Transforming your outdoor space into a magical retreat with beautiful lighting can seem like a daunting task. But fear not, our step by step guide on how to hang outdoor string lights will walk you through the entire process, turning your backyard, front patio, back patio or terrace into a warm and inviting oasis. From choosing the right lights to planning and installation, we’ve got you covered!

How to hang outdoor string lights

Key takeaways

  • Choose the right outdoor string lights for durability, energy efficiency and aesthetics.

  • Plan ahead to get the most out of your lighting design with measurements and layouts.

  • Customize your oasis with dimmers, timers and remotes.

Choosing the right outdoor string lights

How to hang outdoor string lights

A few factors need to be considered while choosing the best outdoor string lights. Durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetics all play a crucial role in selecting the perfect set of lights for your space.

After all, you want your outdoor lighting to withstand the elements, save energy, and look fabulous, right? Especially when it comes to illuminating your covered patio.

Types of outdoor string lights

There are three main types of outdoor lights, specifically outdoor string lights: LED, solar powered, and incandescent. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks.

LED string lights are durable and long lasting, but they can be pricier than other options. Solar powered light string is easy to set up and doesn’t require any wiring, but it might not be as bright as other types. Incandescent string lights, on the other hand, are the cheapest but not as sturdy as LED lights.

Consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting the type of patio string lights (patio lights) for your outdoor space.

How to hang outdoor string lights

Bulb styles and colors

The style and color of the glass bulbs you choose can greatly impact the ambiance of your outdoor space. Some options to consider include:

  • Globe bulbs.

  • Edison bulbs.

  • Lantern style bulbs.

  • Tiny fairy lights.

When it comes to bulb color, warm white is a popular choice for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Experiment with different bulb styles and colors to find the perfect combination for your outdoor living space.

Planning your outdoor lighting design

How to hang outdoor string lights

It’s important to have a planned solar outdoor lighting design before you start hanging your string lights. This will help you determine how many light strings and the correct length of string lights and create the most efficient layout for your space.

Start by measuring the area, sketching a layout, and deciding on the desired hanging pattern.

Measuring and mapping

A successful lighting design relies on accurate measurement and mapping of your outdoor space. It helps you purchase the correct length of string lights and plan the most efficient layout.

Take measurements of your space and rough sketch your layout on graph paper, taking into consideration any obstacles or existing structures in your outdoor space. By mapping out your plan, you’ll be able to visualize how your string lights will look and ensure you have the right amount of lighting for your space.

Hanging patterns and configurations

The way you hang your outdoor string lights can make a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your space. Popular hanging patterns include parallel and v-shaped configurations. These patterns can be adjusted based on your personal preference and the available anchor points in your space.

Consider the purpose of your lighting and how you want it to look when deciding on a hanging pattern. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to hang your string lights, so let your creativity shine!

Preparing your outdoor space for string lights

How to hang outdoor string lights

Preparing your outdoor space is a necessary step before starting to hang your string lights. This involves identifying sturdy anchor points and ensuring all safety precautions are taken. Typical anchor points for outdoor string lights include trees, fences, walls, and pergolas. Make sure these anchor points can support the weight of your lights and are safely secured.

Anchor points

Ensure that your chosen anchor points for outdoor string lights are sturdy and capable of supporting the weight of the wire and the lights. Trees, fences, walls, and pergolas are all common anchor points.

If you don’t have any existing structures to use as anchor points, you can create your own with string light poles or custom built posts. No matter what anchor points you choose, ensure they are securely fastened to prevent any accidents or damage to your lights.

How to hang outdoor string lights

Safety considerations

Always prioritize safety when hanging outdoor string lights. To ensure a safe installation, use outdoor rated products, avoid overloading of electrical devices and circuits, and secure cords to prevent tripping hazards.

Check the weight capacity of the anchor points you’re using and make sure your lights are secured properly to avoid any accidents or damage. By taking these precautions, you’ll create a safe and enjoyable outdoor space for everyone to enjoy.

Installing outdoor string lights

How to hang outdoor string lights

With your outdoor space planned and prepared, you can now proceed to hang outdoor string lights, also known as hanging string lights. This process involves selecting the appropriate hardware and using proper hanging techniques to ensure your outdoor string lights are securely fastened and evenly spaced.

Hardware options

There are various hardware options available for hanging outdoor string lights, including:

  • Cup hook or hooks.

  • Screw eyes.

  • Q hangers.

  • Cable kits.

Each option has its own advantages and is suitable for different types of anchor points or hanging patterns. Choose the hardware that best fits your needs and ensure it is securely fastened to your anchor points.

How to hang outdoor string lights

Hanging techniques

Hanging techniques can vary depending on the anchor points you’re using and the desired pattern of your string lights. To ensure your lights are evenly spaced and securely fastened, use a measuring tape to measure the distance between light strands and make sure they are firmly attached to the anchor points. To attach string lights, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use appropriate hardware for the best results.

Start by listing some solar hanging lights patterns as needed to create the desired look and ensure the hang lights are properly secured.

Customizing your outdoor lighting

How to hang outdoor string lights

Enhance the ambiance and functionality of your space by customizing your outdoor lighting. By incorporating additional features like dimmers, timers, and remote control options, you can create a truly personalized outdoor oasis that caters to your specific needs and preferences.

Dimmers and timers

Dimmers and timers are handy gadgets that allow you to control the brightness and duration of your outdoor string lights. By adjusting the brightness, you can create the perfect atmosphere for any occasion, while timers help save energy by ensuring your lights are only on when needed.

Remote control options

Remote control options provide added convenience, allowing you to turn your lights on and off or adjust settings from a distance. Most outdoor string lights can come with wireless or IR remote control options, both of which make it easier to control your lighting without having to manually adjust settings or physically access your lights.

Maintenance and care tips

How to hang outdoor string lights

Proper maintenance and care are essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of your outdoor string lights. Regularly cleaning your lights, checking for damage, and storing them properly during off seasons or inclement weather will help keep your lights shining bright for years to come.

Cleaning and storage

Maintaining the appearance and functionality of your outdoor string lights requires regular cleaning. Use soapy water and gently scrub the housing of the light fixtures with a damp clean rag or sponge.

When it comes to storage, wrap the extension cord around a box or tube to avoid tangling and ensure the lights are clean and free of debris before storing them.

How to hang outdoor string lights

Replacing bulbs and troubleshooting

Replacing bulbs and troubleshooting issues, such as flickering or non functioning lights, can help maintain the appearance and functionality of your outdoor lighting. Check the connections for any damage or corrosion and replace them if necessary.

Inspect the hang string lights bulbs for any damage or wear, and replace them with the correct type and wattage as needed. By addressing these issues, you can keep your outdoor string lights shining bright and beautiful.

How to hang outdoor string lights


In conclusion, hanging outdoor string lights can transform your outdoor space into a warm and inviting oasis. By choosing the right lights, planning your design, preparing your space, and installing your lights with the proper hardware and techniques, you can create a stunning outdoor atmosphere.

Don’t forget to customize your lighting with dimmers, timers, and remote control options for an even more personalized touch. With proper maintenance and care, your outdoor string lights will continue to shine bright for years to come.

How to hang outdoor string lights

Frequently asked questions

What do you hang outdoor string lights on?

For an outdoor string light display, hang your lights from fences, walls, pergolas, porch posts, roof eaves, siding trim, or purchase a string light suspension kit to suspend them from just a few hooks.

How do I plan my outdoor lighting design?

Measure your outdoor space, sketch a layout, and decide on the desired hanging pattern for your string lights - that's how you can plan your outdoor lighting design.

What are some popular hanging patterns for outdoor string lights?

For outdoor string lights, popular hanging patterns include parallel and v-shaped patterns that can be adjusted to fit your style and the space.