String light backyard

Image via flickr

I didn’t know how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees but had to learn quickly after getting my own place. These may be a simple invention, but string lights can transform the atmosphere of any get-together.

When the sun starts to go down, these humble strings begin to sparkle and twinkle like fairy dust. They might not give out light enough to see by, but that’s the beauty of it. The whole impression is that of a beautiful, mysterious atmosphere – perfect for any sort of event organized on the deck or any outdoor space.

If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, you can host a barbecue party or even a small-scale event there. Nothing compares to those lovely lights peeping out from some greenery. However, what if there are no trees for this purpose?

While trees can give the perfect height and support to your string lights, they’re not absolutely necessary. If you want to know how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees, you should learn some ways to do it.

Safety First: Things You Should Know Before Knowing How to Hang String Lights in Backyard Without Trees

When you’re handling the lighting of any sort, you should be careful about certain safety measures. Before you start handling these string lights or changing the fuse, you must keep the following precautions in mind:

Should you call in a pro?

Call a pro


Some of these string lights might seem to be easy DIY projects, but they’re not all that simple. If your particular set of string lights require proper installation or some heavy batteries, it’s wise to hire an electrician. It might cost a bit, but it’s definitely better than a blown fuse or a fire hazard!

Getting an electrician on board might also be best if you don’t know how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees at all. You can always shadow them and get a practical demonstration for the future.

Outdoor string lights are way different than indoor ones

String light


Before you start with this project, you need to ensure that each bulb and fixture is rated for using outdoors. Even when you’re hanging the lights under the roof, the area could be very cold and damp. Your string lights should be able to handle at least a bit of moisture.

You can get fixtures that are especially rated for working in wet locations.

It’s the wattage game

The bulbs in your string lights need to be of the right wattage and type. If the wattage is not noted on the packaging or you’ve lost the box, you should get in touch with the manufacturer. The information may also be easily available online.

The wattage of the bulbs must not exceed the level that your home provides. If there’s an excess, the bulb could overheat and start a fire.

The bulbs have a big role



It’s best to install bulbs that have extended life spans, especially if you’re figuring out how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees. That usually means you’ll be hanging them in awkward locations.

You don’t want to climb ladders or get up on the roof again and again. Therefore, you should save your time and potentially your neck by investing in long-lasting bulbs.

The power supply may act differently in the backyard

String light


Extension cords are a must-have if you want to know how to hand string light in a backyard without trees. If you’re using any, though, you should inquire if they’re marked for outdoor usage.

Also, extension cords should only be a temporary solution. Even if they’re suitable for use outdoors, you should make use of them only for the night. The permanent installation should only be on proper fixtures and outlets.

Electric shocks are no joke

Electrical shock


If an electrical outlet is going to be outdoors, it will have to withstand the elements. If that’s the case, you should have a special cover for protecting it. The covers will keep the plug and outlet dry in case of rain.

In any case, you should make sure that your outdoor outlets are GFCI-protected. That will hopefully prevent any electric shocks.

How to Hang String Lights in the Backyard Without Trees: The Basic Steps

When you want to know how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees, you should follow some basic steps because a no-tree zone will require something extra. Therefore, you should keep the following in mind:

Step 1: Get all the supplies

Are all the supplies you need are on hand? That will involve making a list, checking it twice, and making sure you everything you need to figure out how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees. You don’t want to rush to the store in the middle of your project, as this can be both dangerous and frustrating.

First off, you need your string lights. There are several options at hand. Therefore, you should take a good look and see what’s on the market.

Next, you’ll need cable guard wire in order to provide a basis for the lights. Other items on your list should include the following:

  • Cable clips: two each for the planned spans (you can get some extra ones as well)
  • Screw hooks (you can buy a specific number of screw hooks according to the length and dimension of the backyard where you’ll hang the string lights)
  • A wire cutter to get the right lengths
  • Zip ties for added stability

You might be able to get customized string lights as well. That will work well if you’re planning a hard-wired project.

Step 2: Carry out some measurements

The next step that you need to take is to measure both the string light as well as the cable guide wire. The wire is for spanning open spaces, so you need the absolute correct measurement.

Measuring the light should account for the length from your electric source. When measuring the cable wire guide, you should have enough to loop it back on itself at every mounting point.

Step 3: Discover the design

Before you figure out how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees, you need to research the different designs. See which layout appeals to you the most. Some might prefer the conventional parallel row, while a crisscross or random pattern might be better for others.

You may also choose to have your lights radiating out from a center, like a chandelier pattern. But it’s worth remembering that you’ll have to measure the whole place quite carefully if you want uniform spacing. For more surety, you can measure the gaps between the strands as you’re hanging them.

It’s best to sketch out the design you want. That will help you accurately estimate the number of hooks, mounts, and links you want for the plan.

Step 4: Grab the hooks

Now it’s time to start your installation. Anyone who knows how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees would also know how to mount their screw hooks on a sturdy base. That could be under your eaves, a string pole, or any other solid place.

If you plan on a zigzag pattern, each cable should be connected to a screw hook at the end. If you want, the cable can also share one hook. While you might choose to have a continuous loop for your string lights, it’s best to cut the cable wire guide separately.

Step 5: Do the cable work

When your screw hooks are where you want them, it’s now time to hang the cable wire. The snap hook of the cable guide wire should be attached to your screw hook at the beginning of a span.

Perform this step for every cable or span that your project requires. You should use cable clips for each end if you’re cutting your guide wire down to the needed size.

Step 6: Get creative with the string lights

Now that you’ve managed to install the guide wires, it’s time to finally hang up the string lights. You can use zip ties for this process. These should ideally have a similar color to the lights themselves.

Zip ties will provide some much-needed extra support when you’re attaching your lights to the wire. It will also help the installation to look clean-cut and neat. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the string lights hanging down at odd places or falling apart in the middle of a crowd.

Again, if you want to hang the string lights in a unique pattern, a zip tie will come in handy. For instance, you can use the ties in each corner where you change the direction of the lights.

Whether you’re using in-line sockets or a suspended one, the technique remains the same.

Other Simple Ways to Hang String Lights in a Backyard Without Trees

Other than the usual screw hooks and wire guide system, there are several more ways to go about this. There’s no one way of knowing how to hang string lights in the backyard without trees. Let’s take a look at some of these options below:

On the side wall of the backyard

Sidewall Backyard

Image via pexels

You can use the side walls of your backyard to group the string lights together. If you hang them all in one place and spread them out randomly, the impression will be quite artistic.

The side walls can also be useful for hanging string lights in rows or any sort of pattern. Some people might like to use the lights for spelling out a name.


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A patio umbrella can be quite handy for hanging string lights, with or without trees. You can simply attach the string lights across the umbrella’s perimeter or line its inside. If you follow the seams, you won’t even have to use a wire guide.


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A gazebo or any sort of shaded structure in your backyard will make a wonderful base for hanging string lights. You can line up the structure with the lights or combine the outline with some zigzagging strings.

If your structure allows for it, you may also use the lights across its ceiling and sides. However, you should make sure that safety precautions are still in place.



Image via pexels

If you add string lights to your fence, this could add a touch of intimacy to the whole place. But you need to plan your hanging style accordingly.

First, mark the spacing that seems best to you. Now, make a dot in all the nail clip locations. Take a small hammer and put the nails inside the wood. Once you’ve inserted all the clips, you can secure the string lights underneath.

If any clips start coming loose, you can always use the hammer to push them firmly into the fence. Again, you can use zip ties for extra security.

So, What’s Your Favorite Way of Hanging String Lights in the Backyard?

We’ve discussed quite a few ways of hanging string lights in your treeless backyard. Whether you’re excited to beautify your fence, patio umbrella, or all the walls of your yard, one thing is for sure: your guests will be impressed with your creativity.

Once you’ve got some gorgeous string light patterns up in your backyard, don’t forget to enjoy them. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the party with your friends!

Which method appeals to you the most? Comment and let us know!

Last update on 2023-06-03 at 05:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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