Exterior Lighting

How to Hang String Lights (Backyard String Lighting Ideas)

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No outdoor lighting creates as much ambiance as string lights do. It is a popular backyard lighting idea because the length of the wires lets you get creative.

Browsing around on Pinterest surely gives you lots of outdoor string lighting ideas, but these images do not show you how to actually hang the string lights.

General Tips for Hanging Outdoor String Lights

Each outdoor string light design requires different steps but there are a few aspects that will apply to most situations. Check out these tips for hanging outdoor string lights in your garden.

Weatherproof Power Outlet

1. End Near an Outlet

If you chose string lights that plug into an outlet then one end of the string lights must be near a waterproof and weather resistant outlet.

Consider how long the string lights are, how much you need for the design and whether you need extra wiring for the string lights to reach an outlet.

2. Use Solar Power LED String Lights

The most energy efficient type of string lights use LED technology and run on solar power. Not only do they have very low running costs, but they are also easier to install because you don’t need to deal with any wiring.

The alternative to solar powered LED string lights is battery powered LED string lights. You also don’t need wiring for this type of lighting but you do have to do more maintenance because the batteries need replacing which is expensive and honestly, quite annoying.

Waterproof Outdoor String Lights

3. Only Use Waterproof and Weather Resistant Outdoor Lighting

The biggest mistake you can make is using string lights that are meant for indoors. Rain, strong winds and heat from the sun can all damage indoor string lights so make sure to only use string lighting that is meant for outdoors.

Backyard String Lighting Ideas

Below is a quick overview of how to fix outdoor string lights for the most popular backyard lighting ideas. 

Garden Lighting Ideas for Summer

Outdoor Patio String Light Canopy

String lights are great for atmosphere lighting on a patio. One outdoor lighting style you often see is a canopy of string lights over the patio.

For this outdoor string light decoration, we recommend using globe string lights.

This is because comfortable lighting will make you want to spend more time out on your patio so you want to make sure that the string light canopy suits your different needs.

Multi Colored Globe String Lights

Many globe string lights are more technologically advanced than simpler types of string lights and include functions like dimmers, timers and color changing. This gives you more control over the type of lighting for different activities like an outdoor dinner or cozy nightcap.

To create a string light canopy on your patio, you need to secure the string lights on two opposite ends.

Either secure the globe string lights with the kit that they come with or add screw hooks to the walls and a sturdy cable for extra support.

Here’s some of our favourite LED string lights if you still haven’t decided on a design:

Starry LED String Fairy Lights (33ft)

  • 3000+ 5* Reviews
  • Indoor & Outdoor Use
  • Cozy Warm Glow
  • 33ft Length

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Read our review
Brightown Globe LED String Lights (25ft)

  • An Amazons Choice
  • 100+ 5* Reviews
  • Warm White Glow
  • 25 LED Bulbs

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Read our review
Solar Powered Outdoor String Lights (72ft)

  • Solar Powered
  • 800+ 5* Reviews
  • Pack of 2
  • 8 Different Modes

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Read our review

Calculate how big your patio is and how many feet of LED outdoor patio string lights you need for the canopy design. Try to imagine how much distance you want in between the rows of string lights so you won’t find yourself with too many or too little string lights.

If you really want to go out, check out some of this amazing LED light up furniture.

You can also make a canopy between trees. Use adhesive string lights for this so that you don’t damage the Tree bark.

String Lights for Trees

String Lighting for Garden Plants and Trees

Hanging string lights on the plants and trees in your garden make it look like a fairy tale. For this outdoor lighting idea, we suggest curtain string lights and LED tube string lights.

LED curtain string lights work great on bushes because you can gently lay them over the bush. Go for the solar-powered LED curtain string lights so that your outdoor lighting installation only takes two seconds – place over the bush and wait for the sun to shine.

For trees, we recommend using LED tube string lights or LED rope lights (again, solar powered if possible).

You can also go one step further and fit umbrella lighting to your patio furniture for an extra touch of sophistication.

Using LED Rope Lights in Garden

These are easy to wrap around tree trunks and since they are thicker than LED wire rope string lights they are also easier to navigate around branches.

Keep the on/off switch (and battery) hidden but in an easy to reach place. You can also install timers for the lights so that you can simply set and forget.

P.s – use the same type of string lights for wrapping around plant buckets and other garden ornaments.

Garden Path Lighting

Garden Path Lighting

LED tube string lights work well for creating straight lines but are still bendable which is why we recommend them for garden path lighting.

Place them along garden paths, at the edges of grass patches, ponds, and pools or on the edge of garden steps. If you’re looking to illuminate your garden pond properly, we’ve got a separate article for submersible pond lights for you to check out.

Use ground stakes to secure the tube string light into place. Alternatively, place globe string lights on top of light stakes and line them along the garden paths for your own DIY backyard lanterns.

You can also use LED rope lighting for path lighting, check it out featured in our outdoor rope lighting ideas.

String Lighting for Fences

Lighten Up Fences

Create a pretty border around your house by hanging LED wire string lights on your fences and balconies. Wire string lights are quite sturdy and stay in place once bent which is why they are good for fences with many bends and loops.

Wrap the LED wire string lights around the fence, the more the prettier.

Connect all the string lights to a timer to save electricity and for security lighting.

Make sure to follow the shape of the fence for the best visual. This makes the outdoor string lights look more natural and like it is part of the original fence design.

LED String Lighting in Garden

Remember to choose the right type of LED string lights for your specific backyard lighting project and try to use solar power or battery powered lights.

Take a look in your backyard and see which parts would look better with more lighting then take these outdoor lighting ideas and transform your garden into a cozier space.

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