Craving some extra illumination, especially in your home's most serene areas like on your porch or garden? If so, you'll want to pick up some of the best outdoor string lights, which will add some magic to any backyard.
There are tons of different types of outdoor lights to choose from, all of which have something unique to offer, depending on your style and preferences. Other major factors to keep in mind are durability, weather resistance, power source, and how much light the bulbs actually emit. From solar-powered lights that are powered by sunshine to old-fashioned Edison bulbs that'll enchant any setting, you've got plenty of options if you're looking to buy some exterior lighting for your home or garden.
If you're shopping for outdoor string lights and want an inside look at some of the most well-reviewed options on the market, this round-up dives into six of the most popular lighting options you can find, and get this: they're all just a click away — no annoying Home Depot trips required. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to hear what real people are actually saying, because knowing what other shoppers think is always a bright idea before you buy.
1. Best For Most Spaces: These 50-Foot Black String Lights
Outdoor Lighting Store 50-Foot Black String Lights
Looking for the best bang for your buck when it comes to outdoor lights? While this set of string lights from Outdoor Lighting Store might seem pricier than some models, hundreds of reviewers on Amazon say they're really worth the investment. Among the big perks that come with these cute, classic string lights? They're durable and sturdy AF, made from an 18 AWG black cable, and hold up in literally every kind of weather. The cable itself is 50 feet long, so you'll have more than enough string to cover most outdoor areas. The bulbs themselves, of which there are 50 plus 10 extras for easy replacement, emit a warm glow that'll softly illuminate dark evenings. One reviewer wrote: "Absolutely amazing lights! These have weathered two storms already and work perfectly. I have them hung up against a stone wall; was convinced that high winds would break some bulbs but nothing so far!"
2. Best Solar Option: These Edison-Style Bulbs That'll Give Your Space A Vintage Feel
Brightech Ambience Pro-Solar Panel LED Outdoor String Lights
Turn your backyard into the kind of retreat you can go to recharge with these incredibly resilient solar-powered string lights. "Well made and they have a nice warm glow. Brighter light output than other solar lights I have had," described one reviewer of these lights, which come with a 26-foot cord and keep spaces illuminated for up to six hours at a time. Designed to last for up to 20,000 hours over the course of their lifetime, these are totally weather-resistant, and the best part is, you don't need an outlet or an extension cord to run them since they charge through exposure to direct sunlight (for six hours at a time). While reviewers say some bulbs can have an inconsistent glow (based on sun exposure), these are one of the best purchases you can make if you want pretty solar-powered lights.
3. Best Fairy Lights: These Battery-Operated Bulbs That'll Give Your Space A Magical Twinkle
YIHONG Fairy String Lights (Set of 2)
One of the great things about string lights, especially when you use them outdoors, is that they can make a space feel literally enchanted. When it comes to casting a magical glow, these string fairy lights will give you the lighting effect dreams are made of. Made from more than 16 feet of moldable copper wire with 50 glowing LED lights, they come with both a plug and USB plug, but are also battery-operated. Essentially, whatever way you want to run these lights, you can. While the copper isn't as heavy-duty as other most other string light materials, it's aesthetically eye-catching and bendy enough so you can customize the look. They also come with eight lighting and flashing modes and are totally waterproof.
4. Best For Color-Lovers: These Vibrant Lights That'll Make Every Night More Fun
TaoTronics Dimmable Multicolor LED String Lights with Remote Control for Indoor and Outdoor Use
Add a pop of color to your house or garden with these eye-catching LED lights, which shine in hues of red, green, blue, and yellow. With more than five million sold, these are some of the best-selling lights on Amazon, and it's not hard to see why. Ideal for indoor and outdoor use, these waterproof lights come with 100 small bulbs and a remote control that you can use to set and adjust their 10 brightness levels and lighting modes, including flash, strobe, and fade. Safe to use for up to 14 hours at a time, these come with a 12-month warranty, which you can also extend. While some reviewers recommend using them for indoor use because of how thin the copper wiring is, others say they've been great for short-term use at parties. "These are just simply gorgeous," wrote one reviewer. "... They were super easy to put around the tree and as a bonus, they aren't going to dry the tree out since they are cool to the touch LED lights!"
5. Best Lanterns: These Cute Little Lights For When You're Craving A Boho Ambiance
LampLust White Outdoor Mini-Lantern String Lights
Lanterns are great for most types of decor and especially BBQs and parties, and this 10-foot long strand is perfect because not only is it great for indoor and outdoor use, but reviewers say they really last, too. The water-resistant lanterns each come with one bulb, which emits incandescent light, and you can connect up to 25 strands. The downsides? According to reviewers, the 10-foot long cord doesn't cover a ton of space, so these are better off being used as an accent in a space where there's an outlet close by. They also don't come with an automatic timer, but if you only plan to turn these lights on sporadically, it's never going to be an issue.
6. Also Great: These Gorgeous Curtain-Style String Lights
Twinkle Star 300-LED Curtain String Lights
These curtain-style string lights will make any old space look cozy and magical. They come with 300 warm LED lights and eight mode settings (including twinkle/flash, slow fade, and steady on), so you can switch things up, depending on your mood. Since these work with a standard outlet, you can use them all over: in a garden, over windows or doors, and so much more. But since the power and controller aren't waterproof, you may want to limit their use to supervised sessions. Another downside that reviewers note is that these lovely light tendrils get tangled easily, so be careful while you're unpacking them. But don't let that deter you — they have a near-perfect 4.5-star rating with almost 1,500 reviews. "Purchased these last minute for a wedding backdrop," said one happy customer. "They were absolutely perfect! I bought two sets. They linked together nicely. We put them on a slow fade setting and they were beautiful!"
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