The Wonders of String Lights

Anytime is a great time to look at making your space as beautiful as can be. We enjoy being in attractive spaces, and it’s hard to resist staying as long as we can with beauty all around us. Explore the perfect decorations for brightening everyday areas or special occasions in this ultimate guide to string lights for spring, summer, and fall.

String lights aren’t like ordinary decorations. They’re extremely versatile, and an easy fit for nearly any space during any time of year. And when you’re setting the scene for the perfect party or event, decorating with string lights is always a strong choice.

outdoor string light ideasIn this illuminating guide, you’ll discover what string lights really are, and which types are best for spring, summer, and fall. Read through to the end for a bonus section on easy lighting installs that are sure put your rooms in a whole new light.

What Are String Lights?

We talk about them a lot. But not all lights connected to a string are what we call string lights.

String lights, or the alternate light strings, is a term for one or more sets of lights that are sealed on a string through an “inline” design. 

types of string lights

This is a major difference from lights that use retrofit/replaceable bulbs, such as C9 or G50 bulbs.

Christmas light retrofit bulbs and light lineString lights like the ones we sell use a non-replaceable bulb design that prevents dirt, water, and other outdoor corrosives from leading to burnt out light sets. Even the rectifiers on our lights, which prevent flickering, are double sealed to protect them from the elements for longer lasting, consistently shining bulbs.

Another major characteristic of string lights is their fixed number of bulbs and the amount of spacing between them. They also have smaller bulbs than their retrofit counterparts. Smaller bulbs emit less light than retrofits, making LED light strings suitable for both outdoor and indoor use.

The Right Lights for Spring, Summer, and Fall

String lights encompass a variety to choose from, but this guide is meant to make your decisions for year-round decorating a breeze. Check out the lights below for styles that are in style all year long for many kinds of lighting ideas.

5mm Wide Angle Conical Lights

Our most popular lights, wide angle conical lights are the top choice in lights for the majority of professional Christmas lights installers around the world. Superior brightness and dependability are the biggest factors that have helped these LED light strings earn their prestigious reputation. And their concave lens design is a no less remarkable feature: when lit, 5mm wide angle conicals look like the old incandescent mini lights that are familiar to many admirers.

wide angle conical lights for sprint summer outdoor deck lightingFor lights that the pros depend on—along with a touch of nostalgia—look no further than 5mm wide angle conicals. Consider decorating with them to light up your outdoor foliage.

C6 LED Lights

Looking for lights that strike a perfect balance for both outdoor and indoor applications? Then look to C6 LED lights. C6s radiate a soft, heavenly glow that livens up the area they inhabit. They’re also welcome at events for creating a dreamy atmosphere to help make the moment unforgettable. Put them up for a joyful baby shower, or a tender wedding ceremony. If you’re interested in using C6 LED lights to transform your backyard into a sanctuary, click here to discover how.

G30 LED Lights

The smallest of the globe style lights, G30 LED lights are a timeless fixture for party and event lighting. G30s are the only globe lights that are string lights, as opposed to the retrofit G40 and G50 bulbs. They provide the least amount of light compared to the larger sizes, so they’re a great choice for indoor lighting. Bring the bistro atmosphere into the comfort of your own dining room, or cast a shimmering shine onto your deck. For more ways to put your home’s deck in its best light, click here.

globe lights for outdoor lightingTwinkly RGB Strings

Twinkly RGB lights marked “strings” are indeed string lights, and they’re always an eye-catching attraction. These LED light strings complement a variety of holidays perfectly, glowing in every color you need to fit any theme. Create a romantic vibe for Valentine’s with pink and red hues, or set the mood for spooky season with shades of orange, green, and purple.

Twinkly smart lights for outdoor lightingThe power of LED lights is realized through Twinkly PRO and Plus, giving you access to the Effects Gallery. Choose from an array of mesmerizing patterns that will take your displays to the next level. LED lights will never be the same with Twinkly RGB lights—for all the bright reasons. Click here to see how you can elevate the way you decorate.

Fairy Lights

Last but certainly not least, fairy lights are probably the most well known type of light in this guide because they’re commonly referred to as string lights themselves. Their string-like appearance has helped them take on this label. But at the end of the day, fairy lights are a single style of LED light strings out of a plethora.

fairy lights for outdoor patioFairy lights provide intriguing accents to your balcony decor (click here for more ideas on balcony decorating), and they also shine in home-made arrangements such as lights-in-a-jar. Just make sure you're using your lights in a covered area (such as a screened-in porch) and not exposing them to weather elements.

Bonus: Indoor Lighting Installs for Radiant Rooms

String lights are excellent for indoor lighting applications, which is why we’re putting a couple ideas here that will change the way you see your rooms. We’re also including recommended light types that will ensure these installs look their best.

Cabinet Lighting

Give your kitchen the wow-factor of brilliant ambience. Light up the perimeters above, below, or even inside your kitchen cabinets. For lighting above the cabinets, place your lights neatly along the outer edges of the cabinet tops and you’re all set. For lights underneath the cabinets, secure the string along the bottom edge of the cabinets closest to the wall using evenly spaced adhesive hooks. Lights inside the cabinets are lined on the shelving nearest the kitchen wall, and they can also be lined along either end of the shelving.

indoor string light ideasWe suggest leaving your LED light strings away from any shelving edges near the doors so that you can grab items in your cabinet without pulling or dragging the string.

Want spectacular looking cabinets? Combine all of the above ways of decorating the cabinets. Drill a hole in the rear corners at the bottom of the cabinet, and in the rear corners of the cabinet shelving. Also put a hole in the corner near the front of the top  level so you can more easily reach the line. Feed the light string through, and you have dazzling cabinets inside and out!

Fairy lights are fantastic for this application thanks to their compact size and nice level of light.

Ceiling Perimeter Lights

You’ll definitely feel the difference the next time you’re in the room with this application. It’s an install that adds a wonderful aura to any room. Line the perimeter of where the walls meet the ceiling with your string lights. Choose from thumbtacks, screw-in hooks, or adhesive hooks to hold the string. For thumbtacks, drive them into the wall and place the string over them.

While thumbtacks and screw-in hooks are the most secure methods of holding the string, adhesive hooks are a great option if you’d like to avoid putting holes in the walls or ceiling. Use even spacing in the tacks or hooks for a clean presentation. Measure the perimeter that you’ll be lighting, and mark the connection points with a pencil.

The indoor-friendly glow of C6 lights makes them a wonderful style for this install.

Now that you have clarity on what string lights are and how you can use them, you’ll have a clearer plan for your spring, summer, and fall decorating. If you’d like us to clear anything else up on decorative or holiday lighting, we’re here to help. Send your questions to [email protected] or ask at 1-800-391-5280.  Here’s to your success on all of your lighting arrangements!