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How to Hang Fairy Lights Outside – Easy String Lights Installation Guide

how to hang fairy lights outside featured image

How to hang fairy lights outside your home? Follow these quick, simple steps to install our outdoor fairy lights at home in your garden or backyard with very few tools, and time required. It’s a fun Do-It-Yourself weekend project with a beautiful final product to look forward to at project completion. Our patio string lights suit all weather conditions and public spaces [1].

How to Hang Fairy Lights Between 2 Fixing Points

Before getting started, you’ll need some essential equipment to get the job done. The following tools are the bare minimum required to hang outdoor string (including novelty string light or decoration fairy lights for your pergolas or other outdoor structures) between 2 trees or poles in your backyard.

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Equipment, Materials, & Tools: 

  • carpentry pencil
  • measuring tape
  • hanging hooks or screw eyes
  • electric drill
  • multi-purpose ladder
  • zip ties
  • snips or cutters (for cutting zip tie excess)
  • outdoor led fairy string lights

Step 1. Determine Pattern & Hanging Fixing Points

Determine Pattern Hanging Fixing Points How to Hang Fairy Lights Outside 1

Lay the outdoor fairy lights on the floor in the pattern you want to have them strung up in the air. Use the connectable ends and junctions to customise the system to suit your space. (keep your power source location in mind when planning this step).

Determine where you’ll be hanging the strings in your garden and mark the spot with your pencil. We recommend keeping the fixing points at least 3.2m above ground level.

Pro Tip: Make it easy for yourself; use your garden surroundings, whether your wooden fence, brick wall,  ceiling, trees, gutter, or pergola.

Step 2. Drill Pilot Holes, and Install Fixing Points

Drill Pilot Holes and Install Fixing Points How to Hang Fairy Lights Outside 2

Now that you’ve got your fixing points marked around the yard, it’s time to get your hands dirty! We’ll start by using the electrical to drill a small pilot hole for each of the marked points, be sure to ream out the burrs so that you don’t have any trouble screwing in the hooks.

Using the pilot holes as a guide, carefully screw each hook or screw eyes in tightly, ensuring there is no way they may come loose. Once you’ve tightened as much as you can by hand, stick a screwdriver through the hook and use the leverage to wind it in just a few turns more.

RELATED: 9 Cozy And Romantic Pergola Lighting Ideas For A Mesmerizing Spot

Step 3. Hang String Lights

Starting at the power plug end, begin attaching the LED string lights to the fixing points using zip ties. Play around with how much distance you allow between each fixing point to reach the desired height above your entertaining area.

Pro Tip: Generally around 3m between the ground and your  string light outdoor.

Step 4. Plug ’em In and Enjoy!

hanging fairy lights outdoor how to hang fairy lights

The fourth, final, and funnest step, light em up! Connect the power plug to the power outlet and switch on your new outdoor string lights. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new outdoor entertaining party area!

How Do You Secure Fairy or String Lights Outdoors?

Securing the string lights is essential. This is to prevent the lights from falling down to the ground.

You may use nails to secure your hanging outdoor lights  if you do not have a good quality string light suspension kit.

Sometimes nails won’t secure the string light cords when we install string lights on outdoor surface. So how do you hang fairy lights outdoors when nails or hooks don’t secure your lights?

The hack is to use hot glue gun. Put a little hot glue to the base of the string light before installing it. Then push it against the surface for 10 to 20 seconds to give the glue enough time to cool and harden.

How Do You Hang Fairy Lights Without Damaging Walls?

Though we all want to make our house look festive, the last thing we want is to damage our indoor or outdoor walls. So how do you hang string lights without damaging the walls?

One hack that we can do is to use reusable double-sided adhesive strips. This will keep you from drilling holes in the wall. This works when you want to directly hang the lights on the wall and not suspend it in the air. All you need to do is press the strings into mounting tape. And you’re all set!

How Many Outdoor String Lights You Need for Your Tree?

wrapped on trees how to hang fairy lights

One of the common questions people ask is how many fairy lights you need to decorate your trees. The number of string lights depends on your tree landscape design.

Hang Curtain Lights

When you want to hang curtain lights on a tree, the rule of thumb is for each foot of a tree, you need 1 strand of fairy lights, preferably with at least 100 bulbs.

Wrap the Trunk Design

If the design is to wrap a tree trunk, you need to measure the circumference of the tree trunk, including the branches you want to wrap. You also need to consider the spacing between light bulbs as well.

We see that the standard measurement for wrapping trunks and branches has a 6-inch bulb spacing with 2-3 inches spacing between strings. To determine the total amount of fairy lights needed, divide the height by the specified string spacing, then multiply the result by the diameter.

For example, you have a 4 feet trunk that measures 2 feet in circumference. Your goal is to wrap the trunk and 3 of the big branches, which are 3 feet long and 6 inches in circumference.

The equation is:

  • Trunk: 4 feet / 3 inches spacing = 16 x 2 feet circumference = 32 feet fairy lights
  • Branches: 3 feet branch / 3 inches spacing = 12 x 6 inches circumference = 6 feet of lighting per branch

Total lighted feet will be approximately 56 feet for both trunk and four branches.

How to Hang Fairy Lights on Balcony?

how to hang fairy lights on balcony

Hanging fairy lights on a balcony is one of the ways to illuminate your outdoor space. There are multiple ways to hang your lights depending on the style of the structure.

Style #1. One of the ways to hang fairy lights on balcony is to drape them. Place the hooks or nails in between posts or spacing of a foot or two. You can go around your balcony to cover every side. While letting them drape in between to create a wavelike pattern. 

Style #2. You can also wrap the fairy lights in a spiral design on your rafters or shade bars. If you feel like it, you can wrap both for good measure. To highlight the whole structure, you can also wrap the posts. 

Style #3. Another great way to hang your fairy lights is by letting them hang straight down from the beams or rafter down to railings. Create a curtain of fairy lights for a cozier feel during the night. 

How To Hang Fairy Lights On Pergola

fairy lights wrapped around the pergola beam

There are so many ways to light up your pergola. One of the captivating ways is hanging fairy lights on this outdoor structure. 

Hanging fairy lights on the patio, pergola, or gazebo will undoubtedly create a cozy ambience for your outdoor space. Though the simplest way to put fairy lights on these outdoor structures is to hang them across the rafters, you can actually wrap the fairy lights around the post.

Hanging fairy lights on a covered patio has several lighting designs. You can have the following:
• the zigzag pattern
• wrap the beams
• bring the lights from the corner to the centre of the pergola or patio roof

Another creative way to hang fairy lights on the pergola is to create a chandelier by attaching the fairy lights to a wooden or metal hoop.

How to Hang Fairy Lights on Brick Wall?

how to hang fairy lights on brick wall

A brick wall may be challenging when attaching fairy lights to it. However, there are simple and effective ways to work around other than drilling the brick or outside wall of the house or building. 

1. Outdoor Mounting Tape

Using outdoor mounting tape is convenient since all you have to do is cut a piece you need and stick it above the wire in between bulbs. However, the downside is you might end up chipping paint on your brick wall. Also, a little residue must be wiped with alcohol after removing the tape. 

2. Use Brick Clip Fasteners

One of the best surefire ways to hang fairy lights on a brick wall is using a brick clip fastener. The teeth of the clip go over the brick for a firm grip. This is if the mortar and the brick aren’t flush. For a standard-sized brick, all you have to do is place the spring end of the clip at the bottom part and then push the clip upwards until the teeth end goes over the top end of the brick.

The clip has about 2 hooks on its frame that can hold as much as 25 pounds. Hang your fairy lights any way you like.

3. Hot Glue With Glue Gun

One of the most practical and easiest ways to hang fairy lights on either bricks or any outside wall is using a hot glue gun. Just lay out with a pencil how you want to design your lights, dab a hot glue at the base of each light, and press in place for about 20 seconds for a more secure stick. 

How to Hang Fairy Lights on Fence?

how to attach fairy lights to a fence

Swing for the fences! This can be an idiomatic expression that can be put into literal use if you want to hang your fairy lights on your backyard fences.

Hanging string lights along a fence is one of the simplest landscape outdoor designs. This design has several fixing points since the strings are not suspended in the air. Instead, you secure the strings to the fence’s pickets, rails, or support posts.

Below are the quick steps to secure the fairy lights on the fence:

1. Command Hooks

Attach command hooks on each post of your fences. Measure them about 3 – 5 inches above the top end of the rails for a uniform wavelike look once you attach your fairy lights on each hook. When that’s done, swing the fairy lights wires around each hook once. Let the fairy lights sag in between posts for a relaxed look.

2. Zip Ties

For colorbond fences, you can use long zip ties for every metal post for a clean and precise attachment. The length of your zip ties will depend on the thickness of your metal posts. Loop each zip tie on every post without having to secure it yet. When ready, secure the fairy lights to each zip tie while locking them in place. This can be displayed loosely or made taut. 

Points to Remember:

  • To ensure you have enough string lights to hang along the fence, lay them on the ground along your fence line.
  • Mark the wooden pickets, rails, or support posts where you want to hold the strings.
  • Allow a little bit of sag so lights can hang down between fixing points.

How to Attach Fairy Lights to Gutter

how to attach fairy lights to gutter

Using heavy-duty adhesive hooks to hang fairy lights to your gutter can be an option. You will need a ladder to place each adhesive hook on the side of a gutter. Remove the clear cover of the adhesive, and press it on the side of the gutter for about 10 – 120 seconds for a sure grip. The downside is that the adhesive might lose its grip over time when exposed to the elements.

Another way to hang your fairy lights is by using gutter clips. Different clip options allow the consumer to hang the clips just by hooking them to the gutter’s edge.

Clip to the bulbs – this type of clip allows you to orient the bulbs of your fairy lights in a specific direction, whether down, up or out. 
Clip to the line – this is a simple clip that has a feature for you to hook to the line without worrying about the need for any bub orientation. 

Other devices allow you to place the gutter clips without using a ladder. It can extend up to 11 feet. It’s specifically designed to hold a clip in one end and has a hold and release switch on the handle when you are ready to hang the clips. It’s very convenient and easy to use. You may need a little practice before you get the hang of it. 

How to Hang Fairy Lights Outside Without Nails?

No nails? No problem! You can wrap the fairy lights around your railing or from the top rail to the balustrade to each newel. Pull each tight enough so as not for it to slide off. Allow spacing between lights when winding the fairy light on each rail or balustrade. 

If you want to hang them on trees, you can start from the base of the tree and wind your way up the first limb. Then add a splitter to conveniently work your way to each branch. 

Things to Remember Before Hanging String Lights Outdoor

drapped on trees how to hang fairy lights

Here are some reminders before you hanging string lights outdoors:

  • Make sure your lights are suitable for outdoor use.
  • If you want to reuse your Christmas lights, make sure it is not for indoor decor only. Take note not all lights are made to withstand the weather.
  • Don’t use battery-operated star string lights or other types of string lights. This type of lights is best for indoor decor ideas or bedroom makeover ideas. Use solar outdoor fairy lights instead
  • For lights hanging from a tree or wooden beams, use coaxial staples instead to secure your string lights.

So there you have it, one of the simple DIY ideas on how to hang string lights outdoor. If you’re planning for a more elaborate installation, get in touch using our contact page! We’ll be happy to assist.

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