Monday, June 8, 2020

DIY Project: How to Hang Outdoor String Lights

One of the first projects I wanted to work on for our deck was to hang string lights. I just love the warm and inviting atmosphere string lights create. When we were house hunting, the deck was a big bonus for us. I envisioned hanging out back watching the kids play and eating meals al fresco. 

Today, I am sharing how to hang outdoor string lights and some helpful tips we learned along the way. This project was easy, effective and budget-friendly. The whole project cost me about $80. 

Before I bought supplies, I did some research on how I wanted to complete the project. I planned out the design for the lights, the distance the lights needed to cover and what type of lights I wanted to use. I love the look of Vintage Edison bulbs. I found a set on Amazon that were heavy duty to ensure they can withstand the outdoor elements like wind and rain. 

I had to decide how I would attach the lights. I researched lots of options, but ultimately choose to go with electrical conduit. It is durable, effective and budget-friendly. 
What You'll Need:
black zip ties
(1) 15 ft. outdoor extension cord
deck/wood screws (I used 6)

Other tools needed:

Once I bought all the supplies, I spray painted the electrical conduit black. You can also spray paint the coupling to match. I used the coupling so I didn't have to drill a hole in the pole to attach the lights. This prevents the zip-tied lights from slipping down the pole for any reason. 

Next, I mapped out where I wanted to attach the cup hooks into the side of our house and where the pole would need be attached. We used the conduit straps and deck screws to attach the conduit directly onto our deck. Once the cup screws and post were in place, we were ready to hang the lights. 

Before hanging the lights, test out the strand by screwing in a bulb and plugging it into the outlet. Our strand of lights did not have the bulbs attached. I recommend hanging the lights without the bulbs first so there is no chance of breaking any bulbs in the process. 

We started hanging the lights from the point where we plugged the lights in. We secured the strand to the cup hooks with a zip tie. Then, we extended the strand to the post and secured it with a zip tie in-between the screw coupling. We strung the cord back to the side of the house and so on. 

Once we finished hanging the entire strand, we attached the bulbs and plugged the lights in. I love how it turned out. The lights give off the perfect amount of light that is warm and inviting. I also purchased an outdoor outlet so we can control the lights with my phone or voice control with Google assistant. 

Helpful Tips:
  • Map out the design for your lights to ensure you buy enough sets to cover the desired distance
  • Test the strand out before hanging the lights.
  • Remove the bulbs before hanging the lights to prevent bulbs from breaking 
  • Start with the end that plugs in.  
We cannot wait to enjoy more time outside this summer with our new outdoor string lights! 


  1. Great tips! I hadn't thought about removing the bulbs beforehand to prevent them from breaking.

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