7 Best Outdoor String Lights of 2021

Hanging Outdoor String Lights

Gorgeous string lights complete any backyard. They can provide relaxing lighting throughout the darkest hours of the day, creating a charming space for you and your family to kick back and relax in. 

They truly are a versatile tool. You can wrap them around trees, string them along fences, and much, much more. Whatever your wish, there are plenty of outdoor string lights out there. From regular plug-in to battery-operated or solar-powered models, from large globe bulbs to sparkling fairy lights, there is a range of styles to choose from.

Oh, and did we mention that most outdoor string lights are incredibly affordable, making them an incredibly fun and budget-friendly way to spice up your garden or patio. Through independent research and testing, we have compiled this list of the seven best outdoor string lights of 2021. 

Time to brighten up your backyard.

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

Overview
BEST OVERALL
HamptonBayLighting 12-Light Indoor/Outdoor 24 ft. String Light with S14 Single Filament LED Bulbs (12)
Title
Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor 48" String Lights
Price
$19.95
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Details
BEST OVERALL
Overview
HamptonBayLighting 12-Light Indoor/Outdoor 24 ft. String Light with S14 Single Filament LED Bulbs (12)
Title
Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor 48" String Lights
Price
$19.95
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Details

7 Best Outdoor String Lights of 2021 – Overview

Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for picks 6 – 7).

Overview
BEST OVERALL
HamptonBayLighting 12-Light Indoor/Outdoor 24 ft. String Light with S14 Single Filament LED Bulbs (12)
[Remote and Timer] 36ft 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights (8 Modes, Dimmable, IP65 Waterproof, Warm White)
LED String Lights 99ft 300 LEDs Fairy String Lights for Bedroom, Patio, Indoor/Outdoor Copper Lights for Birthday, Wedding, Party Starry Lights UL Listed Warm White
SUNTHIN 48ft LED Outdoor String Lights with 0.9W Shatterproof Bulbs for Patio String Lights,Backyard Lights,Porch Lights, Commercial Light String Outdoor
Title
Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor 48" String Lights
Koopower 36" 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights
Zaecany LED String Lights
Pottery Barn Outdoor LED String Lights
Price
$19.95
$12.99
$19.99
$49.99
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
⭐⭐⭐⭐
BEST OVERALL
Overview
HamptonBayLighting 12-Light Indoor/Outdoor 24 ft. String Light with S14 Single Filament LED Bulbs (12)
Title
Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor 48" String Lights
Price
$19.95
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Details
Overview
[Remote and Timer] 36ft 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights (8 Modes, Dimmable, IP65 Waterproof, Warm White)
Title
Koopower 36" 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights
Price
$12.99
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Details
Overview
LED String Lights 99ft 300 LEDs Fairy String Lights for Bedroom, Patio, Indoor/Outdoor Copper Lights for Birthday, Wedding, Party Starry Lights UL Listed Warm White
Title
Zaecany LED String Lights
Price
$19.99
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Details
Overview
SUNTHIN 48ft LED Outdoor String Lights with 0.9W Shatterproof Bulbs for Patio String Lights,Backyard Lights,Porch Lights, Commercial Light String Outdoor
Title
Pottery Barn Outdoor LED String Lights
Price
$49.99
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐
Details

1. Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor 48″ String Lights

Sale
HamptonBayLighting 12-Light Indoor/Outdoor 24 ft. String Light with S14 Single Filament LED Bulbs (12)
  • 12 single filament LED bulbs on a 24 ft. string. State-of-the-art LEDs never need replacing and provide a lifetime of light. Warm white light - 2200K. Impact-resistant bulbs won't break when dropped,...

Saving the best till last, the Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor String Lights have pretty Edison-style LED bulbs that will illuminate any outdoor area – turning it into your favorite nighttime lounge spot.

This set of lights has 24 bulbs on a 48-foot string. It can be connected to up to 11 strands end-to-end. There is so much to cherish about these lights that it is almost difficult to know where to begin.

Not only do they admit a lovely warm white glow, which is both homely and endearing, but the LED bulbs also will never need replacing. Speaking of which, the bulbs are also impact-resistant. They will never shatter when dropped.

The entirety of the string is also weather-resistant, meaning they are the perfect accompaniments to your deck, pergola, fence, and much more. 

Pros: 

  • Warm white light 
  • Impact-resistant bulbs 
  • Weather-resistant design 
  • Ability to connect up to 11 strands. This means they are great for DIY light setups. 

Cons:

  • Condensation can form inside the bulbs

Check Latest Price >>

2. Koopower 36″ 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights

Sale
[Remote and Timer] 36ft 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights (8 Modes, Dimmable, IP65 Waterproof, Warm White)
  • ✨【Add festive vibe】Featuring warm light and 100 LEDs, the 11m battery powered string light gives out extra gentle and warm glow to every corner in your space, welcoming the festive air to...

Coming in at a very affordable $13 dollars, the Koopower 36″ 100 LED Outdoor Battery Fairy Lights are a keeper. No power source? These bright sparks take 3 AA batteries and have a wattage of 4.5.

This allows you to put them anywhere – literally. Inside or out, it is not a problem for the Koopower. These battery-operated string lights are 36 feet long and are fitted with over 100 LED bulbs. Their control box allows you to select between eight different modes across a range of lighting modes – from warm white light to something spicier. 

Not only this, but the battery console for the Koopower lights is water and dust-proof. Although sadly not foolproof. They are ideal for outdoor use and the standard option also comes with a remote control so you can easily turn the light on and off. 

Alternatively, if you wish to make things even easier for yourself, you can use the units built-in timer, which automatically shuts the lights off after six hours. So don’t worry about opening that extra bottle! 

Pros: 

  • Remote control and built-in timer 
  • Eight lighting effects 
  • Battery-powered design which can be installed ANYWHERE

Cons:

  • Remote control only works in close proximity to the lights 
  • Lights are not overly bright 

Check Latest Price >>

3. Zaecany LED String Lights

LED String Lights 99ft 300 LEDs Fairy String Lights for Bedroom, Patio, Indoor/Outdoor Copper Lights for Birthday, Wedding, Party Starry Lights UL Listed Warm White
  • Perfect rope lights for inside/outside usage: the whole set of fairy lights is fully waterproof, including the adapter. the star lights could bring people a better warm, happy ambience during the days...

Those were the best budget fairy lights. These are the best fairy lights – the fairy lights of all fairy lights.  Fairy lights are defined by their miniature bulbs on a thin wire. Some of the best outdoor ones are the Zaecany LED String Lights. They are available in warm white or cool blue and each strand includes approximately 100″ of lighting with 300 micro LED bulbs. 

 Little wonder these lights are perfect for decorating large outdoor areas. What gives the Zalecany its majesty is its ultra-thin wiring, which makes the lights appear as if they are floating. It is ethereal.

Since they are mounted on copper wire, these lights are weatherproof. In other words, they can don your garden all year round. However, bear in mind that this copper wiring also means you should avoid hanging them with any type of metal hook. 

If you are looking for some delicate decorations at an unbeatable value, look no further than the Zalecany. 

Pros: 

  • Ultrafine wires and a delicate appearance 
  • Super long 
  • Several bulb colors 

Cons: 

  • Optional remote is difficult to operate 
  • Copper wire can be limiting to installation option

Check Latest Price >>

4. Pottery Barn Outdoor LED String Lights

SUNTHIN 48ft LED Outdoor String Lights with 0.9W Shatterproof Bulbs for Patio String Lights,Backyard Lights,Porch Lights, Commercial Light String Outdoor
  • Perfect Outdoor String Lights for Backyard--SUNTHIN LED String Lights combine the beauty of vintage, Edison-style bulbs with the latest in cutting-edge LED technology to bring you beautiful lighting...

There are a thousand reasons why we love LED lights. These include their longer life span, efficient operation, and ice-cold exterior. All of these features make the Pottery Barn LED String lights a worthwhile purchase.

Oh, and did I mention they are breathtakingly beautiful too. Pottery Barn has taken customizability to the next level with these LED lights. They are available in several string lengths, including 12, 24, and 48″ long.

All of these sizes use 95 percent less electricity than standard bulbs over the course of their lifetime. And they last a lifetime, too! Not to be outdone, the acrylic/plastic bulbs are shatterproof, so they will not break if they fall.

They are approved for permanent outdoor installation – meaning there is no need to go through the depressing ritual of taking them down before winter. Besides, multiple strands – up to 750″ – can be connected to one outlet. This affords the lights great potential to decorate your outdoor space – however big. 

Pros:

  • Come in a range of string lengths. Say goodbye to an extension cord! 
  • LED bulbs are energy-efficient and gentler on the pocket
  • Able to connect multiple strands together 
  • Heavy duty 

Cons: 

  • Very expensive in comparison to other models

Check Latest Price >>

5. Sunthin 48″ LED Outdoor String Lights 

SUNTHIN 48ft LED Outdoor String Lights with 0.9W Shatterproof Bulbs for Patio String Lights,Backyard Lights,Porch Lights, Commercial Light String Outdoor
  • Perfect Outdoor String Lights for Backyard--SUNTHIN LED String Lights combine the beauty of vintage, Edison-style bulbs with the latest in cutting-edge LED technology to bring you beautiful lighting...

If you are looking to add more ambiance to your outdoor space, check out these outdoor string lights. With shatter-proof plastic bulbs and weather-resistant construction, these commercial grade lights are for people of pragmatism. 

What distinguishes them from other light bulbs is their appearance. It will transform your outdoor patio or pergola into a cosy space, well suited to outdoor dinner parties and other gatherings. 

One noteworthy thing about these lights is that they are dimmer than others. But this warm glow is part of their appeal. Each 48″ long set is fitted with 15 well-spaced bulbs. Indeed, it is possible to connect up to 12 strands to cover more space.

This is a great way to offset the brightness issue, giving you the same warm white light, with more illumination. Separate dimmers can also be purchased to further customize the light output. 

Pros:

  • More affordable than similar options
  • Shatterproof plastic bulbs
  • Durable and weatherproof 
  • Warm light 

Cons: 

  • Not the brightest of the bunch 
  • Dimmer control sold separately  
  • No warranty 

Check Latest Price >>

6. Addlon Outdoor String Lights

Sale
addlon 96 FT (2x48FT) Outdoor String Lights Commercial Grade Strand 32 Edison Vintage Bulbs 30 Hanging Sockets, UL Listed Heavy-Duty Decorative Café Patio Lights for Garden, Black
  • Weatherproof & Heavy-duty: This outdoor string lights are UL listed weatherproof commercial. The insulation material can protect the strand from hot winter, sun, wind, rain, snow and damp. Flexible...

Before we discuss these string lights, let us have some facts. Bulb type: incandescent. Length: 48″. Wattage: 11. Power Source: Plug-in. Number of Bulbs: 15. Interested? If you want to flood your entire yard with beautiful lights (who does not), consider the Addlon Outdoor String Lights.

Think long and hard about them. They come in a pack of two. These bistro-style lights are entirely weatherproof. PLus each socket has a hanging hook above it, making the lights easier to install around your desired space. 

The Addlon Outdoor String Lights are mounted on a heavy-duty wire and give off a soft white glow. It is nothing short of your very own slice of outdoor heaven. It is possible to connect five strands together for more coverage, and while they are a tad on the expensive side, you will love how they look in your backyard. Trust us. 

Pros:

  • Compatible with a dimmer
  • Hanging hooks above each bulb (this makes them ideal as patio string lights) 
  • Double insulation that can withstand whatever the weather throws at it

Cons:

  • Not LED bulbs 
  • ​Expensive 

Check Latest Price >>

7. Home Accents Holiday 300 Mini Lights Set 

Who fancies some bang for your buck? I know I certainly do. Get the most bang for your buck with the Home Accents Holiday 150-Light Clear Incandescent Light set. Although typically used as Christmas lights (especially for decorating Christmas trees), these brilliant lights can easily be used all year round to decorate your yard. 

Best of all, they are inexpensive, costing around $18. Despite this small price tag, they offer 68″ of lighted length with 300 miniature glass bulbs, all attached to a green wire. (Be careful with the glass, it is far less shatterproof than plastic). 

For when the weather turns, they can be used both inside and outside, and if one bulb burns out, the others stay alight. This saves you from having a half-lit strand, a problem that commonly befalls outdoor string lighting. 

Users can link up to three sets of these lights end-to-end, which is particularly convenient for decorating large outdoor areas. 

Pros:

  • Extra-long length
  • Perfect for year-round use 
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Incandescent bulbs use more energy. This, in turn, means they are more expensive to run. 

Check Latest Price >>

Our Winner:

Overview
BEST OVERALL
HamptonBayLighting 12-Light Indoor/Outdoor 24 ft. String Light with S14 Single Filament LED Bulbs (12)
Title
Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor 48" String Lights
Price
$19.95
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Details
BEST OVERALL
Overview
HamptonBayLighting 12-Light Indoor/Outdoor 24 ft. String Light with S14 Single Filament LED Bulbs (12)
Title
Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor 48" String Lights
Price
$19.95
Rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Details

As this article has shown, the best overall outdoor string lights are the Hampton Bay 24 Light Indoor/Outdoor 48″ model. They give off a heartwarming light that can transfer any outdoor space into a paradise. Plus the bulbs are impact-resistant.

If you are looking for something more affordable, try the Home Accents 300 Light Clear Incandescent set. It gives you more than 68 feet in length at an incredibly affordable price. In any case, whatever lights you choose on this list, you cannot go wrong.

All would make a fantastic addition to any outdoor space, however big or small. We hope you enjoy your new outdoor lights as much as we do. Taste the brighter side of life!

What To Look For In Outdoor String Lights

The market for outdoor string lights is crowded, to say the least. What this means is that when choosing your next purchase there is much to consider. 

Power Source 

First things first. To make those lights sparkle, you need a readily accessible power source. This might seem simple but it is easily forgotten. Make sure your power source is compatible with the type of string lights you wish to purchase. 

Many string lights on the market require an electrical outlet. Meanwhile, the hardiest of string lights also feature protected sockets to keep out moisture. If you do not have an outlet available for your outdoor lighting, fear not. Look for USB-powered or solar string lights (that is if you have a solar panel). There are plenty of them. 

Lighting Effects 

This one is important. Do not steal for a steady glow when it comes to outdoor lighting. Most string lights can be complemented with a dimmer (much like that on traditional household lighting). This dimmable feature comes into its own during long evenings.

Others, particularly those with a heftier price tag, include remote control, which can allow users to control the lighting with various effects. For the party animals amongst us, look out for string lights that are capable of strobing or flashing effects. These can really get the blood pumping. 

Bulb Type 

String light comes with an immense variety of bulb types and shapes. However, it is worth pointing out that LED bulbs are the most common. These bubbles offer the longest lifestyle, which is easier on the purse, and the best energy savings of any bulb type. 

Nevertheless, before you take the plunge, you will still need to decide if you want a bright, vintage light from Edison bulbs or the softer glow of string lights with a globe bulb. For those wishing to maximize durability, some string light bulbs are made of plastic, while others are made of glass and may require a little more care than their hydrocarbon counterpart.

 

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.