No matter how swanky your backyard or outdoor space is, it won’t be welcoming without the right lighting. Lighting doesn’t just add a stylish sense of decor to your entertaining spaces — it sets the mood and ambiance for summertime memories. Of course, outdoor string lights can also act as an outdoor safety measure in the dark, as well as providing visibility for alfresco meals.
When searching for options to illuminating your patio or yard, there are plenty of choices — the tough part is narrowing it down and understanding what’s right for you. Table and overhead fixtures are ofter sought-after, but outdoor string lights offer the best of both worlds when it comes to off-season storage and an easy setup.
They come in a range of silhouettes and styles, from bigger globes to smaller fairy lights. To decorate, string them up along a fence or wrap them around trees and other plants. The aesthetic of outdoor string lights adds a sense of magic and drama to any space, providing an attractive result for a low cost. Make your home more special today with one of our top-rated selections.
1. Hampton Bay 24-Light 48 ft. String Light with S14 Single Filament LED Bulbs
With over 1,200 ecstatic reviews on Home Depot, it’s no wonder that Hampton Bay’s string lights are our #1 option. The light they give off is warm and bright, with 40 lumens. These can be used inside or outside your home, and have an Edison-shaped bulb lit with state-of-the-art LED. Since they’re made from durable plastic, you don’t have to worry about broken glass. Although the lights themselves don’t come with their own remote control, they can be linked with an external remote control unit.
2. Brightown 60 Solar LED String Lights
BEST GLOBE STYLE
Globe lights make more of a statement than your standard fairy light, and while some bulbs have an oversized silhouette, these ones are still small, providing an elegant appearance. If you don’t have electrical outlets in your outdoor space and don’t want to run a long extension cord, these solar-powered globes might be the right choice for you. One buyer adores how they’re bright, but “not too bright as to be obnoxious for the neighbors.”
3. 48-ft Addlon Outdoor Edison Vintage Bulbs
BEST EDISON STYLE
Edison style is a timeless yet modern-looking outdoor light that fits into most backyards, with a bistro feel. They’re heavy-duty with impressive construction, and offer that classic matte black coloring at the top of the fixture. They can be added together for all your lighting needs, and even placed in the basement and other indoor spaces to add charm. Rather than hanging with a cheap clip-on mechanism, each of these lights contains a hole so that you can hang them with nails for a more sturdy installation.
4. GANA 24/48-ft Color-Changing Outdoor String Lights
BEST MULTICOLOR PICK
For some, a white or yellow light just doesn’t cut it. If you’re looking for something with more of an impact, consider these outdoor string lights that don’t just change color — they auto flash based on your voice or music, making them a must for parties and get-togethers. Users appreciate the indestructible nature of these bulbs, and the unique ambient light that they provide as opposed to other lights on the market, which one reviewer calls “much brighter than other brands I’ve bought.”
5. Banord 51-ft Dimmable LED Bulbs
BEST DIMMABLE PICK
When it comes to setting the right mood with lighting, a too-dim or too-bright light can ruin everything. These adjustable sockets by Banord have a vintage look and are totally dimmable, giving them an elegant and expensive feel. Even though you might get the most use out of them in the summer, they’re designed for year-round use and are weatherproof, standing up to windy and rainy days. The images attached with multiple Amazon reviews are proof enough.
6. ZAZZIO 2-Pack Solar Powered Fairy String Lights
BEST FAIRY LIGHTS
Fairy lights might be smaller than other bulbs, but they pack quite a punch. There’s something about these delicate and twinkling lights that add a romantic and enchanting vibe. Strung on 72 feet of strong but flexible copper wire, this two-pack is completely solar-powered and waterproof. For those capturing night shots on their phones, they provide a beautiful illumination. ZAZZIO’s lights also offer eight interchangeable light modes, making them one of the most versatile picks on this roundup.
7. Westinghouse 48 ft. 24-Light Solar Powered Edison String Light with Color Change Feature and Remote
BEST REMOTE CONTROLLED PICK
Combining the best in lighting and technology, these solar-powered bulbs can be controlled by a remote. Wave goodbye to tripping over unseemly power cords — this set has multiple installation options to fit your need. Install the 24 bulbs and either stake or mount the included solar panel. While they offer the streamlined white lighting that most desire, these unusual bulbs have a color-changing function that allows you to mix things up whenever you want.
8. Hampton Bay 11 ft. Plug-In LED ST38 Vintage Bulb String Light with Seedy Cage
BEST LANTERN STYLE
Individual lanterns can be a pain to store and set up, but this stringed version makes them a more approachable purchase. These indoor and outdoor string lights by Hampton Bay last a long time and give off a warm and inviting light. Constructed from sturdy plastic, the inside has a dimpled texture with a smooth exterior. They’re ideal for any porch, canopy, or wherever else you have in mind. Up to five sets can be connected for larger spaces.
9. Wintergreen Pineapple String Lights
BEST TIKI THEME
We’re not opposed to a little kitsch here and there, and this set has just the right amount. These tiki-themed outdoor string lights can add a quirky sense of playfulness to any outdoor space, and if you’re not into palm trees, these mini pineapple string lights offer a fun, tropically adjacent alternative. Whether your backyard is a bit too minimalist or you’re looking to infuse just the right amount of personality, these tiki lights will get the job done.