There is something about fairy lights that makes you smile! They are a great adornment to a room and also to those outdoor areas – the patio, decking or any other part of the garden you may use for socialising – and they come in many different types, colours and types. Of course, with Christmas around the corner now there is even more reason to look at the best outdoor fairy lights so you can string some up across your door, but these days people have outdoor lights for use all year.
There’s not a lot of point in us going into an in-depth description of what fairy lights are, except to say we are generally talking about lights for indoors our outside the home that come in string form and are designed to look pretty and provide light, so without hanging around, let’s see what we found when we went looking for the best fairy lights available right now.
The Top 10
1. Lights4Fun Indoor Fairy Lights
Let’s face it, everyone likes fairy lights, young or old! They add a touch of fun and decoration to a room, and cost very little. This set is what you probably think of when you are looking for ‘standard’ fairy lights for inside the house. This is a neat string of small lights measuring 8metres – that’s enough for a good sized room – with 100 small, warm white LED lights attached. LED s what you want, as it is the most energy-efficient type of light around.
This one comes with a clear cable so is easier to hide, a low-voltage transformer that makes them cheap to run, and that’s pretty much it. One advantage, by the way, of LED is that the bulbs do not heat up, so they are safe too. We found this model to be very popular with customers – ‘beautiful’ and ‘great lights’ are popular praise – but we also saw a number of complaints that said they stopped working after a short time, but the overwhelming view is that at the price, these are worth having.
2. Koopower Battery Operated Fairy Lights
At first glance, this item looks exactly like that above, but in fact there is a major difference: rather than being mains operated, this one is battery powered. It needs 3 x AA batteries – they are not included – and it’s up to you whether you prefer this to a mains model. The advantage is you don’t need a mains outlet, so you can hang them anywhere you want. These are also waterproof to standard IP65; this means they will be OK in the rain, but not if immersed.
The string is 10metres with 100 warm white LED’s, and this pack comes with a timer function that will switch on every 18 hours and off every six, thus giving you the light when you want it and saving on batteries. You might want to check out the best batteries for fairy lights if you choose these – standard AA will do – and we should say that customers love them in general. However, there are a few complaints that they are not as waterproof as they claim to be, and don’t work for very long.
3. Kolpop 12-Pack Bottle Lights
This is an idea that is catching on fast in the UK; instead of hanging fairy lights from a wall, shelf or elsewhere, put them in an empty wine or other type of bottle. The effect is great, and it’s something we recommend you have a closer look at. This set is a pack of 12 strings of lights, each 2-metres long, and each with 20 warm white LED lights attached. They are attached to a cork-shaped unit into which you put 3x LR44 batteries – these are the tiny hearing-aid type – and then you place the lights in the bottle, switch on, and you have a great decoration feature.
As you get 12 strings with this pack – and at a very good price – you can set up 12 bottles with lights in; we suggest you don’t stick to clear bottles, as they look great in green and other colours too. They are waterproof so you can use them outside – but do not immerse the battery part in water – and one thing we noticed is that they are almost universally rated very highly by buyers. The only complaints were about short battery life, which is said to be around 30 hours, but may actually be less.
4. FengNiao Clipsring Photo Hangers
This is an innovative take on the fairy light theme, and one that we reckon will be very popular, especially where young families are concerned. What you get is a string of warm white LED – 40 in total – on a 16ft string, but with a difference: each light is housed in a small plastic clip, designed for holding a picture or card. It’s a clever way of displaying your Christmas cards, for example, or family photographs, and we like it a lot.
This one is battery powered – you need to buy them – and it comes with a remote control via which you can select a wide variety of lighting options, including flashing and twinkling. In fact, 8 different modes are available. It’s for indoor use only as it is not waterproof. When we checked this product out we found that customers praise it greatly, and there are practically no negative comments, and it’s a great price too.
5. Ollny Globe Fairy String Lights
If you’re looking for the best fairy lights for bedroom use, we reckon these may be a prime candidate. That’s not to say they’re for bedroom use only, for this great string of 100 LED lights in small globe shapes would make a great decoration for both indoors and out. These are multi-coloured lights – the first time we’ve seen that on our list – on a 10-metre string, and they are certified as waterproof, but not to a high standard so we would be wary of having them outdoors in heavy rain.
These lights come with a timer and a variety of lighting modes including fading and flashing, and they are very pretty when in use. They are mains powered only, so you need an outlet close by. Once again, we were surprised to find that they come with universal praise – indeed, a number of users say they’ve had them outside for months and they are still going strong – but we will add that they are quite expensive in comparison to some.
6. Pinpokes LED Light Curtain
The sheer versatility of LED’s, especially their ability to provide wonderful soft light and yet remain cool, lends them to a number of innovative ideas when it comes to fairy lights. This one is no exception: it’s a rather neat set of 10 x strings of LED lights designed to hang down a curtain in strips, which gives a great effect. Of course, they could be used elsewhere and – as they are waterproof – can even be hung outside, and would look great against a wall.
You get ten strips of warm white lights, with a total of 300 LED’s across them all, and they are battery powered (not supplied). You could hang them in one bunch for a great effect of a multi-light setting, or a foot apart so you get the look of a waterfall of light. It’s a great idea, and when we checked out the customer responses, there isn’t one single negative comment. The only problem we have is the price, which is not much less than £30 – but you do get 300 lights.
7. Star Fairy Lights
This very pretty string of lights – it measures 7.5 metres and features 50 lights – is slightly different in that the LED’s are shaped as stars. It’s an attractive design that would look great on a wall, or in a bottle, and can be used indoors and out – although we would caution against using them outdoors in very heavy rain. Copper wire in the tube makes it easy to mould these into a shape or direction, and they come with two modes – on or flashing.
Take note that this one is battery powered and needs three x AA batteries. It’s personal choice whether you want the convenience of ‘go anywhere’ batteries or ‘never replace’ mains power. Once again, customer testimony was universally in favour of this product when we researched it, and at the price it really is one that you should look at – if you want a battery-powered device.
8. Suplong Bulb Fairy Lights
With 5 metres of string containing 50 bulb-shaped LED’s you get a very tight and neat display of warm white light with this model, which is very sensibly priced. The lights come with a remote that can select a total of 8 different modes including the usual flash, wave and flicker, and both the lights and remote are battery powered. The advantage is you can put them anywhere you want, the downside is you will need to replace the batteries quite frequently if you use these often.
The set requires 3 x AA batteries, which you will have to buy, and it is easy to set up and use. It is suitable for outdoor use, but we’re not sure what the waterproof rating is, so we would be careful of hanging them out in anything other than light rain. While customer comments on these are generally favourable, there are complaints about the settings changing randomly, and bulbs not working on delivery.
9. Lights4Fun Large Glass Bell Jar
Earlier on we featured a set of lights designed for putting in bottles, which we liked very much. This is another take on that theme. What you get is a nice, large glass bell jar with a set of micro-LED lights to go inside it. It sits on a nice bamboo tray – looking all the while like a cheese-board with lights inside the cover – and is admittedly very attractive, the 20 LED’s doing their job very nicely. It would make a nice table centrepiece.
It’s battery powered – once again, not supplied – and it is very pretty, and customer reviews are very much in its favour although some say its not very bright. However, we’re not sure why anyone would choose this one – it’s a bit more than £15 including lights and jar – when they could buy the other set that came with 12 strings of lights, supply their own bottles, and have a dozen of these for not much more than half the price.
10. Unilek Star Curtain Strips
The final entry on our list is another different take on the theme. It’s similar to the other curtain design in that it comes as strings that are designed to hang vertically, a total of 138 LED’s adorning them with the usual warm white light effect. Yet, at the head of each of the 12 strips is a large, 20cm star or a smaller 10cm star – each illuminated also – giving a rather nice, original and very festive look.
It’s battery powered, and again you have to supply them, and it is suitable for outdoors, but again we would advise caution. It comes with the usual 8 different lighting effects, and is easy to use and attractive. Indeed, customers give them very good results on the whole – although the way they are supplied coiled around card makes them difficult to untie, and there are complaints about them not working properly.
That’s our list of the 10 best fairy light sets that we found when we scoured the market, but which one is for you? It’s going to be a hard choice, but before we give you our verdict, here’s a few things we would like you to think about when buying a set of fairy lights.
Important Factors to Consider
Fairy lights are a lovely addition to a room, garden, patio or anywhere in the home, and as those above show, they are not expensive. There are a couple of things we would like you to think about before you buy a set of these – whether from our list or elsewhere. The first is that of where you want to put the lights.
In most of these, we have included ‘battery powered’ as a con, rather than a pro. The reason for this is that you will need to replace batteries on a regular basis if you are to use your lights for long periods of time. Whatever the stated lifetime of the batteries by the manufacturer, you can guarantee you will not reach it! However, we do accept the convenience of battery power: you might want to hang them outdoors, in which case battery gives you free reign.
That brings us onto another point, which is that of waterproof lights. All but one of these claims to be waterproof and suitable for outdoor use. However, when we looked into it, we found the rating – IP44 – only guarantees the item is ‘protected from water spray in all directions’. We are not sure, then, whether these would be suitable in gardens where there is frequent heavy rainfall, and you are definitely advised to keep them out of water in the shape of puddles or ponds.
One final point is that of colour; all of these bar one single item are white light models. If you want colour, there is therefore only one choice for you! So, which one would we pick, and why? Let’s get this wrapped up!
If we’re honest, there is something to recommend each one of these, and there are some neat variations on the theme here. We’ll start by saying that if you want coloured lights only one on our list (there will be others out there) can give you that, and it’s the Ollny Globe Fairy String Lights set, and it’s very nice too. You get a great set of colours and attractive globe-shaped lights, but you’ll pay a little more than you would for most other on the list.
Our preferred choice, for versatility as well as the idea behind it, is the Kolpop 12-Pack Bottle Lights pack. The idea of putting a string of lights in a bottle – you supply your own, so get drinking that wine – is excellent, and the effect is not one very stylish light, but 12 of them!
Use different coloured bottles for different effects, and if you want to hang some without bottles, you can. The only downside to these is that each of the 12 strings needs its own batteries, and while that would normally put us off, the effect of these lights – and the price which is amazing – won us over.
We hope that we’ve helped you decide on your fairy lights, or inspired you to look further, so have a happy, beautifully lit festive season!