The Best Backyard String Lights

It’s evening time. You’re out in the backyard with your friends. The weather is fine and you all feel like partying. The only problem is it’s too dark. The light from inside the house isn’t enough to. The mood dies down and everybody is ready to go home. But then you turn on your string lights in the backyard and get the party started.

Not all string lights are created equal. Some are better than others. Our editor choice for the best string lights has to be 50ft Black String Lights, 60 G40 Globe Bulbs. They’re easy to connect, weather-resistant, and with their dreamy light, they turn your backyard into the right setting for parties, romantic evenings, and weddings.

We reviewed the best backyard string lights in the market taking into consideration features such as water resistance, durability, design, and energy efficiency. We settled on the following 13 products as each has something unique to offer.

21 Best Backyard String Lights Reviews

1. 50ft Black String Lights, 60 G40 Globe Bulbs (10 Extra), Connectable, Waterproof, Indoor-Outdoor Globe String Lights for Patios, Parties, Weddings, Backyards, Porches, Gazebos, Pergolas

What you want from your string lights is that they’re dependable, waterproof, multi-purpose, and they fit anywhere you place them. And that’s exactly what these lights are designed to do. If you’re looking for lights that decorate your backyard, patio, porch, gazebo, or pergola, this is the one for you.The design of these lights won’t let you down either. The socket has the shape of a candelabra and each bulb is about the size of a golf ball. This serves a dual purpose. It gives your outdoor space a great aesthetic value while consuming less power. Each bulb uses 5 watts of power which is quite efficient.

The bulbs emit a beautiful white light that doesn’t cause a glare or blind the eyes. You can create any design you like with these 50 feet of string lights and turn any backyard into a relaxing place to enjoy a great time with family and friends.

Pros:

  • Waterproof, versatile, and dependable.
  • Emit warm white light without any glare.
  • 50 feet in length with extra 10 bulbs as backup.
  • Durable and long lasting.
  • Two-year warranty.

Cons:

  • Not enough zip ties included.
  • Only works on 110 volts.

2. SUNTHIN 48ft LED String of Lights with 15 Pcs E26 Sockets and Hanging Loops 18 Pcs 0.9 Watt S14 Bulbs 3 Spares Indoor Outdoor String Lights Commercial String Lights Patio Lights Light Strings

Sunthin is an old name in the world of outdoor decorative lights. Its products are known for their quality and durability. These string lights don’t disappoint. In fact, they have an extra feature that will make you tingle all over with excitement.

I’m talking of course about the dimming quality of the lights. You’ll need to get the Sunthin dimmer to have this work. But once you do, you’ll never go back. The dimming lights create a great dynamic to the backyard which your guests will appreciate.The pack has 96 feet in total of string lights. Each string has 48 feet. This should be enough to decorate the most spacious of backyards and then some. They’re LED bulbs. And you know what that means. No bugs, no high electricity consumption, and no glare.

Each strand comes with a mix of shatterproof  and regular bulbs. The shatterproof bulbs, 18 in total, are made of plastic and are durable. The 15 other bulbs are made of glass and, yes, they break.

Pros:

  • LED bulbs that are energy-efficient and bug repellent.
  • Shatterproof bulbs included.
  • 96 feet of lights in two strands.
  • Dimmable lights.

Cons:

  • Requires a dimmer which is sold separately.
  • Sockets overheat and melt.

3. Mpow 49ft Led Outdoor String Lights, Heavy-Duty Waterproof Dimmable Led String Lights, 15 Hanging Sockets, 1.5W Edison Vintage Bulb, Commercial Grade Create Cafe Ambience for Patio Backyard – Black

The Mpow LED string lights have something going for them. They can really turn your backyard into a cafe. I’m talking about the ambience, of course. You won’t be getting total strangers barging into your backyard and ordering drinks. But it will feel that way once you’ve them strung all over the place.

The lights are heavy-duty, weather-proof, and commercial grade. What this means is that you will be getting strands of lights insulated with layers of protection that can withstand the heat of the sun, the pouring rain, and even snow.You won’t have trouble installing these lights. They come with cup hooks, guide wires, and zip ties to help you string them anywhere you like. You can connect up to 23 strands end-to-end without a hassle. Just remember to take out the bulbs before installation to avoid breaking them.

On the downside, although the strands are easy to connect to each other, once you hang them, they come apart easily too. So consider using an eye hole at the end of the strand to secure it tightly with a zip tie.

Pros:

  • Waterproof and creates a cafe ambience.
  • Weather-proof with layers of insulation.
  • Easy to install.
  • LED lights.

Cons:

  • Connected strands break apart easily.
  • No spare bulbs included.

4. SUNTHIN Pack of 2 48ft String of Lights with 15 x E26 Sockets and Hanging Loops 18 x 11 Watt S14 Bulbs 3 Spares Indoor Outdoor String Lights Commercial String Lights Patio Lights Light Strings

Another product from Sunthin which promises to turn your backyard into a well-lit stage with its commercial grade outdoor lights. As usual, Sunthin is generous with the hanging loops and female plugs for easy connection the strands.Safety is another feature of this product. All the lights have been tested to meet the safety standards for outdoor lighting. In addition, both the wiring and sockets are made from weather-resistant material.

The pack has 2 strings with a total of 96 feet. The incandescent bulbs tend to use a lot of electricity. You get 3 spare bulbs with this package.

Pros:

  • Easy to connect with female plugs.
  • Weather-resistant and compliant with safety standards.
  • 3 spare bulbs included.

Cons:

  • Incandescent bulbs.
  • Not energy efficient.

5. Outdoor String Lights Led 48 Ft,Waterproof Commercial Grade Heavy Duty Connectable Edison String Light with 15 Vintage Bulbs and 1 Spare Bulb UL listed,String Lighting for Patio Garden Wedding Party

These string lights from Fule promise to turn your backyard into a bistro. That’s a step up from a cafe. If you’re wondering how it will achieve that. Wonder no more. The heavy-duty, commercial-grade lights give off a warm and soft ambience.The LED bulbs save energy and since they’re made of plastic, they’re not easy to break. Each bulb is one watt so your total consumption is about 15 watts in total. That’s hardly noticeable by your electricity meter’s standards.

They’re easy to install with plenty of cup holders, zip ties, and built-in loops. This product is also waterproof so you won’t have problems when it rains.

Pros:

  • Commercial-grade lights with warm and soft ambience.
  • LED energy-efficient bulbs.
  • Built-in loops for easy installation.

Cons:

  • Some sockets are dead out of the box.

6. Lemontec Commercial Grade Outdoor String Lights with 15 Hanging Sockets – 48 Ft Black Weatherproof Cord Weatherproof Strand for Patio Garden Porch Backyard Party Deck Yard – S14 Black

Lemontec is a trusted name in the world of lighting. The warm white light of these bulbs has the ability to give your backyard a new look. The black casing complements the white light to create a great atmosphere befitting any occasion.Durability is a distinguishing feature of these lights and you can rely on their quality of material and rugged looks to serve you for a long time. The dimmer mood lets you choose the ambience you prefer. From bright for festivities to dim for more private gatherings.

Installation is a breeze. You have 3 feet of spacing between each bulb which lets you get creative with your designs. Just remember to take the bulbs out before installing the lights.

Pros:

  • Rugged build.
  • Warm white light in black sockets.
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Too much spacing between bulbs.

7. addlon 48 FT Outdoor String Lights Commercial Great Weatherproof Strand Edison Vintage Bulbs 15 Hanging Sockets, UL Listed Heavy-Duty Decorative Café Patio Lights for Bistro Garden

Not every string lights can brag about turning your backyard into a cafe and a bistro at the same time. But that’s what these lights from addlon claim to do. Is it a marketing gimmick? Not really. These lights have a dimmer switch that gives you the flexibility to change the lighting and change the mood as well.The bulbs are incandescent which is a drawback both in energy consumption and durability. However, the weatherproof and heavy-duty commercial lights have their own charms as well.

One of those charms is the ease of installation. Each socket has its own hook which comes handy when you’re trying to create a design with light.

Pros:

  • Ideal for outdoor lighting.
  • A hook for each socket for easy installation.
  • Dimming light to set the right mood.

Cons:

  • Incandescent bulbs.
  • No extra lights included.

8. Amico 49FT Outdoor String Lights Commercial Grade Weatherproof Dimmable Patio Light String – 11W Incandescent Edison Bulb – UL Listed Heavy-Duty Decorative Yard Bistro Market Café Lights

Safety is the Amico’s claim for fame. It’s UL listed with IP65 rated cords that can handle any weather conditions. Rain, snow, or scorching sun. These string lights can take it all and still shine.These lights have a lot of applications and you can use them in just about any situation that requires extra lighting. You can use it to prep your backyard for a wedding, a celebration, or just a friendly get-together over beers.

Hanging the Amico lights is easy. With each socket having its own hook, you can get artsy with your lights and amaze your friends with your skills.

Pros:

  • UL listed with IP65 rated for safety.
  • Suitable for all social occasions.
  • Easy to hang.

Cons:

  • Not LED bulbs.
  • Bulbs are super thin.

9. addlon LED Outdoor String Lights 48FT with 2W Dimmable Edison Vintage Plastic Bulbs and Commercial Great Weatherproof Strand – UL Listed Heavy-Duty Decorative LED Café Patio Light, Porch Market Light

Another outstanding product from addlon. This one has LED lights, plastic bulbs, and can be used to create all sorts of decorative lights in your backyard. The heavy-duty and weatherproof strands give you the durability you expect from LED lights.The extra layers of insulation makes them ideal to hang in your backyard and keep them on all year round. Neither the heat of the sun nor the dampness of the weather will diminish their quality.

You can dim the lights to create a soft and romantic mood or increase them to get everybody in the right mood to party and celebrate. Dimming the lights works with a switch and it’s easy to operate. In addition, these lights can turn your backyard into an Italian bistro or give it a vintage ambience.

Pros:

  • LED lights and shatterproof plastic bulbs.
  • Dimming the lights according to the mood.
  • Give the backyard a vintage ambience.

Cons:

  • Lights not bright enough.
  • Bulbs burn out quickly.

10. Brightech Ambience Pro – Waterproof LED Outdoor String Lights – Hanging, Dimmable 2W Vintage Edison Bulbs – 48 Ft Commercial Grade Patio Lights Create Cafe Ambience in Your Backyard- Warm White

How would you like to turn your backyard into a retreat? Forget about the cafe or bistro ambience. This is a different atmosphere that will make your feel relaxed and at peace with the world. If you’re down for it, then Brightech Ambience Pro are the lights you’ve been looking for.Even if you plan to break out of your retreat and invite your friends over for a BBQ and a few cold ones. These lights won’t let you down. They’re bright enough for any social event you plan.

You can hook together 40 strands without blowing up your circuit breaker. These are LED bulbs after all and even if you connect all 48 feet of them to one breaker, the meter won’t even notice. The retro Edison filaments create the right atmosphere from the romantic to the festive.

Pros:

  • Retro Edison filaments to turn your backyard into a retreat.
  • Lights bright enough to have a BBQ.
  • LED lights save on energy.

Cons:

  • Bulbs get cloudy after use.
  • Connecting strands not easy.

11. String Light Company SL4815BLUE Vintage Series 48-Ft String Lights with 15 Light Sockets and 15 Cobalt Blue Bulbs

String Light Company came up with something that sets it apart from the pack. It’s not exactly new, since it’s actually Old World. That’s right, these lights will take you back to the time when Edison was rolling out his old-fashioned bulbs.So if you like to take your backyard back to the 19th century, these cobalt blue 11 watt bulbs will do the trick. You get 38 feet of string lights with 3 foot spacing. Each one of the molded rubber sockets has a hanging loop for easy installation.

The sockets also tend to drop off the cord which makes them convenient for hanging over eaves, tree branches, and any structures in your backyard. The weatherproof lights are good for all seasons and weather conditions.

Pros:

  • Old-world ambience.
  • Cobalt blue 11 watt bulbs.
  • Molded rubber sockets with a loop.

Cons:

  • No spare bulbs and they burn out fast.
  • Unit is not grounded.

12. FOXLUX Outdoor String Lights – 48 ft Shatterproof and Waterproof Heavy-Duty LED Outdoor Lights – 15 Hanging Sockets, 1 W Plastic Bulbs – Create Ambience for Patio, Backyard, Garden, Bistro, Cafe

Foxlux Outdoor String Lights don’t beat around the bush. They’re mainly here to create a romantic atmosphere to help you relax with your loved one. The lights switch between cold and warm tones to reflect your own moods and intentions.The strands are made from rubber with extra flexibility. This makes them easy to string around posts and trees and the hooks will fix them to any place you fancy. The sockets and LED bulbs are made of plastic for extra safety even in wet weather.

The Foxlux lights claim to go on for 25,000 hours of service. This figure is not an exaggeration with LED bulbs that use LED filaments as opposed to tungsten filaments.

Pros:

  • LED filaments can last up to 25,000 hours.
  • Flexible rubber strands.
  • Cold and warm lights.

Cons:

  • Strands don’t stay connected.
  • Packaging is defective.

13. Enbrighten 37790, Black, Vintage Seasons LED Warm White & Color Changing Café String Lights, 48ft, 24 Premium Impact Resistant Lifetime Bulbs, Wireless, Weatherproof, Indoor/Outdoor, 48 ft

Enbrighten 37790 creates a sophisticated atmosphere that can put anyone at ease. It’s the perfect setting to invite your partner for a romantic evening in the backyard. It also works for other spaces such as the gazebo,  porch, deck, or patio.You also get a lot of options as regarding the colors of the lights. There’s a color for any mood or occasion. You can change the color remotely and create your own fantasy world right in your backyard.

The lights combines style and functionality and can be used both indoors and outdoors. They come with a lifetime warranty as a testament to their quality and durability.

Pros:

  • Lifetime warranty.
  • 16 color options that can be changed remotely.
  • Easy to link and install.
  • Sophisticated ambience.

Cons:

  • Lights not bright enough.
  • Heavy and need extra support.

Things to Consider Before Buying

Before you take the plunge and splurge on string lights for your backyard, you need to know what makes one product more suitable for you than the rest. Here’s what you need to look for.

Water Resistance

So you’re having your party or get-together and suddenly it starts to rain. There’s no time to save the food or the beer for that matter. You just run under the nearest roof to get out of the rain. So how about all those string lights being hammered with the rain?

If they’re not water-resistant, your goose is cooked. If it rains or snows without a warning, you won’t want those quaint bulbs to turn into explosives sending glass shards and sparks everywhere.

So make sure your string lights are waterproof and can handle all types of weather conditions from the glaring sun to the pouring rain. And they certainly have to be strong to withstand the howling wind.

Efficiency and Durability

Bulbs do burn out. That’s just a sad fact of life. Just like your dog was taken to a farm in Upstate New York when you were a kid, your string lights will meet their demise sooner or later. Only you’d prefer that this would be later rather than sooner.

That’s where durability comes in. All bulbs have a shelf life, but you’d want to invest in ones that can stick with you a little bit longer. And also consume less energy. Which brings us to efficiency.

When you have 50 bulbs casting a dreamy light on your backyard and enveloping your girlfriend in all kinds of suggestive shades, the last thing you’ll think of is how much power these 50 bulbs are eating up. Well, you should think about that before the electricity bill drops on you like a sledgehammer.

Lights Design

Not all string lights work for the outdoors. Some are specifically designed for homes and Christmas trees where the only risk is if your cat knocks them down. But we’re talking about backyard lights.

So they have to have waterproof sockets, can dance with the wind without crashing down over the heads of the guest. And most of all you’d want to make sure that the bulbs are easy to replace. This is a design issue that will make your life a whole lot easier down the line.

Another point about lights design before me move on, is the light effects. Some string lights give you a steady glow while others blink and wink and smile at you seductively. Make sure you know which ones you want.

Installation Tips

The ways you extend your string lights across your backyard is only limited by your imagination. There are many ways to skin that cat so to speak. However, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your lights.

  • When you lack space or posts to hang your lights just weave them around the edge of the roof. Or if you have a tree, just wrap them around its branches and trunk to create a magical atmosphere.
  • Create shapes and designs out of the bulbs. Treat them as flowers and put them in a vase or even make figures out of them. Let your imagination go wild.
  • Use lights to create different zones in your backyard. From the romantic to the wild. It’s your party and you’re an artist whose medium is pure light.

Are Incandescent or LED Bulbs Better?

Incandescent light is a fancy name for your average bulb which burns a wire to produce light. The bulb is pumped with inert gas to prevent the wire from burning out too soon. They are cheaper to make and can give you lots of different colors and hues.

On the downside, incandescent bulbs don’t last and need to be replaced more often. Another disadvantage is that they tend to consume more electricity. This makes them a costly option in the long run.

LED bulbs don’t have these disadvantages. They last longer, produce a steady and cool light and are usually a good investment. Their low power consumption is probably their biggest draw and more and more people are turning to these bulbs to light their homes.

The main problem with LED bulbs besides their high price tag is that the light they produce doesn’t look or feel natural. It’s subdued light but also affected.

How Many Feet of String Lights Do I Need?

One of the first questions to hit you when you think about buying string lights is, how many lights are enough? But the question when put that way is rather hard to answer. Rather, it should be rephrased as: how much space do I need to light up?

Do you have a large backyard? And do you need to cover the whole area with lights? If you answered yes to both questions, then you will need anything between 50 and 100 feet of string lights to cover every nook and cranny in your backyard.

For small backyards, you’ll probably something like 20 feet or even 30 feet of lights. It depends on the design you want to create with your lights.

Is it Safe to Hang Lights over a Pool?

There’s nothing like a pool flooded with hanging strings of lights to create the right atmosphere for your festivities. But as good as the idea might seem to you, it comes with its own risks. For one thing, if a strand of light falls in the pool, it might cause serious injury or death to whoever happens to be swimming at the time.

You’ll also need to consider any rowdy guests you have at your pool party. People come up with the most ludicrous ideas when drunk. So if a guest decides to jump and catch a string light before landing in the pool, you know you got a big risk on your hands.

String lights over the pool doesn’t sound like a great idea because you can’t enjoy water sports like beach ball, water ball, or even jump in the pool without smashing a few bulbs. The last thing you’d need is a shower of glass shards falling on the swimmers.

Do You Have to Drain the Pool to Replace Light?

The short answer is no. You don’t have to drain the pool to replace the light. For one thing, the light and the sockets are waterproof, which means there’s a zero risk of being electrocuted. That’s another reason to look for waterproof string lights.

On the off chance that you have spliced your junction box when installing the string lights, then you’ll need to drain your pool. Water can seep into the junction box and cause a shortcut. When in doubt, call an electrician.

How Do You String Lights on a Patio?

That’s another common question. You got your string lights and you’re standing there staring at the patio. You don’t know what to do. Well, before you hammer the first nail, you need to take a step back and get a good idea of your space.

Check if you have trees or posts near the patio that you can use. These would be your focal points. You start from there, take the strand all the way to the patio, fix it to a post, then go back to the tree.

You can use a criss cross pattern, or string your lights in a zigzag. You can also weave the strings of light around the post to create a festive ambience.

How Many Strands of Lights Do I Need?

This is another question whose answer always comes down to personal preference. If you’re going for a romantic and cozy ambience, then less is more. If it’s a party, a wedding, or any sort of festivity that you need lights for, then the more the better.

Also consider the wattage of the bulbs before you make a decision. Some bulbs emit a strong light which means you won’t need many strands to turn your backyard into an outdoor cafe.

How Many Lights can be Installed on one Circuit Breaker?

The answer to that depends on the wattage of the fixture. Usually you will find the maximum wattage written on the product. Now check your circuit breaker. The branch of the circuit breaker you’ll connect the string lights to is the one responsible for handling all that wattage.

If your lights have more wattage than what the individual circuit can handle, it will trip. So check the amperage of the circuit. Usually 30 lights needs a 15 amp circuit. If you plan to use more than 30 lights either get a larger amp circuit.

Do String Lights Use a lot of Electricity?

That depends on the type of light bulbs you’re using. If you’re using LED lights, then you won’t notice much difference as far as your electricity consumption is concerned.

Traditional bulbs, however, are power hungry and will cause a spike in your electricity bill by the end of the month.

Do Outdoor String Lights Attract Bugs?

That’s another advantage that LED lights have over other types. Bugs don’t swarm around LED bulbs because their light is more subdued. If you still prefer other types of bulbs, consider using yellow or warm white lights. Bugs don’t feel attracted to these colors.

How Many Outdoor String Lights Can You Connect?

The rule of thumb here is to check the amperage of the circuit breaker, the wattage of the bulbs and do the maths. On average, you can connect anything between 3 and 5 string lights together without tripping the circuit breaker.

Conclusion

After this whirlwind tour of the best backyard string lights and the buyer’s guide, we feel it’s time to reveal our winner among all these contestants. And the award for the best backyard string lights goes to the 50ft Black String Lights, 60 G40 Globe Bulbs. They emit soft tones of light that have a magical effect on your backyard.

The lights are durable and weatherproof. You don’t have to worry about rain or snow. They’re safe to hang all year round. And with 50 feet of lights, you can decorate your backyard without a hassle no matter how big it is.

And last but not least, they come with 10 spare bulbs so you can easily replace the ones that burn out. For all these reasons we recommend this product for all those who need decorative lighting in their backyard.

founder

Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare