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May, 2023 | Lauren Bettenga

10 Best Decorative Outdoor String Lights to Brighten Your Backyard

There’s something about decorative outdoor string lights draped across deck furniture, a porch, a patio, a pergola, or a full backyard that instantly make a home’s exterior feel cozier. Whether they’re solar powered, LED, battery operated, or another type, there are so many beautiful and stylish choices available to create a warm and welcoming environment. Outdoor string lights are one of the best ways to add ambiance, whether the aesthetic is casual or upscale, because they provide extensive coverage without being too bright.

When choosing the best string lights for an outdoor space, it’s smart to consider things like access to natural light for solar options, in addition to climate and the purpose of the lights. For example, if you’re throwing a lot of elevated dinner parties, you may want something softer and more decorative. But if you’re hoping for fun and function, a pick that keeps your space bright enough for summer game nights or evening reading may be better. Luckily, there are ideas for many situations on this list so you can pick the right item for you.

1. Brightech Ambiance Pro Solar Powered String Lights


These durable and functional solar powered string lights can be hung anywhere and will charge in direct sunlight. String them across a balcony, porch, patio or terrace. No outlet needed!

2. Lafollette 300” Outdoor 25 Bulb Globe String Lights


These simple bulbs add a beautiful ambiance to any outdoor aesthetic, from farmhouse to modern. They also look nice in an indoor-outdoor space like a three-season porch.

3. The Twillery Co. 20.5” Outdoor LED Solar Powered Novelty String Lights


Who said outdoor string lights couldn’t be fun? This novelty set of two outdoor LED solar powered string lights comes with bulbs in white or in a mix of red, blue, and gray.  

4. Patio Umbrella Cordless Outdoor Lighting with Remote


Add a touch of warm light to the underside of any umbrella with these easy-to-assemble string lights. They come with their own remote, a 12-month warranty, and thousands of positive reviews.

5. Indoor-Outdoor Window Curtain Lights


To achieve an ethereal, curtain-like effect, hang strands vertically across a large tree or multiple trees outdoors. These stunners are waterproof, suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications, and available in sets of 600 or 300.

6. Edie 68” Outdoor Solar Powered LED Mini String Lights


String lights always look beautiful wrapped around trees, too. While on the dimmer side according to reviews, these solar powered options are weather-proof and feature both a steady and flashing setting.

7. Bistro String Light Poles and Lights


Turn the backyard into a bistro with these all-in-one string lights, which arrive complete with steel poles that feature an elegant black finish. Each set comes with two poles that can extend up to 10 feet tall. 

8. Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights


Elevate your ambience with this set that can be customized by color and brightness, among other effects, anywhere at any time. Their software even offers an option to recognize colors that pair best with certain yard décor. Amazing! 

9. Addlon Commercial Grade Outdoor String Lights


For those in more unpredictable climates, these commercial-grade outdoor lights offer superior durability in conditions like hot sun, intense wind, heavy rain, and snow. A dimmer switch can be purchased separately for a touch of decorative flair.

10. Koopower 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights


Perfect for year-round use or the holidays, these affordable battery-powered LED lights provide a gentle outdoor glow and can be switched off and on at the touch of a button. A set-and-forget timing function provides easy control with eight different blinking modes. 

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