Lighting is a key element when it comes to eliciting a certain mood, and string lights are especially great for cozy, whimsical, or festive spaces. The best indoor string lights (also known as
fairy lights) will largely depend on the type of aesthetic you're going for; bulb size, type, color, and warmth are mostly a matter of preference. Still, there are a few important factors that'll help you narrow down your options.
First, the difference between indoor lights and outdoor lights really only matters if you're planning on using them outdoors. For the yard, you'll need something waterproof and weatherproof, but for inside, those features are a convenience, not a necessity.
It's also extremely important to note the length of the strand and the amount of lights you're getting for the cost. A $12 price tag might initially seem like a good deal — until you realize the strand is 10 feet long and has barely any bulbs.
Measure out your space or potential hanging area before you start shopping. String lights can't be cut without damaging the wiring, and most can't be combined end-to-end on the same strand. However, I’ve also included a set of color-changing LED strip lights that lets you do both.
Finally, consider the power source. Your standard string lights are likely going to have a plug for an AC wall outlet. The more technologically advanced ones may offer a USB plug instead, which allows you to use an AC outlet alongside a charging block, but can also be powered via a laptop or power bank. Last but not least, some options run off batteries so you're not limited by outlet proximity when decorating. (Since the power source is one of the most important factors for shoppers, the best string lights on this list are largely organized using that criteria.)
In a hurry? These are the best string lights for your bedroom , reading nook, and more: 1. Overall Best String Lights For Indoors: LOUIS-CHOICE string lights 2. Best Budget-Friendly Fairy Lights: Ehome Fairy Lights 3. Best Globe Lights: LAMPAT globe string lights 4. Best Curtain Lights: Twinkle Star LED curtain 5. Best USB-Powered Lights: Minetom Mini Globe string lights 6. Best Color-Changing Lights: Omika color-changing string lights 7. Best Battery-Operated Lights: WERTIOO battery-operated string light s 8. Most Popular String Lights In Fun Shapes: Twinkle Star LED fairy lights 9. Best 100-Foot String Lights: Moobibear LED string lights 10. Extra-Long Lights In Multicolor & Tones: SANJICHA String Lights Outdoor/Indoor 11. LED Rope Lights You Can Sync To Music: Nexillumi Music Sync LED Lights 1 The Overall Best String Lights For Indoors
There are several reasons why
LOUIS CHOICE string lights are the best overall pick, the first being that they're extendable. This means that you can plug one strand into the next to connect up to 10 strands on a single power source — it's a feature that very few string lights offer.
Also unlike other options, this pick comes with a remote control that you can use to set automatic timers, dim or brighten, and choose between eight modes, including waves, twinkle, and flash. It also comes with a low-voltage transformer, and a waterproof design that can be used inside or out. Purchase
extension strings for less than $12. According to one reviewer: “These lights were super easy to hang up, much less tangly than traditional lights. The clear cording disappears against our light walls. The lights are a nice warm color, like old-fashioned white lights. The plug design is very clever, and it is easy to remove the extension section and join two strands together. The screw cap that holds the plug together is genius.” Length: 49 feet Amount of lights: 100 LEDs Power source: AC outlet plug Color options: warm white 2 The Best Budget-Friendly Fairy Lights
Even though thousands of reviewers can't stop raving about the quality, these
USB-powered string lights are one of the most affordable options. At $11 per each 33-foot strand, you can cover a significant amount of square-footage on a budget. These lights are waterproof so work indoors or out — the maker even suggests immersing them in water for an extra-ethereal look — just be sure to keep the plug dry. These work with any USB plug base you have (not included), and are made with a thin, flexible copper wire that easy bends around fixtures and tucks into corners. It’s also available in a 66-foot length for just a couple more dollars. According to one reviewer: “These fairy lights are bright and fun. They came well packaged, with a thank you note, a few transparent adhesive dots, and an email address to be contacted for a gift offering. All the lights in the string were bright. I am glad that I decided to add them to my space.” Length: 33 feet Amount of lights: 100 LEDs Power source: USB plug Color options: warm white 3 The Best Globe String Lights
Globe lights are an alternative to small fairy lights, and they give a retro, industrial feel to your space. With over 19,000 reviews,
LAMPAT globe string lights are one of the highest-rated options in this category. They offer end-to-end connections so you can attach up to three strands at once, and they're weather-proof for use in your sunroom, entryway, or patio. Unlike other globe lights, they work even if one of the bulbs goes out. (These do get warmer than LEDs, but reviewers say “they are still cool enough to touch” after a few hours of use.) According to one reviewer: “We [were] sprucing up our patio area for Spring and Summer I started with these lights... These lights offer a good amount of warm light so we can see to move around the deck however it’s just enough of the gentle warm glow we love them! They have already survived snow and rain in the short time I have had them hung up and they still work great.” Length: 25 feet Amount of lights: 25 bulbs Power source: AC outlet plug Color options: Warm white 4 The Best Curtain String Lights
Rather than a single strand, curtain lights create a waterfall effect. They're great for windows, pergolas, bed frames, and anywhere you want a full-on “wall” of lights. The
Twinkle Star LED curtain is easily the most popular option in this category, with a 4.7-star rating and nearly 70,000 reviews. It features eight different lighting modes for various effects and can be used inside or out. According to one reviewer: “These are so stunning I may just leave them up all year! I bought 3 strands and would honestly buy more if i needed them. I tested the waterproofing and they are definitely waterproof! I love all the different settings and the way they make my patio look.” Length: 6.6 feet by 9.8 feet Amount of lights: 300 LEDs Power source: AC outlet plug Color options: Warm white 5 The Best USB String Lights
In the shape of adorable little globes just over a half-inch wide, these
Minetom string lights utilize a USB plug instead of an AC adapter. As a result, you can plug them into your laptop, phone charger, or power bank. They glow in a soft multicolors or warm white, come with a remote to control lighting modes, timer, and brightness, and they’re waterproof so are suitable for use indoors or out. According to one reviewer: “These are super easy to use and they look absolutely awesome on my patio! I bought two sets of lights and you can use the same remote control to program both sets! There are 8 different settings that the lights run through and I like the one that runs through all 8 the best. You can also control how dim or bright the lights are with the remote control.” Length: 33 feet Amount of lights: 100 LEDs Power source: USB plug Color options: Warm white or multicolor 6 The Best Color-Changing String Lights
Personalize every aspect of your mood lighting with these
Omika color-changing string lights. The included remote control allows you to choose between 16 different shades, as well as the time, speed, and effect pattern (meaning you can pick one color, or cycle through all of them). They're also flexible, water-resistant, and coated in a soft plastic to prevent tangling. According to one reviewer: “The first thing I noticed is that the colors of the lights are super pretty! Somehow the colors seem more vibrant and electric than other color changing LEDs. There are several operation modes that let you fade through the colors, either all at once or each LED on it's own. The fade rate is just right and mesmerizing like watching a fire.” Length: 66 feet Amount of lights: 200 LEDs Power source: AC outlet plug Color options: Red, orange, light orange, dark yellow, light yellow, green, light green, light blue, blue, dark blue, indigo, navy, purple, magenta, and pink 7 The Best Battery-Operated String Lights
For spaces or events with minimal access to outlets,
WERTIOO battery-operated string light s allow you to decorate without limitation. They run on three AA batteries and come with small, opaque LED globes (or light-up clothespins specifically for hanging pictures). The included remote lets you control the modes, brightness, and time functions. They can also be used inside or outside. According to one reviewer: “I am really loving these amazing mini global lights! I got them on a whim just to bring a little brightness to my backyard deck, and have really enjoyed what a fun addition they are to the view out back, especially at night!” Length: 33 feet Amount of lights: 100 LEDs Power source: AA batteries (not included) Color options: Warm white 8 The Most Popular String Lights In Fun Shapes
For those looking to extend a theme, these
Twinkle Star LED fairy lights add a little celestial magic. They're also weatherproof and feature a remote control so you can choose between eight different modes — that way, you don't have to worry about moisture or switches. There are also four color options to choose from: warm white, cool white, blue, and multicolor. According to one reviewer: “These are awesome looking star lights. I used 3 sets to decorate my living room. Quality seems to be pretty good, 3 strand wires twisted together and feels sturdy. I hung them up with these small 3M stick-on wire clips. Love the 7 different settings to choose from.” Length: 49 feet Amount of lights: 100 LEDs Power source: AC outlet plug Color options: Warm white stars 9 The Best 100-Foot-Long String Lights
Finally, if you're looking to cover an extremely large area,
Moobibear's LED string lights are the easiest, one-package method to do so. This set comes with two strands, each nearly 100 feet long. They also feature a 14-foot adapter cord (which is much longer than most) and work alongside remote controls, which let you set the brightness, modes, and speed. Each is made from a flexible, easy-to-secure copper wire and can be used outdoors, too. According to one reviewer: “Used these to light the tent for my niece's intimate wedding reception. They were incredibly easy to work with, the color is gorgeous, the length is so important and the ambiance was beyond my imagining. I used three sets for lighting in a very detailed manner, a 10' X 30' tent. It was perfection!” Length: 99 feet Amount of lights: 300 LEDs Power source: AC outlet plug Color options: Warm white 10 A Set Of Extra-Long Lights In Multicolor & Multiple White Tones
Available in warm and cool white, or blue and multicolor, these
outdoor-indoor lights are a versatile pick that’s waterproof so they should work just about anywhere. The bulb-style lights come with eight functions from a slow glow to festive flashing so you can customize your look. With a 4.6-star overall rating after more than 6,000 customers have weighed in, they’re a popular pick. According to a reviewer: “I used these for my apartment balcony, and they are perfect. The length for them all around is just the most incredible thing. I love the length of the wire from the plug to the start of the lights because it’s just perfect for how I needed to use them. I’ve had them on for weeks now, and I love the different modes you can use. They’re still going strong, and they look amazing, especially at night. I couldn’t have found a better choice.” Length: 66 feet Amount of lights: 200 LEDs Power source: AC outlet plug Color options: Warm white, cool white, blue, purple, multicolor 11 These LED Color-Changing Strip Lights You Can Sync To Music
color-changing LED lights aren’t your standard indoor string lights and might just be the perfect option when you’re looking for both gentle ambiance and a dance party. The remote control or coordinating app let you easily control between the different modes, along with six “DIY” buttons that remember your favorite settings. A music mode lets you sync the lights to your tunes. For even more customization, you can cut and link strips to perfectly suit your space According to a reviewer: “50 feet of awesomeness! We are giving one of our whole room's ceiling a new look, which we can change from season to season to season! the LED strip lights were easy to install, the glue in the back is very strong... with this kit we were able to do our job very quickly and our room looks amazing!” Length: 50 feet Amount of lights: 5,050 LED beads Power source: AC outlet plug Color options: Multicolor
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This article was originally published on
July 29, 2019