What are Festoon Lights?
Festoon lights are closely related to the classic fairy string light. Instead of small LED bulbs along a string, these lights are fitted with small bulb sockets that in most cases can hold the bulb of your choice. They focus on safety, weather resistant IP ratings, are great DIY lighting solutions and are virtually maintenance free. They are often found throughout outdoor areas in breweries, pubs, cafes, music festivals and even suspended between city alleyways. However, Festoon Lights are also perfect for around the home in the backyard, on the balcony or even indoors.
Why Choose Festoon Lights?
Festoon lights are fantastic lighting solutions. They are multipurpose and so versatile that anyone can use them to increase their home appeal or add a nostalgic touch to a commercial project. Ranging from the homeowner’s DIY party lighting that plug into a wall socket without the need for an electrician, to heavy duty, made to last permanent commercial fitouts that will endure harsh weather. Furthermore, festoon lights are highly customisable with particular styles available in different lengths, with extra tail lengths and choice of bulbs.
Festoons can be found in many varieties but there are two common: flush or hanging.
This style sits flush against the festoon light cabling with no hanging. This means that wherever you place the cable, the lights are also placed in that position. This style is great for lining edges of signage, billboards or a deck roof.
The first has the light bulbs flush against the string. The second style features the bulbs hanging from a small cable that is attached to a main cable cord.
Where to Place Festoon Lights?
Festoon lights can be placed nearly anywhere around the home, even inside. Due to their versatility and ease of use, placement of festoon lights is limited to the imagination.
Where residential applications of festoons lights are commonly found. Festoon lights are available in the perfect lengths for small and large backyards, meaning no matter the size of your home, you can use them. String in trees, hang them from an apartment courtyard wall or thread from one end of a yard to the other.
Inside the Home
Festoon lights are not just for the outdoors. Decorating a child’s bedroom, the family living room or staircase railings with string lights is a common design found in homes. As some variations of festoon lighting can be easily plugged in via a wall socket power switch, they are simple to install, use and pack away for another time.
Whether in a brewery warehouse, suburban cosy café or large family pub eatery, festoon lights can set the mood. Festoon lights are available in lengths from 10 metres all the way up to 100 metres, meaning large spaces are not left out. Think both outdoors and indoors. Large warehouse breweries or pub eating areas are perfectly suited for illumination via festoon lights. Beer gardens, café outdoor seating areas and even open-air restaurants are also ideal for festoon lights.
When to Use Festoon Lights?
Deciding when to use festoon lights is only limited by the imagination. Almost any event, whether it is indoors or outdoors, these lights are more than suitable.
Festoon lights are commonly found in small to large backyards and are perfect for parties. Whether it be a birthday party, Christmas, catch up drinks or just a family dinner on a summer night, bowing festoons over a grassy yard or over a table set up creates an unmatched atmosphere.
Whether it’s a backyard wedding, on a farm, at a golf club or in a church, a wedding can be lit by festoons to create an unrivalled atmosphere.
More and more outdoor festivals and events are being lit by festoon lighting. Concerts, food festivals, pop up breweries and street parties all chose festoon lights to create ambient atmospheres for guests and patrons.
Events like corporate functions, council events or retail store opening nights can all be enhanced with festoon lights. The DIY versatility the plug-in capabilities of festoon lights mean they can be set up for short events and packed away easily.
How to Hang Festoon Lights
As spaces, homes and workplaces vary in size, some festoon lengths are better than others and hanging these can present issues like drooping and sag in the festoon line. You also must consider, among many other things, the way you are going to hang your festoons across your space. Below are some essential tips on hanging your festoons lights in your space.
1. Plan & Measure
Before purchasing your festoon lights, measure your space and hanging distance. this will help you when deciding on what length of light you need or if extra hooks, cables or wiring is needed. Measure everything before you shop. This includes the width of your space, the height of the area and estimation of your desired drop and even the width of a tree. This will then come in handy when browsing and deciding on what type of festoon you want to buy.
2. Use Hooks & Wires
Generally, festoon light end caps should not be used to support long lengths of string lights. Instead, coaxial staples and cable clips can be used to secure festoons to edges around your home. Using a wire cable and hooks can also add extra strength to hanging lights and let you reduce drooping and sag in the line. These can be purchased online or from your local hardware store. Please see illustrations below as an example:
3. Get Creative
Festoons are most effective when they are creatively hung. This could mean wrapping around a large central backyard tree, draping across a backyard fence or suspending across an outdoor eating and entertaining areas. Festoons look their best with a slight unobtrusive slack in the line sand draped over a main area in the space. You don't always need a complicated design. Use your backyard for inspiration and start drapping.
4. Think About the Layout
There are several common ways to hang festoon lengths, depending on your space size and purpose. These will each present the light in a slightly different way and are each their own statement. Ways to hang your festoons lights are limited to the imagination but following a particular style can sometimes help make those decisions simpler and stress free.
Please see below for examples of different festoon light hanging layouts:
This layout of hanging festoons features a central point, like a tree or pillar, and hanging the lights spread in a wedge shape to a secure point, like skirting board or fence. This spreads out light and can cover many different areas. A wedge layout can be as small or large as you need by choosing appropriate lengths of string light. Keep in mind your power source and if the secure points are suitable for installation.
This layout is a simple and effective way to use festoon lights by hanging them in a row parallel to each other. This covers a wide range of illumination, perfect above outdoor entertaining settings. It is a classic style that is found in cafes, breweries and outdoor areas.
Perfect for smaller areas like courtyards and small cafes areas. the criss-cross layout is a classic layout that covers a large area and does not require long measurements of festoon strings.
Light Bulb of Choice
At Love Your Lights this is the S14 range available solar and mains powered and all are a warm white glow.
The bulb measures 45*84mm
At Love Your Lights this is the G45 range available in transparent, milky and multi coloured bulbs. All are mains powered and have a warm white glow.
The bulb measures 45*75mm
At Love Your Lights this is the G40 range available solar and mains powered and all are a warm white glow.
The bulb measures 30*40mm
IP Ratings / Waterproof Ratings
Like all outdoor lighting, Festoon Lights will have an Ingress Protection (IP) rating. This indicates the level of protection that a light has against solids like dust and liquids like water. The higher the number, the greater the protection. When looking at an IP Rating, the first number indicates solids protection and the second indicates water protection. Always double check a lights IP rating before installing.
Higher IP rated Festoon lights will have a seal at the base of the lampholder. When sealed correctly, this creates a tight seal to prevent water getting in and damaging the bulbs. Check the bulb seal and lampholder to ensure there are no cracks.
At Love Your Lights all our festoons are IP65 and waterproof. They can withstand all conditions and be left outside.