Be it an exotic summer wedding, or a lively birthday party, or even you taking some time off sitting all by yourself, your outdoor space holds great value in all these circumstances. A dull atmosphere can bring the spirits down! Are you also bored with the same old monotonous look outside? Don’t worry anymore as we bring to you the best outdoor string lights of 2021 to help revamp your surroundings!
String lights have become so common for Christmas and Halloween that almost every light store is selling some brand or the other! Well, so many choices can make your decision tougher at times. So we’ve decided to list down our picks ranging from elegant strands ideal for smaller gatherings to decorated ones bringing life to major events! Sit tight as we review these picks and highlight some key guidelines to make your buying decision easier!
Do you prefer to control your lighting by adjusting its brightness? Addlon’s string lights are 48 feet long and come with a dimmer switch to adjust brightness according to your mood. Get ready to be relieved of stressing out about the harsh weather as these strands are durable to wet and damp conditions! The string wires are jacketed with a strong PVC coating and the connectors are made of pure copper to make for a high quality product.
You can attach 15 11W bulbs to convenient hanging sockets that are strong enough to light up any party! The connectors can also power upto 5 strands at one time.
Strong insulation makes the string lights suitable for all kinds of outdoors
An ideal space between the lightbulbs (around 3 feet) gives a nice warm look
Saving energy has become a priority in today’s world. These Patio lights not only beautify the warmest events but also make sure you sustainably use electricity while doing so. The set comes with 25 5W bulbs that can be dimmed according to the atmosphere you want to maintain in the room.
We love how simple these strands are to hang up; You can focus upon the more important things on the day of your party. We all know how stressful rain, hail, and bad wind can be, but not for these certified strings as their decks are waterproof and can withstand all kinds of temperatures. Besides, bistro lights are not only aesthetic but also highly durable.
The strings come in 3 different lengths to cater to variating needs
The connectors can bear up to 3 strands
Suitable look for weddings, Christmas, and even regular balconies
Are you more of a vintage person? If you are, we’ve found the right pick for you! The brand new LED light source has its merits but some people prefer the touch of incandescent light bulbs that provide a serene warm glow to the room. The sunthin string lights come with an additional dimmable feature which makes their glow even more appealing.
Its connectors can also power upto 5 strands making for an ideal size to light up a mid-sized gathering. The pack comes with 18 11W bulbs that can be hung upon strongly gripping sockets. These strands are resistant to harsh temperatures and are hence long-lasting. A strongly coated wiring also makes the usage convenient and safe.
Its bulbs can be replaced if damaged
A parallel circuit means one bad bulb won’t affect the entire string
Let’s now move onto a greener source of energy. Solar lights have a very different touch to them. They’re not only eco-friendly but also help save excessive electricity cost in the long-run. Besides their source, these lights come in LED strands which further enhance the glow and make them even more cost-effective.
Their solar panels are also considerably larger and come with heavier batteries to maintain the charging levels for a longer time period. The strands are made of copper wiring which make the lights even stronger. Don’t worry about the tangles as these strings are easy to carry and install!
These LED lights support 8 separate modes that can be used according to different occasions
A 72 feet string is enough to decorate a large area
Well we just love incandescent light bulbs and so we picked another one of those for this list. They come in the form of an exotic 49 feet long string that can hold upto 15 socket hangers. The socket type is E 26 which supports higher watt bulbs to give a glowy look to your outdoors.
15 11W bulbs hanging up on a string do make up a truly appalling atmosphere. The connectors can be used to link upto 5 strands together if you’re throwing a bigger party. The strings are very light and durable at the same time. The PVC coating on top and copper wires at the ends make for a safe installation experience.
The strands are waterproof and hence can withstand some rain
A dimmer switch allows you to adjust the brightness according to the occasion
A slightly cheaper option
The dimmer kit has to be purchased separately
Buying Guide for the Best Outdoor String Lights
The backyard and patio lighting has become so common in recent times. It just gives a festive and relaxing look at the same time. You should personally experience looking out at your fully lighted patio with a soothing book in one hand and a nice warm cup of coffee in the other. Well to enjoy this feeling to the utmost you obviously need to choose the best option available. Let’s help make that path easier for you.
Major Types Of String Lights
Although you might find various kinds of light sources when looking for strings to beautify your backyard, we’ll review the two most common and reliable ones.
Incandescent Light Bulbs
These are your classic bulbs that heat up the wire to produce light. If you’ve grown up in an old-school festive house then this is the lighting you’re most aware of. These exotic bulbs are fascinating at rendering color. The warm look your patio will get after being decorated with these string lights will be unmatched. These bulbs are also quite cheap to replace.
However, you’re in for much higher electricity bills as the consumption patterns are quite conventional. You’ll also notice that these bulbs heat up pretty quickly and are quite fragile; they can shatter when dropped. We also wouldn’t suggest these strings for smaller areas as they fail to focus the light in one particular direction.
This is an option for a more contemporary and focused outlook. LED lights come in the form of technically sound and highly durable strings that are easy to install in any backyard. The highly advanced diode-based technology not only helps focus the lighting on particular spots but also consumes way lesser electricity. Besides, these strings do not heat up very easily.
These lights are long-lasting and unlike the first option, are very sturdy. Unlike CFL bulbs, they’re also great at rendering color. Well, they are slightly more expensive but generally require very low maintenance after installation.
Top Features To Look Out For
Now you know how different kinds of lights can vary in function and consumption. Let’s get to how you can find the best outdoor string lights for your patio!
This is a quality of any high-quality product. For string lights, however, you need to be sure that the bulbs, strands, stringers, and string wires are all quite sturdy! We made sure to look out for you by only opting for strands that are resistant to water and can withstand the harsh surroundings of the outdoors. What good would lighting be if it could not withstand some heavy rain or a strong breeze?
Similarly, the bulbs should be longer-lasting. Nobody likes to regularly maintain the lights! We’ve also only opted for strings with a parallel circuit to ensure one bad bulb won’t affect the entire look.
Although wire durability has been mentioned in the last heading, we wanted to give some more details. The wires are actually very important components. They not only ensure a safe and smooth flow of current but also very much determine the life-cycle of the bulb and the quality of lighting.
Our options come with PVC-coated strings that avoid excessive heating or shock transmission. The high-grade copper ends also ensure proper insulation and keep your consumption levels under check. The wire gauge is also vital to look at. You might want a lower-gauge option for longer strings, but we generally suggest an 18 gauge wire for peak performance and longevity.
This might seem trivial at the time but is extremely important. We’ve come across many string lights that are heavy and can tangle up easily. You’d be spending hours to get those wires in place and finally get to the installation process. You rather need a lightweight and yet sturdy string that comes with an instruction manual to help guide you through the procedure. You definitely have better things to worry about on the day!
Color And Look
We can talk about longevity all day long but it doesn’t change the fact that the beauty of any lighting lies in its colors. Some bulbs are too dull and others are annoyingly bright. We’ve made sure to select the most moderate ones that come with dimmer switches. This helps give you control over the brightness and change it according to the occasion. Who doesn’t love dimming the lights for a slow dance right?
As much as we’d love to please our aesthetic senses we have to do so under a limited budget. Cost is not only restricted to the price of the product, but also its consumption patterns and longevity. This will of course determine the long-term maintenance costs of the exotic string lights beautifying your serene backyard.
We’ve said this a million times and we’ll reinforce it again! Always look out for reliable brands that are well-known in the market. Believe us, this won’t only enhance your user experience, but you’ll be grateful for the marvelous customer service and amazing return policies offered upon your purchase.
Outdoor String Light FAQ
Q: Can you leave string lights out in winter?
A: It really depends upon the kind of string lights you’ve bought. Many festive lights are made using cheap quality material and can be easily damaged by some hail or a strong breeze. However, the best string lights are resistant to water and such harsh surroundings and can be safely left outdoors in winters.
Q: How do I keep bugs off my patio string lights?
A: LED lights can resist bugs to a certain extent but you’ll have to take extra measures to completely get rid of them! Go for orange lights and try putting a bug zapper nearby. Also, keep cleaner surroundings and remove any still water nearby. This will help avoid the tiny creatures for quite some time.
Q: How far apart should outdoor string lights be?
A: It depends on your preference. We generally suggest lights that are spaced 3-feet apart. This makes for an ideal focus of color while also paving the path for a safer and smoother circuit flow.
Q: Do string lights use a lot of electricity?
A: Some string lights can drastically increase your electricity consumption. If you want a more efficient product, opt for the latest LED lights on this list. Their low-maintenance requirements and coherent consumption patterns make for the best outdoor string lights.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.