String lights can change how a place looks. They can make it cozier and more beautiful to the eyes as well as add some illumination to the area. Although you can put these lights in your backyard, patio, garden, or terrace, learning how to hang string lights safely and correctly is a consideration that you need to keep in mind. As such, you are assured that the lights will last longer and not require reconnections every little time.
How to Hang String Lights: A Complete Guide
Hanging a string light in your outdoor living space may look and sound so simple since it is ready to use. Meaning, you no longer have to do any electrical technicalities. However, there are essential steps that you need to follow.
The Preparation Stage
- Space Area and String Length
When you hang string lights, you must accurately measure the area of the space where you intend to place them. That will help you decide as to what length of string lights you will need or if you need to add more to what you already have at hand.
However, the measurement of the space should not be equal to the string light length since you must also take into account all the mounting poles. You must also add about a foot for every pole as you will be looping the cable guide around them. For the string lights, make sure to add enough length for them to reach the electric socket without any hassle.
- The Recommended String Light to Use
Traditionally, string lights are plugged into outlets, but nowadays, some models come with hardwired lights that you just have to hang. They are both mainly lights for outdoors and the difference is mostly about the look. Also, each light that fuses out can be replaced easily and these lights come in various sizes and styles. For a large outdoor space, you will need bigger lights with a higher level of brightness.
- Materials Needed
To successfully hang the string lights, you need to have the right tools including screw hooks, cable clips, zip ties, and a wire cutter.
- Putting up the Cable
Your mounting poles should be something sturdy like a wall, eave, pillar, or even a tree. Once selected, the first thing to do is to mount screw hooks on them whether in a straight line, zig-zag fashion, or multiple angles and heights. Such will depend on how you want to hang your string lights. For a cleaner look and easy job, cut the cable guide for each span individually.
Once you have successfully mounted the screw hooks, go ahead and put snap hooks on the cables and do so for each of the spans. If the wire is cut from a bigger piece, cable clips can be used.
- Hanging the Lights
The best way to hook the string lights to the cable is to use a zip tie, and for consistency, use the same colored zip tie as the string. You can either put the zip tie in the loop of the socket of the string lights or put one on either side of the socket. The latter will provide more support, but then, that means you need to double the number of zip ties. For safety, whenever you think there is a need for more support, just put extra zip ties.
When putting the string in zigzag, make sure to put a zip tie in the corners as well where the string makes a turn. That way it will have firm support near mounting poles as well.
- For Areas without Poles
In case you want to hang string lights in a space where there are no walls, pillar, or trees, you can create your own poles. Simply get eight-foot long poles from the hardware store and fix them into something sturdy like in the ground or a big pot with heavy rocks in it.
This is a tricky part because you have to take into account how your space is. How can you fix these poles? What height will be appropriate? How many of these will you need? Just take a look at the space and imagine how you want the lights to look like and then go about measuring.
Once you have put these poles, the rest of the process is the same. You will need to put in screw hooks in these poles and follow with cable guide. You can go on and hang the best solar lights and see how they beautify your space.
Other Things to Consider
Now that you know how to hang string lights, there are few things to keep in mind. The measurements should be as accurate as possible, and it is always better to add some extra length.
If you have a very long length of string lights to cover a large area, it might be best to do it with someone. There is a very real chance that you will break a few lights in the process if you just do it by yourself.
Also, it is a good idea to get some replacement bulbs as well in case they break or fuse. A string light with a fused bulb does not look so great, and when you put so much effort into something, you want it to look immaculate. You can find many styles, sizes, and colors of these lights online and many are energy efficient too.
String solar lights look absolutely beautiful and they can be used in the pergola, deck, patio, gazebo or any other open space. They are inexpensive and can elevate the look of any ordinary space into something exquisite and warm. You can choose to hang them permanently since there are weatherproof models but you can also use them during special occasions only.
Although most modern string solar lights can last you a couple of years, hanging them improperly can damage them since they can fall from where you hung them. Likewise, when you use the wrong tools, you might end up destroying the natural beauty of the product. Therefore, you must consider following the recommended steps above.