25 Inspiring String Light Ideas for Any Backyard

String lights hung up around outdoor lounge chairs and firepit

The Spruce / Margot Cavin

String lights and summer just go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you're looking to jazz up your outdoor space on the cheap and make the most of patio hangs this season, you can't go wrong with a strand of lights (or two). Not sure where to get started? The following 25 spaces will show you just how exactly you can install string lights in style this season.

  • 01 of 25

    DIY Delight

    Jenna Shaughnessy string lights

    Jenna Shaughnessy

    Jenna Shaughnessy attached wooden poles to her deck in order to easily install string lights, painting the wood to match her deck's stain. It only took her an hour to complete this project, but the result will have a major impact all year long.

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  • 02 of 25

    Colorful Comfort

    Kelly Mindell string lights

    Kelly Mindell

    Kelly Mindell added string lights to her backyard's lounge space so that it could function as a nighttime hangout spot, too. Their placement right off of Mindell's patio keeps the entire backyard space feeling cohesive.

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  • 03 of 25

    Rustic and Relaxed

    Chelsea Johnson string lights

    Chelsea Johnson

    Chelsea Johnson hung string lights above her patio's dining area, making al fresco dining that much more festive—not to mention more functional.

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  • 04 of 25

    White and Bright

    Megan Roberts string lights

    Megan Roberts

    Megan Roberts added subtle white string lights (they're hanging from the veranda) to her crisp patio. Those who prefer a more simple, modern look may wish to follow suit and opt for strands that can be more easily camouflaged.

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  • 05 of 25

    Subtle and Simple

    Dabito string lights


    Dabito's colorful back patio features a simple strand of string lights that make evening gatherings more pleasant without distracting from all of the vibrant accents. His setup proves that string lights blend well with all types of decor styles. Lighting doesn't need to be over the top to make an impact.

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  • 06 of 25

    Element of Surprise

    Kelli Mullins string lights

    Kelli Mullins 

    Kelli Mullins opted for string lights that can change color zigzagging across the porch ceiling, which adds extra intrigue to her outdoor space. Talk about a fun twist—and instant conversation starter. Young ones will especially get a kick out of lights with this type of feature, making them perfect for outdoor birthday parties.

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  • 07 of 25

    Raise the Roof

    Lindi Vanderschaaf string lights

    Lindi Vanderschaaf

    Lindi Vanderschaaf added both string lights and an outdoor chandelier to the floating deck that she installed in her backyard. Here, the string lights provide the illusion of a roof, which helps tie the space together.

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  • 08 of 25

    Pretty and Portable

    Miranda Wulfekoetter string lights

    Miranda Wulfekoetter

    Miranda Wulfekoetter built removable outdoor string light poles in order to add a glow to her backyard. This tactic makes it simple to take lights down during colder seasons to protect them from the elements.

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  • 09 of 25

    Festive Firepit

    Julian Porcino

    Julian Porcino

    With a minimalist backyard makeover complete, this space now features a welcoming fire pit flanked with four Acapulco chairs and illuminated by string lights. The setup is perfect for small summer gatherings—just add s'mores.

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  • 10 of 25

    Cheap and Chic

    Carrie Higgins string lights

    Carrie Higgins

    Carrie Higgins can't get enough of her backyard oasis, made complete with string lights that she installed after adhering just one $4 pole to her deck railings—so simple, and cheaper than a latte!

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  • 11 of 25

    Simply Beaming

    Brittany Merth string lights

    Brittany Merth

    Brittany Merth wove string lights around the beautiful exposed beams on her back patio. The end result? Totally rustic chic. This look is perfect for Scandi design enthusiasts, too.

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  • 12 of 25

    Twinkle, Twinkle

    Rachel Paxton string lights

    Rachel Paxton

    Rather than sticking to traditional globe shaped bulbs, Rachel Paxton opted for enchanting twinkle lights in her backyard. Her space couldn't look more romantic or charming. Who's in for date night under the stars?

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  • 13 of 25

    Fancy Fence

    Ariel Garneau string lights

    Ariel Garneau

    Ariel Garneau wove string lights through the panels of her fence to add a casual, cheerful touch to her backyard. In another spot, she strung globe lights through a trellis—the more bulbs, the merrier! And how sweet is her little birdhouse?

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  • 14 of 25

    Feeling Flowery

    Sarah Fogle screen porch

    Sarah Fogle

    Sarah Fogle made her light poles extra functional by placing them inside planters, which add a welcome green touch to her outdoor space. As a bonus, the plants help conceal and soften the more industrial like poles

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  • 15 of 25

    Unbelievable Umbrella

    Cristina Garay string lights

    Cristina Garay

    Cristina Garay secured twinkling lights to her outdoor umbrella, and the result helps provide additional warmth and adds an element of surprise to her space. Kids in particular will adore this type of dining setup.

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  • 16 of 25

    Mix and Match

    Lisa string light


    Lisa hung both pendant lights and string lights while turning her backyard into a casual retreat. Consider this a sign that if you like multiple types of lighting, you should just go for it—after all, the brighter, the better!

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  • 17 of 25

    All of the Accents

    Daniel Kanter string lights

    Daniel Kanter

    Daniel Kanter majorly transformed his backyard, with a new fence and gravel making a huge impact on the space. Of course, string lights were a must when it came to finishing touches. And truthfully, what outdoor social area would be complete without them?

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  • 18 of 25

    Beautiful Balcony

    Jackie Giardina string lights

    Jackie Giardina 

    Jackie Giardina proves that even a small balcony can look nice and luxe with the addition of string lights. We love how she mixed her strand in with a few funky white lanterns, too.

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  • 19 of 25

    Easy Peasy

    Jenna Sue string lights

    Jenna Sue

    Like others, Jenna Sue also made use of planters to support string lights in her backyard. She promises that this transformative DIY is easy enough for beginners to tackle.

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  • 20 of 25

    Dream Vacay

    Emily Manera string lights

    Emily Manera

    Emily Manera jazzed up her beautiful Joshua Tree Airbnb with string lights that add an extra cozy factor to the outdoor lounge space. Who needs stargazing when you have a sky of twinkle lights?

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  • 21 of 25

    Line It Up

    Vertical Arts Architecture string lights

    Vertical Arts Architecture

    Hanging string lights in two parallel lines as seen in this space by Vertical Arts Architecture can make an expansive outdoor space feel a bit more relaxed. Best of all, this positioning doesn't obstruct the property's stunning nature view.

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  • 22 of 25

    Dazzling Diamond

    Amy Naidoo string lights

    Amy Naidoo

    Amy Naidoo used her string lights to create a diamond shaped pattern that adds lots of visual interest to her backyard on the cheap. Plus, it balances out the imposing nature of such a dark fence.

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  • 23 of 25

    Trick Out the Trellis

    Jessica Stegbauer string lights

    Jessica Stegbauer

    Jessica Stegbauer's trellis shines with all of the lights. Such a simple fix can make a space more usable and cozy in an instant.

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  • 24 of 25

    Black, White, and Lights

    Alexandra Brogly string lights

    Alexandra Brogly

    Alexandra Brogly also wove lights into her trellis, and they complement her black and white scheme perfectly while providing plenty of illumination at night.

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  • 25 of 25

    The More the Merrier

    Carla Isolano string lights

    Carla Isolano

    Carla Isolano mixed different styles of string lights—icicle and bistro style bulbs—on her back patio to create a one of a kind arrangement. If you like multiple looks, why settle on just one?