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How to Hang String Lights (Easier Than you Probably Think!)

How to Hang String Lights

Did you know that these strings of light were first utilized as a decoration for Christmas trees? With their colourful twinkling, these multiple string lights are connected to the same wire and cable to create a festive atmosphere.

Since celebrations and festivities are not only for Christmas, manufacturers started to come up with interesting ideas of making diversified lighting that can be used to transform any available room, hall, or garden setting, into an area with a nice ambience. This trend has been getting a lot of interesting followers that businesses have been practicing the art of setting up good lighting effects to create a great atmosphere that can affect peoples’ moods. 

Types of String Lights

Types of String Lights

There are a lot of available types and sizes of these bulbs in the market. Adding these outdoor lights to your garden or covered patio could transform the ambiance of that area. Different kinds of lights can help you achieve the kind of setup you want in the area you want to transform. These lightings can both be installed indoors and outdoors on your property.

Vintage Bulbs

Do you know how to hang string lights? Achieving a retro ambiance is obtainable when you use vintage hang lights. They exude an atmosphere of antiquity because of their timeless form and warm glow. They are called Edison light bulbs and can be easily identified because of their simplistic light bulb design. More bars across the city are using this although there are a lot of people who hang patio lights in their backyards. This is a popular choice for people who want to create a romantic ambiance because of their subtle glow. 

Rope Light

These lightings are encased in a protective PVC jacket to make them weather resistant and protect them from frost since they are mostly used outside the home. For indoor use, people line them in their staircase or use them to enhance decorations around the house. You can opt to use the simple version of rope lightings or the ones with LED lights in them. 

Lantern Lights

These types of hang string lights are easily recognizable due to the traditional paper lanterns’ design surrounding each bulb. The paper lantern is made from tarpaulin which can withstand outdoor use even during winter. These types of lights may be solar-powered which can provide up to 15 hours runtime on a single solar charge.

Wire Rope Lights

There is the type of lights you need to have when you want to create different designs for your lights before raising them up. This is possible because these tiny bulbs are fixed on a flexible wire allowing you to bend them. Letters, words, and shapes can be done out of these that can showcase your creative side.

Colored Lights

These refer to the traditional Christmas light we use to decorate our Christmas tree. They can evoke the feelings of Christmas spirit and joyful celebration. Since they are multi-colored, their uses can be diversified into decorative lighting for a teenager’s room, attic, or backyard.

Fairy Lights

A magical atmosphere in your backyard can be perfected using fairy lights. They are a popular choice as they create an optical illusion of having hundreds of fireflies meeting in one spot. Most of these fairy string lights are placed in trees and bushes and are worth looking at. 

Globe Lights

These lights are well made and cheaper compared to other lights. With a variety of string options, they are used to add ambiance lighting to any outdoor space. When lighted, they resemble small globes and can come in whites or multiple color versions. 

Jar Lights

Simple DIY jar patio lights done in the right way can make your garden stand out. These can be the fanciest outdoor option there is and are popular in weddings and outdoor celebrations. These are normal bulbs concealed in a jar that can create stunning visual effects in your outdoor activities. 

How to Hang your String Lights

How to Hang your String Lights

Choosing the right Spot

Did you know that the area in your house or garden is as important as learning how to hang string lights? Check on the power source available – it can be an exterior outlet or an outdoor extension cord. Do some quick sketch of where you will hang your bulbs like hooks installed on the house side of trees. Check if you need poles for this purpose.


Having a sketch of the area where you want to put your patio lights, measure the length of these that you need using a tape measure. Be sure to include the zigzags and crisscrosses that you may encounter when installing your hanging lights later. 

Install your Cup Hooks

Cup hooks will help in easing tension in the cable when you install the lighting. Install them at a height at least 9 feet off the ground for safety. Position them perpendicularly to the direction of the cable. You can do this by hammering them into the surface of the trees where you will need to screw them securely. Next is to run a stainless steel cable between sets of the cup hooks and secure them using aluminum sleeves or wire locks. 

Lay out your Lights and Use Zip Ties

Before you start installing and securing the bulbs, lay them out first as this can save you time. Decide on how many bulbs to use per cable run so you can attach them on their spot with the ladder. 

Use zip ties to secure the bulb on the eye hook to keep the strand in place. Start at the end part of the string lights; the part where the power plug is located. Secure each bulb to the cable in between hooks using zip ties, clipping off the excess plastic as soon as done. Continue to walk the strand out in the direction of your design and use the same method on other hooks and cable runs until you can set up all the available string lights. 

Putting up strands of string lights on your backyard patio can take hours of your time, but the finished product and the atmosphere it can create will last for a long time. String lights can transform areas in your home or yard into an oasis of enjoyment. 

Frequently Asked Questions about String Lights

Frequently Asked Questions about String Lights

What is the best way to hang outdoor string lights?

Knowing how to hang string lights can transform your deck or backyard into a beautiful area in your home. You can spend time eating out or having drinks and truly enjoy the moments spent outdoors in the evening. String lights hanging on these areas can be a project well spent and the outcome of the twinkling bulbs can create magical moments you can enjoy not only by yourself but also with friends and family. 

How to Hang String lights Outdoors

Choose the type of lights ideal for what you want to achieve in your area. If you want subtle romantic lights, well-lighted string bulbs that can give enough luminance during dinner or outdoor games, or perhaps LED lights that are cool to the touch and can last longer. 

A power plug outlet or extension cord is a must before you start the hang lights in your yard. Make sure you have enough remaining length for this purpose. 

Make a design of how you want your these to look and the desired effects you want to achieve. You can do zig-zag centralized or straight string lights. You can be whimsical all you want as long as you have enough length of string lights to do the job.

String them overhead using a support wire. Although not required when hanging string lights, support wires can help in relieving your string lights from the stress of being hung up by supporting the electrical wires. They can also maintain the lights to hang in the right direction especially if it runs on long stretches across your clearing or yard. Support wires give your bulbs a clean and stable look. 

Attached your wires in sturdy places at least 9 feet off the ground. These areas should be able to support eye hooks that will be securely screwed on them.  

Inset or run a stainless cable on the eye hooks and secure them with wire locks. 

Secure your string lights to the cable and secure them with zip ties. Clip off excess clip ties. Continue doing this by following your design until done. 

How do you hang string lights?

String lights can be hung in different ways such as:

  1. Use a wooden pole for hanging outdoor string lights.
  2. Put lights around the beams of your house.
  3. Use a big tree as support, you can drape the string lights from your house to the tree.
  4. Using a pallet as a privacy fence, you can drape the bulbs on it to add an inspiring backdrop to your area.
  5. Make your patio glow at night by hanging string lights on trees or posts.
  6. Streamline your bulb strands by hanging them straight following the post or beams of your area.

A covered patio can achieve a cozy atmosphere when you secure string lights on every corner of the roof.To create a subtle effect, you can drape string lights across the wall or plants.

  • Pile string lights inside see-through buckets. 
  • Freestanding string lights can be the solution to the non-existing structure to hang outdoor lights. Just hang them to any available area that can support them and you’re done.
  • If you have a pergola in your yard, hanging string lights around the support beams can enhance this particular area.
  • Add outdoor string lights to your garden landscape to illuminate them.

How do you hang outdoor string lights on a patio without nails?

How do you hang outdoor string lights on a patio without nails

Use Gutter Hook

This S-shaped fixture can be the solution on how to prevent damage to your walls. Just hang one end on the edge of the gutter and pass the string of lights to the other end.

Use Adhesive Hooks

Peel off adhesives on your hook and stick them flat on a clean surface. This can help you hand your string lights without using nails.

Use a Tree and a glue gun

Trees can act as an improvised stand to hand your string lights. Use a glue gun to hang your string lights on your patio. Just make sure to use enough amounts of glue that can support your lights and enough drying time. 


String your lights on the fence. It can create really beautiful effects without the use of nails. This can also provide ambient lighting in your outdoor space.

Do you need a guide wire to hang outdoor string lights?

Do you need a guide wire to hang outdoor string lights

Using commercial outdoor string lights to illuminate your backyard or patio is one of the ways to transform this area into an outdoor living space with a good ambiance. 

Making sure that the string lights are well installed and secure has to start at the beginning of the its installation. You have to do it the right way at the beginning to avoid problems later. All you need is the right material to do the job right.

If you plan to have a permanent outdoor lighting to illuminate your yard, choose commercial grade outdoor string lights that can last longer and are made from heavy-duty wire and weatherproof sockets that are sealed around the bulbs to keep water out. Using standard grade strings, however, can also deliver the job of illuminating your area and create a wonderful ambiance. 

This choice however is appropriate for less permanent outdoor activities. Using guide wires can help in supporting the string lights, especially if they are strung across two places. Guide wires can hold these up in different weather conditions. Guide wires can ensure the longevity of your string lights. It also helps maintain the string wires hanging in the right direction. 

Guide wires act as a stress reliever to the otherwise hanging string lights and keep them above your head all of the time. Having long stretches of string light in your clearing, guide wires can support, maintain and relieve stress from your string lights. 

It also gives a stable and clean look to the hanging outdoor bulbs. Planning where to put your string lights and the design to achieve its designated purpose of creating the kind of atmosphere for your outdoor living space can be truly achieved once you install it the proper way. It saves time, and provides more moments to enjoy your masterpiece.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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