Is It Safe To Hang String Lights Outside?

You’ve seen those cool string lights hanging in the local cafe or at your favorite restaurant and you may have even seen them at your friend’s house – they give off a gorgeous glow, right? Wouldn’t they look nice hanging around the deck or patio in your yard or wrapped around the railing? Well first, let’s talk about whether or not they’re safe – and then we’ll cover the proper way to hang them.

string lights backyard

Are String Lights Safe For Outside?

The short answer is, yes. But like any other wire or electrical device used outside, you’ll need to make sure the specific model or version you’re purchasing is safe for outdoor use.

Look for a label on the box or in the description (it could be a stamp from an approved testing laboratory or words that specifically state “safe for outdoor use”).

How To Hang String Lights

If you plan on hanging them from trees, fixtures or around railings, installation is quite simple. We recommend using hooks or clips however, rather than using nails or staples as these objects could pierce through the wires.

“But I don’t have any trees or tall objects nearby, what can I do?”

There’s no need to worry! You can create your own posts – all you need is a few tall planters, some tape, a few hooks, wooden posts and some concrete.

Step 1: Paint or decorate the planters however your heart desires.

Step 2: Place one 2 “ x 2” x 8’ post in each planter and then fill the base of the planter with mixed concrete. Place two pieces of painter’s tape vertically across the mouth of the planter and two pieces horizontally. Ultimately this is what will keep the post in a straight, up-right position during the drying process.

Step 3: Once the concrete has dried, you can fill the planters with soil and plants, or use a combination of rocks and/or sand or gravel to make them look a bit more visually pleasing.

Step 4: Arrange the planters in a rectangle (or other shape if you prefer) around your deck, patio or sitting area.

Step 5: Secure the end of the string lights to one of the posts with a cup hook and then continue attaching them to the remaining posts. Now you’ve got an outline.

Step 6 (optional): You can leave the lights in a simple rectangular shape, or you can zigzag them from one side of the outline to the other.

Step 7: Plug them into an outdoor-safe extension cord and voila!