For an outdoor space that’s sparkling with charm, create a glowing overhead galaxy of string lights. Energy efficient, affordable, and easy to install, string lights can make a huge impact with just a little bit of planning and preparation. Even better, learning how to hang outdoor string lights can be completed in one afternoon!
How to Hang Outdoor Patio String Lights
Step 1: Discover & Design
First, explore different designs and choose the lighting layout that’s right for you. String lights look great hanging in many different ways – strung in parallel rows, criss-crossed, or radiating from a central point like a chandelier or outdoor fireplace. If you choose a more uniform look, carefully measure the space between strands for consistency. Sketch your desired design, noting the exact number of links and hooks this plan will require.
Step 2: Hit the Hardware Store
Create a materials checklist and installation plan before heading to the home improvement store. Gather the necessary tools and outdoor-grade materials, including:
Be sure to purchase enough yardage with plenty of extra space for slack. Remember, string lights are normally draped – the cables will not be pulled taut. Allow at least 12-inches of extra cable per strand.
Step 3: Easy Installation
Using a steady ladder, install the screw hooks according to plan. Once they are secure, string the lighting cables without bulbs; you don’t want to add delicate glass into the equation until the layout is completely finalized. Next, install one bulb per strand. Flip the electrical switch and verify that each light works before adding the remaining bulbs. And there you have it! A shimmering outdoor paradise in three simple steps.
Do-It-Yourself Design: Building a Freestanding Frame for Hanging Outdoor String Lights
No existing structures in sight? Building a freestanding frame for string lights is easy. First, anchor vertical wooden poles in heavy planters filled with cement, placing the vessels around the patio’s perimeter. When the frames are completely secure, install screw hooks and string the lights across the poles. Instant ambiance!
5 Interesting Uses for Hanging Outdoor String Lights
With their flexibility and low cost, string lights offer a great chance to get creative with outdoor lighting. Here are five of our favorite uses for string lights.
1.Illuminate an existing outdoor structure, like a pergola or gazebo, with strands of string lights. Hang them along the rafters, wrap them along the handrails, or frame the
2.Create a soft garden glow by layering string lights into your landscaping. Weave smaller bulbs – think Christmas tree lights – through sturdy bushes and hedges.
3.Use string lights to create a sparkling universe of light underneath a covered porch. In this case, more is more! Drape strands from every surface.
4.Trees are a great natural support for string lights. Tightly wrap the cord around mature trunks, or drape them softly from branches for a more romantic look
5.Carefully pile string lights into wire, woven, or glass vessels. Safer than candles, this glowing look creates soft ambiance without the flicker or fire hazard.