Now we’re all for ornaments, but nothing quite matches a festive spectacle like these beautiful indoor Christmas lighting ideas. As any geek will tell you, they’re the unsung heroes when it comes to festive décor—it’s the season to sparkle, after all!
When it comes to lighting Christmas decorating ideas, we’re not just talking about string lights on a tree. Nowadays, there are many ways you can achieve that desired seasonal glow indoors. So many in fact, it can get a little confusing. Fortunately, we are here to help you.
“One of the main wonders of Christmas is the lights, and getting the perfect accents can really add the finishing touches to any Christmas-inspired decor,” says Connor Prestwood, interior designer at Dowsing & Reynolds. (Opens in a new tab) .
Christmas indoor lighting ideas
Below, we’ve shared our favorite Christmas indoor lighting ideas, from glowing tablescapes to twinkling window displays. Outdoor Christmas lighting ideas are in our dedicated guide. On top of that, we also spoke to the experts to get their top tips and advice on how to properly (and brightly) illuminate your home, just in time for the holidays.
1. Make a tree light
If you don’t have enough space, or you’re looking for alternative, sustainable Christmas tree ideas this year, a magic string light tree is the perfect solution. If you’re feeling creative, get started creating your own lamps by stringing the lights loosely in a herringbone tree shape using clear hooks, or opt for a ready-made design, like this one from Cox & Cox.
Made of shaped metal branches, it is easy to hang from a hook on the wall, and can be displayed either indoors or out to stunning effect. Stand alone in your entrance hall or porch to welcome guests, or as a main attraction teamed with an array of decorations, says Danny Taylor, product and creative director for Cox & Cox. (Opens in a new tab).
Stack beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree for the perfect finishing touch.
2. Bedroom heating
When it comes to Christmas bedroom decor, you want to keep things subtle — the mood should remain calm and relaxed, despite the excitement of the season.
Apart from your Christmas tree, LED fairy lights can add a touch of Christmas to the bedroom, displayed on open shelves, around window and door frames, or if you don’t have a headboard, hung on the wall above your bed. Add sprigs of faux foliage around the room to create a simple, woodland-inspired scheme that doesn’t feel overly forceful, says Connor Prestwood.
One or two strings of twinkling lights are more than enough to add some magic. Avoid stark white in favor of a soft golden glow to add warmth to an all-white scheme—and that goes for any room, not just bedrooms!
There’s no doubt about it, fresh Christmas foliage and soft glowing lights are a match made in heaven when it comes to holiday decorating. Hallways, mantel shelves, and staircases are some of the most obvious places for Christmas wreath and Christmas wreath ideas, but it’s worth looking for other areas around your home that might benefit from some sparkly festive foliage.
‘If you’re lucky enough to have blank niches, carved doorways, or even exposed beams throughout your home, illuminate the outlines of these shapes with gorgeous fairy lights,’ says Francesca Morris, Senior Buyer at Garden Trading. (Opens in a new tab). Avoid unsightly tangled wires by opting for pre-lit, battery-operated designs.
Twinkly wreaths also make for a somewhat special Christmas window decor idea. Drape one low enough so you can enjoy it from the outside, too.
4. Light the way on the windows
Delight the kids and impress the neighbors by incorporating these indoor Christmas lighting ideas into your Christmas porch decor or entryway decorating. A sophisticated and luminous wreath, a neat little tree or light-up figures, like the one here, make for a truly festive display.
“Offering warm clusters of twinkling light in the form of pre-lit garlands, garland and Christmas trees are perfect for lighting up porches on all levels,” says Lucy Kirk, creative and photography director at Lights4Fun. (Opens in a new tab).
5. Add warmth to your winter table
Do you love the idea of creating a magical mood during the holiday season? Getting creative with your Christmas interior lighting is key to creating a great Christmas table decoration idea, plus it offers the chance to enjoy the atmosphere long gone.
Arrange classic white candles and glowing tealights in the center, then randomly arrange delicate star-shaped lights for the perfect blend of traditional and modern.
6. Let the curtain fall
With vast expanses of walls to light up, Christmas living room decor can sometimes be challenging. So why not follow Kelly Wearstler (Opens in a new tab)Advice on how to hang Christmas lights? A single string of warm string lights can look a little lost, so Kelly ups the festive ante by hanging a curtain of lights instead. It’s easy to do; Install clear command hooks where the wall and ceiling meet, then allow the lights to creep down. To maintain flair, steer clear of cool white or blue bulbs — warm white is best, and avoid any flashy flashes.
“Think big and let your imagination inspire you,” says Kelly.
7. Create a warm welcome
Incorporating lights into your Christmas entryway ideas has the benefit of creating a festive atmosphere in transitional spaces. While the twinkling twinkling lights come alive at night, pre-lit decorations, like these adorable ceramic homes, will look warm and inviting all day long, too.
“We have a lot of friends and family who visit us during Christmas, so we like to make sure the hallways in our home look festive and elegant. In our porch windows, we like to add rows of white ceramic houses filled with tiny LED candles to create a miniature village that guests can see before they step inside—it’s always a lovely talking point, says Susie Humphreys, founder of Layered Lounge. (Opens in a new tab).
8. Illuminate your architecture
Creating a warm indoor Christmas lighting scheme is all about embracing the vertical. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with the lead, choose smaller areas to focus on, and beams, arches, and columns to create pockets of eye-catching glamor.
“Hang lots of twinkling lights and use those wires to hang ornaments, handmade ornaments, and other trinkets,” says Francesca Morris of Garden Trading.
9. Take a “less is more” approach
Beautifully lit Christmas tree ideas don’t always equate to piling up string lights—taking a back-rolling approach can be downright amazing, especially in contemporary or Scandi-inspired interiors.
It may not “steal the show” in the literal sense, but adopting this approach allows your tree to work harmoniously with the rest of your lighting, creating a beautiful glow that reverberates throughout the room.
By not overdoing it with the lights, you can create a focus on the tree itself and use strands of lights to illuminate the branches and give a room a subtle glow. When complemented with table lamps and floor lamps, this creates subtle pools of light throughout the room that provide a cozy atmosphere and plenty of festive charm, says Lucy St. George, co-founder of Rockett St George. (Opens in a new tab).
10. Enter glowing candlelight
Going back to basics is one of the nicest ways to decorate during the holiday season. Whether it’s clusters of glowing tea lights arranged on tabletops, or taper candles adding ambience to a wintry window display, the glow of humble candlelight can’t be beat. Here, chunky beeswax candles brighten up a festive table. You can learn how to dry orange slices for Christmas very easily to adapt your own candles for the season.
In addition to looking pretty, candles have the added benefit of smelling great, too. Notes of cinnamon and spice wonderfully evoke nostalgia, or enjoy the invigorating scents of the great outdoors—like pine, fir, and eucalyptus—in the warmth and comfort of your own home.
Never leave burning candles unattended.
What can I use instead of indoor Christmas lights?
Instead of indoor Christmas lights, you can use pre-lit garlands, garlands, ornaments, contemporary twig trees, and fun shapes that light up. Instead of tackling your entire home at once, focus on specific areas: windows or Christmas wall decor ideas, for example, and think about what works best.
LED is the better choice for a number of reasons. This type of light is long-lasting, so you won’t end up replacing lights every festive season; Furthermore, it does not heat in the same way, so it is safer and suitable for use around all foliage and leafy decorations.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that going back to basics can be the prettiest way to decorate for Christmas, and when it comes to indoor Christmas lighting, that means the humble candle. Don’t underestimate it – there’s nothing like a flickering warm glow to add a festive vibe, all the more so if you choose a pretty seasonal scent. It may not be the only player in your lighting scheme, but used in combination with other lighting ideas, it can tip the balance from mediocre to truly magical.
How do you make indoor Christmas lights look good in your home?
Ultimately, it comes down to getting the right lighting for each room or screen you’ll use it in, so take it all individually—unfortunately, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” light.
When it comes to selecting color, “Extreme rooms can look vibrant with colorful indoor Christmas lights, while a simple neutral scheme would look beautiful with simple LED string lights,” says Conor Prestwood, interior designer at Dowsing & Reynolds.
You’ll also need to consider the glow factor. The LED lights emitting a warm golden glow in contrast to the cool white will give it a softer look, enhancing the comfort of the space, perfect for living rooms and bedrooms. If you are looking to create a grotto inspired by a snow scene, choose a cool white light for an enchanting snowy feel! ” He says.
Getting the right light is the most important thing, so how you place them is up to you. It all comes down to personal preference, so it makes sense to go with your instincts as a rule of thumb:
Amy Mason, product manager at Lights4Fun, recommends, “Fireplace lighting and mantelpieces are a great place to start as indoor Christmas lights will illuminate the heart of your home, giving a warm and inviting glow.” Think about stature, too; Adorn side tables and window sills with Christmas lights to add a mid-level glow to your festive display, and finish with light shelves and bookcases to elevate the smaller, darker corners of your home.