ELLE DECOR – Which time-honored holiday decorating tradition do designers prefer?

The holidays are in full swing, and whether you’re spending them walking down city blocks or driving through suburban neighborhoods, the parade of light shows you’ll see is one of the true highlights of the season.

They also stir up an age-old debate. You know which one: White lights or colored lights?

The contest is about as old as the first electric Christmas lights themselves, and yet, it rages on.

We asked designers Jeff Andrews, the Kardashians‘ go-to, and Taniya Nayak, who recently co-hosted The Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC for their take. Each one had a favorite — proving that there’s no end to this debate in sight — and both had great reasons for siding the way they do. In the end, who can argue with true Christmas spirit?



Interior designer Jeff Andrews may have grown up with colorful lights on the tree, but these days the sparkle of white lights during the holidays. “I grew up with the big, bulky multi-colored lights. While there is nothing wrong with color, especially for the holidays, I really love tiny sparkling lights on a tree or in garland in the house.” Here’s why:

They’re the perfect starting point for a holiday color palette. “My favorite scheme is white lights with metallic and glass decorations. Gold, silver, bronze and mercury glass are a perfect combination. Color can come from the presents — and the people!”

White lights add ambiance. “White lights add such a subtle glimmer and magical quality to holiday decorating. Colorful lights just seem to overpower a tree or a room and take away from the other festive elements.”

They complement the decor. “While adding an overall glow to any room, white lights compliment any room décor and even the people in it! While I want my room to look amazing, I want to look good, too.”



“We grew up with the classic C9 colorful bulbs,” Boston-based interior designer Taniya Nayak says. “I love them both, but I tend to lean more toward colorful.” Here’s why:

Colorful lights can inspire a playful palette. “When using colorful lights you can go from classy — by choosing one or two specific colors — to more playful and festive by using multi-colors. I am a woman who loves to have options.”

They’re perfect for setting the mood. Lighting adds ambiance to any space. Around the holidays, it’s a great way to set an energetic tone and vibe for your family gatherings and parties. Now, with LED settings, you can customize your colorful lights to sparkle, dance, and twinkle.

There are no rules for decorating with colorful lights. There are no downsides to either lighting option. It is all a matter of preference, and you can’t go wrong either way. Have the best of both worlds and use both.

What side are you on this holiday season, #teamwhitelights or #teamcolorfullights? Tag us and join the debate in the comments below.