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How do you make philips christmas lights flash?

Flashing Christmas lights can add an exciting and festive element to your holiday decor. Many modern Christmas light strands come with built-in flashing modes that allow you to easily make your lights twinkle and flash. If your lights don’t have this feature, there are a few simple ways you can make your standard Philips Christmas lights flash this season.

Check Your Light Strand for Flashing Modes

Many newer LED and incandescent Philips Christmas light strands come with built-in flashing modes or effects. Before trying to rig up a flashing system yourself, first check to see if your lights already support flashing or twinkling.

Look closely at your light strand. Do you see a small box or puck on the cord near the plug? This is likely a controller box. It may have buttons that allow you to select different lighting effects like steady on, slow fade, fast flash, and more. Try pressing the different buttons to see if your lights already have built-in flashing modes.

If your Philips lights don’t have a controller, you can add a Christmas light flash controller. This is a small external box that you place between your light strand and the outlet. It has buttons to control flashing modes. There are versions available for both incandescent and LED Philips lights.

Use a Light Timer

A simple light timer is an easy way to make your Philips Christmas lights flash on and off automatically. You can find affordable mechanical and digital Christmas light timers at hardware stores or online.

To use a light timer, first set the timer to turn your lights on and off at the desired intervals. For a slow, steady flash, try setting it to turn on for 5 minutes, off for 5 minutes, repeating. For a quicker strobe effect, try on for 30 seconds, off for 30 seconds.

Plug the light timer into your outlet, then plug your light strand into the timer. Your Philips lights will now flash on and off automatically according to the timer’s settings.

Connect Lights to a Flasher Module

For more advanced flashing effects, you can use a Christmas light flasher module. This is a special controller that connects between your lights and outlet.

Flasher modules have dials, buttons, or settings that allow you to select different flash speeds and effects. From slow fades, to quick twinkles, to custom chase patterns, a flasher gives you lots of options for making your Philips lights dance.

Be sure to get a flasher that is compatible with your type of Christmas lights. Modules designed for LED lights have different voltage requirements than those for incandescent.

Use a Smart Plug

If your Philips Christmas lights are already on a smart plug, you can program flashing effects right from your phone. Smart plugs allow you to turn your lights on and off remotely using an app.

Look for a smart plug app that allows you to set schedules and timers. You can make customized flashing patterns by programming the lights to turn on and off at specific times or intervals.

Some smart plug apps even have pre-programmed holiday lighting effects you can apply to your Philips lights. This makes getting festive flashes easy, without any extra hardware.

Add a Light Organizer

A Christmas light organizer is a handy gadget that allows you to control multiple strands of lights independently from one power source. It has multiple outlets you can plug light strands into and control one at a time.

With a light organizer, you can make your Philips lights flash creatively by alternating different strands or sections on and off. Plug strands of different colors into the organizer, then flip the switches to make your lights dance through different hues.

Set the organizer on a timer to make coordinated flashing patterns happen automatically. A light organizer is affordable way to choreograph an advanced light show with minimal effort.

Use a Programmable Arduino

For the most custom flashing effects, you can program an Arduino microcontroller to control your Philips Christmas lights. Arduino kits allow you to wire up circuits and program them using code.

By connecting your lights to an Arduino output pin, you can write code that will turn the lights on and off in complex sequences, flash speeds, and patterns. This takes some electrical know-how, but gives you endless options for unique light effects.

There are even open source programs available that are pre-coded for coordinated Christmas light shows. An Arduino allows you to take your Philips lighting display to the next level.


Making your Philips Christmas lights flash and twinkle can be as simple as plugging them into a light timer or as complex as programming a light show. From built-in effects to external modules and controllers, there are many options for adding holiday magic. Whichever method you choose, flashing Philips lights are sure to make your home merry and bright this season.

Method Pros Cons
Built-in Effects
  • No extra equipment needed
  • Multiple effects available
  • Easy to use
  • Only works for newer light strands with controllers
  • Limited number of effects
Light Timer
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to set up
  • Consistent, automatic flashing
  • Only simple on/off flashing
  • No speed or effect adjustment
Flasher Module
  • Many effects and speed options
  • Works with any lights
  • Synchronizes multiple strands
  • Extra equipment to buy
  • More setup required
Smart Plug
  • Automated app control
  • Customizable schedules
  • Works with existing lights
  • Requires app and wifi
  • Only basic effects
Light Organizer
  • Coordinates multiple strands
  • Creates chase effects
  • Works on a timer
  • More limited effects
  • Extra equipment
  • Fully customizable effects
  • Endless flash pattern options
  • Syncs lights to music
  • Complex setup
  • Programming required

Flashing or twinkling Christmas lights add festive magic to the holidays. With the right method and some creativity, you can make your Philips lights dance all season long. The best option depends on your technical skills and how complex you want your effects to be. Any of these techniques will let you spread some extra holiday cheer.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!