As you prepare your home for the holidays, you may be having a difficult time making a key decorating decision: should you use white Christmas lights or multi-colored Christmas lights?
The debate is an old one and people seem to be very passionate about which they prefer. Some have nostalgic childhood memories connected to multi-colored lights, while others strictly use white lights.
While deciding what to do, you may wonder where the idea to decorate a tree with lights even came from. Well, the small electrical lights on (usually) dark green wire that we know today replaced hazardous, fire-prone lights in the early 1900s.
As more people purchased these new electrical lights that came in different colors, they also developed stereotypes. Homeowners claimed white lights reflected high-class and good taste while multi-colored lights appeared to be tacky–both of these ideas are severely outdated.
One of the most famous trees, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City, sports multi-colored lights surrounded by smaller trees with white lights. This year’s White House decorations feature white lights accented with gold ribbons, ornaments, and decorations. Both displays are beautiful to look at.
A true end to this debate may be impossible to reach; however, if you’re stuck between the two then knowing the key decorating differences between each may help make your decision a little easier.
Think of white Christmas lights as a blank palette. They complement holiday colors like silver, bronze, and gold well, but will complement any color scheme you choose.
White lights have a few varieties depending on what kind of ambiance you want in your home. Warm white Christmas lights give off a soft glow and will create a cozy atmosphere. On the other hand, bright LED white Christmas lights achieve an icy look and use a low amount of energy. There’s also a middle level available, warm LED Christmas lights and the color falls in between the first two.
These lights are especially useful for wreaths and garland because they don’t use a lot of energy and can operate on batteries. You can also wrap colored ribbons around the tree and frosted ornaments for a sparkling Christmas tree.
Multi-colored lights provide a more playful palette. Many people prefer these lights because of longstanding tradition and growing up with the old-fashioned C9 Christmas lights. There are no rules with these lights, and they’re great if you want to let your kids decorate the tree with mismatched, handmade ornaments.
Their ambiance is energetic and several LED lights allow you to personalize the settings and make the lights sparkle or twinkle. There are no limits with multi-colored lights and you can add ribbons, beads, and a colorful tree skirt to bring the Christmas spirit to life.
Like white Christmas lights, LED lights save more energy than incandescent and are ideal for being powered by a battery. The intensity of the glow can be warm, bright, or somewhere in the middle. If you love both types, then mix-and-match white and multi-colored Christmas lights!
Kendra is a content writer with a BA in literature from Wilkes University. When she’s not reading up on the latest home decorating trends, Kendra is busy designing her future home, library included.