Spread festive cheer through the neighbourhood with outdoor Christmas decorations. When placed outside, Christmas lights and décor will face changing weather conditions. That said, it’s important to pick items that are up to the task. In this article, we share a few questions to ask before you start shopping.
What Is Your Theme?
Having a theme in mind will help you determine the items you need for a cohesive outdoor display. Start by picking a few key elements, then choose secondary accents to complement them. We’ve listed the most popular outdoor Christmas decoration ideas to inspire your own:
Use the same colour palette to coordinate your indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations. You can also display outdoor-safe pieces inside your home. Try hanging matching artificial wreaths and garlands on your front door and above the fireplace mantel.
How Much Is Your Budget?
After choosing your theme, check your Christmas yard or garden decorations then list additional items you’ll need. Mixing new and existing pieces is an easy way to complete your display while staying within budget.
Size and energy efficiency are other factors that may affect your spending:
- Size – Think about how grand you want your outdoor décor to be. Budgets can be scaled up or down according to preferences and available space. If you want a sprawling display, prepare to spend more on large outdoor Christmas decorations. Stack or line up smaller pieces together to create a bigger impact.
- Energy efficiency – Most outdoor Christmas lights and pre-lit décor come with either incandescent or LED bulbs. LEDs produce minimal heat and consume less energy than traditional lights, making them a safer and more cost-effective option in the long run. Some items also feature a built-in timer that automatically shuts off lights and sounds.
Where Should You Place Outdoor Christmas Decorations?
Maximise your space by choosing the right spots to install Christmas decorations. Identify the available areas, then take note of outdoor elements that may affect your décor.
Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas for Different Areas
Weather Conditions To Consider
- Sunlight and Heat – Prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade the colour of your artificial foliage and other decorations. Excessive heat and humidity may also cause discolouration of ornaments and faster deterioration of lights. If possible, place your décor in covered outdoor areas to protect them from harsh UV rays.
- Rainfall – Outdoor-safe lights are made to withstand light to moderate rainfall. As a precaution, switch off and unplug lighted Christmas decorations when it rains to lessen electrical risks.
- Winds – Strong winds may damage your outdoor décor, so make sure to secure loose items.
Finding power sources for yard decorations can be tricky. If you have a large lawn, a power stake is great for decorations mounted on the fence or in the garden area. Battery-operated or solar-powered products also come in handy to eliminate the need for electrical cords.
Are the Decorations Safe for Outdoor Use?
Check the product information online and on the packaging to determine whether decorations are designed for outdoor use. Here’s how to identify outdoor-safe Christmas decorations:
- Look for the safety label – Refer to the product label to identify whether the item is made for indoor or outdoor use. It’s best to choose products with UV-resistant coating to ensure their colours will remain vibrant amid sun exposure.
- Read the display instructions – Outside Christmas decorations can endure harsh conditions within certain limits. Check the product manual for the recommended display time. For example, outdoor-safe foliage items from Balsam Hill are best displayed for up to 3 months a year to preserve their beauty.
How Long Will Outdoor Christmas Decorations Last?
With proper care and storage, outdoor decorations last for years. Premium products with a lengthy warranty often last longer, ensuring that they can be enjoyed season after season.
- Wreaths, Garlands, and Foliage – The foliage on high-quality artificial wreaths and garlands can last 7 to 10 years when maintained properly. However, the lights on pre-lit models may need to be replaced based on the frequency of use.
- Outdoor Christmas Lights – According to the non-profit Energy Saving Trust, traditional indoor lights can last up to 2,000 hours based on 3 hours of daily use. For outdoor lights, you may need to start replacing bulbs after about half that time. LED lights tend to cost more but are rated to last 10,000 hours upwards with normal use.
How To Secure Outdoor Decorations Conditions
- Fasten lightweight decorations – Garden stakes help keep lightweight items from getting blown over by strong winds. Alternatively, use thin wires or chains to attach life-sized figures to sturdy objects such as trees and lampposts.
- Protect outdoor Christmas lights from rainstorms – When a storm is looming, switch off and unplug outdoor lighted Christmas decorations. Cover them with a tarp or durable plastic sheet. Move extension cord outlets to higher ground to prevent water from reaching them.
- Check indoor electrical connections – Rain can pose a risk even if exterior lights are plugged into indoor sockets. Check the ceilings, floors, and walls around the sockets to ensure there are no leaks or pooling water that may cause damage.