30 String Lights Outdoor Ideas for a Breathtaking Backyard

string lights outdoor ideas featured image

Searching for string lights outdoor ideas is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Actually, not! Google can give you countless backyard lighting ideas.

But, to save you from going through 20,700,000 results, we have listed the best outdoor string lights to give you a headstart.

How Do You Display Outdoor String Lights?

There are many ways to bring life to your backyard using string lights. You may use the natural elements in your surrounding, use garden structures, or install lighting decors in your garden.

Below are some of our favourite string lights outdoor ideas to add sparkle to your yard.

Outdoor String Light Ideas Utilizing Natural Elements

1. Drape from a Big Tree

big tree lighting design string lights outdoor ideas

It is a classic lighting design but definitely never outdated. It undoubtedly creates an ethereal ambience in your yard at night.

Hanging your solar fairy lights on a big tree is also taking advantage of the natural elements in your yard.

As mentioned, make sure the string lights you buy are ideal for outdoor use. Ensure that the bulbs are shatterproof for your family’s safety.

If this is your first time using festoon lights in your backyard, here’s a guide to help you learn how to hang these string lights

2. Wrap Around Tree Trunk

wrap around tree lighting string lights outdoor ideas

Not all homes have mature trees thriving on their property. If you have one, don’t just drape the string lights from point A to point B; you can also wrap them around the trunks.

This is a classic lighting design that not everyone could have.

3. Strings on Branches

branch festoon lighting string lights outdoor ideas

Hanging string lights on branches is a common sight, but it never fails to draw attention. The natural shapes of the branches remain the focal point of your backyard even after dusk.

String Light Ideas for Backyard Structures

4. Embellish the Parasol

parasol lighting string lights outdoor ideas

Festoon lights are versatile. These string lights can be hung almost anywhere. And the beauty of it? It transforms simple things into awe-inspiring ones.

Parasol is one of those simple garden furniture that you can hang string lights. Solar string lights work best for this one.

5. Go for Bare Deck

deck festoon lighting string lights outdoor ideas

There are so many things you can do when you have a bare deck constructed on your ground or lawn. It’s exciting to dress up.

Add a wooden arbour on the pathway. To completely recreate this backyard idea, choose cushion materials that are ideal for outdoor furniture. For furniture like chairs, go for earth-toned colour. And finally, for the throw pillow covers, opt for bohemian prints.

6. Slick Up the Garden Partition Wall

outdoor partition wall string lights outdoor ideas

Adding a partition wall is an excellent backyard design to separate some parts of your backyard. Slick up this wooden backdrop by adding string lights, carpet, and flower pots.

7. Get a Patio Lighting Combo

patio lighting combo string lights outdoor ideas

Sticking to a pendant light can be boring. Try to mix your patio string light design with fairy lights.

8. Light the Bridge

bridge lighting string lights outdoor ideas

If you have an artificial pond in your backyard, it would be great if you could construct a wooden bridge and install string lights over the railings.

9. Use Shepherd Hooks

shepherd hooks string lights outdoor ideas

Using shepherd’s hooks to hang your festoon lights in your garden is a nice way to define your garden passage at night.

10. Have a Festive Perimeter Fence

perimeter fence string lights outdoor ideas

Most perimeter fences are often the unattractive part of the property. You can transform this area into a more festive space using string lights.

What’s more, adding festoon lights makes your yard look more prominent.

11. Transform Al Fresco Dining Area

al fresco lighting string lights outdoor ideas

One of the favourite outdoor string lighting ideas is scaling up the Al Fresco dining area. I love the rustic flair of the wooden pallet.

To make this outdoor exterior design one notch above the rest, use poles made of wood instead of metal rod.

Hang String Lights on Other Backyard Areas

12. Jazz up the Firepit

firepit lighting string lights outdoor ideas

We all know the illumination coming from the fire pit is already good enough. But why settle for good enough when you can have the best ambience in your backyard?

To make your fire pit area more attractive, drape some string lights on your spot and wind up fairy lights on the tree trunk. You get the best of both worlds — the natural and artificial lights.

13. Create a Specular Reflection

specular reflection string lights outdoor ideas

When you have a swimming pool at home, creating a specular reflection that adds drama to your backyard is great.

How do you do that? Hang string lights near the swimming pool, not over it, especially if you have kids at home. The reason is to avoid knocking the lights out when your family plans to use the beach balls.

When other lights are all switched off, you would that specular reflection from the water even on a moonless night.

Note: Low-voltage festoon lights are ideal for outdoor areas near or around water edges like swimming pool, fountain, ponds, and others.

14. Beautify Awkward Space

festoon lighting awkward space astring lights outdoor ideas

Awkward spaces like outdoor shower areas can turn into a stylish and exciting set-up. This alleyway was actually renovated into a Mediterranean-inspired shower area. 

Then again, areas near a water supply, make sure you buy waterproof string lights.

15. Illuminate the Back-gate

illuminate the back gate string lights outdoor ideas

A common area of the house that is given less importance is the back gate. This pathway still deserves a levelling up. As mentioned above, festoon lighting can transform almost anything.

With this outdoor string light idea, This dull backyard area can turn into something more atmospheric and welcoming.

RELATED: Simple Backyard Lighting Ideas for Beginners: 5 Tips To Create A Cozy Glow

16. Brighten up the Sleeping Nook

festoon lighting hammock string lights outdoor ideas

A traditional backyard is not complete without a hammock. A sleeping nook is always part of enjoying your outdoor to the fullest.

Being able to sleep or stargaze on a hammock on a beautiful evening is a simple joy. In the absence of the stars and moon, the next best thing is having solar festoon lights installed near the hammock.

17. Switch on Gleaming Banisters

banister festoon lighting string lights outdoor ideas

Not everyone has ample outdoor space. Some are living in an apartment with a tiny backyard. But don’t be disappointed. There are so many lighting ideas you can do for a small garden.

You can add floor lanterns, candles, and string lights. If you have a staircase, decorating the banisters with festoon or fairy lights spruce up the courtyard.

18. Dress the Hedges

hedge lighting design string lights outdoor ideas

Christmas or not, making a statement using the natural elements in your backyard is a sure hit. This lighting idea is another no-brainer. All you need to do is prepare the string lights and then weave through the shrubs.

Note: Ensure your hedge has been trimmed before adding the fairy lights.

Outdoor String Lighting Ideas when Hosting Home Events

19. Amp the Backyard Theatre

theatre lighting string lights outdoor ideas

Since lockdown, the outdoor theatre has been a trend for most homes. Now the cinemas have been reopened, some families still like to keep the outdoor theatre in their backyard.

Add some festoon lights to make your weekend movie night at home more exciting.

20. Complement the Colour Scheme

colour scheme lighting string lights outdoor ideas

When the weather permits, hosting birthdays and other special occasions outdoor is more fun and exciting. A bright outdoor backdrop requires colourful string lights. It’s one way to make your garden feel harmonious.

Hanging colourful paper lanterns certainly dresses up your surroundings a little jazzier. For a more permanent lighting fixture, opt for multi-coloured string lights.

21. Brighten the Ground

brighten the ground string lights outdoor ideas

While string lights are usually hung or suspended, it doesn’t mean you can’t brighten the ground, especially if your family wants to camp on a starry evening.

Highlight the unique set-up by positioning the globe string lights around the outdoor carpet edges.

22. Strings' n Jar Lights

strings jar lighting string lights outdoor ideas

Sometimes, the best romantic place to have dinner for two is in your backyard, especially when you are lucky to have a beautiful garden.

Why go somewhere else if you have a tree where you can hang string lights and pendant? Ditch the usual candle lights, and spruce up the spot for your dinner for two with string lights and jar lights.

Outdoor Lighting Decor

23. Illuminated Focal Point for Garden Arch

metal orb lighting string lights outdoor ideas

Adorn a hanging metal orb and transform it into an illuminated focal point for your garden arch, pergolas, or even trees.

24. Potted Bamboo Decor

bamboo fairy light string lights outdoor ideas

Regardless of the season, fairy lights can enhance your garden, patio, balcony, terrace, porch, or any room in the house.

If you have a potted bamboo, you can decorate it with fairy lights and make your space dreamy. Also, this lighting idea is great for both indoors and outdoor spaces.

25. Repurposed Pendant Lights Chandelier

pendant lighting chandelier string lights outdoor ideas

This lighting decor is a DIYer’s favourite. For someone who loves to DIY, there’s always something that can be repurposed at home.

For example, this old ladder can be recycled into a chandelier. It is definitely easy to make. You can add twigs, vines, or flowers to make it fancier.

26. Hula-hoop Light Stand

hula hoop light stand string lights outdoor ideas

There are many ways to use your old hula hoops at home. As mentioned in the fairy light ideas blog, it can be a base for string light chandeliers.

Aside from hanging it as a chandelier, you can make it into a wall lamp or floor lamp.

27. Festive Umbrellas

umbrella festoon lighting string lights outdoor ideas

We’ve seen umbrellas suspended above the street during festivals. But you do not have to wait on these occasions to enjoy these lighting decors because it is easy to recreate in your own backyard.

All you need are commercial festoon lights for outdoor and, of course, umbrellas.

28. Luminescent Glass Jar

luminescent glass jar string lights outdoor ideas

We’ve seen several mason jars used to illuminate the house. For string light outdoor ideas, however, instead of placing the mason jars on a table, you can hang them in your garden.

These luminescent glass jars are also great for verandas and small balconies.

29. Fairies in a Bottle

bottle fairy lighting string lights outdoor ideas

This lighting idea recycles empty wine bottles. The same principle with glass and mason jars, you place the fairy lights inside the empty bottle.

To prevent the bottles from toppling over, place these bottles on cement bases. You will be amazed how these recycled bottles make much of a difference in lighting your patio, deck, small garden, etc.

30. Yard Curtains

curtain lighting string lights outdoor ideas

This lighting decor is usually seen as a backdrop during an outdoor wedding. Yet, you can definitely recreate this in your garden, especially if the family loves soiree.

Things To Consider When Decorating String Lights Outdoor

festoon lighting pergola string lights outdoor ideas

String lights bring a soft and inviting glow to anyone’s home or commercial space. However, installing these outdoor lights can be tricky even with the existing support like trees, patios, pergolas, or other structures. Things can go sideways if you are not careful.

So here are some of the things you need to bear in mind before you install them:

  • First and foremost, always choose a brand that is always in stock so that when a bulb gets busted, you can replace it with the exact one.
  • Bulbs are delicate. Make sure to take them off the string before hanging them.
  • Use coaxial staples to secure your strings.
  • To evenly space out string lights, you need to map out the area. You may use a fishing line or cord to measure the length correctly.
  • To avoid string lights from sagging or even stretching, use guide wires.
  • Drape the festoon lights with some slack. It looks best that way.

Wow, 30 string lights outdoor ideas! Aren’t you excited to upgrade your backyard, patio, decks, or pergolas using string lights? Get creative and feel free to enhance these ideas. The sky is the limit when you use your imagination.

Lastly, if you’re in the middle of your own DIY lighting project and loved any of the inspiration ideas above, get in touch using our contact page! We’d love to collaborate with you.

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