Christmas Light Photos

Take Photos of Christmas Lights Using a Smartphone


Once you have your Christmas lights up and turned on, it’s time to take a photo to show your relatives how beautiful your home looks this Holiday season. These days, unless you are a professional photographer, using your smartphone to take and share said photo is the simplest way. However, trying to take photos of Christmas lights using a smartphone presents a new challenge. Is it even possible to take a decent photo of Christmas lights with a phone camera? Good question.

While no photo taken with a smartphone is going to be as pretty as a photo taken with a DSLR camera, there are a few steps you can take to make your Christmas light photos look better.

Take Photos of Christmas Lights Using a Smartphone



One thing most people miss when taking photos of Christmas lights is that they wait until it’s completely dark. Don’t do this. The best time to take photos of Christmas lights it actually when you might think that it’s too light outside. It’s at dusk during what photographers call the blue hour – although it’s not actually an hour long.

The camera perceives light differently than your eye does. What you may view as being too much light out to enjoy the full effects of your Christmas lights, will actually help to keep your lights from looking like they are floating in blackness. Your camera will not actually pick up as much light as you think it will. And if it is actually too light out when you take the shot, wait about five minutes and take another one. The effect of the lights against a slightly glowing blue night sky can be striking to look at, rather than pitch blackness. Taking photo’s at this time of night is also going to help reduce the potential for blurred photos.


Steady Camera

Holding your camera by hand while taking a night photo will cause blurriness. Even if you try to hold really still it won’t be still enough to get a clean image. It’s better if the phone is on a solid, completely stationary surface.

If you have a tripod use it. If you don’t have a tripod, be very careful about what you prop your phone up on. If you plan on taking more night shots with your phone then you might consider getting a tripod. The reason you need a tripod is because with less light, you have a greater potential for blurred photos. This is because the camera is taking longer to take the photo in order to capture more light. The slightest movement will smudge your image and it is not pretty, unless you are going for an abstract look.

Try using your headphones as a shutter release cable, by pressing the button on the mic. Doing this we greatly reduce camera shake because you won’t be touching the phone to take the picture. If your phone does not have that feature, set the timer on the camera so it takes the shot while you aren’t touching it.


Camera Settings

The settings on your camera may also help you to take a better photo of your Christmas lights. Dig around in the camera settings and experiment, you may find some super neat options in there, such as picture stabilization. Because every smart phone is different, I can’t speak for what your phone is capable of. Be brave and try a few things.



It is rumored that there are some pretty neat apps that may improve what you can do with your camera phone. Do some exploring and find the best app for your needs. There are also a wide array of filters you may enjoy playing around with. Have fun!


A Word of Caution

Be aware of your surroundings when you are taking photos, especially at night. People have a tendency to get absorbed in the image on their camera and don’t’ realize they have stepped backward on to the street or into a ditch. Just be careful and watch your step. The house isn’t going to go anywhere before you take the picture.

Have fun with this process of learning to take photos of Christmas lights using a smartphone, you may create something inspiring. 




Five Star Holiday Decor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle.Click here for a free estimate.