The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best String Lights for Any Occasion

Whether you live in an urban apartment with a cute balcony or a spacious suburban house, everyone wants their outdoor space to be a cozy and inviting extension of their home. And while adding new outdoor furniture is one approach, enhancing your alfresco area requires optimizing your lighting scheme, especially when the sun goes down. Enter: string lights. As Sheva Knopfler, co-founder of, suggests: “String lights infuse a delightful atmosphere into the yard, and they provide a whimsical and warm ambiance to any area. Furthermore, they promote upward gaze, making even small spaces feel larger.”

Brightown Outdoor String Light 100Feet

Brightown’s outdoor string lights transformed our backyard into a cozy and welcoming space with their vintage-inspired design and warm glow. Featuring Edison glass bulbs and a 100-foot length, this waterproof and energy-efficient light string is compatible with most dimmers. Each bulb outputs 23 lumens and uses just 5 watts of energy, resulting in a lively atmosphere even during the darkest hours of the night.

The set includes 100 G40 incandescent bulbs, with four replacement bulbs for use in case of any accidents. With a warm white color temperature of 2,700K, these romantic lights render any outdoor area radiant. Installation is effortless with the included gutter clips, which allow for an overhead grid pattern when hung from a clothesline. The bulb sockets have their own clips, ensuring a secure connection with no drops or breakage.

We tested these lights with a dimmer cord and found that we could seamlessly adjust the intensity to create a soft glow. At just 12 inches apart, the 100 bulbs spaced across the string light create the perfect ambiance for outdoor parties or adding a measure of security. Although the cord can tangle easily, the included gutter clips make the decorating process a breeze. However, it’s worth noting that these lights cannot connect additional sets.

Product Specs:

– Bulb type: Incandescent

– Number of sockets: 100

– String length: 100 feet

– Connectable: No


– Lively, bright lighting with 104 glass bulbs included

– Easy to install with the included gutter clips

– Comes with four replacement bulbs

– Compatible with most dimmers


– Cord easily becomes tangled

  • – Cannot connect additional sets

Koopower 36ft 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights

Target audience: Individuals seeking to illuminate their outdoor area without access to an electrical outlet.

Non-target audience: Those desiring lights with conventional light bulbs.

  • These Koopower battery-operated string lights offer a cost-effective option for those desiring to illuminate their outside space. The set includes 100 small LED lights connected to a transparent, elongated, and flexible cord, emitting a soft, warm light. The kit comes with a remote control that enables the user to turn the lights on and off manually or set a six-hour-on, eighteen-hour-off timer. It also provides eight flashing settings, permitting the user to alter flicker intensity and frequency. The string lights are waterproof and dust-resistant, making them resistant to harsh weather. Keep in mind that these are fairy lights and do not offer the brightest light, though the numerous lights included on the cord provide ample light, illuminating a large space. At the time of publication, prices start at $10, with specifications including LED bulbs, cord length of either 16 or 36 feet, battery power, and weather resistance rated IP65.

Better Homes & Gardens Clear Glass Globe String Lights

Target Audience: Individuals looking for affordable and easily secured string lights.

Not for: Those seeking sturdy, weather-resistant string lights.

For those on a strict budget searching for string lights, the Better Homes & Gardens collection presents a reasonable option. The warm set of 20 lights is curved together with large glass globe bulbs on a dark brown wire. The lights can be utilized both indoors and outdoors; however, the best effect is achieved when they light up your backyard or patio space.

If you need to adorn a greater area, these string lights can be connected to two more sets, leading to nearly 60 feet of length, providing you enough lighting for a bigger event. In the package, there are two spare bulbs attached in case any of the primary ones are broken or faulty. Furthermore, each lamp holder comes with a little hook, making it stress-free to install, like on a fence or tree.

Nevertheless, these string lights are relatively fragile; hence, caution is needed when handling and placing them in your home. Moreover, they are not as robust as some other options out there, which means that they can withstand some rain, but they may not survive intact after a severe storm.

At the time of writing this, the price for the product is $14. The specifics of the product are as follows: the bulb type is G40 glass globe, the cord length is 18.7 feet, the power source is plug-in, and the product doesn’t have any weather-resistant rating listed.

Pottery Barn Indoor/Outdoor LED String Lights

What We Like:

– Multiple string lengths available

– Energy-efficient LED bulbs

– Suitable for permanent outdoor use

– Ability to connect multiple strands

What We Don’t Like:

– High cost

– No replacement bulbs offered

The Pottery Barn LED String Lights are our top choice due to their long lifespan, efficient operation, and cool exterior. Additionally, they have an attractive design and can be left up throughout the year. Available in 12, 24, and 48-foot lengths, these strands feature LED lights that use less electricity and are collision-resistant, making them perfect for outdoor installation. You can connect up to 750 ft of these lights, making them ideal for large outdoor spaces. Our tester in the Pacific Northwest was impressed by their durability, even during heavy rain and wind. 

While these lights are more expensive than others on the market, their energy-efficiency and weather-resistant properties make them a worthwhile investment. LED bulbs are included, and the cords are 24 feet long, although wattage is not specified. The lights are powered by a plug-in source.

Lemontec Commercial Grade Lights

The Lemontec Commercial Grade Lights feature 15 warm, incandescent Edison bulbs on a heavy-duty wiring that gives a permanent installation feel. Though similar to the Solatec in its weather-sealed plug and middle range of brightness, it has a wider spacing of three feet between bulbs, which may not be ideal for some spaces. Additionally, the higher energy use per bulb means that no more than three strings should be connected simultaneously. However, the glass bulbs feel more durable compared to others we tested, and the overall aesthetic of the bulbs provides a warm, softer light. If the wide spacing is suitable for your installation needs, we recommend the Lemontec as an upgrade to your everyday incandescent model.

What to Know About Outdoor String Lights Before Shopping

The Source of Power

Outdoor string lights can be powered by solar energy or electricity. It is important to choose which option suits your needs as it will determine where and when you can use the lights. Solar lights are convenient as they do not require a power outlet or an extension cord, but they may not always come on when you want them to. For long-term use, electricity-powered lights are recommended, while solar lights are ideal for camping or areas without access to electricity.

Number of Light Patterns

For party use, the best outdoor string lights come in multiple settings that allow them to flash, twinkle or have a dimmable feature. White and colored lights offer different ambiance levels based on preference.

Color and Style

The color and style of bulb should also be considered when purchasing outdoor string lights. The bulb’s shape and color temperature will impact the overall appearance of your outdoor space, both during the daytime and at night. Choosing a bulb type that complements your outdoor decor is essential.


Knowing the amount of space your lights will cover is crucial. You want a length that lights up your area without excess wire. Our list of the best outdoor string lights includes options up to 98 feet in length, providing enough light to fit your needs.


It is recommended to purchase durable string lights over cheaper, flimsier sets to ensure longevity. Quality cabling and LED bulbs that last longer and use less energy are vital factors in selecting durable outdoor string lights.


What is the best way to hang outdoor string lights?

The best way to hang outdoor string lights is by using a light suspension kit. The mistake most people make is using the main power wire to attach as the hanging points. You shouldn’t do that since there will be live voltage flowing through that cable, so instead, this kit offers coated wire to attach to the buildings or trees where you want to hang the lights. The lights themselves have hanging hooks or eyes where you can thread the hanging wire through, taking all the tension off the powered wire.

Can you hang outdoor string lights indoors?

Outdoor string lights can be hung indoors, but the opposite isn’t true. There’s a specific distinction for outdoor string lights because they normally meet the IP65 rating, meaning they’re resistant to water jets at any angle, which is helpful for rain and similar weather conditions. This rating, however, doesn’t mean the lights are waterproof or submergible. 

Is it safe to leave outdoor string lights on for days or weeks at a time?

Generally speaking, yes. You can think of outdoor string lights the same as the bulbs you’d use inside your house. Some will be incandescent and some will be LED. The incandescent bulbs will normally run much hotter than LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs also have a significantly shorter lifespan, so while you can leave them on for weeks at a time, you’ll need to replace the bulbs much sooner. 

How often do bulbs generally need replacing?

Generally speaking, you can think of the bulbs in an outdoor string light set the same way you’d think of the bulbs you’d use inside your house. Some will be incandescent and some will be LED. The incandescent bulbs should have a significantly shorter lifespan than their LED counterparts. The included packaging for these should include an estimated lifespan, but LED bulbs are regularly rated at 20 years. In some special cases where advanced features are involved, replacing bulbs may not be an option.

Hello, everyone! I'm David Henry, a dedicated customer and enthusiastic reviewer of Tractor Supply Company. As a farmer and agriculture enthusiast, I frequently visit Tractor Supply Company to explore and purchase a wide range of agricultural supplies, tools, and equipment. Over the years, I have accumulated extensive experience and knowledge in shopping at Tractor Supply Company, and I aim to help others make wiser choices through my sharing. I understand the importance of selecting the right products for farmers, ranchers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. That's why I enjoy sharing my insights and recommendations to assist individuals in finding the best-suited products for their needs. Join me as we embark on a journey of discovering quality products and making informed decisions at Tractor Supply Company. Together, let's enhance our farming and outdoor experiences through valuable insights and practical advice.