Advances in technology aren’t just limited to the big stuff! Even Christmas lights have gotten an overhaul in recent years, and each year more and more homeowners choose to upgrade their decorations.  Traditional filament-based Christmas lights are being phased out and replaced with LED Christmas lights and solar Christmas lights.

You may be considering upgrading your Christmas decorations and have been wondering which is the best choice for your home. Both LED and solar Christmas lights have their pros and cons and choosing which is the best fit for you can be confusing. Below we’ll lay out the pros and cons of both so you can make an informed decision.

If you live in the Spokane County Washington, contact us for your Christmas Light Hanging Price! 

LED Christmas Lights vs. Solar Christmas Lights

Large blue, red, green, and amber LED Christmas lights against a black background.

LED Christmas Lights

LED Christmas lights began growing in popularity in the late 90s and over the years they’ve been continuously improved to increase their already impressive energy efficient properties.

LED lights work by replacing the incandescent filaments in traditional Christmas lights with light-emitting diodes. This change may seem small, but the leads to many benefits.

A winter wonderland scene that has been heavily decorated using blue led christmas lights.

The Pros

The biggest and most obvious pro of LED Christmas lights is how energy efficient they are. LED Christmas lights use 75% less energy than traditional Christmas lights, which means you can decorate to your heart’s content without worrying about what your electrical bill will look like next month!

LED Christmas lights are also safer than traditional Christmas lights. While traditional Christmas lights release heat and can grow very hot with extended use, LED lights remain cool to the touch, which makes them a far safer choice for decorating trees, wreaths, and shrubs. Remaining cool to the touch is also a huge benefit for parents with small children. Even if your children come into contact with the bulbs, there’s no risk of even minor injuries.

Another benefit of LED Christmas lights is how low maintenance and durable they are! The days of having to replace a whole string of lights because a single bulb is burned out are over. LED Christmas lights don’t burn out, they only grow dimmer over time and they last an average of 50,000 hours. This means your LED lights will last for years until they need to be replaced.

Another pro is flexibility when it comes to decorating. You can now find many brands of LED Christmas lights that allow you to change the color of your lights at any time with the help of an app.  This opens up a whole world of possibilities for Christmas displays and means you no longer have to commit to a certain color scheme for the entire season.

The Cons

While LED Christmas lights have many benefits, there are some cons that need to be considered before you commit to upgrading.

LED Christmas lights are more expensive upfront. While they’ll save you more money in the long run, the upfront costs can be higher than expected, especially if you choose to use app controlled LED lights.

LED lights also typically have fewer lights per string, which can make positioning your lights for maximum impact while decorating difficult.

While LED lights don’t burn out, they’re aren’t immune to accidents. If a bulb is broken on a string on LED lights, replacing that single bulb may be difficult to impossible.

A string of solar led lights attached to a small solar panel.

Solar Christmas Lights

Going green and using less energy is a concern for many people. If you feel that LED Christmas lights consume too much power even with their low energy rating, solar Christmas lights might be the right choice for you. 

As the name implies, solar Christmas lights get all their power from the sun. Instead of being plugged into an outlet, solar lights are wired to a small solar panel about 3 inches wide that’s placed atop a small stake. The stake is driven into the ground where the solar panel can absorb the most light. 

A string of multicolored solar Christmas lights

The Pros

When it comes to saving energy and lowering your electrical bill, it’s hard to beat solar Christmas lights. Because all their power comes from sunlight, they cost nothing to operate.

In terms of cost, solar lights are often priced similarly to traditional Christmas lights, which means upgrading to solar lights is less expensive than upgrading to LED Christmas lights. When combined with being powered purely by sunlight, they can add up to high savings.

Solar lights can withstand rain, cold, and snow and are as hardy as traditional and LED Christmas lights.

The Cons

While the main benefit of solar lights is that they’re powered by sunlight, it’s also their biggest disadvantage. Cloudy winter skies and snow can both prevent your solar Christmas lights from receiving a full dose of sunlight. This means your solar Christmas lights may not have the power necessary to work through winter weather.

Additionally, because each string of lights requires its own solar panel, your lawn can easily become cluttered with stakes which can be tripping hazards, especially if hidden by snow.

Even with a full charge, many solar lights only burn for a maximum of 6 to 8 hours. While this may be plenty of time for some homeowners, if you like your decorations to visible through the evening and overnight, solar lights may not be the right choice for you.

A close up of gold, blue, red, and green LED Christmas Lights


While we love both LED and solar powered Christmas lights, we feel that solar powered lights are better for accents due to them potentially being affected by winter weather. However, both are excellent choices for holiday decorating and both will lead to higher savings for you.

And if you do decide to upgrade, remember that Spokane’s Finest Lawns will happily install your new Christmas lights for you, along with any other Christmas decorations you’d like to display. Our estimates are free and fast, and we’d love to help you this holiday season.