10 Easy Pieces: Cafe-Style Outdoor String Lights by

Issue 20 · Landscaping 101 · May 19, 2015

10 Easy Pieces: Cafe-Style Outdoor String Lights

Issue 20 · Landscaping 101 · May 19, 2015

If one of your jobs as a child was to follow your mother through the backyard, slowly unfurling garlands of glowing bulbs for her to wrap around the trunk of the crabapple tree and drape across the yews, you have most likely inherited a tendency toward twinkly, golden light. I speak from experience.

We are now solidly immersed in the festive months, fellow outdoor-string-light addicts. This is our season. If you haven't gotten to it already, let's commence now with the draping and festooning, so we can move on to the important things: warm evenings, clinking wineglasses, and fireflies at dusk.

Here are 10 garlands of outdoor string lights at a variety of prices that can give those fireflies competition:


Above: Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

The Table in a Bag Outdoor Commercial 15-Light String Light Set Up is $47.09 for the 48-foot-long strand from Amazon.


Above:An 11-foot-long cord of 10 Industrial String Lights is available in three colors including red for $49 from West Elm.

pleated indoor outdoor string lights

Above: A perennial favorite, an 11-foot-long strand holds 10 lights with unglazed, ultra-thin ceramic shades that give off a translucent glow. Pleated String Lights are suitable for outdoor or indoor use; $224 from Pigeon Toe.

  outdoor string lights from etsy

Above: A 20-light Hanging String of Light Balls is made of rattan wrapped with cotton. Suitable for both outdoor and indoor use, it's $12 from Cottonlight via Etsy.

white festoon outdoor string of globe lights

 Above: This garland of 20 White Festoon Lights uses low-energy-consuming LED bulbs and is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. The starter kit is £45 from Cox & Cox; extension sets also available.

  Tarrazzo Outdoor String Lights

 Above: A 54-foot-long string of Terrazzo Outdoor Lights holds 24 bulbs. It is $199 from NapaStyle.

  outdoor party globe light string from restoration hardware

Above: A Party Globe Light String, with choice of two sizes of bulb, is currently on sale for $38 (marked down from $45) at Restoration Hardware. The string comes with either 10 large globes or 20 small.



 Above: A Sardal LED Lighting Chain with 24 lights is $7.99 from Ikea. A pack of 12 white Solvinden Light Covers is $5.

mercury glass globe outdoor string lights

Above: A strand of Mercury Glass Globe String Lights comes in two lengths, with either 10 or 20 lights; the price is $29.99 or $59.99 at Pottery Barn.

smith and hawken outdoor string lights

Above: With 10 filament bulbs per strand, a 10-foot length of Smith & Hawken String Lights is $18.74 from Target.


vintage style string lights from restoration hardware  

Above: A 50-foot-long Vintage Light String with 24 bulbs and all-weather wiring is $146 at Restoration Hardware.

For more of our favorite ways to dress up a deck or patio, see:

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