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9 Different Types of Outdoor String Lights

Decorate your backyard with stunning string lights that will turn the cold night into a warm and lively one. They're magical enough to have that glowing and dreamy ambiance. Choose from the different types of string lights that will instantly set mood and illuminate your outdoor area.

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

Is the sweet, lovely season of summer around the corner? If yes, then we know you that must be most looking forward to spending your free time outdoors. You will probably have your friends over at your house in your backyard to enjoy some cool summery nights with you, by either playing cards or having a heart-to-heart chat. Or if that’s not your idea of the perfect summer night, then playing with your kids late into the evening or having a barbecue party with your family surely must be.

In order to make the most of these fun activities, it is important that the atmosphere and ambiance of your outdoor space are up to the par. But don’t worry, uplifting your garden or backyard doesn’t demand a lot of hard work. An immediate way to achieve a desirable outdoor space is by installing some stunning string lights. Yes, you read that right!

Having a source of light in your beautiful outdoor area will improve the overall mood of your entire setting and prevent mosquitoes from bugging you. The luminous space will effortlessly beautify the surrounding, making it appear prettier than ever. If you get creative with your string lights, your outdoors may have the potential to shine brighter than anyone’s in your neighborhood.

String lights come in many types, but we suggest you choose from the ones that we have listed down below. Why, you ask? Well, that’s because these are some of the most sought-after outdoor string lights that can transform your outdoor setting in the most remarkable way.

Related: Types of Lighting | 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.

These LED lights are a great addition to any garden or backyard, specifically because of their romantic and dreamy charm. They beautifully create a welcoming atmosphere when hung from a ceiling or roped around a dining or seating area. If in case, you don’t have anything to attach these lights around your seating or dining area, you can get lighting poles to suspend them from and give a luminous effect instantly.

You can find LED festoon lights in multiple brands, but our top pick for you 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 surprisingly minimalist in style and design, but at the same time, add the right amount of elegance to any outdoor area. These clear bulbs tend to give out a warm, white glow, illuminating a vast amount of space in a twinkling.

The biggest advantage that you can get by investing in these particular lights is the facility to connect at least 20 strands of them together for an intense lighting effect. Considering their excellent quality and affordable price, it won’t be wrong to regard them as a wise investment.

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 surreal lighting experience that is ethereal in every sense of the word. These lights appear like traditional paper lanterns but are made from tarpaulin – a durable cloth-like material that can last in all seasons – even in winters, too.

The best part about these string lights is that they are solar-powered, helping you to save up on your energy bills. The surprising bit is that they stay on for a long period of time, for up to 15 hours on the steady mode while they can last up to 20 hours on the twinkling mode.

To have a fun, festive mood in your garden, install lantern string lights. These lights will give a classy and stylish feel to your outdoor area.

3. Colorful String LightsGlowing Multi-colored String Lights

Bright, colorful string lights are generally used during festive seasons like Christmas or Easter. If any of these special occasions are around the corner, go ahead and invest in these glow-ups and welcome the joyous event in your own glamorous way. When it comes to colorful string lights, you always have the option to mix and match the color bulbs. For example, for Christmas, you can go for red, green, and blue lights and for Easter, you can choose any fun combination of colors like orange, pink, and yellow or green, purple, red, and blue – the options are plenty.

But hey, you don’t always need a holiday season to make the most of these multi-colored string lights. If you are happy, and you know it, hang colorful lights!

People who have invested in these kinds of LED lights have shared that 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 have managed to retain their charming antique appearance for centuries. What makes these bulbs still so perfect even after all these years, you may wonder? It is the unique way in which they produce a warm glow. The wire instilled inside the bulb produces warm golden light which is quite pleasing to the eyes.

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 like the LED filament bulbs. These lights have the appearance of the classic Edison bulbs but consist of LED light emitters inside them.

5. Outdoor Fairy String Lights

A huge tree wrapped with fairy string lights.

Do you want to turn your patio, or garden, or backyard into a magical land? If you wish to do so, then install fairy string lights. While these kinds of string lights are commonly used in bedrooms, people have begun to consider them as a wonderful outdoor lighting option. So here is your chance to make the most of them in your outdoor open space.

The beauty of fairy lights lies in the fact that they appear like an attractive bunch of fireflies if hung around trees or green bushes. In this way, the lights stand out in a way that’s unique. It’s likely that many of your guests will have never experienced such lighting before.

You can also have these lights hover over your terrace or patio. When, at night, you will light them up, they will look like a sky of beautiful stars above you. You can go with this lighting idea when planning to have a romantic dinner with your partner or are having guests over for a party.

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’s roof, and watch as the magic happens!

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 as discussed below:

LED Rope Lights

Coils of LED rope lights

LED rope lights come in colorful bulbs that produce a bright hue for a long time. Please note that these lights only appear colorful when they are switched on. Otherwise, they look colorless. LED rope lights also consume less energy; for example, they consume only 1 watt per foot in power.

Owing to their less-energy-consumption characteristic, these rope lights tend to be costly. However, they are worth the investment as they are reliable and durable.

Incandescent Rope Lights

Incandescent rope lights

This type of rope light comes along with a colored filter that is attached around the bulb. This means that even when these lights are turned off, they still appear slightly colorful.

Unlike LED rope lights, incandescent lights can consume more energy and produce more heat. They tend to consume 3 watts of light per foot which is twice as much as that of LED rope lights. Since these lights aren’t as effective in saving energy as LED rope lights, they tend to be less pricey. In fact, they are super affordable!

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! These attractive string lights give the illusion of real stars, making you want to spend the entire night under these beautiful “stars.” These lights are fancy and bright, so we recommend hanging them for special times like an outdoor wedding anniversary or a Christmas party.

Star string lights come in a mix of both small and big stars, creating perfect harmony in your outdoor space. The brands that sell these rope lights ensure that these lights are equipped with waterproofing with a rating of IP44. Another selling point is that these twinkle star lights also come in eight different modes – twinkle/flash, steady on, slow fade, flash/chasing, sequential, slog lo, and in waves and combination. Owing to their vast range of modes, you can change the style and design of your illumination, depending on the mood and occasion.

8. Jar String LightsHanging Light Jars

Out of all the outdoor string lights, jar string lights are definitely the fanciest option. Owing to the beautiful effect these lights give off, it is not surprising that they are only seen on special occasions like weddings, wedding anniversaries, birthday parties, etc. It is not common to see them hanging in your outdoor space on a casual night. 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 your string to be – and some fairy lights. Box some fairy lights in each jar and tie them tightly to the string. Make sure that you invest in light-weight string jars and sturdy and durable strings so that the strings are able to handle the pressure imposed by the jars. Commonly, people reuse wine bottles or any other glass bottle for a fun DIY bottle/jar lights. Another way to create these lights at home 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. While these concepts are simple and easy to execute, the final result is always awe-inspiring. These lights have their own unique beauty which is captivating and magical.

Which one of these radiant string lights will you choose to deck up your outdoor space with? Hard to pick one, right? Consider a few things before you choose with lights you want to go with. The size of your outdoor space, the event you’re celebrating, and the type of ambiance you want to create. Once you’ve set your mind on these three factors, choose any one (or more) or the beautiful string lights mentioned above. You’ll be glad you did!