Lit AF this Christmas
November 28, 2018 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Help me find colored lights for our tree that aren't blue.

This may not exist, I grant you. My husband loves colored lights for the tree and I love the warm white. We've been alternating years to keep the peace, but I've realized that my dislike is focused on the blue/green tones of the lights that I feel clash horribly with all our red/gold/neutral ornaments. My holiday aesthetics tend towards the Scandinavian and I'm having trouble even describing what I feel would look good.

First world problems and all, but do colored string lights exist that match that color scheme better? Should I just get red and yellow annnd what? Green? Am I crazy? Is this even possible? HALP.
posted by lydhre to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you mean something like this?
posted by dizziest at 11:11 AM on November 28, 2018

These are red, green and white.

Personally, I love Pier 1's glimmer strings, which can be found in warm white and other colors, and different shapes (tiny stars, globes, snowflakes, bells,) that you can mix and match. They're on a BOGO sale right now.

Google/ Amazon searches for lights of red, white, and green, or any combination of those yield plenty of results.
posted by Everydayville at 11:13 AM on November 28, 2018

Why traditional lights? You can get all kinds of lights now.

Anyway, these are expensive but I'm sure there's a cheaper version -- these solve your problem as you can program the exact variety of colors you want.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:17 AM on November 28, 2018

I’ve personally found candy cane lights (aka red and white) to be a nice compromise, but they definitely don’t feel like a substitute for multicolor lights, if that’s what your husband really likes. It seems like you’d need at least 3 colors for the right feel, and it seems like it would be hard to get three distinctive colors without any blue/green.
posted by duien at 11:19 AM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Are you looking for single color strands of lights like dizziest linked too? Those are everywhere and come in all sorts of colors. You could get whatever strands you want and use them together.

Or! If it’s just the blue and green ones on the multicolored strands that bother you, you could get an extra multicolored strand and trade out the ones you don’t like for ones that you do. Get the same brand for the spare strand; there are like a million variations in sockets.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:23 AM on November 28, 2018

To add some visual aids: this would be ideal, this is acceptable but this and this bother me greatly.
posted by lydhre at 11:23 AM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

The ones that bother you look like led lights. Do the blues/greens in incandescent bother you? I think that’s what are in the acceptable picture.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:26 AM on November 28, 2018 [7 favorites]

(In case that isn’t clear, for your “good” picture, I’d get incandescent lights, a spare strand, and switch out the colors I didn’t like, for your acceptable picture, I’d just get incandescent multicolored lights. Avoid led lights. They tend to be cooler color temps even with the warm tones. And the blues are much brighter.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:29 AM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Weeping_angel, you might definitely be onto something with the LED vs incandescent. We switched to LEDs several years ago and I think the cold brightness is precisely what is bothering me.
posted by lydhre at 11:31 AM on November 28, 2018 [5 favorites]

The past few years, Target has put up sample displays of the different Christmas lights they sell, so you can see the difference for yourself. I think Weeping_angel has it: old-school incandescent bulbs are warmer in tone, while LEDs are brighter and colder and bluer.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:35 AM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Your first "visual aid" photo is the Platonic ideal of Christmas tree decor for me.

Seconding Weeping_angel. I cannot abide the look of LED Christmas lights. You could start here but I'd say "incandescent" is your best search term option.
posted by thenewbrunette at 11:44 AM on November 28, 2018

LED lights don't *have* to be cold and blue but in practice the cheaper ones often are.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:05 PM on November 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

Agree that it's the LED ones that bother you - I've found ones that don't look like that but it took some research (I both love multi lights and dislike the overly blue ones)
posted by brilliantine at 12:45 PM on November 28, 2018

This video by "Technology Connections" does some Christmas light experiments because he dislikes the harsh LED lights as well. TLDR is he got white LED string lights and colored them with colored sharpie markers
posted by Captain_Science at 12:51 PM on November 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

Chiming in with hate for LED lights. I even bought "Warm White" LED strings from Target this year and had to return them because the color was still "ALL WRONG". They can pry my incandescent lights out of my cold, dead hands.
posted by sarajane at 1:11 PM on November 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Something else to think about with the LED/incandescent lights is that incandescent is white(yello) light through a colored filter. Whereas LED are typically colored light with a colored cover to refract the light.

What I have noticed is that incandescent lights better illuminate the tree as a whole. You see more green of the tree. With LED lights, you just have the pure colors of the LEDs, and this really causes the tree to look dark.

I love the look of colored LED lights, but this difference between them is something to think about. And this might be what you don't like about LED Christmas lights.
posted by bonofasitch at 1:45 PM on November 28, 2018

I love the intense blues of some LED lights, but I do think that's what you dislike. I would mix strings of warm white tiny 'rice' LED strings with colored incandescent strings.
posted by theora55 at 2:00 PM on November 28, 2018

I've seen colored rice lights, too, maybe those will work better for you.
posted by theora55 at 2:06 PM on November 28, 2018

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