Your patio should be the social hub of your garden and yard. It is for relaxing in the evening, sitting with guests, or just soaking up the sun. But if you deck it out with some elegant and colorful patio string lights, it will also come alive when the sun goes down.
Transform the whole area with an array of outdoor patio string lights, and you have a beautiful area to enjoy and an even better area to party in with friends. So how do you choose when looking to buy patio string lights?
Types of Patio String Lights
First of all, you need to decide whether you are going to go for electrical powered low voltage string lights or for the freedom and cost-saving solar patio string lights? Personally, I am no whizz-kid at electrics, so I choose the solar version and I don’t fancy something exploding or catching fire. Solar patio string lights can provide all you need. These days you can get about 6-8 hours of great light with only about 4 hours charging the panels. They are not expensive either.
The great thing is that if you combine solar power with LED string lights, then you not only get a really cheap lighting option but one that lasts longer. This is because, on average LED lights use a lot less energy to put out a lot more light per bulb than either halogen or incandescent bulbs. So after you have charged up those solar string lights, the drain on the photovoltaic cells won’t be as great, and they should last a lot longer. Solar patio lights certainly seem to be the future of garden lighting.
Costs of Patio String Lights
Have a look at the cost of patio string lights at Amazon. That’s not too bad is it, seeing as you won’t have any utility bills either? Mostly they come in durable LED patio string lights, which are better than the bulb version for general use. So you get more twinkles for your buck.
Effects of Patio String Lights
The other thing you need to consider when buying patio string lights is what effect you want. If it is an atmospheric light to relax by, then keep it subtle with not too many lights. A set of patio light strings around the area taking advantage of natural and built features is best. Use the lights to break up their hard outlines, just as you do with plants.
But what you can do with your lights is really pull out the stops for special occasions. Party string lights are great for celebrations, such as birthdays, Christmas, and holidays. Large patio globe string lights hanging across open spaces make maximum impact. The same applies to outdoor novelty string lights which if used all year, lose their appeal. Plus it looks a bit silly with Christmas lights still up at easter. But pulled out of their storage occasionally and they will make quite an impact. Some of the designs are a bit wacky, like beach themed flip-flops, but that is what makes them such fun. You can buy novelty string lights at most hardware stores, big box stores like Home Depot, and also online at Amazon.
Get the Most From Patio String Lights
String lights are a versatile solution with lots of uses. But getting specific patio string lights is a really great decision, and you won’t look back once you have got the bug. Personally, I think you can be so creative using outdoor string lights, and the effects can be from subtle to really gaudy at Christmas time.
Lights do really enliven those balmy summer evenings, especially when you want an on the spur of the moment party or gathering. So here are three good ways to get better use and effect out of them.
Stop Being So Boring
Don’t stick to the tried and tested. Build a patio, drop some pots in and a patio heater and get some big lights attached to the house so you can see. Fine as far as it goes. But how about something different? Okay build that patio, but think about your planting in terms of light. Think night and day effects.
So what about the fabulous atmosphere you can get with twinkling subtle night lights from the patio shimmering off water features? Weave in the garden string lights within the plants themselves. Beautiful lights reflecting off silver or shiny leaves are wondrous. What you can do is only limited by your imagination.
Think Above Your Head
Don’t just think lateral either. Look at height as well. It is easy to get stakes to raise the level of the string lighting higher to suit you. When you actually have a go, it is surprising the magical atmosphere you can achieve. Atmosphere is the key here as well. Outdoor string lighting is so flexible that the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Certainly, you can get beyond a simple draped arrangement around the patio or decking post. If you have vertical post or lattices, use these to their full potential.
Why not try themed lights in your garden as well. Special Xmas string lights are readily available and add that extra touch to your outdoor Christmas lighting and decorations. Why not think about lights that have a pattern or sequence to them. For outdoor party lights, flashing patio string lights are great. If you want something more subtle, then go for a fade-in or twinkling random sequence. If you are cost-cutting in these tough times and hold a wedding reception or party, then beautifully arranged and themed sets of string lights outdoors, skillfully arranged can produce a truly magical atmosphere.
The opportunities and possibilities can also include Hawaiian themes, 4th of July Independence Day arrangement (A good chance of a special red, white and blue pattern!), Caribbean and much more. Get Thinking and designing.
Make the Most of the Sun
Remember that the best and cheapest of these patio and decking lights are powered by the power of the best energy source around the sun. So, do remember to make sure they are charged up and ready to shine. If you have a permanent placement, it will have to be sunny enough to give your patio string lights the boost they need to last through the night and evening. Personally, I don’t like anything too fixed, as this defeats the whole point of using them. The best thing about outdoor string lights is how flexible they are.
Now what I do is have strings of lights of various colors and lengths. Some are 20 feet long, and others only a couple of feet. I think that this way of lighting your patio with flexible string lights is so easy. Set it up, step back and take a look. If not enough, then just add in a few more. If too much then take some away.
Well, what does that have to do with the sun then? The point here is that because they are so adaptable and flexible, like a lighting kit really, that they don’t have to be charged where you want to light. This means you can take your solar powered patio string lights away into the sunniest spot in the day then charge up, and you can light even the darkest corner, under trees, inside your children’s playhouses, and more.
So I think that by buying patio string lights, you can really transform your darkness into a wonderful nighttime space outdoors. Used imaginatively, combined with water features and creative patio planting, you will have yourself a relaxing and versatile quiet or party space. Invest in solar powered string lights, and you can have light, even on the darkest and wintry days. Just get it charged up, and away you go.
Oh, by the way, they don’t attract the insects either, so fewer bites are absolute a big winner.
The possibilities for using patio string lights really are endless. The only thing you will get limited by is your imagination, your budget, and the actual effect that you want to achieve. Why not start planning right now?