Skip to Content

9 Different Types of Outdoor String Lights

A collage of different types string lights.

Quicklist: Outdoor String Lights

  1.  LED Festoon Globe Lights
  2. Solar LED Lantern String Lights
  3. Colorful String Lights
  4. Vintage String Lights
  5. Outdoor Fairy String Lights
  6. LED Rope Lights
  7. Incandescent Rope Lights
  8. Twinkle Star LED String Lights
  9.  Jar String Lights

String lights come in many types, but we suggest you choose from the ones that we have listed below.  Some of the most sought-after lighting can transform your outdoor setting in remarkable ways.

Related: Types of Lighting  | Types of Outdoor Hanging Lights | Types of Light Bulbs | Smart home Lighting Solutions | Patio and Deck Lighting | Types of Solar Lights

1. LED Festoon Globe Lights

Festoon globe string lights hanging in a winter garden.

LED lights are a great addition to any garden or backyard. They beautifully create a welcoming atmosphere when hung from a ceiling or roped around a dining or seating area. If you don’t have anything to attach the lights to, you can use poles to suspend them.

You can find LED festoon lights in multiple brands, but our top pick is Brightown. Brightown’s LED string lights typically come in a globe shape that reminds us of the cosmos — the earth, moon, and other celestial objects. They are minimalist in style and design, but at the same time, add the right amount of elegance to any outdoor area. The clear bulbs give out a warm, white glow, illuminating a vast amount of space.

2. Solar LED Lantern String Lights

Globe lantern string lights hanging in a garden.

With lantern string lights, you get the opportunity to create a lighting experience that is ethereal in every sense of the word. These lights look like traditional paper lanterns but are made from tarpaulin, a durable cloth-like material that can last in all seasons.

The best part about these string lights is that they are solar-powered, helping you to save on energy bills. They stay on for up to 15 hours on the Steady mode and 20 hours on the Twinkling mode.

3. Colorful String LightsGlowing Multi-colored String Lights

Bright, colorful string lights are generally used during festive seasons like Christmas or Easter. When it comes to colorful string lights, you always have the option to mix and match the colors of the bulbs.

These lights are easy to install and are quite effective at illuminating an entire backyard or garden space.

4. Vintage String LightsLamp String Lights

Are you aiming to give a timeless, retro spin to your patio or backyard? Look no further than vintage string lights. Also known as Edison bulb lights, these string lights produce a warm glow. 

While these lights aren’t as bright as modern lights, they still effectively create a nice, romantic ambiance. What’s better is that they are quite durable and long-lasting in nature. But if you want a longer-lighting effect, go for lighting fixtures with LED filament bulbs. These lights have the appearance of the classic Edison bulbs but have longer-lasting LED lights.

Basics Hardware 6-Pack Edison Light Bulb, Antique Vintage Style Light, Amber Warm, Dimmable (60w/110v)

5. Outdoor Fairy String Lights

A huge tree wrapped with fairy string lights.

The primary purpose of most lights is to illuminate the surrounding area but fairy lights work beyond that. They can be installed to make your backyard appear elongated. All you have to do is install the lights in a geometric pattern (which will look like a transparent roof) at the same height as your backyard roof.

6. Rope LightsClose up of Rope Lights

Rope light is a decorative lighting fixture that consists of tiny light bulbs enclosed in a PVC jacket. This creates a long string of lights that can be used both indoors as well as outdoors, but most commonly are used in open spaces like a garden or patio.

Rope lights are known for their versatility; for example, they are not only used to deck up a patio or terrace but can also be used as staircase lighting, or roped around sculptures to give them a gleaming effect.

You can have rope lights in two common types:

LED Rope Lights

Coils of LED rope lights

LED rope lights come in colorful bulbs that can produce a bright hue for a long time. The lights also consume less energy — only one watt per foot.

Rope lights tend to be costly but are worth the investment for their reliability and durability.

Incandescent Rope Lights

Incandescent rope lights

This type of rope light comes along with a colored filter that is attached around the bulb.

Unlike LED rope lights, incandescent lights consume more energy and produce more heat: three watts of light per foot, tripling what LED rope lights need. 

7. Twinkle Star LED String Lights

Twinkle Star LED String Lights In The Dark

Give your outdoor space a dazzling look by opting for something other than your average globe or bulb-shaped lights. Our top pick is Twinkle Star LED lights. Star string lights come in a mix of both small and big stars and the lights are equipped with a waterproof rating of IP44.

Twinkle star lights feature eight different operating modes: twinkle/flash, steady on, slow fade, flash/chasing, sequential, slog lo, and in waves and combination. 

8. Jar String LightsHanging Light Jars

These string lights are easily available on the market, but, if for some reason, you are unable to find them, the good news is that you can make them on your own, too.

You will need jars — depending on how long you want the string to be — and some fairy lights. Place some fairy lights in each jar and tie them to the string. Make sure that you invest in light-weight string jars and sturdy and durable string so that they can handle the weight of the jars.

Another way to create jar lights is to take some empty plastic water bottles, squeeze them randomly, and attach a colorful LED light to it. Use a different LED light for each bottle to create a colorful lighting effect.

Romantic setup in the forest with candles and outdoor string lights.

Where to Buy Outdoor String Lights 

Here are our favorite retailers of outdoor string lights and accessories:

Related: Outdoor Wall Lighting Guide | Pool lighting ideas

Chat Box

Home Expert (Bot)
Hello, how are you? Ask me anything about interior design, home improvement, home decor, real estate, gardening and furniture.