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Best Commercial Outdoor Christmas Lights for 2024

When the holiday season rolls around, it’s fun to join in with the festivities as a business owner. It gives a real sense of community spirit as everyone prepares to celebrate together. While you’ll probably be hanging tinsel or putting up a Christmas tree or two inside your space, you can make the outside of your business look great, too.

The question is, what are the best commercial outdoor Christmas lights, and which ones are best for you? Should you go for permanent or temporary lights? Twinkle lights or colorful flood lights? Which one you pick will depend on your circumstances, so let’s take a look at each one.

Best Commercial Outdoor Christmas Lights

What to Consider When Looking for Outdoor Christmas Lights

Before we get started, there are a few things to consider when you’re picking commercial outdoor  Christmas lights for your business.

Budget

Outdoor lights can range in price from a few dollars for budget string lights to hundreds or thousands of dollars for professional lighting. It’s a good idea to set a budget from the beginning and stick to it.

When you’re thinking about budget, it’s important to consider running costs alongside the initial cost. LED lights sometimes cost the most to install, but they use less energy, so the running costs are better, whereas chunky C9 bulbs are cheaper to buy but cost more to run. Small twinkly lights may be cheap to buy, but they tend to break more easily, so you might have to replace them more often.

You will also need to budget your time (or the time of an employee) for installation, as this is a factor that is often overlooked with tasks like this.

Commercial Outdoor Christmas Lights for All Businesses

Jack Carter Dealership lit up for Christmas

What look you want to go for will also depend on your local community and the type of business you own. Ideally, your exterior lights should showcase your business and draw attention while fitting in with the tone of the area.

Retail stores will want lights that can accentuate the storefront and point to your window displays. Office buildings will need exterior lights that light up dark areas, making the building feel inviting, cozy, and safe, which is especially important on dark winter nights in the run-up to Christmas. Restaurants can look festive for the holidays with twinkling, sparkling lights.

Size and Shape of Building

The size and shape of your building is another concern. It may be difficult to hang string lights around a large building, for example. You may also find it tricky if your building is an unusual shape with a lot of sharp angles to work with or if your buildings have flat facades with no soffit. Our commercial track lights are designed to work even with this style of building.

Of course, the larger the building, the more lights you’ll need. That will impact your budget significantly.

Bulb Shape/Light Type

The shape of the bulbs makes a big difference to the overall look of your commercial outdoor Christmas lights. These are the common shapes:

  • Mini: Mini bulbs are the most common type of Christmas lights. These are the kind people hang on their Christmas trees. Mini bulbs are cheap but tend to wear out quicker, which means you’ll need to replace them more often.
  • C9 bulbs: C9 bulbs are the classic retro Christmas lights in a kind of teardrop shape, often seen in multi-colored strands. They look great and create a cozy atmosphere, but they usually cost more than mini bulbs.
  • Icicle: Icicle bulbs create a pretty, wintery vibe. They work well when they are hung above windows.
  • LED: If you go for permanent LED lights, they will be installed along a track and left up all year. They’re small, round lights and can be programmed to show different colors.
  • Flood: Flood lights are placed on the ground and help to illuminate buildings and pathways from below. These can make the outside of your building feel safer but don’t necessarily create that twinkly holiday vibe you get from other types of lights. However, they can be used to light up landscaping or shine festive colors on the outside of your building, so they can still add a little Christmas magic.

Maintenance

Another thing to consider is maintenance. How often will you have to change the bulbs? How much free time do you have to swap them out if you need to?

This is especially important if you live in an area that experiences harsh weather conditions. Wear and tear can greatly increase if your lights are being exposed to snow, high winds, and saltwater if you’re located on the coast.

The Best Commercial Outdoor Lights for the Festive Season

Now, let’s take a look at the different kinds of lights you can choose from in more detail.

Commercial Track Lights

Boston Pizza Restaurant with Gemstone Lights

Commercial track lights are our favorite commercial outdoor Christmas lights because they’re a permanent and versatile lighting solution. We can fit our track lights on any shape of building, even if you have a lot of awkward angles to deal with. That means no more climbing up a ladder to hang string lights from the guttering! We come in and install the lights using a subtle track color-matched to the rest of your building, and they’ll last for decades to come.

These lights can be set to a timer, too, so they’ll light up the building just as it starts to get dark, creating a calm, cozy, inviting space for tourists and locals to enjoy in the colder weather.

While the installation does cost more than DIY lights, the LED lights are more energy-efficient, so the running costs are great.

Commercial Track Lights in the Holiday Season

The good thing about our track lights is that they can be controlled by a mobile app. You can go for soft, twinkly, warm white for a cozy feeling or enjoy the traditional red and green. You can match the vibe in the local community and join in the festivities using the track lights.

The Gemstone Lights app gives you access to any number of color combinations, and you can even select specific lights to give a certain look (for example, you can highlight the entrance to the building in a different color). You can also choose from patterns already available on the app or create your own.

If you have any outdoor seating areas, commercial track lights work well to illuminate the area, giving it a cozy vibe; this is really important on darker evenings to create a place customers will want to visit.

You can also select specific staff members to have access to the lighting. This means you can leave it up to your managers to control, for example. You can also manage multiple buildings from one app, even if you’re not there. So, if you have several sites and you can’t visit all of them, the app will work really well for you.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • No installation required; it’s all done for you
  • Can choose festive colors to celebrate the holidays
  • Specific staff members can control them
  • Creates a safe, cozy environment

Cons

  • More costly to install than some other types of lights

LED Flood Lights

Flood light being used to illuminate an address sign at night

At Gemstone Lights, our LED flood lights are installed in the ground, lighting up not just your building but also surrounding areas like dark alleyways, sidewalks, or driveways. This creates a sense of safety and security for the local community and your employees.

Our LED floodlights are installed by professionals, and the connecting wires are buried in the ground, which means they’re subtle and safe to walk around. We’ll install them without disturbing any landscaping features you may have around the business, too.

While the floodlights do come with an installation cost, they’re energy-efficient, so the running costs are excellent when compared with other types of lighting.

Flood Lights in the Holiday Season

LED flood lights can help to highlight your business on cold, dark winter days. Making the exterior of your building look as inviting as possible is key to drawing in new customers, and flood lights are a great way to let everyone know you’re open for business—especially on days when the sun sets before 5 pm.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • No installation required as it’s done for you
  • Wires are hidden underground for a subtle look
  • Helps to keep the community safe
  • Creates a warm, cozy, inviting atmosphere in the winter

Cons

  • Installation costs are higher than DIY alternatives

String Lights

The traditional way that many people decorate for Christmas is by climbing up a ladder and hanging string lights around their building. There are some advantages to this, of course. You can save money upfront, although you will be investing your time. String lights are a little less energy efficient than LED lights, however, so you need to keep that in mind.

Factor in a few hours of time to install the lights (depending on how big your building is), and keep some spare bulbs on hand, just in case.

String Lights in the Holiday Season

The good thing about string lights is that they create a cozy, inviting vibe for the holiday season. There are a lot of options for different styles, too; you can go for the chunkier C9 bulbs for a traditional look or smaller twinkling lights to create a magical feeling.

You can pick lights that switch between different colors, but these do tend to be limited; you won’t get as much choice as you would with smart lights using an app.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No installation costs except for your time
  • Different shapes and colors to choose from
  • Creates a traditional, pretty holiday vibe

Cons

  • Takes more effort
  • Running costs are higher than LED lights
  • Limited color choices

How to Save Money on Running Costs

You can save money on running costs by doing a few things, including:

  • Using a smart lighting system. Using a lighting system that can be controlled remotely means you can ensure they’re not accidentally left on overnight.
  • Use LED lights. LED lights use far less energy, saving you money over time.
  • Consider solar power. Some holiday lights are solar-powered, but these may only be useful for people living in warmer states! Solar-powered lights are good for saving money, but they don’t tend to be as vibrant as other types.
  • Use a timer. Setting a timer for your lights allows you to rest easy, knowing you won’t be wasting money.

FAQs

Question: Will permanent lights look good all year round?

Answer: Yes! The good thing about permanent commercial outdoor lights is that they don’t just have to be used for Christmas. You can switch colors to suit any occasion, or you can leave them switched off. Gemstone Lights are designed to look natural and blend in with the building.

Question: Can I switch colors just for the Christmas period?

Answer: Yes. Using the app, you can choose any colors you like. You can even vary it, going for classic red and green one day and sparkling white the next. This is great if you’re throwing a New Year’s party and you want to switch things up for the occasion.

Question: What will happen to my outdoor Christmas lights in bad weather?

Answer: Permanent lights fare better in bad weather compared to string lights. Because they’re securely attached, they’re less likely to be blown away in high winds, for example. Our permanent commercial lights are designed to withstand bad weather conditions, even snow. So, if you’re expecting a white Christmas, you won’t need to worry.

To Sum Up …

Our Gemstone Lights Authorized Dealers can set up a permanent lighting system that works for you, your staff members, your customers, and the local community.

You can use our lights to get into the holiday spirit without spending any time on installation, and you can use the lights all year round for other events or to create a welcoming ambiance around your property.

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