How to Power Outdoor Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are a festive way to brighten up homes and neighborhoods, but this holiday season, be sure that your outdoor Christmas light setup is safe. We have gathered some tips on how to power outdoor Christmas lights in the cold weather.

The “how to power outdoor christmas lights without an outlet” is a question that has been asked before. The answer is to use two extension cords, one for the light and one for the switch.

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You’re about to start decorating your home’s outside when you notice you only have one outdoor outlet. What power source do you use for your outdoor Christmas lights?


You can power your outdoor Christmas light show in a few different ways.

  • Utilize any available external sources.
  • Make use of the sun.
  • Make use of battery power.

The fastest and simplest option to power your Christmas lights is to use an existing outlet outdoors. It is not, however, the sole option. Let’s have a look at the possibilities.


Contents Table of Contents

  • Utilize any available external sources.
  • From Inside the House, Run an Extension Cord
  • Make use of the sun. Lights or Panels
  • Outdoor Lights Powered by Batteries
  • Batteries with a voltage of 12 volts may be used.
  • When Using Electricity and String Lights, Take Care
  • Extension Cord Do’s and Don’ts
  • Wattage is an important consideration.
  • Always remember to turn off your lights.
  • Examine for Heat
  • Outdoor Christmas lights can be powered.


Utilize any available external sources.

Make a note of any existing electrical outlets outdoors as you prepare to put up your lights. These are the finest locations for plugging in your lights. You might use a light socket with an adapter that screws into your porch light fixture if you don’t have any outside outlets.

From Inside the House, Run an Extension Cord

Is there no way to connect in outside? Make use of a long extension cable. It is feasible to run an exterior grade extension wire from inside your house via a window or from the garage if there are no electrical outlets and no porch light.

Heavy-duty extension cables can take more electricity than conventional extension cords, allowing them to travel longer distances with ease.

Some extension cables are designed exclusively for outdoor lighting and come with various outlets and watertight plugs.


A waterproof power stake might be combined with a heavy-duty outdoor extension cable. Photocells and timers are integrated into some of them, enabling them to turn on your decorations when it becomes dark and turn them off at a time you choose. Other power stakes feature built-in speakers and play music.

Make use of the sun. Lights or Panels

Solar is a great alternative if you want to decorate but don’t want to pay the electric bill. There are a plethora of lovely solar-powered Christmas light strands to choose from.

  • Gumdrops in the traditional manner 
  • Lights on Ropes
  • Snowflake
  • Stars
  • Christmas Candy Canes
  • Drop of Water

These readymade LED lights and solar panel kits provide an unlimited supply of inventive possibilities. Color settings and pattern flash modes are common on these lights. Some even have Bluetooth capabilities, allowing them to dance to music downloaded via an app. What a blast.

You may utilize a portable power system if you want a little extra power and the ability to use existing led light strands. Solar panels, solar generators, and more options are available. They are also cost-effective. These portable power sources may be utilized in emergency situations as well as when camping.

Outdoor Lights Powered by Batteries

That is correct. You may use batteries to power your outdoor lights. Some light displays come with batteries already fitted. These fairy lights are available in a variety of colors and forms. The ability to embellish moving things with battery controlled lights is a great concept. 

  • People
  • Cars
  • Bicycles are quite popular (with care)
  • Sleds

Batteries with a voltage of 12 volts may be used.

Use a 12 volt battery and an inverter to power your device. Christmas lights may be powered by rechargeable 12 volt lithium batteries or a vehicle battery linked to an inverter. 12 volt batteries come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are five different sorts of batteries, according to Battery Stuff.

  • Batteries that have been flooded
  • Batteries that have been sealed
  • Lead-acid batteries with a valve regulator
  • Batteries for Absorbed Glass Mats
  • Lithium-ion Batteries

Batteries that have been flooded are found in vehicles. They have access areas for the user to add distilled water to the battery to prevent them from drying out.

Batteries that have been sealed are the same as the Batteries that have been flooded, however, the user has no access to the interior of the battery.

VRLA or valve regulated lead batteries are also Batteries that have been sealed. They have valves on them to allow hydrogen and oxygen gasses to escape safely.

AGM batteries, or absorbed glass mat batteries, are a more sophisticated kind of VRLA battery that offers better performance.

Lithium-ion Batteries are the most sensitive batteries and require special gel profile chargers, so they do not over charge. They are often used in recreational vehicle deep cycle, wheelchairs, and trolling motors.

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Connect the inverter to the battery with the wires and put your lights into the inverter’s outlets to utilize the battery and inverter combo.

When Using Electricity and String Lights, Take Care

When dealing with electricity, we must use extreme care. This is particularly true outside, where rain and snow are a possibility. When it comes to electricity, there are several risks to be aware of.

  • Fire
  • Shock to the system
  • Death

We hear about Christmas lights sparking fires both inside and outside of houses every year. A spark from defective wiring is all it takes for an improperly grounded cable to shock a human or animal. This might result in death depending on the voltage released.

Your best defense is prevention. 

  • Use heavy-duty extension cables that are watertight.
  • Low-voltage accent lights
  • Make sure your electrical outlets aren’t overloaded. 
  • Cords should not be placed in areas where they might be damaged.
  • Turn off the holiday lights. 

If you’re going to use extension cables, make sure they’re heavy-duty and waterproof. They’re hefty, but they’re well-insulated and can withstand greater voltages without overheating. 

Extension Cord Do’s and Don’ts

Avoid putting your cables in places where they might be damaged or cause harm. Don’t shut any doors or windows in their faces. This may cause the wires within the cable to break. They should not be strewn on roads or sidewalks. If you need to run an extension wire over a path or driveway, use a cable ramp to keep it safe. 

Even though Christmas lights and wires are waterproof, do not leave them in water or snow. Water might short them out and create a fire. You may use a safety cover that clamps onto the extension cable and the cord to your decorations to keep water out of your wires.

Wattage is an important consideration.

Farm & Fleet warns against overloading outlets. Find the breaker for the outlet(s) you want to utilize for your Christmas lights in your home’s electrical breaker box. Determine what is connected to the circuit. That circuit includes everything that shuts off when the breaker is turned off.

  • Lights from above
  • Appliances
  • Televisions

When you’ve figured out what’s on the circuit, look at the wattage of the lamps or appliances. Add up all of the watts. Then take a look at the decorations you’re going to plug into the socket. That’s on top of what the circuit is currently supplying electricity to. To calculate the amps utilized, multiply the amount by 120. 

To ensure that the circuit is not overloaded, use the formula WattsVolts=Amps. Anything above 15 amps will overload your circuit in the breaker box if it states it’s 15 amps in the breaker box. 

Always remember to turn off your lights.

When you’re not at home and before you go to sleep, make sure your display lights are turned off. When you’re not at home, make sure they’re turned off to lessen the risk of a fire. It also saves you money on your electricity bill.

Examine for Heat

Check light strands, outlets, and cables on a regular basis to ensure they are not overheating. To remain cool, it’s preferable to use modern LED lights, which use 98 percent to 99 percent less power than older lighting. 

If you’re using an older light set, make sure the cable is free of damage and the bulbs aren’t loose or missing before hanging them. Do not use them if they are damaged. Before hanging them up, check to see if any bulbs are missing.

Outdoor Christmas lights can be powered.

Outside, you can power that festive light show. Requiring solar and batteries, this can be done without using grid energy. The usage of LED lights and timers minimizes power consumption and expenses. Create sure to read our articles on how to make a Christmas tree out of lights and our top picks for outdoor Christmas lights.


If you want to power your outdoor string lights, there are a few places that you can plug them in. The best place is the ground or any other surface that is not wet. If you do not have access to these surfaces, then it may be possible to use an extension cord with a GFCI outlet. Reference: where to plug in outdoor string lights.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get power to my outdoor Christmas lights?

A: There are many ways to get power to your outdoor Christmas lights. If you live in an apartment or dont want the hassle of running wires, there is a neat solution that I found on Amazon called Power Cube. It has four outlets that can be switched from 110v-120v and its battery operated! You just plug them into a socket, turn them on for about 5 seconds then wait until they fully charge before switching off again.

How can I power my outdoor lights without an outlet?

A: Find a power strip that has multiple AC adapters and plug in the ones you need.

How do you hook up Christmas lights without an outdoor outlet?

A: For the purpose of Christmas lights, you can use a type of temporary outdoor extension cord that make it possible to run your lights. However, these cords are only for short periods and not meant for long-term usage or connections in wet grounds.

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