As we wind down the second half of the year, we eagerly anticipate the moment we can enjoy the crisp, cool outdoor weather. Nothing goes with a fall breeze better than a cup of spiced cider and some inviting patio string lights. Like a teaser before the Christmas season, LED string lights create a warm, cheery ambiance for your porch, patio, pergola or landscaping. Outdoor string lights open up entertainment opportunities well into the final months of the year, helping you win the war against the shortening days of autumn.

What are LED String Lights and How Do I Use Them?

led outdoor string lights

Defined as any type of decorative LED Christmas light strung along a line, the term covers a broad spectrum of bulb types and styles. Historically, string lights were used for festivals and holiday celebrations, gaining the most popularity during the Christmas season. Nowadays you’ll find string lights everywhere, from bistro lights across a restaurant patio to glistening white strand lights around a wedding venue or school dance.

So how do you make string lighting look so enchanting? You need to understand how the path of the line will enhance the look your area. For example, bistro lighting usually has a slouch in the line. This casual look makes people feel welcome and relaxed, a perfect choice for restaurant patios. Neat, orderly rows of lights create a strong and exciting feel, drawing attention to a focal point (such as a roofline or building perimeter).

Backyard String Lighting for your Home

This fall, you may be planning on gathering around an outdoor entertainment area for football games, Thanksgiving or neighborly catch-up. We have a few tips to help prepare your space with string lights so you can host friends and family this fall.

Outdoor String Bistro Lights for Patios, Porches and Pergolas

outdoor bistro lights

Chances are you have not only seen these lights by now but also that you’ve sat beneath them on the patio of your favorite café or local restaurant admiring their glow. They feature durable, heavy gauge black wiring and bright yet softly glowing, industrial Edison-like bulbs. These aren’t your standard string of twinkle lights or even globe lights. These lights are exactly what you need to truly illuminate your patio with style. Available in a variety of lengths, you can order just what you need for your patio size and shape. You can also customize the lights to your personal taste, as these lights are available in a classic, minimal style and with special features like metal accents. For a unique and modern style, we love them with a matte copper shade. Or for some festive color options, try these patio party lights.

Custom String Lights for Outdoors

custom outdoor string lights for fall

If you’re looking for a more customizable outdoor string lighting solution,  to fit the area, people fail to realize that empty socket Christmas light line is a wonderful option. We are passionate about using bulk light line and retrofit bulbs to create custom lighting solutions, as demonstrated in the installation videos below. We've used bulk light line and bulbs to complete an installation for commercial bistro patio lighting and for summer landscape pool lighting around a home. When we used 24-inch light line and G50 bulbs for the landscape lighting installation, the lights created the perfect amount of ambiance along the trees and water. Custom line lighting can be used any time of year to help maximize your enjoyment of outdoor entertainment areas for any season.

Twinkly Festoon LED Lights

Who wants to commit to only warm white? With so many reasons for colored patio lighting (hello, Halloween!), Twinkly RGB Festoons offer up to 16 million color combinations with G45 bulbs. Best of all, Twinkly lights are mappable with a smart app, allowing control of every bulb color. You can create custom color combinations that can be changed with the touch of your fingertip.

Color String Light Ideas We Love for Fall:

color festoon lights for outdoor parties

NFL colors: football team colors for any fall gameday, but especially the big Thanksgiving game

School colors: spirit colors and athletic support for your children’s elementary, middle, high school or college

Halloween: orange lights, orange + purple lights, scary strobing lights, creepy blinking green lights

Pink: for breast cancer patients and survivors, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and is represented by the color pink

Teal/Aqua: for prostate cancer patients and survivors, November is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and is represented by the color teal

Fairy Lights

fairy lights

Add instant charm and soft, ethereal lighting to nearby outdoor containers with LED fairy lights. Tabletop lanterns, glass orbs and potted plants are great places to string fairy lights, using the copper wire to bend the small light droplets around. Fairy lights are a welcome accent for fall along with pumpkins, pinecones, orange foliage and shimmering surfaces that capture the light.

Light Timer: Your Key to Outdoor Fall Lighting Success

“A what?” you may be asking yourself, but yes, you need a timer for your string lights. Otherwise, you'll be climbing behind hedges or furniture to reach your nearest outlets, perhaps dragging out your trusty orange extension cord every time a guest arrives. A light timer will ensure your lights are ready to glow, and in fact, already glowing whenever you need them to be. Set them to come on at the same time each evening and light up the night. Then, they’ll turn themselves off by morning. It may be one of those things that you never knew you needed until you had it. Trust us, you’ll be glad you have it each evening when your patio sets itself aglow.

With your string lights hung and timers set, you will be ready to enjoy the first night of perfect autumn air and every beautiful night to follow. Prep your appetizers and chairs and put your fall patio lights to use with your family and friends.