Are you planning a wedding, event or a garden birthday and searching for the perfect lighting setup? Look no further! String lights can add a touch of elegance and charm to your special event.
Get ready, we're going to share valuable tips for hanging string lights, ensuring that your venue shines with beauty and creates an unforgettable atmosphere for you and your guests.
First off, some common questions:
Q: IS BRAND A BIG DEAL WITH LIGHTS?
A: Yes. You will be kicking yourself if you decided to go with the bargain brand that only happens to be a seasonal purchase when several of your bulbs burn out during the offseason or you have water floating in your bulbs. Buy right and buy once! Like most products, you get what you pay for. Here at Love Your Lights we are a trusted brand, rated 4.8/5 on Trustpilot. Not only are we trusted by residential customers but also our many commercial customers including The Hilton, Christchurch Casino and Black Barn. Just like these companies exude quality, so do their lights!
Also going with a brand that stores stock all year will ensure that there will also be replacement bulbs for these strings year around as well. Many DIY stores set aside space for a big summer rush on fairy lights and festoon lights yet when you need those spare bulbs come winter, where are they?
Q: GLASS OR PLASTIC BULBS FOR MY FESTOON LIGHTS?
A: It's really a preference and often depends on where you are lighting up your area.
Bistro string lights are generally a glass bulb and these are found just about anywhere. They give off a warm yellow glow that works for outside decor as well as indoor. Glass bulbs tend to feature more in the larger globe styles which are popular for wedding and hospitality venues. Yet large commercial spaces and spa tub areas tend to favour plastic bulbs.
Regarding quality, both are as good as each other.
Q: INDOOR & OUTDOOR FAIRY LIGHTS OR DO I CHOOSE THE OUTDOOR PRO SERIES?
A: This depends on how you'll be using them. If you plan to leave your lights outside all year round or longer than a season then we recommend our outdoor pro series fairy lights for longevity. These have a much more durable 3.2mm rubber cable over our indoor and outdoor series which feature a 1.9mm pvc cable. Our indoor and outdoor range is excellent for seasonal installs or events outside with the added bonus of looking fabulous indoors. A popular choice for wedding venues and hanging from the ceiling or rafters to create a sky of fairy lights.
Twinkle lights / Fairy lights are available in a wide variety of light options at Love Your Lights. They feature in our indoor and outdoor fairy light ranges and come in USB, battery and mains powered options. They are also the main light in our curtain, net and icicle lights. These lights are great for energy efficiency and their connectable lengths provide so much versatility!
Festoon Lights are your higher end pseudo-vintage looking string lights. These will give you a warm glowing light as well with the added old-timey ambiance of a bulb that shows off the glowing warm white filament that lights them up inside. Great looking string lights and a customer favourite!
If undecided whether to go with festoon lights or fairy lights, pick both! They are perfect companions to one another and the options are endless when combining these two in your lighting design.
Marquees love a festoon and fairy lighting combo and we can see why! Create swags of festoon lights overhead and wrap fairy lights around the poles and entrance to create a warm and inviting entrance.
Q: WHAT’S THE BEST LAYOUT?
A: What does your space look like? This is a matter of letting your space do most of the decision making. Think about where potential hanging points are and what areas you want to focus on. String lights are fantastic for zoning areas. Like moths to a flame, we all follow the light!
Identify the most accessible power source and work from there. Your basic bistro lights generally allow you to connect up to 15 strings of lights together giving you about 150m to work with. How great is that?!
Identify the most accessible locations to hang your lights from. If you plan to attach them to your house, look at your roofline and gutters for solid attachment areas. If you have trees or a fence you plan to string your lights from, identify the best branches or posts to do this from. If you have a wide open space this may call for setting up posts which can also be in the form of planter posts.
The V Pattern (lower right) - A versatile option for any space. The V pattern is fairly easy to achieve and does not require equal string lengths on both sides to look good. Keep in mind that the pinnacle point of the V, where each side connects bears the weight of the entire light string and should be anchored sufficiently to support the additional pressure.
Zig Zag (lower middle) - Zig Zag patterns are a fun choice when you want to add full coverage illumination across your space but desire a more interesting light design. This can be achieved with one long light string or through the use of multiple strings connected end to end.
X Pattern (lower left) - X marks the spot! This design works especially well in wide spaces or areas that are square shaped. If you have multiple light strings, hang several X's in a row to create a diamond pattern. The result is a light display that appears intricate but is actually incredibly easy to achieve!
Square or Grid (top middle) - Hang patio lights in straight lines across the length and width of your space to create a grid, or keep it simple by outlining just the perimeter of your space in a square shape.
The Horizon Point (top left) - Similar to the V in that the light strings all anchor to one central point and fan out, however, this design requires more hanging locations opposite of the central horizon point. This technique for hanging patio lights is typically used in professional installations for events and restaurant patio seating. However, with some planning, the horizon point can be easily achieved in residential outdoor spaces as well!
Tent or Maypole Design (top right) - The tent or maypole design features multiple light strings anchored in a spoke and wheel arrangement from one central point. This point, typically either a pole or beam needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight of multiple light strings and may require professional installation.
Q: IS THERE A TRICK TO HANGING THESE?
A: There is if you are hanging glass bulb festoon lights. In order to prevent your strings from tangling or your bulbs from breaking you will want to remove all of the bulbs from the string before installing your festoon cable. This allows you to hang up the multiple stings in whatever pattern you choose without a tangled mess. Once you are done you can screw all the bulbs back in without any hassle.
Q: WHAT DO I SECURE THE LIGHTS WITH?
A: Take your pick! We have customers use everything from the screw in hooks, to cable ties, to s and cup hooks, gutter hooks, 3m command hooks, nails or simply wraping around objects like pergolas, trees and balustrades. Options are endless and not complicated!
Now that you have your new outdoor lighting up, its time to enjoy this newly well-lit space! Kick back and relax.
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