Want to see the stars? Light pollution doesn’t stand a chance against bright, star-like string lights.
String lights come in many different shapes and sizes. From traditional Christmas tree lights to Edison bulbs, there’s a style that will make your outdoor area glow.
Ready to learn how to hang string lights? Check out this guide to discover where to hang string lights and how to do it.
No matter what style you choose, you don’t want it to look like Christmas. Too many string lights can overwhelm your backyard, leaving your neighbors to wonder what time of year it is. Hanging your string lights in the wrong way can also affect your outdoor ambiance.
If you think hanging string lights is an easy task, think again. Tools, planning, and creativity will all be required to successfully complete this project. Since you’ll want to get it right the first time, you’ll need to consider all of your options; otherwise, you could be wasting an afternoon better spent enjoying the San Diego weather.
Let There Be Light: How and Where to Hang String Lights
Before you begin you should research what type of string lights you want. Make note of the style of bulb you want as well as the cord. You should also determine if you want the bulbs to be plastic or glass.
Many people love the look of glass, but plastic is clearly a safer material.
Where to Hang?
You don’t need a large porch or backyard to hang string lights. You will, however, need to locate an electrical outlet prior to hanging string lights,which will affect their location.
Here’s a list of a few places you can hang your string lights.
- Around a Tree
A mature tree covered in string lights is an amazing sight. As the string lights glow, you get to see the tree’s amazing features at night. The best lights to use for a tree are the traditional string lights used at Christmas.
These smaller lights won’t easily be broken by critters, and they provide an even pattern around the tree without any blank spaces in between.
- Your Balcony
Live on the second floor? No problem! Hang strings from your balcony. Use the railing, ceiling, or hanging plant hooks to secure the string lights in place.
- Across a Deck or Porch
Hanging string lights across your deck or porch gives you overhead lighting. No need for tiki torches or lanterns, unless you want to keep the bugs away.
Hanging across a deck or porch allows you to design the look you want. You can crisscross the lights, create shapes, or divide the space using different patterns.
- A Backyard Structure
A pergola, poles, or a shed can be used to anchor your string light design. A gazebo or playhouse is also a great choice to secure your lights to.
A gazebo or pergola can also be the centerpiece of your string light design. Simply hang the string lights on the interior to light up the space below. You can also use taller structures like these to create a chandelier effect where the lights hang down.
- Under an Umbrella
No need to worry if you don’t have any outdoor structures or a deck. Just hang string lights underneath your umbrella using the seams as a guide.
How to Hang?
If you want your string lights to last, you need to hang them correctly. To do this, you’ll need some tools and supplies.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to hanging string lights, along with the tools and supplies you’ll need.
- Measure and Design
To start, you need to measure your outdoor area. Draw an exact replica of the dimensions so you can begin to see which patterns will work best. Try out multiple patterns, such as a crisscross, and figure out how many lights you’ll need.
String lights come in different lengths, depending on the brand and type you purchase. Once you’re set on a pattern, purchase the number of string lights you’ll need. Consider purchasing name brand lights so you can add more and easily replace the bulbs if needed.
- Unscrew the Bulbs
If you purchased glass bulbs, unscrew them before trying to hang them. Place the bulbs in a box to the side so they are out of harm’s way. When hanging multiple string lights, removing the bulbs can prevent them from clanking into one another and breaking.
- Connecting Two String Lights
You might need to connect two string lights together. Two strings of lights connected can easily sag and be weighed down. This could result in the lights falling or disconnecting.
Use electrical tape the same color as the cord and tape the two connections together. This will make them more secure, so the weight is supported.
- Securing the Lights
Use coaxial staples to hang the string lights, which can be found at any hardware store. Purchase coaxial staples in the color and size that match your string lights.
After you hang the lights, consider placing electrical tape around the opening of the coaxial staple.
- Draping and Slack
Draping the string lights and allowing for slack is a personal preference. If you decide to drape the lights, be sure to measure the height first. This will prevent the lights from hanging too low.
String Lights and Ambiance
There’s no doubt that string lights create a romantic and subtle ambiance. After your string lights are hung, check the connecting string lights and the coaxial staples. Ensure these continue to remain secure, and repair as needed.
Need some help hanging string lights? Want some additional landscape lighting installed? Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.