Transform your outdoor space with patio lights!

Outdoor Patio Lighting Ideas

Nothing says summer like an outdoor gathering, but what if you want to take your hosting skills up a notch? The answer... patio lights! Whether you know them as patio lights, string lights, or simply outdoor lighting, you've definitely heard of this growing trend. It's growing quickly because patio lights automatically transform an outdoor space and give off a certain ambience that's sure to make your space envy-worthy. 

Before you get started, there are a few things to consider when you hang your lights including: 

  • Where to hang patio lights
  • Types of patio lights
  • Patio lights that don't attract bugs
  • How to hang patio lights

Couple talking at sunset on a rooftop patio with lights

Where to Hang Patio Lights

First, it's best to decide where you want your patio lights. You'll want lights in areas that are already dark, and you'll want to avoid putting lights that break up the flow of traffic throughout your gathering area. In addition, deciding where you want your lights will help you determine the brightness of the bulb. You don't want your brightest bulbs at eye-level blinding everyone at your party. That will definitely get your guests talking about your outdoor space, but not in the way that you want. 

If you remember only one thing about where to position your patio lights, remember this! Low-voltage lights should be positioned lower than two feet above the ground and standard-voltage lights higher than seven feet. Also, try to position lights downward to light up walking areas.


Edison-style Patio Lights

Types of Patio Lights

The type of patio light that you choose will determine the layout of your lighting scheme, so keep that layout in mind as you pick your style. Try to find a style that fits you, but also fits your space. If you have a farmhouse, try something with a rustic or vintage style. If you're lighting your balcony for your downtown apartment, try something more trendy.


Yellow String Lights

Patio Lights That Don't Attract Bugs

It's true! Certain types of lights can attract bugs more than others. While looking for patio lighting ideas, keep in mind a few tips to keep bugs at bay!

  • Opt for lights that are LED
  • Try yellow, warm white, or ultra warm white lights
  • Stay away from UV, incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), and halogen lights

LED lights emit very little heat while burning and very little UV light, both of which attract bugs. Most UV lights are blue in color, once again enticing bugs to join your party. However, yellow or warm-hued lights tend to be less visible to flying insects helping to keep them away. Incandescent, CFL, and halogen lights all waste as much as 90% of the energy they burn, so they tend to give off more heat. The more heat they give off, the more bugs they will attract. 

String Lights in a V-pattern

How to Hang Patio Lights

Installing patio lights is really a job for two or more people, so find a friend before you get started. Next, think about how you want your space to look. Do you want the light to make your area bright enough to be seen from space, or would you rather have a space that has just a hint of light to set the mood for your social gathering? Spacing is key!

There are a few traditional ways to hang patio lights:

  • V-pattern
  • Z-pattern
  • Criss-cross
  • Parallel 

V-patterns and z-patterns are easy. You simply make that letter with your lights all the way across your space. Criss-cross patio lights use the v-pattern and you simply double your lights. You'll start your v-pattern on the left side of your patio, and once complete, you'll add a second layer of lights starting on the right side. Both sides will be a mirror of each other and criss-cross, hence the name. Lastly, a parallel pattern is the most traditional and the easiest to do. You'll string your lights from one side to the other in straight lines that are parallel to each other. The width between each row depends how bright you want your final outcome to be. 


Colorful String Lights

Where Can I Buy String Lights?

Patio lights, also known as string lights, can be purchased at doitbest.com or at your local Do it Best store. With a variety of patio lights to choose from, you're sure to find the right fit for your outdoor space! 


Patio Lighting Options

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