Wednesday, November 23, 2022
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How To Hang Patio Lights On Deck

Hang String Lights From A Ceiling Or Covered Patio

How to hang patio string lights

April from Love Our Real Life has a roof over her deck, and she has a great tutorial for hanging patio lights from the ceiling.

I hung string lights in the kids playhouse using a similar method- small cup hooks in the rafters. It takes 5 minutes to hang the lights up each Spring and take them down at the end of the Summer. You can see the whole playhouse makeover here.

Emily from Table & Hearth used a similar method to hang her string lights under her covered patio but she hung them in a criss-cross pattern.

I hope these tutorials were helpful! Now go enjoy your outdoor living space!


How To Hang Patio Lights

With a little planning, patio string lights have the unique ability to make any outdoor space more exciting. We made this guide for anyone looking to get started.

Turn your dark, unused outdoor spaces into a nighttime oasis with the help of patio lights! Hanging patio lights across the backyard, deck or inside of an outdoor structure like a gazebo or pergola is a perfect way to add ambient landscape lighting for every day use, parties and outdoor events. Scroll down a little to start at the beginning or click on one of the links below this text to skip straight to the patio lights topic you’re looking for!

With a little planning, patio string lights have the unique ability to make any outdoor space more exciting. We made this guide for anyone looking to get started.

Hanging Patio Lights Guide

How to Hang Patio Lights


The installation process can vary depending on where and how you decide to hang your patio lights. To get you started, we’ve created a list of the basic steps, supplies you might need and methods to use.

Supplies You Might Need

  • Hooks- these could be screw-in hooks or another variety.
  • Zip ties

Hanging Patio String Lights Basic Steps

  • Draw a rough sketch with measurements
  • Assemble your poles if applicable
  • Hang your first patio light string with the male plug closest to your outlet.
  • Plug your patio lights in and enjoy the ambiance!
  • Where To Hang Patio Lights

    • Across the backyard or deck
    • Attached to Trees

    DIY Patio Light Pole


    Tools And Supplies Needed

    • 16 foot pressure treated 4×4. We got ours from Lowes;
    • C hooks to secure the lights to the posts
    • ladder for hanging the lights
    • Post hole digger or shovel

    Weve also written about outdoor Christmas lights ideas if its that time of year for you.

    Figure out if youre using your house for part of this or if you need to string the lights using only the posts. If the house isnt involved, then youll need 3, 4, or more posts to make the area that youre stringing lights in.

    Youll want to figure out where you want the posts to go in your outdoor space so it will look right and mostly line up around the area where youre hanging the lights.

    We used the house, but we were also covering a large area, so we used 3 4×4 posts.

    With the post hole diggers or the shovel start digging the hole for the first post. Since youll need about 3 feet to go in the ground, we got the 16 foot pressure treated posts.


    Now do the same with the other holes. Give it a good distance from the first one and make sure it makes like a square or rectangle area for the lights.

    Once the posts are in, you can use your ladder to go to the best area at the top of the post to screw in the C hooks.

    Now you can start running your lights.

    Actually, you want to test your lights first. We assumed theyd work and found out after running them, that one part was burnt out.

    If youre looking for ways to hang string lights without nails, here are some ideas.


    You can cut the PVC down to 2 foot lengths and angle one side.

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    Screw The Screw Eye Hooks Into Place

    Hanging string lights without the use of nails is my preference. Screw hooks are more durable!

    We opted to put up screw hooks to fasten the lights into place every 4 to 5 bulbs. Our home sits up fairly high and gets A LOT of strong wind gusts. ;So, I was concerned the bulbs could potentially break if they were not secured well.

    There have been several storms since we’ve put our lights up and this appears to work well for our location.


    PRO TIP: Use a drill to start the hole prior to screwing in the screw hooks. Makes the process a lot easier!

    I highly recommend getting the heavy duty lights. ;They are made to withstand the elements!;With most commercial grade string lights, the bulbs are spaced every 24 inches. At the top of every bulb there is a molded loop to making hanging easier.

    This leads me to the next step.

    How To Hang Gorgeous Globe String Lights Under A Deck

    How to Hang Patio Lights

    This is one of those posts that I debated writing because I wasnt sure if it would be silly to dedicate a whole post to hanging;outdoor string lights. I decided to write it because, after researching existing tutorials, I realized that most of them were for hanging string lights on decks or patiosnot under second-story decks.

    You might think that the requirements would be the same. Alasthey are not. At least for us they werent. Thats because hanging the string lights under a deck shields them somewhat from mother nature. I felt like some of the tutorials were overkill. Rigging up guy wire? Using heavy duty carabiners? It seems like overkill to me for what we wanted to do.


    So here are my tips for hanging string lights under a deck.

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    Whats The Best Type Of String Lights

    Bottom line, these are the best and most durable string lights around. Theyre LED, heavy-duty, and will last for many years. If you want to keep your lights up year-round, intend to use them for several years in a row, or are using them for some kind of commercial application, these are your best bet.

    Ive had these high-quality lights over my patio for the past four years, and never had any problems with them. I will note that I take them down for the winter months, since we get freezing temperatures and some serious wind storms here in Seattle.

    Measure The Space To Determine How Many Lights You Will Need

    There are so many options for the configurations of the string lights. ;Do what works for you and your space.;We changed our minds several times, but in the end, we just went with what made the most sense for our deck.

    If you have a challenging layout, you might find criss crossing your lights helps to pull the look together. In my opinion, draping the string lights always adds a pretty touch.

    Since my sister gifted the lights to us, I knew we had a total of 48 feet of cord to work with .;In some ways, being “limited” made it easier as we knew exactly the length we were working with.

    Ensure a plugin/electrical outlet is conveniently located to the starting point of your string lights when you are determining your configuration.

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    The Easiest Way To Hang String Lights On Your Deck

    Learn how to hang outdoor string lights on a deck. Its a simple task with only a few materials needed.

    How To Hang String Lights On a Deck

    Weve been using our deck space so much more this summer now that we can spend our evenings out here, even when the sun sets and it gets dark. Thanks to this pretty string lights overhead, weve created a really beautiful ambience and glow on our deck that keeps up out here until late every night.

    Can you see the wooden stake on the top right hand side of our deck? Thats all you need to hang string lights! If like us, you dont have an sort of overheard structure like a gazebo to hang lights from, then this easy DIY will be something youll love. In only 30 minutes, youll have those pretty string lights draped over your deck or patio and you can start to enjoy them!

    *Posts on JennaKatetatHome.com may contain affiliate links. See full disclosure HERE*

    String Lights On Umbrella

    How to hang string lights for your patio

    If you dont have a gazebo, but you have an umbrella, you can add string lights to it. Then you can keep the umbrella open at night to showcase the lighting.

    If you prefer, you can also look for umbrellas that already have integrated lighting in them. We love our cantilever umbrella with integrated led lights that we got from Lowes.

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    Decide How You Will Hang Your Outdoor String Lights

    There are six popular ways to hang your outdoor string lights. The easiest methods are probably parallel and V-shaped, pictured below.

    • 1) Parallel
    • Gazebos or pergolas
    • Pavilions

    For softer wood like your porch, fences, or deck posts, you may want to use wall anchors to secure the hooks in place. Wall anchors are not mandatory, but if you can anchor your lights into a solid piece of wood like a stud, that will provide fantastic support for a long time.;

    You dont need to add additional anchors of any kind for trees.

    Summary Of Hanging String Lights Under Covered Patio Or Deck

    Seriously, this is the easiest project ever. Adding string lights to our deck makes our evening more magical. The lights look glorious during sunset hours. I just love to get away from the noise of what a big family offers and just sit and relax with a cup of hot chocolate. The glow is charming and provides a surprising amount of light.

    While it is true that bugs are less attracted to these LED lights as compared to my regular fan lighting, I now had a new appreciation for what my screened in patio could do for me. Check out our project on restoring our deck patio furniture here!

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    How To Install Poles To Hang Outdoor String Lights In Your Backyard

    Lighting makes outdoor spaces feel inviting. Here’s a simple, sturdy way to hang those pretty string lights you’ve been eyeing.;

    Ready your outdoor space for al fresco dining and bonfire season with the warm glow of string lights. If you don’t have any deck or porch posts accessible or trees you can use to string outdoor lights, this backyard project can help you suspend lights anywhere with minimal effort. Long vertical poles secured with concrete footings are an easy way to support twinkling string lights and are sturdy enough to stay up for the entire summer season. A little carpentry work and a few basic supplies are all that’s required, and this DIY project can be done in one day. See how we did it below, and check out our expert advice to hang string lights correctly the first time.

    • Working time3 hrs
    • Start to finish1 day
    • DifficultyKind of Easy
    • InvolvesPouring Concrete, Carpentry Skills
    • 1-inch diameter PVC pipeQty:1
    • 3/4-inch conduitQty:1

    Set Concrete

    Create a sturdy base for the lighting supports using concrete and PVC pipes. Sink concrete forms at each end or corner of your patio or backyard area. Make sure the concrete forms are set deep enough to go below the frost line, which varies by region. Center a same-height piece of 1-inch-diameter PVC pipe inside and fill form around the pipe with concrete.

    Cut Pipes

    Drill Holes

    Finish Poles

    Hang String Lights

    Tip : Invest In Decent

    How to Hang String Lights on Covered Patio

    This does not mean you need to drop hundreds of dollars on lights. It just means that you might not want to buy the cheapest option you can find. I spent an entire 2-hour Ramona nap one day browsing string lights and reading reviews.

    If you search outdoor string lights or outdoor globe lights on Google or Amazon, you get approximately 900 billion results to sort through. I quickly realized that the prices were much better on Amazon than they were through Target, so I started reading through Amazon reviews.

    I settled on the;black globe string lights, way cheaper than the options at Target, from the Outdoor Lighting Store for a few reasons:

    • Reviews were great.
    • The lights came with extra bulbs.
    • Zip ties were included as well.
    • They claimed to have a warm glow instead of a bright white light.
    • Each strand could be connected to one another.
    • The company offered a two-year warranty and seemed to have pretty good customer service. You could also order new bulbs, which can be difficult with some string lights.

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    How To Hang Outdoor String Lights From Diy Posts: Fill Planter With Concrete

    Place the unpainted end of a 2 x 2 x 8 post in each of the planters. Divide the dry concrete mix evenly over the planters. Add water to the concrete mix according to the manufacturers instructions and stir with a stick until well combined.

    Sam Henderson

    Place the planter on level ground and use a level on one side to make the post plumb. Add painter’s tape across the planter on all four sides of the post to hold it in position. Allow the concrete to harden according to the manufacturers instructions before proceeding.

    How To Hang Outdoor Lights From Trees

    If youve got big trees near your patio or deck, youre in luck! You can use eye hooks, cup hooks, or coaxial staples to secure them to the tree.

    Cyndy from The Creativity Exchange anchored her patio lights to a tree in this beautiful outdoor dining space.

    Ariel from PMQ for Two made use of some nearby trees to hang lights over her super-fun outdoor living room.

    Or drape them in the lower branches of a tree, like my friend Kippi did for this gorgeous backyard 4th of July party.

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    Best Places To Use Industrial Led String Lights

    • spanning a long distance between trees, posts, or buildings
    • restaurant patios
    • over a deck or patio without a roof
    • windy locations

    But as you might predict, industrial-quality LED string lights are also the most expensive. If youre on a tight budget, you might want to consider something inexpensive, like this basic set from Target.

    Best Places To Use Inexpensive String Lights

    How To Hang Patio Lights

    Inexpensive patio lights can work really well when theyre hung in a protected location, and when theyre not likely to get jostled or blown around in the wind. Here are a couple of places where they might serve your needs just fine:

    • hung along a fence
    • hung directly on a house or building

    A couple of other benefits of these smaller, more budget-friendly string lights is theyre undeniably cuter, lighter-weight, and take up less storage space when not in use. Just dont plan to leave them up year-round if you live in a harsh or windy climate.

    Here you can see the inexpensive lights I hung in my kids playhouse below.

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    How To Hang String Lights Over A Deck

    If your deck has a railing, you can attach DIY posts to the existing railing to extend their height. The ideal height will probably be eight or nine feet, depending on which style of lights you choose, and how much you want to swag them.

    Then use cup hooks or screw eyes to attach the light strands to the tops of each post.

    Freestanding Solution For Hanging String Lights

    If youre looking for a great way to illuminate your outdoor living areas, string lights are great option. String lights can enhance a patio or outdoor space by adding a warm glow and dispersed light, but they can be tricky to hang if you dont have trees or other tall objects to string them from.

    We recently had a similar issue where we needed to utilize a freestanding cable solution in order to run string lights around the outer edge of our patio.

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    How High Should Patio String Lights Be

    Always be careful hanging patio string lights along peoples walking paths. Small, thin strings of outdoor lights are difficult to see when not turned on.

    You dont want to be responsible for someone clothes-lining themselves! Its hard to tell you a definitive height, considering it largely depends on the height of the tallest person on your patio! However, 9-10 feet is a good rule of thumb.

    Why 9 to 10 feet? Its 4-5 feet taller than an average-sized human being. The lights will naturally hang down and sag over time, so youll want a bit of breathing room.

    Commercial Outdoor String Lights

    How to Hang Patio Lights

    Any amount of string lights can add magic, but I knew two things: I wanted lots of light , and I wanted them not to break.

    I began by choosing the type of lights that would provide the most light and ambiance for our outdoor living space. Globe lights were going to give us more light: enough for outdoor dining and yard games. But I decided that a vintage style globe light provided more ambiance than simple round lights.

    I then compared regular string lights to commercial grade lights, and it was no competition. I read reviews and compared and decided that these commercial grade vintage-style string lights were the way to go.

    Even better, theyre LED, which should last longer, stay cool to the touch, and allows for more strands to be connected together from a single outlet because the wattage per bulb is lower. If you need a lot of strands, the price can certainly add up. But I think its worth it to have something that should survive the outdoors and last for years to come.

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