Get Your String Lights in Shape with Popular Patio Light Hanging Patterns - Yard Envy (2024)

Get Your String Lights in Shape with Popular Patio Light Hanging Patterns - Yard Envy (1)

Spring has officially arrived and that means it's time to get in shape! Now don't start dusting off those old workout videos, today we're talking about patio string lights! From straight lines to scallops, string lights can take on many different shapes and almost any of these will work in the area you are looking to illuminate. But, before you begin hanging patio lights, it is helpful to determine the best way to utilize the space you have in order to get the most out of your outdoor lighting project.

Patio String Lights Hanging Patterns:

  • The ZigZag
  • The Crossover X
  • The Square
  • The Scallop
  • The Wall Hug
  • The Magic Circle

Zig Zag Patio Lights

Some people love straight foward thinking, others like to keep things interesting by forging a new path. 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.

Pattern Perfection Pro Tip: Hang light strings closer together to create a canopy of stars that covers the entire space. If you have one or two very long light strings and an area that is more long and narrow, consider spacing each section farther apart to cover a greater distance with less strings. For even brighter illumination, consider wrapping surrounding trees with mini lights!

The Crossover X Light Pattern

X marks the spot! You can crisscross light strings across any space to make an X pattern, and 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!

Get Your String Lights in Shape with Popular Patio Light Hanging Patterns - Yard Envy (3)

X Pattern Patio Lights

Pattern Perfection Pro Tip: Use patio light strings with larger bulb sizes and wider socket spacing for bigger areas. If you are working in a small space, choose smaller bulb sizes, such as G30 globe lights, with tighter socket spacing between each bulb.

Hang Patio String Lights in Squares!

Maybe you love checkers or maybe you're a fan of clean lines, but either way this lighting pattern is nothing short of perfection! For this patio string lights design, symmetry takes center stage. Don't worry, you don't need to be a math whiz for this one! All you have to do is hang 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!

Pattern Perfection Pro Tip: For optimal grid patio lighting consider the size of your space. If you need to cover a larger area, large G50 globe lights or S14 party lights would work well to provide ample illumination across a wider distance. For cozy spaces consider using smaller G40 globe lights or even mini lights to create an inviting glow without being overwhelmingly bright. If you like the look of the grid but want a little extra sparkle, try hanging twinkling icicle lights to create a canopy of illumination above your space!

The Scallop

Hanging patio lights in a scallop pattern is a popular choice for wedding lighting and garden parties. This patio lights pattern results in a delicate and very elegant lighting display and can be achieved with a variety of string light styles!

Get Your String Lights in Shape with Popular Patio Light Hanging Patterns - Yard Envy (4)

Scalloped Patio Lights

Pattern Perfection Pro Tip: Globe lights and C9 bulbs are an excellent choice for hanging against large surfaces, while garland string lights and C7 light strings create a beautiful scalloped display across decks and fences.

The Wall Hug Pattern in Patio Lights

Some people hug their trees, others hug their walls! Regardless of hugging preference, patio lights can be hung vertically or horizontally against a wall or even a fence. This patio lighting idea adds depth to smaller spaces and works especially well in areas where there is not enough vertical room for lights to hang overhead. No matter what type of space you have, the end result is utterly charming!

Pattern Perfection Pro Tip: Create a lighting design that is uniquely you by mixing different types of string lights! Try alternating globe lights with mini light strings or mix and match colors for a funky new look!

The Magic Circle

If your landscape includes a gazebo or round canopy, wrap or hang patio lights around the perimeter of either the top or the railings. This creates a circle of light that is truly magical and a stunning backyard focal point!

Pattern Perfection Pro Tip: When wrapping or hanging lights around a circular structure, try to keep lights hanging tightly against the surface. Hanging the lights snug against the outside rim will create the desired magic circle lighting effect!

This Way to Patio Lights!

Learn how to hang patio lights on our DIY patio lights guide and leave a comment below to tell us how you're going to hang your patio lights! We'd love to see your photos too!

Get Your String Lights in Shape with Popular Patio Light Hanging Patterns - Yard Envy (2024)


What pattern to hang patio lights? ›

Zig Zag patterns are a fun choice when you want to add full coverage illumination across your space. X Patterns work especially well in wide spaces or areas that are square shaped. Square pattern is created by outlining the perimeter of your space. Scalloped Edge patterns work well along a fence or wall.

How do you hang string lights on a covered patio without nails? ›

Try Outdoor Adhesive Hooks

Adhesive hooks are common among people who want to hang led fairy lights outdoors. There are various reasons for the popularity of adhesive hooks. One is that they provide an easy and convenient way of setting lights on your preferred surface.

What are backyard string lights called? ›

Outdoor string lighting from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives®, also known as bistro or café lighting, sets the stage for relaxed backyard enjoyment.

How many string lights do I need for my patio? ›

String Lights

(Don't forget to include enough to reach the outlet.) For columns or trees, measure once around and multiply that by how many times you'll wind your light around. Once you determine the total length, divide that by the length of a single strand for the quantity you'll need to purchase.

How do you hang patio lights without hooks? ›

How to Hang String Lights Without Nails: Try These Six Convenient...
  1. Use Adhesive Clips. The first solution on your list is adhesive clips. ...
  2. Wrap Around Household Items. Another good idea is to wrap the led string lights on household items. ...
  3. Use Transparent Tape. ...
  4. Pushpins. ...
  5. Wire Suckers. ...
  6. Wrap Around Banisters.

How do you hang outdoor string lights without posts? ›

One simple and effective way to hang string lights is by attaching them along a fence. Use hooks to secure the lights to the top of the fence, making sure they are evenly spaced. This method works well if you have a solid fence that can support the weight of the lights.

How do you string patio lights without trees? ›

Look around your yard to find other structures that might act as good supports for your lights. Examples are any poles and pillars on a porch, sheds or other outbuildings, gazebos, or trellises. You can easily attach your lights to any of these supports without using trees.

How do you decorate your yard with string lights? ›

Use a Big Tree as a Base

This setup proves you don't need much to light up your backyard. Simply drape string lights from a big tree to the roof of your house and watch your backyard shine.

What's the difference between fairy lights and string lights? ›

Fairy Lights are not considered as much as a lighting application rather than a decoration element, since they are not very bright (compared to the String Lights). However, they are a very flexible decorative lighting solution since they can be installed relatively easily almost everywhere.

Are fairy lights or LED lights better? ›

LED lights last longer and use less energy than traditional fairy lights. LED fairy lights use up to 75% less energy and can last up to 10 times longer.

How do you zig zag outdoor lights? ›

Many people hang strings in a zigzag pattern across an open space; if you're doing this, plan for each "zig" or "zag" to be a single cable connected at each end to a screw hook (cables can "share" a screw hook).

How do you hang patio lights with guide wire? ›

Attach the snap hooks on the guide wire to the screw hooks and hang the guide wire across the planned light layout. Tighten the ends using the cable clips to keep the guide wire at a taut length. For a layout in a wheel-spoke pattern, use an open hook in the center that can connect multiple snap hooks and hold tension.

What pattern do you use to hang festoon lights? ›

Now is also a good time to decide on the pattern you want to use for your festoon lighting. The most popular patterns are X, V, zig-zag, parallel, or pinwheel, depending on the shape of the area. When choosing a pattern, keep in mind the location of the power source.

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