People love string lights and now that they are so readily available in so many different colours and styles they are used throughout the entire year – not just for Christmas. There are many questions that are asked though about using string lights for decoration and this article looks at answering some of the most common questions.
One of the most commonly asked questions is:
How to put string lights on an outdoor umbrella?
If you are using plug in mains powered string lights make sure that the cable reaches the socket before you start.
- So, to start with plug in your lights and see how far they stretch to the bottom of your umbrella pole, this gives you a starting point.
- Now that you know where to start wrapping, for safety unplug the string lights.
- Now start wrapping your string lights up the pole of you outdoor umbrella, you will hopefully have plenty of lights left once you reach the top of the pole.
- If you have string lights left at this point start wrapping the lights along the arm of the umbrella. Once you reach the end of the umbrella arm take the string lights across to the next arm and start wrapping them along that arm towards the central pole.
- Keep going in this manner until you have used up the entire length of string lights.
You will probably find that you need to try several times to get this right because you run out of string lights. Make sure that if possible you can space the string lights evenly so that you have every other umbrella arm covered in lights if you don’t have enough to do all of the arms.
It is also worth noting that you won’t be able to collapse the umbrella with the string lights attached.
A similar question often asked is:
How to hang outdoor patio string lighting?
There are many ways that you can hang outdoor patio string lights, for example you could weave them through a feature shrub or tree, you could attach them to the outside of you home, or you could put them up in a pergola. All of these ideas will really bring your patio to life.
There are all sorts of string light clips that allow you to attach string lights to all sorts of items see the question below how to use string light clips.
Some people don’t have any of these things in there backyard or garden and therefore another frequently asked question is:
How to build a light post for string lights?
Put simply a light post for string lights is a post in the ground that you can wrap your string lights around. String light posts can look effective on their own but if you create four or five of them to mark a path or lead you eye down the garden they can look fantastic. So how do you build a light post for string lights? There are a number of ways that you can do this:
- The simplest way is to knock a post in the ground. A piece of timber or a metal post about an inch in diameter is ideal. Make you ideally want posts that are 6 feet high and then knock them 12-18 inches in to the ground. If you are using mains powered lights then start out the same way as described above for the ‘How to put string light on an outdoor umbrella?’ question.
- The second, more permanent, more costly but far superior option is to use solar powered string lights and proper fencing posts concreted in the ground. Using 3” square treated timber concreted in the ground you can wrap your solar string lights around the posts and mount the solar panel on top of the post. Although this method will take more time and cost more in the short term, it will cost nothing to run once installed. You will also have the flexibility to position the posts for your string lights wherever you want because you will not need to be close to mains power.
Do you place string lights on a pergola on the inside of wood or the outside?
This question is often asked, and the question you need to ask your self is; who do you want to see the string lights? If you want the garden to look nice for the neighbours’ upstairs windows or your own then put the lights on the outside of the wooden frame. If however you sit under the pergola and you want to make the outdoor area look nice for yourself then put them on the inside of the frame.
Can I install outdoor string lights using a residential plug?
You will find that most outdoor string light will come with a plug attached and are low voltage so you should be able to use them straight out of the box. If you are worried about using them then you could always use plug in circuit breaker so that if there are any accidents the power to the string lights will be cut immediately. Always check on the packaging of your string lights to insure that they can be used outdoors. This question on outdoor string lights is often followed by:
Can I keep string lights plugged in outside?
If you are using specific outdoor string lights and you are using them with a plug-in circuit breaker then there is no reason why not. However, being safety conscious we would always unplug them.
How to hide the cord of patio string lights?
Hiding the cord of patio string completes the look of any string light installation and there are many ways that you can do this:
- You could bury the cable in gravel, bark or other ground cover. Remember though that if they are mains voltage string lights you will need to check you local regulations as the cable will probably need some form of armouring so that you or anybody else doesn’t accidentally put a spade though it.
- If you are using string lights on a wall is there any way that you could hide the cable behind a trellis or screen?
- You can paint the cable using acrylic paint to paint match the background.
- If there is nothing to hide your string lights behind and you are fixing them on a wall then make sure that you run the cable horizontally and vertically in line with any timber of bricks. This simple trick will make the cables less obvious.
Can paper string lights stay outside?
If the paper string lights you own are not intended for outdoor use then we wouldn’t recommend you leaving them outside. After a good down pour you will probably find you’re your paper string lights look more like a papier-mâché disaster. There are paper outdoor string lights though that have a wax coated paper which you can use and leave outdoors. Check on the packaging of your string lights and if it doesn’t say you can uses them outdoors don’t.
How to use string light clips?
There are number of different string light clips and what you want to attach your string lights to will determine what sort of clip you buy.
- String light clips with nails – these can be used for fixing string light to surface such as timber or plastic or even trees, simply nail them to whatever you want and thread the string lights through them.
- Self adhesive string light clips – this is a little less destructive than using nails and they are often quite sufficient, position the adhesive clips where you need them and attach the string lights.
- Gutter string light clips – these hook over your gutter and allow you to attach string lights to them. These are great for once a year decorations as they are non-destructive and can be easily removed.
If you have any other questions on using or installing your string lights contact us.