Looking to brighten up your outdoor area? Try these simple festoon lighting ideas – they will instantly add sparkle and style to your space. Whether you are after a cosy outdoor living room or an atmosphere that is fit for a party, it is easy to see why they're such a popular go-to. Effective, affordable, and easy to string along a fence or hang from a pergola – what is not to love? They are the perfect choice if you are on the lookout for garden lighting ideas.
When it comes to styling your festoons, there are so many options.
- For a subtle illumination around your garden we recommend swagging the lights along an exterior wall or fence, or for the ultimate wow-factor create a festoon canopy overhead. This looks particularly effective over an outdoor dining table or seating area and adds an inviting warm glow to your space.
- To emphasise a focal point such as a barbeque area, dining area or sitting area, festoon lights are a great affordable option to create atmosphere in a garden. They are the touch of décor that finishes and completes a space. They help create a zone.
Sounds perfect, right? But which is the best festoon lighting style for you? Where do I start? To help you decide, we've rounded up our favourite ways to use them. So whether you are creating a romantic dining scheme or adding a touch of fun to an entertaining space, read on for all the inspiration you need. Then, why not check out our best outdoor lights for even more ideas.
1. USE EN MASSE TO MAKE AN IMPACT
Festoon lighting can instantly transform simple bench seating into a spectacular seating area. Sometimes, more is more, and we love how these swathes of glowing milky bulbs bring a real sense of magic to this scene. Accompany with lanterns, candles, a few plants and your favourite dinnerware and you have got a table set for a very special evening outdoors.
Shop the look here: We would suggest for this sized area two sets of G45 Milky Bulbs @ $129 each. Easily connectable so only one power source and plug are used. Just align the pins on the end of the cables and connect. Add some solar lanterns for that extra ambience starting from $19.95
2. CREATE A MULTICOLOURED GLOW
Looking for something a little jazzier than the traditional honey-hued glow? Well, why not mix things up with multicoloured festoon lights?
Wind them around a pergola or string them between trees for a totally fun look and accompany with some smaller lights like the seed wire lights which can be weaved around the table. Alternatively place them in lanterns, glass dome jars, vases, tea light holders, just whatever you have at home. Your garden will feel ready for a party in no time.
Shop the look here: We would suggest one set of our G45 festoons @ $129. Choose either multi coloured, transparent or a milky coloured bulb. Easily connectable so only one power source and plug are used.
Plus add some solar lanterns for that extra ambience, starting from $19.95
3. WEAVE AROUND A PERGOLA
These beautiful warm-white lights bring a magical, hotel-like vibe to this seating area, accompanied by lots of greenery. It feels cosy and intimate – a lovely setting for two, or an evening soiree with loved ones.
Alongside a few candle holders and pared-back furniture, this is a great look for lovers of a more minimal aesthetic and quick set up. It works perfectly on a pergola-covered deck or patio alongside climbing plants.
Shop the look here: For this look we recommend either the mains powered or solar powered G40 range starting from $129. R
4. GUIDE THE WAY BY LIGHTING UP THE PATH
These lanterns provide a clever way to brighten up the entrance, set the scene and give off a warm, cosy vibe.
It is simple to recreate this contemporary look and will make your entrance a total joy to walk through. Pair with some solar copper wire seed lights around the trees and you have your own magical walkway.
Shop the look here: Solar lanterns and solar seed copper wire lights start from $19.95
5. CHOOSE A CLASSIC MONOCHROME FOR A SOPHISTICATED SETTING
Whether your garden scheme is traditional or super-contemporary, you cannot go wrong with black festoon lighting. It is a classic style that complements any colour palette and will last you for years, even as your garden evolves – and will look amazing contrasted with white or light fencing and garden furniture.
Shop the look here: We'd recommend our G45 Milky Bulb Festoons for an instant replication of this image. Alternatively go for a more softer, romantic vibe with our drop down G40 bulbs. No power? No problem, go solar!
6. UP THE FUN BY PAIRING WITH A PROJECTOR
We have mentioned the joys of fun festoons above, but to create an evening to really remember, why not pair them with an outdoor projector? It will create the ultimate laid-back vibe that you will love just as much as the kids will.
Pair with a cosy outdoor rug, deckchairs and a blanket or two and you've got the perfect set-up for a night of family entertainment outdoors.
Shop the look here:
7. MATCH WITH YOUR FURNITURE
Festoon lights are also known as 'cafe lights' for a reason – they are a great way to add mood lighting and set the tone for intimate settings. Use them to your advantage in your outdoor dining area, they'll make a dinner party table feel extra special.
For extra style points, match the colour of the festoon lights to your furniture – it will offer a modern and cohesive look. We love how this set-up feels neatly pulled together by using lots of black and dark browns.
To replicate the look, solar seed lights start at $19.95 and festoons from $79
Shop the look here:
8. MAXIMISE HYGGE IN AN OUTDOOR LIVING ROOM
We have already mentioned the power of festoon lights to make a space feel intimate, so it follows that they are perfect for cosying-up an outdoor living area to make a chill-out space.
String along a fence or weave around your pergola – the soft glow of the bulbs will gently illuminate the space and aid relaxation. Add plenty of soft textiles and you might just create your new favourite spot.
Shop the look here from $149
9. USE AS TASK LIGHTING IN AN OUTDOOR KITCHEN
When you think of task lighting, you are probably imagining lights sat flush to a ceiling or pendant light hung over a worktop. But outside, festoon lights can provide ample lighting power to assist in prepping everything from salad to skewers in an outdoor kitchen, as this setup shows.
Happily, most garden cooking spaces will back on to a fence or wall, so it is easier than ever to attach some hooks and string along your lights.
Shop the look here from $129
10. ADD INTEREST TO YOUR FENCE
If they are not covered by climbers or fronted by tall plants, fences can feel quite plain in a garden that is otherwise filled with colour and texture. So, why not add interest with festoon lights to instantly uplift the space?
The lights will also define the boundaries of your garden when it gets dark and can help guests find their way along any paths that run parallel to your fences.
For some added magic in the garden, wrap them around your trees, hedges, or plants.
Shop the look here from $19.95:
11. HANG IN A TREE FOR A BEAUTIFUL NATURAL FEATURE
Trees are a key part of a garden design, so make the most of yours by hanging festoon lights in its branches. As well as providing a beautiful canopy for any seating or dining areas underneath, the lights will accentuate the natural structure of the branches and cast stunning shadows for an instant focal point.
Shop the look here from $79
12. HANG FROM YOUR PARASOL FOR A PENDANT EFFECT
The beauty of festoon lights is that they can be hung from almost anywhere, so use potential areas to full effect – including parasols.
If you leave yours up all summer long or want to create a special display for a dinner party you are hosting, try this trick. Intertwine solar seed lights around the nearby trees and plants for that extra glow.
Shop the look here from $79:
13. DOT THROUGH YOUR GARDEN STRUCTURES
Structures like pergolas, awnings and even furniture are statement features of their own in a garden. But they come on to another level when they are adorned with pretty festoon lights.
Use as many or as few as you like to achieve your desired effect, whether that is a minimalist smattering of lights or a full-blown twinkling canopy. Either way, your garden will look glorious.
Shop the look here from:
14. PAIR WITH GREENERY – AND LOTS OF IT
There is something to be said for maximalism in a garden – it is easier to get away with going overboard when your space is out in the open.
That is why we love this festoon lighting idea, which uses strings and strings of bulbs to create a pretty canopy over a dining area, alongside tons of greenery. That is what we call a magical scene.
Shop the look here from $19.95 for outdoor fairy lights and $129 for festoons or go solar for $79:
15. USE THEM TO FRAME A FEATURE POINT
For long or narrow gardens, festoon lights can be used to great effect to draw your eye to the end of your plot.
Simply attach two to three sets of lights to either edge of your house, then trail both strings to a single point at the end of your garden – whether it is a summerhouse or a fence.
Shop the look here from $79 for solar and mains power starting at $129
HOW BRIGHT ARE FESTOON LIGHTS?
Festoon lighting is bright enough but will not emit a dazzling glare. Festoon lights are for creating atmosphere. They give a warm light so you can see each other and your drinks but you wouldn't be able to read.
ARE FESTOON LIGHTS WATERPROOF?
Yes, all our festoon lights are waterproof and the highest waterproof rating IP65
If you are wondering, IP stands for Ingress Protection, and basically states how hardy your lights are against rain, water, and dirt. The higher the score, the better. Make sure any extra cables, if using, are waterproof too. Always keep the receptacles dry.
ARE SOLAR FESTOON LIGHTS ANY GOOD?
Absolutely, if you find the right ones. You get what you pay for. Our solar festoons are commercial grade quality with a 2 year warranty so they will last and deliver over and above on expectations. Even on cloudy days our will still get some charge happening.