What Are String Lights?
They are strings of light fixtures that include small sockets or LED bulbs running on coated wires. String lights can come with a wide variety of types of light bulbs, from vintage style globe lights to unique light bulbs shaped like icicles or snowflakes. Your intended application of indoor or outdoor string lighting will determine the type of light bulb you want. For example, globe light bulbs are very popular for patio string lighting, while a string of lights with light bulbs shaped like stars are popular for an indoor bohemian apartment look. In fact, you’ll often see them used for bedroom applications. Strands of light can be wrapped, stretched, hung loosely, balled up, stuffed into wine bottles, or strung along chicken wire to make interesting shapes. Let your imagination run wild and know that almost any application of string lights, well, makes life more of a party!
LED vs. Other Light Sources
When comparing light sources, you’ll likely be weighing cost against quality. LED string lights have come a long way since their beginning. In their infancy, LED’s tended to be blueish and almost too bright. Front yards decorated with LED string lights looked like they were covered in hundreds of laser pointers shooting right into your retinas. That’s not the case anymore. Now, they look great and don’t have the same blaring effect as the first editions. So now you are left with a truly great looking energy efficient alternative to incandescent lights.
Outdoor String Lighting Design Ideas
Outdoor string lights have become very popular over the past decade, cropping up in patios, gazebos, on decks and porches, and even elegantly draped throughout trees for an outdoor wedding. If you want to transform your patio into a more relaxing zone perfect for a glass of wine on a summer night (or a cup of cocoa by the chiminea in the winter), patio string lights are a great option. The two most popular applications are wrapping and hanging. In combination, wrapped and hung outdoor string lights give a cohesive look and very even lighting. No other type of light fixture can be so easily strung around its environment of deck railings, posts, arbors, and trees.
How to Hang Outdoor Globe String Lights
Since globe string lights are heavier, they might require some extra support to keep them from sagging too low. We recommend using galvanized wire to reinforce them. Simply attach eyebolts to your support structures (say, two trees in your yard) and secure the galvanized wire to each end. Now you can run your string light along the cable, using plastic zip ties to secure it along the way.
Benefits of String Lights vs. Tape Light
LED tape light is another great product for transforming indoor and outdoor spaces. However, tape light has limitations that do not apply to string lights. Tape lights are slightly more permanent: That is, they are more laborious to move, with their strong adhesive strips. String lights, in contrast, can be simply unwound or otherwise detached from their surface to be quickly moved. String lights are also fun because they call attention to the light bulbs themselves. While tape light is generally an indirect light source, meaning that the fixture itself stays out of sight, string lights are front and center, as if delighting the viewer is a high priority. That makes string lighting slightly more fun and carefree. (Tape lights are still pretty awesome, though, and there’s no reason the two can’t be used in tandem.)
Holiday String Lights
During the holiday season, string lights get to see a lot of action. From the garlands on the mantle, to the tree inside, to the bushes and branches outside, string lights become part of the family. You may have family traditions that determine where and how these lights will be displayed. Or you might be on the hunt for new DIY holiday light projects that involve string lights. The point is that they can be used in many different ways during the holidays, and there is no replacement for holiday string lights. They are the masters of celebratory decor. Without them, FA LA LA LA LA becomes… DUN DUN DUN!