need full sun, normal daylight is sufficient for a battery to re-charge. There are no wiring or operating costs, simply install and enjoy, and of course no operating costs unless the government decides to tax sunlight.
If you are a traditionalist, a set of coloured hanging lanterns or fairy lights will be the ideal choice to decorate your home. They have been updated with LEDs so their time honoured appearance is enhanced by vivid colour.
Konstsmide have light sets with up to 240 bright LEDs, multi-coloured or warm white, on clear or black cable. Most are suitable for both indoor and outside use and have a useful timer or dusk to dawn sensor.
Multi-function Micro LEDs provide a fantastic spectacle with sets of up to 960 Supabright or Cherry Lights that are maximum intensity LEDs forming intense clusters in a myriad of colours. Perfect to decorate your Christmas tree and introduce brilliance throughout the house.
Konstsmide also have Clip On Candles for your tree that flicker to evoke the spirit of Dickens' Christmas Carol.
Premier lights can be used inside your home or out in the garden, operated by a timer and with a controller to select different effects, one set of AA batteries will last for over 30 days. You can choose from 50 to 200 multi-coloured lights.
Contrasting with traditional lights, a Memory Wire set is highly unusual with an attractive string or 25 or 50 LEDs on a glistening length of silver wire. This effect looks superb if submerged and so is ideal for decorating flower vases and bowls.
For your front window and mantelpiece, Konstsmide have a large selection of both contemporary and traditional welcome lights and candlesticks. Delightful Bridge Lights come in many forms and will welcome visitors at this special time of the year. There are wooden and metal versions, elaborate or minimalist and, unlike real candles, the LED flames are completely safe.
There are also exquisite alpine scene silhouettes, expertly crafted using fret cut wood and warm white LED lighting, and these contrast with more humorous novelty window decorations.
Indoor light sets in various shapes and styles including silver beads, stars, metal balls and copper flowers, can be placed around the house as vivid decorations. Christmas table and mantelpiece lights can be beautiful confections of silver and gold ornaments together with candles with dancing flames, garlands and lanterns.
Captivating effects can be achieved by strings of snowmen, Santas, reindeer and angels that are attractively crafted from acrylic and brought to life by LEDs, they are predictably popular and will definitely introduce fun into the festivities.
Indoor Twig and Blossom Lights are dainty and intricate, colourful and intriguing. Everyone will be fascinated by bonsai sized cherry trees featuring LEDs in the centre of each bloom of these scintillating decorations.
Gorgeous acrylic pyramids and parcels, neatly wrapped in bright red filigree with a silver ribbon and bow, can decorate a corner with the promise of Christmas Day when the real parcels will be unravelled and their gifts revealed.
Draped over or inside a porch, attached to the roof, on trees, or along the path, festoon lighting is a wonderfully bright and colourful way to welcome guests.
Konstsmide Outdoor Christmas Lights consist of twenty coloured bulbs, lit by LEDs rather than traditional energy wasting filaments. Classically shaped and redolent of yesteryear, these lights may use less energy but that doesn't diminish their impact.
Similar Coloured Christmas Lights that flamboyantly stand out from the crowd can be added to Konstsmide's 24v extendible light system and become part of an outstanding display with their red, green, gold, white and blue colours.
Individual black or transparent cable strings from Konstsmide include as many as 100 white or multi-coloured lights. while netting and curtains of LEDs will provide a star encrusted wall of light.
To decorate trees, shrubs and other outdoor features, use Konstsmide fairy or star lights, cherry lights in red, white and purple, or strings of 240 micro multi-function and coloured LEDs.
Cluster lights are another fabulous way to introduce masses of light. If you gaze at the millions of stars on a clear night, that’s the effect Cluster Lights have. Very small micro LEDs create a tinsel effect that smother everything with frost crystal brightness.
Premier have multi-coloured frosted balls that are also multi-functional with a choice of eight modes. As they are low voltage, these lights can be used inside the house or outdoors.
Clear LED bulbs are also available in sets of twenty, from Konstsmide and Lumineo, a leading high quality Dutch brand. A black cable is used for easy concealment and they can be used to brightly decorate the exterior of the house or garden.
Both Konstsmide and Premier offer traditionally styled lanterns lit by LEDs. Although they appear Dickensian, the light and colour is very vivid, much more intense than in the past and very much more energy efficient.
The Premier Chasing Christmas Lantern Set has 40 or 80 lanterns and can be used indoors or outside, to create a wonderful spectacle of colour, light and movement.
Icicle Lights are among the most popular Christmas decorations as icicles hanging from roof tops and guttering are integral to what we perceive as a 'proper' winter. Premier's Chasing Icicle Lights consist of 24 icicles over 7m (23ft) of cable with a mesmerising built-in chasing effect.
The same manufacturer's battery operated Snowing Icicles are available in several different sets, the most basic has a choice of 5 or 7 metre strings of 180 or 240 LEDs. Multi-Action Nite Lites have eight functions including fading, slow glowing, twinkling and flashing, or a combination of these. There's a built-in memory, timer and light sensor, both it and the LED Christmas Superbrights set with speed controller are multi-coloured and available in several lengths from 15ft – 78ft and can be used indoors and out.
Konstsmide replicate the real thing with a 500cm (16ft 5ins) length of 50 warm white highly realistic acrylic icicles. You can extend the effect as the set is compatible with the Konstsmide 24v extendable LED light system, and the icicles can also be linked to different lights within that system.
Konstsmide Extendable Light System
The extendable LED light system from Konstsmide represents the ultimate in reliable outdoor Christmas lighting. Robustly constructed using heavyweight cabling and weatherproof connectors, it is flexible and versatile enough to cover your house with myriad of colours and designs.
After plugging in your starter set only your imagination limits what can be achieved. With a system capable of powering hundreds, even thousands of lights, up to 350 metres or 250 watts from each start wire, Mix and match the available lights to achieve stunning effects featuring icicles in brilliant electric blue or strings, icy white crystals, the illusion of snow falling, netting and curtains of intense colours. Various connector units allow the set to be split into a number of strands suitable for decorating trees and creating complex dazzling arrangements.
It would be very easy to get carried away, so perhaps start with decorating a tree and then use cables and accessories to extend your artistic vision. See your house as a blank canvas and paint as you like, abstract brush strokes of light or perhaps designs more in keeping with the festive season.
For safer operation, a low voltage version of the extendable LED light system is also available. Quality is not compromised, this system is still the ultimate in simple, safe and flexible lighting but only uses 24V. Up to 1040 LEDs can be accommodated, again just by simply adding extensions and splitters to the starter set to create familiar remarkable effects such as icicles, snow fall, curtains and nets.
There are some fabulous opportunities to turn your garden into a very colourful, bright and welcoming place. Whether you want a dramatic hi-tech light show or something more restrained, there’s an outstanding selection of lighting and ornaments to choose from. Even the most modest house can be turned into a icy evocation of a wintery scene, making it a preferred destination for Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.
Even the most traditional wreaths and garlands that decorate front doors throughout the country haven’t escaped a makeover. They have been given impetus with mains or battery powered LEDs illuminating their pine cones, foliage and berries.
Illuminated Christmas characters including iconic personalities such as Santa Claus, snowmen and the animals that we associate with this festive time of the year – polar bears, reindeer and penguins - can populate your garden, delightful depictions that will enchant all your guests.
There are cheerful snowmen with blue buttons and carrot noses in a number of poses, posting cards, ringing bells, ski-ing and sweeping snow. Father Christmas is pictured driving a steam train full of presents, with a sack on his back or just waving at passers-by. Reindeer look particularly elegant in ice white acrylic, their sparkling filigree bodies pictured prancing, grazing and at rest.
Although there's no guarantee he'll take any notice, other novelty items include a 'Santa Stop Here' sign.
Solar powered star shaped path lights are a colourful addition to the garden. Blue, multi-coloured or white, each bunch is laden with stars and can brilliantly shine where mains power isn't possible.
Hanging baskets and festoon lights can be deployed along a path or hung in trees and bushes. Net lights are innovative ways to cover bushes and trees with a mass of multi-function, multi-coloured, lights that can wave, glow, chase, flash and fade.
Beautifully ethereal in a variety of sizes and styles, Konstsmide Twig Trees have grown enormously in popularity over the years. They shimmer in the darkness and with the delicate tracery of frosted branches that is simple as well as stunning.
In a frosty garden, the Konstsmide Outdoor Illuminated Christmas Tree simply spikes into the ground and its bright clean light shines intensely through the night. Flowering Japanese cherry trees, some erect others bent over like bonsai, feature twigs and branches that glint with gorgeous coloured blossoms.
Resembling a glittering firework against the black sky, the illuminated white twig tree has a sprinkling of white fairy lights. Weeping willows are elegantly stunning and the Birch Tree Grove from Lumineo is starkly striking covered in warm white LEDs.