How to hang Outdoor String Patio Lights

Outdoor patio string lights not only light up your backyard or patio, but also transform your outdoor space into magical setting for entertaining, dining, and relaxing. With a bit of planning, you can create an outdoor living space that you will enjoy from day to night!

So how do you create this magical space with string lights?

Outdoor String Lights

Zig Zag Pattern

1.  Measure Your Space – Know the dimensions of your space and add 2-6 feet of length to your measurements to account for the natural swag of the lights when hung.

2.  Pick a pattern for your string lights. Here are a few of the more popular DIY patterns:

  • Zig Zag  patterns are a fun choice when you want to add full coverage illumination across your space
  • X Patterns work especially well in wide spaces or areas that are square shaped.
  • Square pattern is created by outlining the perimeter of your space.
  • Scalloped Edge patterns work well along a fence or wall.

3. Find your anchor points to create your pattern and make sure you use only stainless steel hardware.

Outdoor String Lights

X Pattern

  • Attached to Trees
  • Hanging against deck railings
  • Fence posts
  • Outlining a roof line
  • Pole – Can have one installed or install yourself

4.  Buy your lights

Patio bulbs are available in several shapes and sizes to complement any size space or decorative style. Globe patio lights are a classic choice with the G40 being the most common in a medium size bulb.  There are also S11 bulbs that have more a balloon shape or S14 bulbs for a more vintage look.  The wire is most commonly found in green but often have white and black available as well.

Outdoor String Lights

Square Pattern

Another important choice you have is whether you want incandescent lights or if you want to upgrade to LED.  Not only will LED lights provide up to 98% energy savings but they also give you the ability to string many different strands end-to-end only utilizing one outdoor outlet.  To dig deeper into the energy savings, assuming you had 100 lamps (typically 4 strands for 100 ft total) running for 6 hours every evening, the incandescent lights would cost ~$330 a year in electrical costs versus the LED lights which would cost ~$3 a year.   So any upfront cost to upgrade to LED when purchasing the lights will quickly be made up if you plan to use your new lights often.

5.  Hang your Patio Lights
The installation process can vary depending on where and how you decide to hang your patio lights. You should consider adding a stainless-steel cable or guy wire to hang your lights to give them more stability. You may also want to have some zip ties, carabiners, hooks, extension cords and a staple gun available for use during installation. (but never staple wires to the trees, or wrap the wire around the tree branches)

Last but not least, plug them in and sit back & enjoy!  If you are interested but not sure where to start, give us a call at 210-710-7737 for a free consultation.

Outdoor String Lights


Posted in Residential LED Lighting and tagged , , , .