Christmas window lighting ideas: 10 ways to brighten up your home this holiday season

We've rounded up our favorite Christmas window lighting ideas for spreading festive cheer

christmas wreath light in window
(Image credit: Trevor Chriss/Alamy Stock Photo)

Recreating some magical Christmas window lighting ideas in your own home is a surefire way to spread festive cheer, both indoors and out. 

It doesn't have to be overly complex – just a few sparkling stars, a curtain of fairy-like clusters, or an array of classic candles is enough to create an inviting glow. Tie it into the theme of your outdoor Christmas decor for a cohesive look and you'll soon have one of the best-dressed homes on the block.

Transform your home with these simple Christmas window lighting ideas

Outdoor Christmas lighting ideas are one of the best ways to cozy up the darker evenings of the season, and your windows can play a key part in the scheme. The following looks are sure to get you inspired.

1. Dress up a festive window box with fairy lights

christmas window box with lights

Decorative window boxes are an easy way to embrace the season

(Image credit: Outdoor_Eye/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

We love a window box whatever time of year. They're an easy way to embrace the seasons, whether filled with bulbs and pastel-painted eggs in spring or pumpkins and fiery-hued foliage in fall.

For Christmas, there are plenty of winter plants for pots to choose from, or you could simply create a festive display using sprigs of pine, baubles, pinecones, and faux berries (such as these ones from Amazon). String fairy lights around your display for that after-dark glow: the perfect finishing touch.

Seasonal window boxes are one of our favorite looks for balcony Christmas decor, too. They're a great way to give a smaller space a festive feel. 

2. Create a starry scene

light-up stars hanging in christmas window

Create an elegant display with glowing stars

(Image credit: Hanneke Vollbehr/Moment/Getty Images)

'Stars are great for dressing windows for Christmas,' says Thalia Shaw of Sparkle Lighting. She suggests opting for an illuminated Scandi-style paper star (as seen at the bottom of the display shown above), which will make a statement while projecting a lovely warm glow. 'Metal stars with lights are also a perfect addition to bring sparkle to a window,' she says.

We like these hanging star decorations, too. Gently illuminated and arranged at different heights, they bring a subtle yet sophisticated touch.

3. Make a glowing wreath the centerpiece of your window display

christmas light wreath in window

A wreath is a timeless choice for festive decor

(Image credit: Trevor Chriss/Alamy Stock Photo)

Christmas wreaths are a classic decoration for this time of year – whether that's on your front door, your patio wall, or the center of your dining table to surround a chunky pillar candle.

Hanging one in your window is a beautiful idea, especially if it has twinkling lights woven through it. This simple pussy willow style is an elegant example and instantly ups the cozy vibe.

Pairing it with a foliage garland beneath adds to the natural theme, while the larger-bulbed lights emit a gentle, red glow that's reminiscent of a crackling winter fire.

4. Show off your Christmas tree

christmas tree and lighting through window

Show off your tree to passersby

(Image credit: Maryna Gumenyuk/Alamy Stock Photo)

Whatever type of Christmas tree you've gone for, why keep it all to yourself? Spread the joy of the season and show off your creation by positioning it in front of your window – the shimmering lights, colorful baubles and lush green foliage will give any passerby a warm, festive feeling.

And, if you have hedging plants beneath your windows, or perhaps a long planter filled with shrubs, don't forget to light them up, too. A net of LED microlights looks almost invisible during the day but brings a magical glow at night and works well draped across neatly-clipped topiary. Outdoor-suitable fairy lights woven through branches are another option.

5. Or, pot up smaller trees, lit up with microlights

potted small christmas trees with lights along windowsill

This scene is full of jollity

(Image credit: Viktoriya Kraynyuk/Alamy Stock Photo)

Mini Christmas trees are super adorable and a great alternative to the Christmas window decor idea above. 

These four, lined up neatly in a row, fill the space beautifully. But even just one, decorated with twinkling lights, is a simple way to embrace a seasonal style for your home.

Finish with an illuminated garland of festive foliage, attached below or around the window frame, as well as hanging strings of pinecones, baubles, paper snowflakes, and other pretty ornaments, as seen in this DIY Christmas display.

6. Go for delicate details

Christmas string cluster lights from Cox & Cox in window

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

'Curtain or net fairy lights are great for bringing sparkle to windows at Christmas as they cover the whole glass and really create impact,' says Thalia Shaw. There are lots of delicate styles to choose between, from stars to fairy-like clusters.

If you're looking for Christmas window lighting ideas that are straightforward, these are a great solution as they're simple and quick to install. Designs like these Twinkle Star LED curtain lights from Amazon would also work as part of a festive interior scheme, too, such as behind a sofa or a headboard of a bed.

7. Embrace a retro charm with colorful lights

colorful christmas lights and tree through window

Light up your windows with multiple colors

(Image credit: D. Hurst/Alamy Stock Photo)

For a throwback charm, replace neutral white lights with rainbow LEDs. Reds, blues, greens and yellows will give any festive setup a nostalgic vibe – why not throw in some tinsel and classic glass baubles in jewel-like colors, too?

String them up around your window frames for a retro-chic look that will make your home stand out from the crowd. Go a step further by applying colorful Christmas lights to the exterior of your home, too.

8. Combine LED candles with curtain lights

christmas window with lighting

This cozy setup is from Lights4fun

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

'The soft glow of icicle lights delicately hung from up above and the gentle flicker of candlelight uplifts each home and brightens the darker days,' says Emily Kelsey of Lights4fun.

Stick to LED candles for peace of mind – nowadays, they look just as atmospheric as the real deal. Add them to your windowsill, dotted between the foliage of a seasonal garland decorated with warm white micro lights, Emily suggests. 

Continue the theme to the exterior, too, by popping a larger LED candle inside a floor lantern and placing a potted Christmas tree, complete with lights, nearby. A tree or two is also a lovely addition to Christmas porch decor – pop one on either side of your door.

9. Mix red lights with green foliage for a classic look

red star christmas lights around window with foliage

Red and green are a traditional Christmas color combo

(Image credit: Solarysys/Alamy Stock Photo)

If multicolored Christmas window lighting ideas feel a little too showy, switch them up for just red lights instead, such as these red LED string lights from Amazon

These miniature star lights pictured are full of Christmas charm, and are complemented beautifully with garlands of green foliage. 

Bringing gold into the mix – perhaps by adding shimmering ribbons, stars, or baubles amongst the branches – will enhance the traditional style. A red or white candle in an elegant gold lantern or candlestick would make a lovely centerpiece that will pull the whole look together.

10. Turn heads with neon lights

neon wreath light in christmas window alongside faux tree

Light up the night with a glowing wreath

(Image credit: Douglas Sacha/Moment/Getty Images)

Neon lighting is having a moment in our interior schemes for a fun, Miami-chic vibe. But if you're not entirely sold on neon all year round but like its playful vibe, why not embrace it for your Christmas window lighting ideas?

Wreaths, reindeer, stars, Christmas trees – there are plenty of designs to choose from to complete your decorating scheme. We particularly like the look of this jingle bell design from Amazon.

And if you're extending the look outdoors, just ensure you follow these essential Christmas lights safety tips to reduce any risks of accidents.

What color lights should you use for your Christmas window display?

'The tone of your lights will change the overall look and feel of your home,' says Dobbies’ Senior Christmas Buyer, Lynsey Abbott. 'Cool-toned lighting plays well with modern decor and will help you achieve an icy, on-trend winter wonderland effect.'

Warm lights will add a softer sparkle and are great for creating a cozy display, she continues. Plus, they complement traditional decorations well. Although we love to layer up the best indoor and outdoor Christmas lights, choosing the same degree of 'warmth' across different styles throughout your home is a good idea for a sense of harmony.

'For a retro feel, opt for multicolored lights in varying shapes and sizes,' Lynsey adds. For a more sophisticated look, stick to neutrals.

Holly Crossley
Acting Deputy Editor

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.