The 5 Best Outdoor String Lights to Bring Your Backyard to Life After Dark

Bill Taylor
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A gathering with good friends in the backyard is one of the best ways to entertain, but you often have to plan ahead to make everything look beautiful.

One of the best ways these days is by adding super cool outdoor string lights up around your backyard.

These lights can change the whole look of your outdoor living area, so why not check out some of these best outdoor string lights and select the one that fits your style and budget.

Brightech Ambience ProBest OverallBrightech Ambience Pro
Solar LED Lanterns String LightsBudget PickSolar LED Lanterns String Lights
50ft Black String LightsUpgrade Pick50ft Black String Lights

1. Brightech Ambience Pro

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brightech Ambience Pro

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  • Simulate a Parisian sidewalk cafe or a Broadway stage with this cool retro look, all without breaking the bank!
  • Easily change the look of your home with the twist of a dial!
  • Easily create a dramatic mood for a romantic getaway, a warm party or a cool soiree!
  • Fade to white for subtle background lighting or turn up the brightness for a completely new look!

Exclusive non-removable 'blue' LEDS (Shown) for the CLEANEST spectrum available through a LED light.

100% Waterproof! Hang them in the rain and let them shine bright!

You MUST unplug your Dimmable Waterproof LED Lights during a power outage. Leaving them plugged in is dangerous-no amount of waterproofing will make them safe during a power outage, which is what dimmable means

2. Twinkle Star 300 LED Window Curtain String Light Wedding Party Home Garden Bedroom Outdoor Indoor Wall Decorations

Our rating: 9 / 10

Twinkle Star 300 LED Window Curtain String Light Wedding Party Home Garden Bedroom Outdoor Indoor Wall Decorations

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If you’re looking for LED string lights that can beautify your bedroom and home, this set from Twinkle Star should be a great choice. This 300 LED string light has more than enough lights to cover indoor areas like a dining room, office, bedroom, kitchen, and living room. Each light consists of three LEDs, with eight sets per string – 24 LEDs per strand. The light comes with an option to select from four color temperatures in cool, warm, neutral, and bright white – which should cover most light preferences. Along with the set of string lights, you’ll also get the mains adapter and a USB port adapter, which makes it perfect particularly for outdoor use. There’s even an optional extension cord so you have a little bit of leeway for your existing power options.

3. 50ft Black String Lights

Our rating: 8 / 10

50ft Black String Lights

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UL Listed.

If you’re looking for a solar powered patio light then this string light from Liberty Imports is a great option. It comes with a solar panel so you don’t have to worry about any energy costs. The only catch is that you’ll need to place the solar panel in direct sunlight for the solar panel to work.

These lights can reach up to 50 feet in length and are made of durable string that can handle some heavy tubing. They’re also waterproof and whether you wish to bring the lights outdoors or indoors, you won’t have to worry about water damaging the lights. Plus it comes with 60 G40 globe bulbs. A G40 bulb is smaller than the typical G4, and these bulbs are ideal for outdoor use. With the LEDs, you won’t have to worry about any energy costs and since they're waterproof, you can also use them in outdoor settings (indoors, of course, would also be fine).

4. Solar LED Lanterns String Lights

Our rating: 6 / 10

Solar LED Lanterns String Lights

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  • Long-lasting lights
  • Cool to the touch
  • Attractive appearance
  • Includes mini lantern and string of lights
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Made of eco-friendly materials


  • Not waterproof
  • Some also found them too delicate and brittle

After hours spent conducting research and reviewing various outdoor string lights for this review, we concluded that the solar LED lantern lights, which can be seen in the featured image, top our list. While there are a number of reasons why we think this, we’ll start with the most important: your safety and your loved ones’ safety.

When it comes to safety, you can be sure that you’re only going to get the best from ALED Light. This is because the company specializes in being able to safely illuminate parks, gardens, pools, yards, and decks, in a manner that’s easy to install and hassle free.

5. INST Solar Powered Long Lasting LED String Light

Our rating: 6 / 10

INST Solar Powered Long Lasting LED String Light

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  • Durable design
  • Made of high quality materials
  • Fairly easy to set up
  • Puts out a fairly high amount of light for a solar powered light
  • Comes with a nice storage bag
  • Comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Excellent customer service


  • A bit pricier than other string lights
  • Takes extra time to initially charge up the battery
  • There’s a noticeable delay between pressing the on/off button to turning the lights on

Our top pick is the INST Solar Powered Long-Lasting LED String Light, which is the recipient of the 2016 Red Dot Design Award. This premium string light can be used outdoors, in yards, patios, balconies, and around trees. It’s not only stylish but also powerful, with a max brightness of 180 lumens and a lifespan of up to 66 continuous hours. The manufacturer understands that there’s no point in having a string light if you can’t see it, so they’ve made the glass covers super bright and colorful. The glass ball is also coated with a thin layer of resin, which protects it against water and scratches. The very strong 10 feet x 2.5 mm cable is also made from PVC material.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best outdoor string lights?

If you’re going to buy only one string lights, you really can’t go wrong with the ProLux LED String Light Set. It has all of the features you’re looking for, is super bright, and the combination of LED and incandescent means you can use it all day or all night, every day of the year.

The down-facing bulbs produce a lot of light for a great overall effect, while the down-facing bulbs also means that it’s going to be warmer than most string light sets.

Another great benefit of this set is the flexible wire with the screw-on fittings, so you can easily customize the set to fit your space and installation location.

Do outdoor string lights attract bugs?

Not if you choose the right lights for your backyard. Lights like LED or solar ones don’t attract bugs which can be a problem in the summer. Of course, you can also have lights turned off but having them turned on is a great way to bring magic into your backyard at night.

Can you leave string lights outdoor?

Yes! It is safe to leave string lights outdoor. The only thing you need to look out for is the possible exposure to water. But usually, outdoor string lights are designed to withstand rain, snow and wind.

In most cases, they are waterproof, but even then, you should not leave them outside permanently or that will result in the weakening of the product's quality.

How can I light my backyard at night?

There are so many reasons to put more light into your backyard. It will make your home more secure, allow you to see in the dark better, and best of all give you a nice amenity that you can enjoy and share with friends and neighbors. Also, it just looks cool!

These days there are lots of ways to add light to your outdoor space. This could be lighting for a small deck, an entire back yard, a gazebo, or a patio. The best option for each application will depend on size, cost, intensity of light, installation difficulty, and even personal preference.

There are some considerations, like the intensity of light, as well as the fixture style, wire type, and the size of the bulbs used.


String lights are ideal for both indoors and outdoors, as they will not only decorate your backyard, roof, porch or patio, but you can also wrap these strands over the gazebo, above the dining table, or down the staircase. Some of them are waterproof, which makes them excellent for partying outside, no matter what the weather.

String lights for the backyard can really bring your space to life, no matter how big or small it is, as they create that warm and welcoming atmosphere. With the right set of string lights, you can now carry out amazing activities like camping, grilling, swimming, and more.

Our Recommendation

Brightech Ambience ProBest OverallBrightech Ambience Pro
Solar LED Lanterns String LightsBudget PickSolar LED Lanterns String Lights
50ft Black String LightsUpgrade Pick50ft Black String Lights