String Lights Buying Guide

String lights are a popular fixture for decorating a yard or a porch regardless of the time of the year. Because of this, many homeowners buy what they find in most retail stores only to be disappointed with how fast it broke. This is not surprising since these are quite cheap and you always get what you pay for.

On the other hand, buying string lights with replaceable bulbs can be quite confusing with how much variety there is. But, don’t worry. With this guide, you can easily choose the right one for what you need.

1. Measure how much you need

To determine the length you need for your string lights, you need to first decide how you will hang them in your yard. Will you use a parallel design? Or will it be a square contrast, V-shape, a W-shape, a tent design, or a horizon point design? Whatever it will be, you need to sketch this out and mark where you will place the anchor points for hanging the lights.

Then, you need to measure the length between each anchor point where you will be hanging them. But, do not use the exact measurement between the two points for picking the length of your string lights. The string lights will not have a straight line between their anchor points. Instead, there will be an arc to the string and you can account for this by adding around 2 to 6 feet to the measurement you got. Don’t worry if you are buying too long of a string since you can always double it at the ends to shorten it.

2. Choose the right light bulb

Before thinking about what string light to get, you must first decide on the light bulb you will choose. In choosing a light bulb, there are three considerations you must make – bulb shape, bulb size, and base.

  • Bulb shape: Bulb shapes are available in globe light (G), classic patio (S11), party light (s14), Christmas (C), and standard (A). If you want a classic look, globe lights, party lights, and patio lights are the way to go. If you want a more conservative look, you can use the standard or the household-style bulb. If you want something different, you can use Christmas bulbs, specifically the C7 and C9 bulbs.
  • Bulb size: The best bulb size for your use depends on your design preferences. Generally, it is recommended to get a size depending on how high you can hang the string lights. So, if you can hang it higher, you can use a taller light bulb.
  • Base: Light bulb bases are available in candelabra, intermediate, and standard. Although you will have no choice in some cases depending on the bulb size you pick, it is still best to be aware of this since this will be your basis if the light bulb will fit in your string light.

3. Choose the right string lights

When choosing a string light, there are some non-negotiable requirements that you must know. What you choose must have a thick wire gauge and wire insulation, the right base for your light bulbs, and the capacity to handle the wattage of your light bulbs. As for the colors, you can choose from green, white, or black and the best choice would simply depend on your personal preference.

4. Make sure to use string lights rated for outdoor use

Not all string lights can be used outdoors. Outdoor-rated string lights are sealed against moisture and resistant to corrosion. It also covers parts that might electrocute someone when electrical connections inside the fixture eventually deteriorate. If you have the budget for it, it would be best to get commercial-grade string lights since these are the best string lights for outdoor use.

Contact Us!

If you’re looking for a top-quality, low-maintenance outdoor lighting system in Nashville, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Nashville Outdoor Lighting Systems, we pride ourselves on our customer service and high-quality products. We offer a free consultation to help you determine what kind of system would best suit your needs, and our team of experts will work with you to install it quickly and efficiently. Plus, our systems are backed by a five-year warranty, so you can rest assured that your investment is protected. What are you waiting for? Schedule your free consultation today!

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