If you’re excited to decorate for the holidays but don’t have an outdoor power plug nearby, you can still have outdoor Christmas lights!
Because maybe you want to cut down on the power bill and save money during the holiday season – or what if you have no electric power?
If that’s the case – then no worries!
We’re about to cover some of the more creative options to power outdoor Christmas lights without an outlet – even if you don’t have any electric power whatsoever!
Outdoor Happens is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more
How to Power Outdoor Christmas Lights Without an Outlet
You have countless options for Christmas lights without an outlet. The best methods are solar lights and battery-powered lights! You can also use an extension cord – plus there are other options, too! These days, Bluetooth Christmas lights and even USB lights work better than you think.
Any of these methods are surprisingly worthwhile and affordable! Out of all powerless Christmas light options, the following are our favorites.
- Extension Cords
- Solar Powered Christmas Lights
- Battery Powered Christmas Lights
- Bluetooth Christmas Lights
- Rechargeable Christmas Lights
- USB Powered Christmas Lights
- Light Socket Adapters
We go over much more details below – plus the pros and cons of each. We also put together a handful of our best solutions for painless Christmas light installation below.
Some of the following Christmas light options work without any power outlets whatsoever!
- Outdoor Extension Cord
- Solar Christmas Lights
- Battery LED Lights
- Bluetooth Christmas Lights
- Rechargeable LED Christmas Lights
- USB Christmas Lights
This extension cord and 3-1 splitter give your entire front yard coverage for outdoor Christmas lights! It's also rated weatherproof. PVC outer jacket. 3-prong outlets. 125 volts.
These solar-powered Christmas lights pack 100 bright LED bulbs and 33 feet of copper wire. The lights also illuminate in every direction - so you can see them in 360 degrees. The automatic switch turns the lights on at night!
Three AA batteries are all you need for these Christmas lights to brighten your holidays! No outlet or extension cords are required - decorate anywhere you wish. They make for convenient Christmas lights!
These Bluetooth Christmas lights come with 66 micro-LED bulbs that change colors. You can use the Bluetooth app to control tons of coloring options. Perfect for Christmas lights - or any decoration. And it's waterproof!
Check out these Christmas lights and 30 LED bulbs on a copper wire that bends to your liking. They contain four modes - flash/strobe/smooth/steady. Charges in about 3 hours and lasts around 13 hours.
Can't decide between USB or battery-powered Christmas lights? These lights offer both options! The set contains 30 multi-color LED bulbs and offers water-resistance.
7 Best Christmas Light Options Without an Outlet!
- How to Power Outdoor Christmas Lights Without an Outlet
- 7 Best Christmas Light Options Without an Outlet!
- Powerless Christmas Lights FAQs
- Hanging Your Christmas Lights Made Easy!
1. Use Extension Cords
If you have indoor or outdoor wall outlets – but they aren’t in a conveniently close location, extension cords are a great solution.
Use an extension cord at least as long as you need and is rated for outdoor use. Only plug lights and extension cords into outlets connected to preinstalled fuses or an appropriately installed circuit breaker.
Consider and pay close attention to where the cord will travel. Try preventing the extension cord from becoming a trip hazard. Think ahead a little to save stress later on!
Keep the cords out of trafficked areas. Or, at least secure it to the ground with tape or a heavy rubber covering to avoid tripping accidents.
Check out this Christmas light timer and extension cord - all in one. Perfect! It contains six grounded outlets. The unit is also weatherproof, and the outlets have spring-activated covers to keep the elements out! The extension cord is roughly 10 feet.
Pros of Extension Cords:
- You may already have some in your shed or garage
Cons of Extension Cords:
- Setting up is quirky if you don’t have power sockets outdoors
- Nobody likes more wires – especially if they’re hanging out the window
I think extension cords rock, and I use them a lot to power lights around my homestead. Not just Christmas lights either, but year-round!
However, – I would advise that you spend some time securing your extension cords safely!
If The Extension Cord Will Plug Indoors
Please choose an extension cord rated for outdoor use. Safety first!
It doesn’t matter if the cord plugs into an indoor socket; it still needs to be labeled as an outdoor use extension cord.
If the indoor outlet is close to a window, plug the cord into safe outlets with fuses or are part of a circuit breaker.
When you plug the extension cord in, allow it to drape down towards the floor before rising up and through the window.
This drooping in the cable will allow water to drip off of the cord before having a chance to come into contact with the wall outlet.
After you plug your cord in and run it through the window, close the window as much as possible, and then temporarily seal the gap between the window and the window sill.
You can use a blanket or towel if you’re in a pinch, but a foam piece or plastic covering works even better.
Ensure that the window won’t allow any water to leak into the home! Check every square inch of the window and sill to ensure you’ve done everything to secure the seal.
Taking the time now to protect against leakage protects the outlet, your window sill, your walls, and your floor from water damage, mold, and mildew.
A little water doesn’t seem like much. But buildups can cause you to have a holiday panic attack if you notice your roof leaking due to forgetting to seal your window!
So – always double-check your work!
2. Give Solar Lights a Chance!
Solar-powered Christmas lights have come a long way since their first debut. Now, the lights are brighter, more vibrant, more durable, and longer-lasting, with less space and less sunshine needed.
Solar lights come in a brilliant array of holiday colors, brightness, designs, and patterns.
Solar lights can be used outdoors, in all weather conditions, and many models offer different modes that can be easily changed using a remote control.
New solar Christmas lights tolerate the short and dark days of winter. Many types will still light up bright and beautiful, even after several days of cloudy or snowy weather.
These outdoor Christmas lights are easy to set up! Install them under the sun - and watch them work! Once charged - the lights last for up to eight to ten hours. They also feature IP65 waterproofing - so they withstand the wintry and snowy elements.
Pros of Solar Powered Christmas Lights
- Solar lights are surprisingly bright these days
- One of the easiest ways to hang Christmas lights without power
- Tons of colorful options – perfect for those of us who love lights year-round
Cons of Solar Powered Christmas Lights
- Some of the solar lights I’ve tried don’t last all night – only for a few hours after dark
- If you don’t have adequate sunlight, your lights get even weaker
- Not as consistent as old-fashioned Christmas lights
Overall, solar LED lights are an excellent (and modern) option. They’re perfect if you don’t want to increase your power bill. But – remember that sometimes, they aren’t as bright as old-fashioned lights no matter what you do!
LED Christmas lights are still one of my favorite options for outdoor lights. You can’t beat the cost and convenience.
3. Use Battery Operated Lights
I love battery-operated lights for Christmas lights.
Depending on the light’s configurations – these lights can stay on for anywhere from four hours to well over one-hundred hours of consistent usage.
Some battery-operated lights use triple-A batteries, while others use D batteries, and a select few (usually for industrial use) use automotive batteries.
If you use battery-powered Christmas lights, I advise carefully considering the best location for them to hang. I wouldn’t choose a place that’s a pain to reach!
I suggest a low, ladder-free, thorny bush-free space that won’t be inconvenient or painful to access repeatedly during the holiday season.
Or, purchase large batteries and long-lasting lights that won’t need recharging until after Christmas! That way – you needn’t worry until you’re ready to take your decorations down.
These battery-powered Christmas lights are beautiful - and great for outdoor use! The copper wire and the battery box both have IP67 water resistance. The wire is also flexible so it's easy for DIY Christmas decorations.
Pros of Battery-Operated Lights
- Potentially more reliable than solar Christmas lights
- Only of the less stressful Christmas light options if you have no exterior power
- Potential for bright lights that last
Cons of Battery-Operated Lights:
- Batteries cost extra – and tossing old batteries is messy
- AAA batteries are helpful, but they don’t last very long. The same is true for aa batteries!
- Not all battery-powered lights have timers
Hanging Christmas lights without power is a headache! I think battery-powered Christmas lights are arguably one of the easiest and fastest ways to get your Christmas lights up and running.
But – make sure you choose a model with decent battery life!
Also, remember that not all battery-powered lights have timers.
Make sure your battery-powered light has a timer – or you’ll need to manually turn your lights on (and off) each evening.
4. Bluetooth Lights Are an Option
Bluetooth lights aren’t inherently plug-in, solar, or battery-operated. They come in many options, so choose which is best for your situation.
Also – remember that battery-operated, rechargeable, solar, and power outlet Christmas lights have many options now.
You can still use fun and fancy Bluetooth lights, regardless of the power source!
Bluetooth lights allow you to have control from your smartphone, program a lights and music show, create automation, set timers, change colors, change the light intensity, and so much more.
Your Christmas lights can also be moved or voice-activated if you wish. Be sure to explore your options and have fun.
These lights rock for Christmas! Want a straightforward pair of Bluetooth Christmas lights? Here's a good pick. Connect your phone to the Christmas lights - and control the color settings with ease via the app. Powers with a USB port.
Pros of Bluetooth Christmas Lights
- Bluetooth lights are trendy – there are tons of options to choose
- Variety of power sources – USB, AC power, solar, et cetera
Cons of Bluetooth Christmas Lights
- It may be a hassle to configure if you don’t enjoy tech stuff
- Some of them may require a smartphone to use
Bluetooth Christmas lights are one of the most popular options these days. I can recommend them only if you don’t mind tinkering with technology.
Sometimes, getting Bluetooth technology to work is a bit cumbersome – especially if you’re outside battling the frigid temperatures!
5. Don’t Forget Rechargeable Lights
Rechargeable lights are the least common solution but still an option!
Why use rechargeable lights? They’re convenient!
Rechargeable lights usually offer a power pack that can be disconnected and charged up or, unfortunately, a power pack that cannot be disconnected, requiring you to take down all your lights to charge them.
Very few people use rechargeable lights, and a lot of the rechargeable outdoor lights you’ll see on the market are battery-powered lights that seem mislabeled.
So, not all rechargeable lights are equal. Make sure that the rechargeable lights you use have excellent ratings!
We love these mini-Christmas lights! They're small, portable, and they're the perfect lights for decorating your mini-Christmas village, desk, or office. Super energy-efficient!
Pros of Rechargeable Lights
- Get consistent power from your lights
- Potentially brighter and longer-lasting than LED Christmas lights
Cons of Rechargeable Lights
- Not all rechargeable lights are equal
- May require frequent recharging
I like rechargeable Christmas lights as an option if you don’t have power. But -remember that your lights might need recharging sooner than you think!
Read the instructions before you buy – and browse as many reviews as possible.
6. Use USB Lights
If you’re a tech nerd who has too many devices idling around, you may want to consider LED bulbs.
Most modern Christmas lights have LED bulbs, so they produce a lot of light while using very little power.
Because of that, it is possible to have USB-powered Christmas lights. Your lights can now power by your car’s cigarette lighter, your laptop, or another tech.
Usually, these types of lights are just perfect for a few hours or an evening, but you can use them longer if you want and have a way to keep your USB device charged.
These adorable Christmas lights have two power sources - solar and USB! That way, if the dark winter skies won't power your lights, you can revert to USB power. Weatherproof and made for outdoor use. Smart design!
Pros of USB Christmas Lights
- Easy and convenient – no power socket needed
- Lots of USB Christmas light options exist these days
Cons of USB Christmas Lights
- Not the brightest option for powerless Christmas lights
- Drains your battery fast
I think USB Christmas lights are one of the most popular options these days. But – I think I still prefer battery-powered Christmas lights or rechargeable Christmas lights over USB Christmas lights.
USB Christmas lights are fun – but they don’t have the convenience or practicality of other portable Christmas light options.
7. Give Light Socket Adapters a Go
Light socket adapters are brilliant little inventions that are exceptionally cost-effective and easy to install.
Socket adapters are straightforward. You can remove your outdoor light bulb, like the one on your porch or outside of your barn. Then, screw in the light socket adapter.
Where the bulb used to be – is where two handy power outlets now sit. You probably don’t want to keep your outdoor light on where you have whimsical Christmas lights on display anyway, so this is a good solution.
My absolute favorite part about this hack is that your outdoor Christmas lights control by the light switch inside your home, barn, or garage. How handy is that – much better!
Twist these adapters into your existing lightbulb socket. Voila! Instant upgrade so you can decorate with Christmas lights. Perfect if you don't have an extension cord handy. You can still use your bulbs, too!
Pros of Light Socket Adaptors
- One of the most ingenious ways to power outdoor Christmas lights without an outlet
- One of the most affordable options on this entire list
Cons of Light Socket Adaptors
- You may not have a light socket available
Light socket adaptors are a stroke of genius that can potentially turn your front porch into a brilliant display of lights!
The only problem is that not everyone has a light socket available where they need lights.
But you still have options!
Battery, LED, or rechargeable Christmas lights still work when you need Christmas lights without power.
Read More – 15 Amazing Christmas Fairy Garden Ideas!
Powerless Christmas Lights FAQs
We’ve spent more than a few seasons decorating using exterior Christmas lights and decking the halls!
We also know that figuring out how to power outdoor Christmas lights without an outlet is tricky – no doubt!
That’s why we’re answering some of the most common Christmas light questions that we’ve encountered – so far.
We hope these answers help!
Hanging Your Christmas Lights Made Easy!
We’ve spoken to so many homesteaders over the years who began homesteading because they wanted to save money.
That’s why we were happy to share our best tips for how to power outdoor Christmas lights without an outlet!
These were the best ways we found to power Christmas lights while also saving cash on your power bill.
We hope some of these ideas help brighten your holidays.
Also – let us know if you have more tips that we missed?
What’s the best way to power Christmas lights – even if you have no power?
Did we miss any tips?
Thanks again for reading.
And – merry Christmas!
Want outdoor Christmas lights quickly - and without fuss? These LED solar-powered lights are straightforward to use - and the manufacturer also promises that they can withstand the rain and snow. Perfect! Bring on winter!