What We Like
Lighter gauge wiring
Lots of bulbs
Warm, bright light
What We Don't Like
Higher energy cost
The Outdoor Lighting store is a Florida-based lighting company that specializes (as the name suggests) in only outdoor lighting, particularly string lights. The Outdoor Lighting Store Globe Outdoor String Lights are a soft globe-type light that’s best for a small outdoor area. We put the lights to the test at our Colorado home to see if they could warm up the atmosphere on cool nights.
Setup: Light wires easy to hang or wrap
The Outdoor Lighting Store Globe Outdoor String Lights come with bulbs packaged separately from the wires in styrofoam, so your only assembly is screwing in the globe-style glass bulbs. Because these bulbs are glass, it’s recommended to install the bulbs after placing the cordage. We like that the company includes 10 additional bulbs, for a total of 60, just in case of any accidents.
The thickness of the cordage is about that of an indoor lamp’s electrical cord, so hanging or wrapping these lights is easier than some heavier-duty string lights sets and more akin to stringing Christmas lights.
Choosing a location is the biggest setup choice with these or any outdoor string lights, but if you’re buying string lights, you probably have a location and purpose in mind already. The 50-foot strand can cover a lot of ground, but keep in mind that when wrapping the lights, that distance can get eaten up quickly. We tried this set on some beams above our patio and the 50 feet covered about 18 linear feet of 8 x 8-inch beam.
These lights put out a good amount of light without being blinding.
Because the wires are so light, they don’t work as well when draped (we tried hanging them from a wooden fence), but they can be hung with lightweight hardware such as hooks very easily.
The package includes a pack of small black zip ties for fastening the string in place once strung, but we didn’t have any applications where they could be used. The zip ties might come in handy if affixing the string to cable or a mesh such as a chain-link fence. While we didn’t need either, it’s hard not to wonder if the plastic clips built onto the sockets of some comparable sets aren’t a more elegant solution.
Design: Nice bulbs, cheaper plastic cable
The Outdoor Lighting Store Globe Outdoor String Lights employ a fairly light gauge black electrical cord and black plastic housings for the sockets. They’re said to be safe for indoor and outdoor use, but unlike other heavier-duty outdoor string lights that use rubber outer housings to seal off the sockets, there doesn’t appear to be any special precaution here for weatherproofing. (For what it’s worth, online reviews are strong without mention of need for additional waterproofing, and these lights were on for several hours one night in light rain during our testing without incident.)
The golf ball-sized bulbs themselves are attractive and, unlike many competitor brands that use clear plastic and LED mock-ups to impersonate the look of incandescent bulbs, this set from the Outdoor Lighting Store just sticks to good old-fashioned glass globe bulbs with filaments.
Like most lights, this string set features a connector end, so it can be combined with another length of lights (though only one).
Performance: Warm, bright light that doesn’t blind
The Outdoor Lighting Store Globe String Lights put out a good amount of light without being blinding, thanks in part to employing more, smaller bulbs instead of fewer, brighter bulbs. Most consumers looking beyond discount white Christmas lights to illuminate their outdoor space are looking for a warmer, classier look, and these lights deliver on that front.
The light falls right between a cool white and the warm yellow-orange of an incandescent, measuring around 3,200K in our testing; this provides a nice blend of visibility and warmth.
At 5 watts each, the bulbs aren’t a huge energy draw, but with the number of bulbs, each strand will still use more electricity than comparable strands of LED lights that generally top out at 1-2 watts per bulb.
We were initially concerned about the durability of the glass bulbs when left outside in the elements, but this set withstood a variety of weather conditions.
We were initially concerned about the durability of the glass bulbs when left outside in the elements, but this set withstood a variety of weather conditions and didn’t turn up any broken or dead bulbs.
The fact that the bulbs are glass might mean they hold their clarity and luster longer than the much more common plastic bulbs employed in other outdoor string lights. In fact, we used these to replace a set of similar globe-style bulbs made of plastic: After five years of outdoor exposure to direct sun, the white plastic had faded to the point of yellowing, and the bulbs had become so brittle several simply shattered during removal.
Price: Pricey, but possibly available for less
The list price for these lights online varies quite a bit between retailers, but at the time of this review, they were on the Outdoor Lighting Store website for $44.99, marked down from a regular price of $74.99. They are also listed on Amazon for a similar price.
Assuming you can get these lights in the $40-$45 range by one means or another, they are competitively priced and boast an “extensive” two-year warranty and U.S.-based customer service for a slightly higher cost than other brands with similar looks and specs.
It’s certainly hard to justify paying more than double the cost of comparable competitors.
Outdoor Lighting Store Globe String Lights vs. Hometown Evolution Globe String Lights
If you’re unable to track down a decent price on this set, you have options. Another U.S.-based outdoor lighting specialty company, Hometown Evolution, offers essentially the same product for around $40, no coupon required.
One small difference is the addition of a built-in clip (a la Christmas tree lights) on the socket housing. Otherwise, the bulb wattage and size, as well as the cord style, are identical.
Get them (if you can find a good price).
The Outdoor Lighting Store Globe String Lights worked well in our testing and are backed by solid customer service. That said, the varying prices make it unclear if you can get a solid value from your purchase. It’s certainly hard to justify paying more than double the cost of comparable competitors.
- Product Name 50ft Black String Lights
- Product Brand Outdoor Lighting Store
- Price $74.99
- Length 50 ft.
- Total Bulbs 60 (50 for the sockets, plus 10 spares)
- Warranty 2 years, limited (excludes bulbs)
- Bulb Spacing 12 in.
- Bulb Diameter 1.5 in.
- Bulb & Socket Type G40 w/ a C7 / E12 base