The Best Outdoor String Lights

Outdoor string lights offer a whimsy look and an additional brightness to any space they’re installed and are particularly pretty for backyard parties, special occasions, or just sprucing up one’s outdoor space. Finding the best outdoor string lights for your home means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available styles and configurations. With the right outdoor string lights, beautifying and brightening your space can become a quick, over-and-done-with task.

We reviewed dozens of outdoor string lights to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how well they performed in tests, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated outdoor string lights homeowners can purchase to ensure a bright, beautiful outdoor space.

Best Outdoor String Lights Overall
Brightown Outdoor String Lights
Waterproof connectable hanging lights in various lengths and colors.

We’ve identified Brightown Outdoor String Lights as the best outdoor string lights out there. With a waterproof design that comes in varying lengths and color options, these outdoor string lights are ones that will light up your space in style.

The 5 Top-Rated Outdoor String Lights

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Outdoor String Lights OverallBrightown Outdoor String Lights 4.5
Best Dimmable Outdoor String LightsADDLON Outdoor String Lights
4.8
Best Budget Outdoor String LightsBaxstel G40 Outdoor String Lights4.8
Best Fairy Outdoor String LightsTwinkle Star 300 LED Window Curtain String Light4.6
Best Solar Outdoor String LightsBrightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights 4.5

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Outdoor String Lights Overall: Brightown Outdoor String Lights

The Brightown Outdoor String Lights took the top spot on our list of the best outdoor string lights, and are available in a variety of length and color options to suit any space or decor. They are UL certified and feature a weatherproof design for safety and durability, and allow for the end-to-end connection of up to three strands. This set comes complete with 25 bulbs and includes one spare. They are dimmable for added convenience.

Those who purchased and reviewed these outdoor string lights appreciated that they were bright, weatherproof, and easy to install. One reviewer said, “These worked great for lighting our pergola! I ordered replacement bulbs as well, and used black zip ties to attach them. Great product so far!” People were also impressed by the proactive customer service, with one user commenting, “The vendor reached out to me to see if my lights were received and if there were any issues. I informed them that 2 bulbs were blown, and they sent 5 replacement bulbs within a week.”

With a price tag of about $17, they are an incredibly affordable option as far as outdoor string lights go, especially considering the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, in addition to the ease of setup and use. They have excellent ratings with tens of thousands of people reviewing them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the investment.

Brightown Outdoor String Lights Key Features: 

  • Lightweight, portable design
  • Built-in spare fuse
  • Suspension kit available separately

Best Dimmable Outdoor String Lights: ADDLON Outdoor String Lights

Best Dimmable Outdoor String Lights
ADDLON Outdoor String Lights
Greater mood lighting flexibility in a weatherproof design.

The ADDLON Outdoor String Lights took the runner-up spot on our list of the best outdoor string lights, and are dimmer compatible to offer greater mood lighting flexibility. They boast a heavy-duty design that is weatherproof for use in nearly any condition. These lights come complete with 15 E26 based hanging sockets with 11W S14 incandescent bulbs along a 48-foot long strand.

Those who purchased and reviewed these outdoor string lights appreciated that they were easy to install and offered excellent brightness for outdoor spaces. One person who purchased and reviewed these lights said, “The price is right and the light set is well made and appears heavy duty. The light bulbs are a great size and provide the perfect outdoor patio lighting. The light strings can be added together for as much lighting as you need. We have put them along our fence and on our trellises. We live in Fl and our weather can be very hot and often very wet and our lights have never failed in the past 3 months. We bought 4 sets, put them on a timer and just love them.”

At a cost of around $38, they don’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. They have very good ratings with thousands of people reviewing them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the investment.

ADDLON Outdoor String Lights Key Features: 

  • Integrated hanging hooks for ease of installation
  • Link up to five strands
  • Includes a satisfaction guarantee

Best Budget Outdoor String Lights: Baxstel G40 Outdoor String Lights

Best Budget Outdoor String Lights
Baxstel G40 Outdoor String Lights
Easy to install with a cable tie or cup hook.

The Baxstel G40 Outdoor String Lights are an excellent choice for those looking for outdoor string lights that won’t break the bank. They are UL certified for added safety and peace of mind and easily install with a cable tie or cup hook for ease of placement. They feature a 25-foot strand with bulbs spaced approximately one foot apart. These lights come complete with a spare fuse for added convenience.

Those who purchased and reviewed these outdoor string lights appreciated that they offered a warm glow and were plenty bright enough. One reviewer commented, “These lights were perfect for decorating and throwing a substantial amount of light. Expertly packaged – I’ve never seen packaging this good before.” Another added, “This is perfect for a small patio. For the price, they’re a steal. Comes with two spare bulbs as well and has clips on the strand!”

With a cost of approximately $13, these outdoor string lights are a solid choice for those looking for a string light option on a budget. They have great ratings from hundreds of people who’ve reviewed them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people that this budget-friendly pick is just as good at lighting up their space as its more expensive counterparts.

Baxstel G40 Outdoor String Lights Key Features: 

  • Link up to three strands
  • IP 45 waterproof
  • Includes two spare bulbs

Best Fairy Outdoor String Lights: Twinkle Star 300 LED Window Curtain String Light

Best Fairy Outdoor String Lights
Twinkle Star 300 LED Window Curtain String Light
A linkable design with a choice of eight settings.

The Twinkle Star 300 LED Window Curtain String Light is an excellent option for those looking for a fairy style outdoor string light set. It offers a selection of eight lighting settings and comes complete with 300 bright white LED bulbs. They are set in a curtain-like layout to easily transform any outdoor space into a romantic oasis.

Those who purchased and reviewed these outdoor string lights appreciated that they were well packaged and easy to install. One person who purchased and reviewed these lights said, “Super easy to hang, and I didn’t realize but they have several different modes so the lights can blink and what not. Great buy.” Another commented, “They are so perfect! They came wrapped nicely where they didn’t tangle at all when I took them out of the box. They’re bright, and all the settings work! I couldn’t be happier.”

With a price tag of about $16, they are a pretty affordable choice, and the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. They have very good ratings with thousands of people reviewing them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the investment.

Twinkle Star 300 LED Window Curtain String Light Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • UL certified transformer
  • Rated IP44 waterproof

Best Solar Outdoor String Lights: Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights

Best Solar Outdoor String Lights
Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights
Perfect for a retro bistro look and a pleasant party ambiance.

The Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights are a solid choice for those wanting outdoor string lights that are solar-powered. They are available in a choice of 27 or 48-foot length and provide up to six hours of light off a full charge. They boast a commercial-grade design that is durable and long-lasting and come complete with shatterproof plastic bulbs.

Those who purchased and reviewed these outdoor string lights appreciated that they were waterproof and offered endless options in terms of placement. One person who purchased and reviewed these lights commented, “These lights have a nice incandescent type glow and not a harsh blueish light you sometimes see with led solar lights. In fact, they look like lights you’d plug in. They are not super bright but very nice for ambiance.” Another said, “They are so easy! Hang them up and clamp them on – that’s it! The solar part just makes them perfect. They turn on just before sunset (currently around 7:45 pm), and are still on at 6:00 am when I leave for work.”

At a cost of around $35, they don’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. They have really good ratings from thousands of people who’ve reviewed them, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the investment.

Brightech Ambience Pro Outdoor String Lights Key Features:

  • Integrated hanging rings for ease of installation
  • LED bulbs last 20,000 hours
  • Includes a 3-year warranty

Who Should Buy Outdoor String Lights

Outdoor string lights are an ideal choice for those who want to decorate their space. They offer a quick, convenient, and affordable way to spruce up nearly any outdoor space in just minutes. And, because they are portable, you can take them with you or change up their installation as desired. Whether you’re hosting a party or special event, or simply want to create a more inviting or romantic ambiance in your backyard, outdoor string lights are a great choice.

Additionally, outdoor string lights are also a good choice for those who need additional lighting in their outdoor space but don’t want the hassle of a renovation project. Most outdoor string lights are weatherproof and require just a standard outlet to install, making them an ideal choice for year-round outdoor lighting. Solar- or battery-powered string lights offer even more convenience, as they don’t require a power outlet.

Finally, some people find that outdoor string lights are a must for special events such as birthday parties and weddings. Not only can they offer more light for your guests, but they also offer a special spot to snap a selfie, and create a romantic ambiance.

If you’re planning on spending time outside when the weather gets colder, too, then you may also want to check out The Best Outdoor Patio Heaters.

Best Outdoor String Lights Overall
Brightown Outdoor String Lights
Waterproof connectable hanging lights in various lengths and colors.

Important Features to Consider

Not all outdoor string lights are created equal. A set of outdoor string lights should provide ample light without using a lot of power. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best outdoor string lights for decorating your space:

  • Type. Arguably the most important consideration when it comes to choosing the best outdoor string lights for your space is the type. String lights are available in a few different styles, including fairy lights, which feature small LED bulbs with no covering available in a variety of colors; Edison bulb string bulbs, which have LED bulbs under classically-shaped bulbs; ropes, which have small LED bulbs covered by a plastic tube; and lantern, which feature globe-shaped string lights with empty space surrounding them.
  • Length. Another key consideration when shopping for outdoor string lights is the length. You want a set of lights that is long enough to cover your space, but not so long that you are left with a ton of leftover string. Generally speaking, you want lights that are about two to six feet longer than the linear space you’re hanging them from in order to achieve the best-looking results.
  • Power source. Outdoor string lights are available in a variety of power source options to suit any space, including AC lights that require a standard electrical outlet for power, battery-powered outdoor string lights, and solar-powered outdoor string lights. If you prefer a clean appearance and don’t have access to an outlet outdoors, then battery- or solar-powered string lights are your best bet.
  • Hanging hooks. Some outdoor string lights will include hooks for attaching and hanging them from your space, while others will need to be purchased separately. Keep this in mind when budgeting for the best outdoor string lights for your space.
  • Dimmable. If you want to be able to really set the mood, dimmable outdoor string lights are just the ticket. These lights are compatible with a dimmer switch or offer a choice of modes (usually via remote control) to provide a choice of brightness to help you achieve the right ambiance for any situation or occasion.
  • Weatherproofness. Using your string lights outdoors means you’ll want to invest in a set that is weatherproof, as you won’t want to be running to bring them in every time the forecast calls for rain or snow. Look for those that are at least IP 44 rated, but ideally IP 65 or IP 67.
  • Price point. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend on a set of outdoor string lights. Outdoor string lights vary in price from $15-$110 or more. You can frequently find discounts around the holidays that can make buying a set of outdoor string lights more affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are outdoor string lights and how do they work? 

Outdoor string lights are a type of light that usually features large transparent bulbs hanging from a cable — hence the name string light — symmetrically spaced apart. In most cases, outdoor string lights offer a warm, white light that offers both a touch of elegant ambiance and ample lighting to spaces of any size — including large spaces. They work like any traditional light in series, with power running through the cable and each bulb.

Are outdoor string lights dangerous? 

Outdoor string lights are not dangerous, generally speaking. The danger with outdoor string lights comes with using them improperly or using a damaged product. For example, using indoor string lights outdoors can be dangerous as they are not rated for use in wet conditions, which could spark a short or electrical fire. The same thing with using damaged outdoor string lights — the exposed wire can lead to electrical shock or a fire if exposed to the elements. For this reason, it’s important to always inspect your outdoor string lights before installing them and to check them for damage from time to time throughout their season of use.

How long should outdoor string lights be? 

Outdoor string lights should be at least as long as space you will be hanging them from. However, for best results, you want a set of outdoor string lights that are about two to six feet longer than the linear space they will be hanging from in order to create the best effect. This means that if your space is 10 feet long, you’ll want a set of outdoor string lights that is anywhere from 12-16 feet long for best results. It is better to have more length than you need because you can always shorten the length by doubling it up on the ends

How do you attach outdoor string lights to a house? 

You can attach outdoor string lights to a house using wall anchors and/or light hooks attached to either the side of your house or the eavestroughs. You might also find that using a staple gun to secure your outdoor string lights to your house works well. Some outdoor string lights will include hooks for attaching and hanging them from your house, while others will need to be purchased separately.

Other Outdoor String Lights We Reviewed

Best Outdoor String Lights Overall
Brightown Outdoor String Lights
Waterproof connectable hanging lights in various lengths and colors.

We looked at 20 other outdoor string lights. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best outdoor string lights list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for decorating your space. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Dimmable Outdoor String Lights

Banord LED Outdoor String Lights

Banord LED Outdoor String Lights

These dimmable outdoor string lights are commercial grade and available in a 48-foot length. They feature fifteen 2W bulbs evenly spaced along the line.

Key Features: 

  • ETL Listed
  • Shatterproof bulbs
  • Waterproof design

Cost: $40

ZBAR 48FT Color Changing Outdoor String Lights

ZBAR 48FT Color Changing Outdoor String Lights

These dimmable outdoor string lights boast a 48-foot length and feature 15 color adjustable 2W bulbs evenly spaced along the line.

Key Features: 

  • Wireless remote control included
  • IP65 waterproof
  • Shatterproof bulbs

Cost: $60

Svater LED Outdoor String Lights

Svater LED Outdoor String Lights

These dimmable outdoor string lights boast a 105-foot length and feature a soft, warm light. They offer commercial-grade quality and shatterproof bulbs for added durability.

Key Features: 

  • IP65 waterproof
  • ETL listed
  • Built-in loops for hanging

Cost: $60

Govee Outdoor String Lights

Govee Outdoor String Lights

These dimmable outdoor string lights boast a 48-foot length and come complete with 15 shatterproof bulbs to light up any outdoor space.

Key Features: 

  • Wireless remote control included
  • Choose from six modes
  • Energy-efficient 1W LED bulbs

Cost: $36

Svater Color Changing Outdoor String Lights

Svater Color Changing Outdoor String Lights

These dimmable outdoor string lights boast a 50-foot length and come in a convenient two-pack for lighting up large or multiple outdoor areas.

Key Features: 

  • IP65 waterproof
  • ETL listed
  • Choose from eight modes

Cost: $110

Cosumina LED Globe Ball String Lights

Cosumina LED Globe Ball String Lights

These dimmable outdoor string lights boast a 33-foot length and come complete with 80 LED bulbs. Choose from a selection of eight different modes to help set the mood.

Key Features: 

  • IP67 waterproof
  • Durable ABS material
  • Battery operated

Cost: $20

Fairy Outdoor String Lights

Brightown LED Solar Powered Fairy Lights

Brightown LED Solar Powered Fairy Lights

These fairy outdoor string lights boast a 33-foot length and offer a selection of eight different lighting modes. They are solar-powered for flexibility of placement.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • IP65 waterproof
  • Runs 6-8 hours off a single charge

Cost: $16

Govee LED Fairy String Lights

Govee LED Fairy String Lights

These fairy outdoor string lights are available in either a 33 foot or 66-foot length and offer a selection of eight different lighting modes.

Key Features: 

  • Wireless remote control included
  • UL certified adapter included
  • IP67 waterproof

Cost: $13

Koxly 2 Pack 20ft 60 Led Fairy Lights

Koxly 2 Pack 20ft 60 Led Fairy Lights

These fairy outdoor string lights boast a 20-foot length and come complete with 60 bulbs. They are battery powered for ease of placement.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • IP67 waterproof
  • Choose from eight modes

Cost: $12

Homestarry Fairy String Lights

Homestarry Fairy String Lights

These fairy outdoor string lights boast a 16.4-foot length and come complete with 66 cool white LED bulbs. They are battery powered for ease of placement.

Key Features: 

  • Wireless remote control included
  • IP44 waterproof
  • Durable PVC material

Cost: $11

Rope Outdoor String Lights

ANJAYLIA LED Rope Lights

ANJAYLIA LED Rope Lights

These rope outdoor string lights boast a 66-foot length and come complete with 200 LED bulbs. A low voltage power adapter helps ensure safe operation.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Wireless remote control included
  • Choose from eight modes

Cost: $29

Tupkee LED Rope Light Multi-Color

Tupkee LED Rope Light Multi-Color

These rope outdoor string lights boast a 24-foot length and feature 144 long-life LED bulbs. It comes complete with mounting hardware.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Connect up to 22 strands
  • UL listed

Cost: $29

Solar Outdoor String Lights

YIQU Solar String Lights

YIQU Solar String Lights

These solar outdoor string lights come as a set of two strands, each measuring 72 feet. There are 200 super bright LED lights per strand to help light your way.

Key Features: 

  • Choose from eight modes
  • IP65 waterproof
  • Automatic on and off

Cost: $16

Eicaus Solar String Lights

Eicaus Solar String Lights

These solar outdoor string lights boast a 48-foot length and come complete with 15 commercial-grade, shatterproof LED bulbs.

Key Features: 

  • Includes a 12-month warranty
  • Automatic on and off
  • Choose from four modes

Cost: $39

MagicPro Solar String Lights

MagicPro Solar String Lights

These solar outdoor string lights boast a 44-foot length and come complete with 15 bright, shatterproof LED bulbs that offer a selection of four lighting modes.

Key Features: 

  • Waterproof design
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Runs up to 8 hours off a single charge

Cost: $50

SUNAPEX Solar String Lights

SUNAPEX Solar String Lights

These solar outdoor string lights boast a 27-foot length and offer a selection of four different lighting modes to suit any occasion.

Key Features: 

  • Runs up to 8 hours off a single charge
  • Automatic on and off
  • Includes a 5-year warranty

Cost: $35

Battery Outdoor String Lights

Brightown 12 Pack LED Fairy Lights

Brightown 12 Pack LED Fairy Lights

These battery outdoor string lights come as a set of 12 strands, each featuring 20 LED bulbs per strand. Made of a soft bendable silver wire for ease of installation.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • IP65 waterproof
  • Glare-free

Cost: $14

ZOUTOG Battery Operated String Lights

ZOUTOG Battery Operated String Lights

These battery outdoor string lights boast a 33-foot length and come complete with 100 warm white LED bulbs. Also available in a 49-foot length.

Key Features: 

  • Water-resistant design
  • Choose from eight modes
  • Includes a 1-year guarantee

Cost: $17

Lighting EVER Fairy Curtain Lights

Lighting EVER Fairy Curtain Lights

These battery outdoor string lights boast a 9.8 x 9.8-foot curtain-style design that is perfect for draping over a pergola, gazebo, or awning.

Key Features: 

  • Wireless remote control included
  • Choose from eight modes
  • Automatic off timer

Cost: $22

SZWTC 80 LED Globe String Lights

SZWTC 80 LED Globe String Lights

These battery outdoor string lights boast a 33-foot length and come complete with 80 warm white LED bulbs. Wireless remote control is included for ease of operation.

Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • IP65 waterproof
  • Choose from eight modes

Cost: $20

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