Overhead string lights can transform your yard from an unassuming and poorly lit space to one with the perfect amount of warm glow. Turn on these string lights and you’ll have instant ambiance for chatting over drinks for hours into the night. Overhead string lights, too, expand your home on warm evenings so kids can play and mingle outdoors with friends even after the sun has set.
Before You Begin
You can attach your overhead string lights to existing anchor points such as the house or to freestanding posts built for the purpose of hanging lights. Or you may choose a combination of the two, such as starting the lights at a house gable and ending at a freestanding post.
Existing Anchor Points
If possible, it’s best to attach your overhead string lights to existing anchor points, such as the house, deck, or trees. Not only does this eliminate the job of making posts, but existing anchor points tend to be solid, permanent, and better integrated into your yard’s footprint.
Keep in mind that the string lights will drape down, so you’ll need to find anchor points that are at least a foot or two above your head.
When you don’t have solid anchor points already, you can make your own freestanding anchor posts.
Setting an 8- or 10-foot two-by-two in a concrete-filled broad-base container produces an anchor post sufficient to hold one end of a 25-foot run of overhead lights. This can be paired with another anchor post or with a solid existing anchor point.
Purchase globe-style outdoor string lights. Sometimes called cafe or bistro lights, these lights are weather-resistant and heavy enough to hang properly for the desired look.
Be careful when working on the ladder. For house fascia, siding, and gables, you’ll need an extension ladder. Have an assistant hold the ladder steady as you work. On extension ladders or step ladders, never reach beyond a comfortable arm’s length.
For freestanding anchor posts, the container must have a broad base to prevent tipping. The bottom should not be rounded.
Do not hang overhead string lights by their cords alone. Instead, use wire rope and eye bolts to support the cords.
Source: The Spruce