Cheap Christmas Lights

The Old Fashioned Way- Drive To A Store

Buying cheap Christmas lights or, shall we say, inexpensive Christmas lights, does not have to be difficult.

To tackle this subject, I interviewed a few amateur and professional decorators as well as a buyer for a Christmas goods store. Here's what I discovered.

If you go to any big box store you can usually buy lights that are reasonably priced but are pretty good in quality as well. Below are links to six stores you can consider right off the bat.

I'm including the links because all of these stores sell online. And some will allow you to purchase or order online and pick up in store with no shipping charges.

Walmart
Target
Home Depot
Lowe's
Sam's Club
Costco

Here's a good tip when shopping at a big box store: if you buy the main store brand you will pay less than the more recognizable ones. For example, when shopping at Home Depot you would want to buy their "Home Accents" Christmas lights instead of the GE strings which are more expensive.

Online-Only Merchants Give You Good Prices, Great Selections!

You may want to consider purchasing cheap Christmas lights from online companies. Here's why: most of them specialize in Christmas lights or at least Christmas decorations in general. They are likely to have a much greater selection than your typical local retailer.

Amazon

Now you can get everything from cameras to clothes and children's toys on Amazon. Of course you can buy Christmas lights there too. If you check into Amazon's loyalty programs and special deals you could save even more.

Amazon has the lowest price point for cheap shipping; orders over $25 are shipped free.

Christmas Lights Etc.

As the name implies, this online store specializes in Christmas lights, and good ones at that. They sell commercial quality lights at very reasonable prices. And their customer service is outstanding.

1000 Bulbs

This company, billed as "America's largest online light bulb retailer", has a great selection of Christmas lights and can offer very reasonable prices due to the large volumes they deal in and the efficiencies and good business relationships cultivated during its nearly two decades in existence.

Brand Spanking...Cheap?

You may want to check out the following brands of Christmas lights. These all have a good price point and offer great value for the money:

  • Brite Star- found at many big box stores as well as Amazon
  • Sterling- found at Home Depot
  • Bethlehem- found on Amazon (note: NOT to be confused with GKI/Bethlehem, they are more expensive)

Plan Your Buying So You Can Get On Sale

You can get cheap Christmas lights by taking advantage of sales. And you don't have to
sacrifice quality either. Depending on when you buy you can save sometimes 75% or more!

Most big box stores begin discounting their lights from 1 to 2 weeks prior to Christmas. You can usually get lights at 25% or so off the regular price.

But the real sales occur from Dec. 26 through New Year's Day. You can save over 50% in some cases. But remember you won't have quite the selection then. So if you're willing to give that car a workout and drive to multiple stores you may be surprised at how many cheap Christmas lights you can get.

Online Christmas lights buying is a slightly different animal because they are essentially open year round. I've been told that late winter/early spring is sometimes a good time to buy online.

This is because many online retailers deal with decorators and others that purchase in bulk. The merchants discount lights at this time to allow the decorators to purchase in bulk and allow time for lights to be shipped by the end of the summer.

If you're buying cheap Christmas lights from a big box store, don't plan on buying early (that means late September or early October) unless you are really picky about what you want. The good news is that you can be picky about what you want!

How Much Will This Set You Back?

In order to compare "apples to apples" I looked at different sets of 100-light mini Christmas lights.

It used to be you could get a set of traditional (or "incandescent") mini Christmas lights for around $2 per 100-light string, sometimes less. Today the cheapest strings run between $2.70 and $3.

LED lights will run you considerably more but consider you are getting lights that will usually last much longer. A 100-light set of LED mini lights purchased cheaply will run from $10 to $14.

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