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Published Jul. 8, 2021

If you’re looking to light up a tree, a patio, a garden, or the trim in your home in a unique way, there’s no better option than twinkle lights. Also known as fairy lights, Christmas lights, and hanging lights, these long strands of bulbs or LED lights add a subtle glow to rooms and provide moody accent lighting. Twinkle lights come with vastly different designs, so it can be tough to make the right choice without extensive research. We’ve selected the best twinkle lights and outlined all the key considerations so you can get straight to decorating.

Factors to consider when shopping for the best twinkle lights

Finding the best twinkle lights for your space depends on the size of the environment you want to light. Certain designs of twinkle lights are better suited for accenting objects, while others can create mood lighting over large areas. Here are a few important questions to consider when shopping for the best lights for your home decor needs.

Will you use them for ambiance?

Longer lengths of twinkle lights are best for creating ambiance over bigger areas and are perfect for stretching across ceilings and underpasses to add mood lighting from above. Illuminating your space in this manner is a great alternative to spotlighting, which is often brighter and can create asymmetry and hard shadows in space. If you’re going this route, opt for lower-wattage lights in a high quantity so you can max out the vibe in every part of your space without making it so bright as to ruin the mood.

Do you need outdoor features like waterproofing?

Twinkle lights have a reputation for falling short when it comes to durability, but that’s because people stretch them and place them outside, subjecting them to the elements. Choose a style that is specifically designed with waterproof features if you want year-round lighting in an outdoor space. The savings in maintenance and time alone more than makeup for any difference in price.

Do you want smart home integration or phone control?

Smart home compatibility and remote control capability are features that were practically made for twinkle-light integration since this type of lighting is usually either hard-to-reach or in a strategically placed location. Pick lights that allow you to control them with an app, so you can integrate them with your existing home automation settings. This allows you to make scheduled or on-the-fly adjustments to your home’s ambiance with very little effort.

Will you need battery-powered or solar-powered functionality?

Twinkle lights consume quite a bit of power, and because they’re accent lights, they’re often in tucked-away spots where there isn’t access to electricity. For these cases, consider twinkle lights that operate with a battery pack or a solar panel to ensure that your out-of-reach areas never have to go without light.

Are you using them for traditional tree-lighting or exterior decoration?

Sometimes, all you need is a bunch of basic twinkle lights to serve traditional uses like tree decorating. In these cases, it’s more cost-effective to buy the simplest design of light strings to get the job done quickly. These designs are best suited for temporary installations that you won’t be keeping up all year.

Related: You’ve hung the twinkle lights, now it’s time to upgrade your patio furniture.

The best twinkle lights

Decor can be expensive, but adding twinkle lights is a fun way to brighten up your home without breaking the bank. Once you decide how you want to use them, there are lots of options to fulfill your needs.

The best traditional twinkle lights: Yuletime Clear String Lights

Classic Holiday Style

One set of two 33-foot connectable strings for a total of 200 incandescent lights.

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These UL-certified lights come with male and female plugs for a long-distance extension on large objects and structures. Its durable 22 AWG wire features a pure copper core and low-heat construction as well as a green waterproof outer shield, making this a perfect fit for decorating greenery and foliage. Because of its traditional design, paired with its ability to easily daisy-chain, this set of lights is a cost-effective choice for adding timeless cheer and ambiance to any space.

The best solar fairy lights: Brizled Solar String Lights

Auto On and Off

This solar string lights set has a capacity to stay illuminated for 10 to 12 hours of warm LED light on a full charge.

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This set of solar lights includes two solar panels and just under 80 feet of lights. The LEDs are fixed to a length of copper wire, which can be maneuvered around trees to add warm light to your yard. The solar panels attach to the lights and make it easy to add sparkle without any extension cords. All of the parts in this set are durable and waterproof, too, so feel free to go crazy with them on your patio. in your pool area, or in any other relatively exposed outdoor space.

The best battery-powered string lights: Lighting Ever Globe String Lights

Eight Lighting Modes

These battery-operated lights are built to IP44 water-resistance standards.

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Not unlike our pick for solar twinkle lights, these battery-powered lights are perfect for subtle placement in hard-to-reach areas. Not only are these great for indoor spaces like bookshelves and cabinetry, but they’re also ideal for portable applications such as camper vans or tent lighting. This length of 50 LED globe lights is five meters long and is powered by three AA batteries. The unit also features adjustable brightness, a remote control, and a built-in timer that automatically turns on for six hours each day.

The best smart twinkle lights: Twinkly Multicolor LED String Lights

16 Million Colors

These smart lights pair with Bluetooth and WiFi to allow easy remote control access.

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These lights from the aptly-named brand Twinkly allow you to customize and automate your settings via the free app. Plus, they’re compatible with most popular smart home assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. You can integrate them with your existing smart lights to create whole scenes that are remote or voice-controlled. This design uses cutting-edge LEDs with diffused lenses to provide brighter with a high level of granular control. If customization and ease of use are of concern to you, these are the twinkle lights to choose from.

The best heavy duty twinkle lights: Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights

Durable and Stylish

A thick, rubberized cable makes these lights perfect for leaving up year-round.

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If you’re looking for bright mood lighting for an outdoor area like a patio, check out these heavy-duty twinkle lights. They feature two-watt LED Edison bulbs spaced three feet apart, mounted on a sturdy industrial-grade waterproof cable. String together up to eight strands for large-scale lighting in dining areas and other large spaces. These LEDs run cool, use little power, and last relatively long, which makes them a fantastic long-term decorating option.

FAQs

Q: How long do twinkle lights last?

While traditional twinkle lights that use incandescent bulbs may require maintenance and bulb replacement as often as twice a year, some types of LEDs can last upwards of 50,000 hours. If you’re looking for longevity, you can’t do much better than lights that use LEDs.

Q:

Do twinkle lights attract bugs?

Light in the ultraviolet spectrum attracts bugs, and incandescent twinkle lights give off just as much of this light as do regular incandescent bulbs. LEDs, however, give off significantly less ultraviolet light. If you’re aiming to discourage the attention of flying insects and other creatures, choose a set of LED lights.

Q:

Are twinkle lights safe?

Twinkle lights are usually very safe thanks to the spacing of the bulbs, which diminishes the likelihood of heat buildup. Some models even include inline fuses to prevent bulb blowouts. To ensure your lights operate safely, don’t allow the bulbs to touch and don’t use them in tight areas.

Related: If you love solar fairy lights, try these solar birdbaths in your garden for an extra magical effect.

Final thoughts about the best twinkle lights

Twinkle lights are a novel way to accent your decor and add soft ambient light to indoor and outdoor spaces. Battery- and solar-powered designs are ideal for lighting hard-to-reach areas, while waterproof designs are essential for year-round outdoor use. Twinkle lights ensure that the environment stays adequately lit without drawing attention to the lighting itself. This makes them an excellent choice for activities like dining and entertaining.

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