How I’m Lighting my House this Winter

ideas for cozy lighting decor
Warmth beyond temperature.

Cozy lighting is a necessary survival tool for the winter months. After the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer, but it’s still very dark for many more days to come, especially here in the north where the average winter sunset is 4:30pm! During the holiday season, the cheer of twinkly lights adds an excitement for sundown, but what about in January when the tree is gone? 

That’s why I have an arsenal of cozy, warm, pretty lights to keep my winter spirits high, and I want to share them with you! Here’s my collection of all the winter lights I employ, all with timer functions and rechargeable batteries for a sustainable, effortless (mostly—except for recharging!) season! I hope these will offer some inspiration for your own winter season, and bring a little extra joy and magic to the short, dark days.

Disclosure: Kiyafries is reader supported and does not use ads. Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links: at no cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

house plants with fairy lights decorations

Rechargeable Batteries

First things first, rechargeable batteries! They’re more expensive, but they last indefinitely, and you won’t need to feel extravagant when using battery-powered decorations or lights. 

I use Eneloop batteries and I really like them. They come in AA and AAA. 

For items that take CR2032 batteries, I have not tried rechargeable CR2032s, but after some research, these are the ones I would buy!  

Battery Powered Fairy Lights

I named these first because they are my FAVORITE cozy lighting option, truly. I actually keep a few of these up all year, and I’ve acquired several sets because they are so versatile. I put mine on houseplants, under cloches, in hurricanes, on wreaths, and inside paper lanterns.

My favorite battery powered fairy lights are the Wondershop ones from Target, which are unfortunately only available during the holidays. These are a very close match from Amazon with great reviews— they similarly have a timer, great battery life, and take 2 AA batteries.

Battery powered fairy lights are lightweight, easy to hang anywhere, and bundle up very small for storage. Be sure to purchase sets with a timer function (anything I have to turn on manually is not worth it for me!)— click them onto “timer” at the time you want them to come on each day, and they will come on automatically and stay lit for 6 hours. Use rechargeable batteries and they last for weeks!

Battery Powered LED Candles 

I have three types of battery powered candles, a set of pillar candles and taper candles that both take rechargeable AAs, and a tea light set that plugs in to recharge. I prefer the pillar and taper candles because their charge lasts for weeks and weeks and their color is more accurate to a flame, but the tea lights last about 5 days which is ooookay. Preferably they would last longer! (You can probably find a better tea light set than the one I linked!) All have convenient timer functions and a nice flicker.

I place the tea lights all around the house in different nooks— in the telephone nook in the entryway, on the dining room table, and in the bathrooms. The taper candles are in the living room around the tv and on the shelves of the gallery wall. It’s really magical to suddenly be surrounded by flickering candles every night! 

In our bedroom, we filled the bookcase and the  faux fireplace with pillar candles, and it’s a nice welcome to the room when we go up at bedtime. They also stay on a little past when I go to sleep and it’s very peaceful (and safe!) Similarly, having the bathrooms lit by candles means you’ve automatically got a candle-lit bath or shower if you want it!

glowing star paper lantern decor

Paper Lanterns 

I love paper lanterns because they’ve got such a soft glow, they’re inexpensive, and they fold up small for storage. Paper lanterns can be lit by lightbulbs that plug in, or you can put a set of battery powered LED lights or a candle inside!

These star lanterns are from The Paper Lantern store, where I’ve gotten a lot of lanterns from in the past. They even have silk lanterns! I’d like to do a whole lit corner of paper lanterns in the house someday! Additionally, here are some similar star lanterns from Amazon.

cozy lighting ideas
cozy lamp lighting

More Lighting Tools!

Cozy lighting goes beyond cute accessory lights– there are some tools I like to use for the regular household lighting too! Many of the lights in my house use the Leviton system, which allows you to set the lights on timers— something SO important to me because I hate the feeling of the house going dark on me! BUT, you don’t need a fancy system at all! Check these out:

Kasa Smart Plug  

These plug into the wall and route to your wifi so they’re controlled on your phone. You can set them on timers, so I set this sparkly tree to light every morning at 7:30am to help me wake up! It’s made such a difference, since it’s usually so dark in the morning that I assume it’s still the middle of the night.

Wiz Lightbulbs

Okay so I haven’t tried these YET, but a friend of mine has, and her description impressed me so much that I wanted to include them here. These lightbulbs have a ton of features, including dimmer and timer capabilities, and an array of color settings, including a sunrise simulation (!!) for dark mornings.


I hope this post inspired some ideas for your own cozy lighting this winter. Stay warm!

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