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Between the new fence installation, the smart outdoor office setup and the mac-daddy grill, your backyard is totally ready for summer 2021. Well, almost. There’s one more addition you should probably consider: Outdoor string lights. A bit fancier than the string lights you use on the Christmas tree, these weather-proof iterations can be strewn along fences, wrapped around trees, or hung above your alfresco tablescape. Plus, you can customize your lights from battery-operated and solar-powered models to different style bulbs, including fairy lights and globe lights. Not sure which one’s right for you? Here, the ten best outdoor string lights to shop right now.

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1. Brightech Ambience Pro LED Outdoor String Lights

Best Overall

The ideal string lights are bright enough that you can forgo flashlights, but not so bright that your guests feel like they’re being interrogated. That’s why the LEDs from Brightech are at the top of our list. Each 24-foot strand features seven Edison bulbs with exposed filaments give off a warm, vintage glow that’s reminiscent of Parisian bistros. The entire setup is waterproof and made to last with thick, rubberized cords, which explains why reviewers describe them as “built to last.”

$25.99 at Amazon


2. Brightown G40 Outdoor String Lights

Best Value

If you’re looking to light up the whole backyard, investing in strand after strand can add up quickly. That’s why we appreciate that Brightown’s cost just $15.98 for 25 feet. These patio lights come on a string with 25 incandescent globes and a spare glass bulb. Reviewers love that they give out warm white light that is dimmable and are highly durable and safe to use. “I love these lights! They are strong and last a long time. I just bought a second set to extend them out further,” writes one reviewer.

$15.98 at Amazon


3. Ove Decors Outdoor String Lights


This 48-foot commercial-grade strand is made to stand the test of time, thanks to waterproof PVC and long-lasting LED bulbs. They’re also super easy to hang from the deck railing or string over the balcony, thanks to the convenient holes located at the top of each light. Users note that they’re high quality and that the larger bulbs create a fun vintage feel. The only downside? The bulbs are really bright, leaving some to wish there was a dimmer switch.

Buy It ($274; $130)


4. Sunthin LED Outdoor String Lights (2 Pack)

Best LED

$72.99 might sound a bit steep for string lights, but once you realize that you’re getting a pack of two 48-foot-long strands, the price tag feels much more reasonable. These outdoor lights are perfect to light up your patio, where the soft, warm globe lights combine the latest cutting-edge LED technology to bring you the best of both worlds. Link them together to wrap them around the perimeter of the porch or buy two sets and string them along the fence, to give the entire backyard a subtle glow. Plus, these babies are shatter-proof, energy-saving and long-lasting.

$72.99 at Amazon


5. Latitude Run Tirante Outdoor Fairy String Lights

Best Fairy Lights

Subtle and twinkly, these lights will create a romantic and intimate ambiance to any backyard dinner. Each 10-foot strand is covered in over 300 tiny lights, a ratio that really nails the fairy light aesthetic. The lights are durable and water-resistant, perfect for outdoor use. “These look magical and work well,” says one buyer. “They seem to be of good construction too,” she adds.

Buy It ($47.99)


6. Brightech Ambience Pro Solar Powered String Lights

Best Solar Powered

If your string lights are going to hang there unused all day, they may as well be harnessing the power of the sun, right? Yep, which is why these string lights are powered by a solar panel that can be placed anywhere in your yard with the included stake and clip. Solar string lights don't need an outlet, and six hours of direct sunlight easily converts to five to six hours of power. Plus, the ring over each bulb takes hooks or guidewire, which will allow you to connect each light for a straight-line look or just some of the rings for a scalloped look.

$64.99 at Amazon


7. Lemontech Outdoor String Lights

Customer Favorite

With over 2,000 five-star reviews, these are undoubtedly the customer favorite of the bunch (and we can see why). These vintage outdoor patio lights come on a 25-foot string with 25 bulb attachments. They have a 6 inch lead with the male plug and a 6 inch tail with a female connector. Each bulb has a 12-inch space, and the durable 48-foot strand is waterproof and made to withstand the elements all year long. That said, buyers note that the bulbs can be a bit fragile, so be careful when stringing them up.

$24.45 at Amazon


8. Sol 72 Bachmann Outdoor String Lights

Longest String Lights

Looking to wrap one strand around the entire pergola? This 100-foot strand of clear globes from Sol 72 is long enough to cover large areas without the hassle of combining separate cords. Plus, the glass bulbs are extremely durable and the set comes with an extra bulb and a fuse, just in case a light cracks or burns out. “I accidentally dropped a bulb on the concrete from 6 feet high and IT DID NOT BREAK! Perfect for our patio. Hung easily with screw-in hooks. Bulbs are petite and cute,” says one reviewer.

Buy It ($96.99)


9. Leonlite LED Landscape Path Light

Best Unique Design

If you’re looking for something that’s unique, long-lasting, and a bit sturdier than the traditional outdoor string light, you should consider LEONLITE. These modern outdoor lights are ideal for both landscape and garden decorative lighting, where they feature metal stake bottoms that stay firm in the ground. With plenty of cable to connect to the main wire, you can be flexible with placement of each bulb. One reviewer writes, “We did a lot of research on landscape lights before we chose these. We wanted a unique style and a quality product. These are very well made and project lights in 4 directions... Very pleased with this purchase!”

$174.99 at Amazon


10. Lukasumi LED Outdoor String Lights

Best For Entertaining

If you’re planning on entertaining this summer, these 51-foot string lights are the perfect addition to your backyard soirées. What we love most about this product is that the lights are specially designed to be used in outdoor setups with their waterproof and shatter-resistant bulbs. Its design features 15 Edison bulbs that are made of clear plastic, which are great for creating a rustic and warm ambiance to your patio when entertaining. They can also be used for festivities and on decks, backyards and gazebos.

$38.99 at Amazon

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