Over the course of a couple of months we put eleven outdoor Christmas lights through an assault of durability tests to find the ones you'll be able to rely on for this Christmas and many more to come.
The lights we tested range in price from £10 all the way up to more than £60 (depending on how many metres you buy). We've tested mains-powered lights, battery-powered lights, icicle lights and fairy lights so that we can recommend the most durable sets, whatever your requirements.
Surprisingly fewer than half of the outdoor Christmas lights completely survived our durability tests. Clear signs of corrosion and poor soldering were the most frequent causes of early failure. Find out which lights suffered this fate.
You can buy these lights in five-metre increments up to 100 metres in length. They're relatively pricey for outdoor lights, but it's claimed they can survive 'prolonged outdoor use'.
These outdoor icicle lights offer 10 metres of cable and 400 lights for your money. The lights also have eight modes and a remote control to switch them on and off.
These lights are relatively cheap for a whopping 30 metres of cable if you buy the 300-light version. They also come with a built-in timer that turns the lights on for six hours and off for 18 hours.
These battery-powered lights are one of the biggest-selling Christmas lights on Amazon.
This string of 200 lights is almost 20 metres in length and powered by three D cell batteries. It also has a timer function.
These mains-powered fairy lights are 20 metres in length and have 200 lights in the string. They also come with a remote control, so you can turn the lights on and off from the comfort of your sofa.
It's a lot of lights for £12.99 and they're spread over 24 metres of cable, plus they have a timer as part of the package too.
These lights are connectable so you can buy them in increments of two metres all the way up to 40 metres. You can buy them in white, warm white, or a mixture of colours.
Available in eight colours with either green or white cabling, these could be the perfect Christmas fairy lights to make your home or garden look Christmassy.
You get more then 30 metres of lights with this set and 400 LEDs, which is impressive considering the price.
These bright white lights are almost 20 metres long, have eight light modes and 200 lights in total.
If you want to enjoy putting your Christmas lights up next year, we'd advise following these tips when you take them down this year.
To keep long-lasting Christmas lights it's essential to store them correctly in the 11 months you're not using them, making sure they aren't kept in a big tangled heap.
We know from our research that outdoor Christmas lights have an issue with longevity. They simply don't last for enough Christmasses, and many end up in landfill far too quickly.
We set out to find out if there are Christmas lights that will survive tough British winters, and how much you need to pay for them.
Of course we couldn't test these products over three or four years like we might like to - by the time we could publish the results you wouldn't be able to buy the lights anymore.
So we designed a really tough set of tests to simulate the type of conditions these types of lights might endure over a harsh British winter.
Each set of lights was subjected to a sustained shower with a hose, and then also fully submerged in a bucket of water for an hour.
Dripping wet, the lights were put into a freezer for 24 hours at -16 degrees.
Before we even started the durability tests the lights were all left outside in all weathers for three weeks. This was enough of a test for many of the lights to already show signs of corrosion.
We set up the lights, bashed them against fence posts and sharply tugged the wires repeatedly where they entered the plug socket and all along the cable.
This tests simulated the type of rough treatment the lights might receive if they're being untangled, or put up without much care.