Transform your outdoor areas and patios into your own private escape with patio lights! There are several options when it comes to bulb type and display design. Globe lights are great for a classic, yet versatile look. Otherwise, if you are looking for a vintage style, bistro feel S14 bulbs might be a better fit. Either option will transform your backyard or event space into an oasis that will carry you from day to night.
The key to creating a flawless patio light display is design. Start by measuring the dimensions of your space. Drawing a rough sketch of the area you plan on hanging your lights and writing in the measurements for reference. Popular hanging locations for patio lights include:
- Outlining a gazebo or pergola
- Across the backyard or deck
- Anchored to trees
- Hanging against deck or patio railings.
Part of the classic look achieved by decorating with patio lights is the natural curve created by the strings. This look is accomplished by adding 2-6 feet to your measurements and using that number to purchase your cord.
Inspiration for patio light design can be found in a variety of places such as event spaces, restaurant patios, and public squares. There is no right or wrong when it comes to patio light patterns, but some of the most popular can be found below.
The “V” Pattern
The “V” pattern is simple to achieve and doesn’t require even string lengths to look good, making it a versatile option for any space. The pinnacle point of the V, where each side connects, bears most of the weight of the connecting light sets and should be anchored accordingly to support the additional pressure.
The “W” or Zig Zag Pattern
The zig zag pattern is perfect for areas when you want full coverage, but still want a more interesting lighting design. You can create this look with multiple lights sets connected end to end, or with one long light string.
The “X” Pattern
This design is perfect for spaces that are wide or more square shaped. If you have more space or multiple light sets, try hanging several “X’s” in a row for an intricate, yet easy to achieve diamond pattern.
The Square or Grid Pattern
Keep it simple by outlining the perimeter of your space in a square shape. Or, if you want a more intricate look hang patio lights in straight lines across the width and length of the area to create a grid.
The Horizon Point Pattern
The horizon point is similar to the “V” pattern, in that the light strings all anchor to one point and fan out from there. The horizon point however, requires more anchor points opposite the central horizon point. This is one of the patterns commonly used by professionals for restaurant patio seating and events, but with some planning can easily be achieved in residential outdoor spaces as well.
Tent or Maypole Pattern
Multiple light strings anchored to one center point and branching out in a spoke or wheel pattern create the tent or maypole design. The center point is usually a pole or beam, and since it will need to support the weight of multiple light sets, may require professional installation to ensure support.
Scalloped Edge Pattern
A popular choice for wedding lighting and garden parties, the scalloped edge can be achieved by making a swag in your light string every 2-3 bulbs. This is a great solution when installing lighting along a fence, wall, or other flat surface.