Outdoor lighting is important for many areas of your home. One of the easiest ways to illuminate a deck or patio is by using outdoor string lights. However, how can you best ensure that these lights will stay up, especially when the weather isn’t ideal?
There are many valuable types of hooks for hanging outdoor string lights, and I have some tips and tricks for you to consider as well. A good place to start is by purchasing string lights that are safe for outdoor use. The last thing you want is lights that can’t handle some rain or wind!
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to hang string lights outdoors, and what hooks you should consider purchasing for your next project!
What is the Best Way to Hang Outdoor String Lights?
There are good and bad ways of doing everything- if you are looking for the best way to hang outdoor string lights, you’ve come to the right place! One of the best purchases you can make before attempting to hang your lights? Some Q hooks.
These hooks or hangers are simple enough to understand- they are rounded and include some type of closure so that you can hang things on them and not have to worry about them slipping off the hook. This makes Q hooks a perfect solution for string lights!
Just use an outdoor-graded Q hook that screws into a wooden post or tree. Screwing into wood is the best and strongest way to install string lights. Adhesives, siding clips, and clips are great alternative options but are not as strong as a screw-in hook.
While screwing Q hooks into wooden surfaces is a good idea, it may not be an option for everyone. If you don’t have wooden posts or trees nearby, let’s take a look at some other innovative options for hanging outdoor string lights.
Don’t Have a Wooden Post or Tree? Here’s What to Do!
Worried about screwing hooks into the siding of your home? You can hang lights from your siding with adhesive hooks or siding hooks, but it gets a little more complicated. You may need to hang at least one or two additional hooks opposite your home, where there are no easy places for hooks.
No deck posts or trees to hook into? There’s a solution for you: use a planter pot and buy some affordable deck posts. Then, purchase concrete mix. Using a level, make sure the post is perfectly straight when placed in the pot, mix the concrete, then pour it into the planter with the post.
Use another piece of wood as a brace to hold it upright, and let the concrete harden. Just like that, you now have a portable and solid wooden post that you can use to hang your outdoor lights! It should be heavy enough that it won’t topple in the wind, and you can even turn them into little planter pots with plants of your choice. While it may sound like a project, it’s worth it to get your lights looking great!
5 Best Hooks for Hanging Outdoor String Lights
Ready to install your outdoor string lights but still need to purchase hooks? Here are five options that may work for you and your outdoor area. Keep in mind that it may be helpful to know how heavy your string lights are before you begin shopping. Other than that, let’s get started!
1. BEHENO Q-Hanger Hooks (Best Hook Option)
The best possible option for hanging your outdoor string lights? Use these Q-hooks from BEHENO– they are sturdy, inexpensive, and easy to use and install! Here’s why this set is my top choice for getting your lights up.
Available in packs of 8, 20, 40, or 48, these Q-hangers should help get your outdoor lighting where it needs to go. Made of rust-proof steel, these Q-hooks can handle up to 40 lbs. That should be ample weight for the average set of string lights!
With a safety buckle design, these hooks are windproof, pet-proof, and weatherproof- you won’t have to worry about your lights falling down in a storm. Plus, given their sturdy construction, rust and other corrosive conditions will be a thing of the past!
2. Command Outdoor Light Clips
Looking for a non-screw solution for your outdoor lighting system? This pack of 20 White Command Outdoor Light Clips and 24 Small Command Water-Resistant Strips may be just what you need. Keep in mind however, that these little clips are only able to hold less than half a pound each!
If you are too nervous about screwing anything into your siding or home, these can work for you in a pinch. However, I don’t recommend them for much rain or inclement weather conditions. They are easy to install, with a heavy-duty adhesive; still, though, it won’t ever come close to a screw-in hook.
Command strips are valuable in that they don’t leave residue on whatever surface you install them on- they usually come off clean and easy. I think these lightweight hooks will support string lights with ease, but only in a temporary capacity. Perfect for parties or indoor use!
3. Naceture Vinyl Siding Hooks Hanger
If you have vinyl siding and don’t want to screw anything into it, this is the solution for you. Naceture Vinyl Siding Hooks Hangers are easy to install but can hold roughly 18 pounds per hook. This is less than the Q-hooks, but far more than their Command counterparts!
These hangers are designed to not incur any permanent damage to your siding, which can be valuable for many homeowners. You won’t need to screw or drill anything in with these; they are designed to slot in between your vinyl siding pieces.
This 20-pack should be plenty of hooks for the average set of string lights, especially given their weight limit. Vinyl can be tricky to repair if damaged, so these hooks may be a lifesaver for some of you. They reportedly click into place with ease, and many reviews mention them handling more weight than the manufacturer suggests!
4. Brick Hooks Clips
Are you looking for a solution for your home’s brick exterior? Check out these Brick Hooks Clips from Booda. This 24 pack should be plenty of hooks to get your string light project going, and you may find other uses for these- they can hold roughly 30 pounds each, if not more!
While these may seem like magic at first, it is because they only work for very specific applications. You don’t have to screw these into your brick surfaces- they are designed to grip the outer edges of the brick instead. That is why many customers have trouble with these- more often than not, their bricks are not the right types for these hooks. However, they may be right for your home!
The main thing to note about these particular hooks is that your bricks have to be pushed out from the mortar at least 1/8th of an inch. It has to be able to find some sort of purchase on the brick in order to hold. However, after pressing the hook securely into the brick, you should have a good sense of its capabilities- when in doubt, use more hooks!
5. Stainless Steel Curtain Clips
Looking for a more portable and impermanent solution for your lights? If you have a thinner style of outdoor string lights, check out this pack of 50 hooks from ShangTienFang. While these are best for lightweight string lights and indoor use, they may still work for your outdoor setting.
These lights simply clip onto existing structures and have hooks attached to them so that you can hang your lights. The hook itself is reportedly very narrow, so these are not recommended for thicker LED rope lights, for example.
However, if you have a set of thin string lights that you would like to hang up on an umbrella or elsewhere outside, check them out. Many people report them as holding up through wind storms, so you may have good luck with them!
Hanging String Lights FAQs
Do you still have questions about hanging string lights outdoors and what hooks might work best for you? Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions!
How heavy are string lights?
String lights range in weight, depending on the style and length you are planning on using. However, the average outdoor set of lights weighs less than 5 pounds, no matter the style. While wind and weather can aggravate this weight and put pressure on your hooks, most hangers should be able to handle them!
Can you leave your string lights out all winter?
You can leave your string lights out all winter- you may want to enjoy an unseasonably warm night outside! However, I recommend searching for all-season string lights, and ones that are more weather resistant than others. Even some Christmas lights may work well for your outdoor area during winter!
How to make your string lights even stronger against wind?
This is a common issue with outdoor string lights. Wind can damage your string lights easily, forcing them apart or tearing them during intense gusts. Fortunately, there is something you can do to remedy this common problem. I recommend purchasing lights with shatterproof elements, just in case.
Using Zip ties and a thin wire rope, connect the string lights to the wire rope and hang them as you would normally. The wire rope keeps your connected string lights together- often string lights are plugged into each other for length, and so this method ensures that they stay held together!
Hanging up outdoor string lights can really make your patio or deck feel special. Finding a reliable hook or method of hanging these lights may be tricky at first, but you can take the time and create something great on any budget!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.