There’s no reason for you to feel like you can’t have string lights in your backyard, even if you don’t have trees. In fact, there are many different easy ways to hang string lights in the backyard without trees. All it takes is the right products and a bit of ingenuity!
In this article, we will address all of the different ways that you can hang string lights in your backyard, whether or not you have trees, a fence, or any sort of posts. We’ve given you enough options to suit any style of home or backyard, as well as level of skill when it comes to DIY activities. Let’s dive in and learn more now.
Do You Need Trees to Hang String Lights?
No, you do not need trees to hang string lights. There are many different ways to hang string lights that don’t involve trees, especially if you are comfortable with some level of DIY. However, there are some things that you should consider before jumping into this process, especially if you don’t feel particularly skilled at DIY or other landscaping alterations.
While none of these solutions are very difficult, you may need to gather more supplies than you initially thought. But more on that later!
What to Consider When Hanging String Lights in Your Backyard
There are many things that you should consider when hanging string lights in your backyard. Let’s talk about these considerations in more detail now, as they will affect your final purchase and installation method.
Before you say that you can’t hang string lights in your backyard, take your time and look over your surroundings. You may have more options in your backyard than you first thought, including your own home.
Not only can you hang string lights from any wooded areas in your backyard, you may even be able to hang string lights from your home’s siding. This may surprise you, especially if you have vinyl, stucco, or brick siding, but anything is possible with the right tools.
Sheds, fences, railings, and home sidings or roofs can all be used to hang string lights. While some surfaces are better than others, many different backyard features can help you in this process. You may just need a specific type of hook rather than an entirely new backyard setup!
The accessibility of your string lights matters for many reasons. You likely want to install your lights in a commonly used portion of your backyard, which means that they are likely very accessible. However, where you hang them specifically matters; let’s discuss why.
Depending on where you live, you may need to easily be able to take down your string lights during off seasons, or if you have heavy winds and inclement weather regularly. This is something to consider in order to keep your string lights from needing regular replacement or bulb replacements.
When contemplating accessibility, you should also consider installing your string lights at a height that is convenient for you and your guests to move around your backyard. While hanging string lights at a lower level can make them easier to access during times of inclement weather, the last thing you want to do is crash into your string lights if they are hanging too low!
Indoor vs Outdoor String Lights
A final consideration for you is whether or not you choose to buy indoor vs outdoor string lights. While it may be more affordable at first, you should never install indoor string lights outside. There are many reasons for this, but the primary reason lies in the overall durability of the product.
Using indoor lights in an outdoor environment means that the lights likely won’t survive any extreme weather scenarios. Indoor lights may not even last beyond a few months, given that they aren’t built to handle varying temperatures and moisture levels. Outdoor string lights are designed to handle these scenarios and more.
While indoor string lights may cost less upfront, they are not built to handle outdoor situations. To save you money in the long run, I highly recommend only hanging outdoor string lights in an outdoor setting. Everything will be more durable, from the electrical cords to the lightbulbs themselves.
How to Hang String Lights in Backyard Without Trees?
Ready to learn how to hang string lights in your backyard without trees? Here are nine solutions for you to try, no matter the state of your backyard and landscaping!
1. DIY Planter Pot, Concrete Mix, and a Deck Post
Whether or not you feel confident in your DIY skills, just about anyone can make one of these planter pots with deck posts! This project is perfect for hanging string lights without trees, especially if you don’t want to cause any damage to your home or patio area. Here’s how you make one:
- Find a large planter pot. I recommend something like this barrel planter from Amazon, as it is large and you can still drill holes into it once your project is nearly complete. You should look for something that is at least 18-24 inches deep for this project to succeed. These pots should be outdoor safe and capable of supporting concrete inside of them.
- Fill the barrel or planter pot with a concrete mixture. It is surprisingly easy to mix your own concrete, and you can utilize this material fairly easily with a little bit of practice. All you have to do is fill your planter pot 3/4 of the way full, leaving some space at the top for soil and plants.
- Insert a deck post into the wet concrete. A deck post or pillar should be a sturdy piece of wood or lumber, cut to whatever height that is desirable for your backyard situation. I recommend purchasing something that is at least six feet tall, especially if you plan on hanging string lights from the post. That way, it is high enough for most people to walk underneath!
- Allow time for the deck post and concrete to set. There’s normally doesn’t take very long, but depending on the type of concrete that you purchase and mix, you should allow ample time for the cement to cure.
- Drill holes into the sides of your planter pot. Above the concrete line, drill holes around your barrel planter so that your plans will have adequate drainage. This is why it is important to purchase a planter that you can drill holes into, as metal buckets or other materials may not be as forgiving or easy to drill into.
- Add rocks, dirt, and plants to cover the cement. Not only are you getting a reliable place to hang your string lights, you’re creating your very own unique planter pot! You can fill this pot with whatever plants you like, and decorate your patio accordingly. Once you’ve planted your plants, add a hook to your post; then, this planter and post combination is ready for you to hang your string lights from!
I can’t recommend this option enough, especially if you are a home renter or someone who can’t dig up your backyard. This solution gives you the option to move these planters anywhere you like in your backyard, and you won’t risk damaging your home, fence, or landscaping with hooks or other potentially harmful materials.
If you have a fence in your backyard, chances are, you have a very easy way of hanging string lights. You can use a unique hook called Q-hangers on top of your wooden fence to easily hang string lights from. This may be all you need to do if you have a wooden fence, but there are alterations you can perform to help any fence become what you need to hang string lights.
Q-hangers are designed to screw into wood, so they won’t work for chain link fences or other types of non-wooden fences. However, you can always use heavy duty zip ties to hang lights from a chain link fence. Plus, there’s one more thing you can do to build the backyard patio area of your dreams: adjust the length or height of your fence with additional lumber.
Use a piece of 2×3 wood and attach the wood onto your fence, wherever you need the additional clearance. You can install multiple posts like this, and you can even install these posts on your deck or fence with ease!
3. Extend and Hang from Your Deck Railing
If you are wondering what you can do to hang string lights from your deck railing, we’ve got some advice. Just like the previous option, your best bet is to purchase additional lumber or wood and attach this wood to your deck railing with screws and metal bolts to fully secure them.
I recommend getting lumber that is anywhere from 6 to 10 feet in length so that you will have adequate height to your string lights. The last thing you want is to have people crashing into them as they walk around your backyard area! Once you have installed your posts on your deck railing at the desired height, you can install Q-hangers and hang your lights with ease.
Given the necessary Heights needed to hang string lights properly, it is important to ensure that your posts are firmly attached to your deck railing using heavy-duty screws or bolts. Your local hardware store can definitely give you some advice on what you can purchase. You should also consider purchasing wood that is pressure treated and more resistant to moisture.
If you have no sense or deck railing to hang your lights from, and you also don’t want to damage the exterior of your home or patio area, you can always use non screw outdoor light clips. These usually involve some sort of heavy-duty adhesive or glue, and you simply stick them wherever you need a hook or clip!
This option from Command, available for purchase on Amazon, is a good option if you are planning on hanging lightweight string lights. It is important to keep in mind that all adhesive hooks or clips have a weight limit, and some string lights may be too heavy for this type of application. However, this is one of your best bets if you don’t wish to damage your home’s exterior.
Did you know that you can use metal poles or wooden posts installed directly into the ground for your string lights? Clothesline poles, PVC pipe poles, lamp posts, or even pressure treated wooden posts can be installed directly in the ground.
I highly recommend checking out this clothesline pole from Amazon, or even this lamp post option, also available on Amazon. All you have to do is dig a 10-20 inch hole in the ground and install the posts around your backyard! You can also use concrete in the ground too, as if you were installing a fence post. This gives your posts added security and moisture protection.
6. Hang from a Pergola, Awning, Gazebo, or Pavillion
Sometimes, it’s easier to use what already exists in your backyard. You can easily hang string lights from a pergola, awning, gazebo, or a pavilion, saving you money as well as DIY stress and time. You will likely need a special type of hook for this, depending on the material that your pergola is made out of, but this is far easier and less expensive than installing posts around your backyard.
If you have one of these in your backyard, you already know the fantastic benefits of owning one. If you don’t own one, you can buy a premade option (such as this pergola from Amazon). There are also many DIY options for gazebos, or you can have one professionally built by a local contractor. Here’s one of the items I recommend purchasing for a DIY gazebo, available on Amazon here.
If your home is outfitted in vinyl siding, you may be wondering if hanging string lights is even possible for you. The good news is, you can easily hang string lights from your vinyl siding with the right hook purchase. Check out these vinyl hooks from Amazon, perfect for installing in your vinyl siding. But how might you accomplish this?
These hooks are designed to slot into the space between your vinyl siding panels. All you have to do is insert them, twist them upward, and then pull down. A single one of these hooks is capable of holding up to 18 pounds, which is a fantastic option for those of you interested in purchasing heavier string lights as well.
Another type of siding that is difficult to hang things from is brick. However, you can also hang string lights from your brick siding with the right purchase. These brick hooks available on Amazon are perfect for hanging string lights from, especially because a single hook can hold up to 25 pounds! But how do you install them?
These hooks can be a little bit trickier than others, given the break requirements in terms of size and available space. Essentially, these hooks grip the width of your bricks, and slot into the mortar in between each brick. You will need to measure your bricks carefully before making this purchase, as they are not designed to fit bricks that have mortar of a specific thickness.
9. Hang from Your Patio Umbrella
Patio umbrellas are easy to place anywhere in the backyard, making it a simple place to add string lights! If you haven’t purchased an umbrella for your patio yet, I highly recommend checking out this option that’s available on Amazon. Not only does it store easily, this umbrella is adjustable to a wide variety of angles and heights.
You can easily hang string lights from your patio umbrella and attach them elsewhere in your yard, or you can simply hang string lights on the umbrella itself and nowhere else. While it may feel as though all of the light is concentrated to one area, this is an easy solution to bring some brightness to your backyard landscaping.
Still have questions regarding whether or not you can hang string lights in your backyard without trees? Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this process now!
Can You Hang String Lights on Stucco without Drilling?
Yes, you can hang string lights on stucco without drilling. There are many outdoor approved hooks that utilize adhesives rather than screws. While many of these adhesive hooks can’t handle very much weight, there are some products on the market today that can handle the weight of some string lights as well as average outdoor weather scenarios.
How Can You Hang String Lights on Aluminum Patio Cover without Drilling?
You can hang string lights on an aluminum patio cover without drilling by using a variety of hooks. Depending on the specific set up of your aluminum patio cover, you can either purchase hooks that adhere to the roof or ones that slot into the open space between your patio cover and beams. You may also find hooks that attach to the edge of your patio cover without a need for drilling.
Yes, you can buy solar string lights! There are a wide variety of options available on the market today, but I highly recommend this set from Amazon (click here to check them out). The most important factor when hanging solar string lights is the position of the solar panel that will power them. Make sure you set it up in a bright and sunny location so that you always have ample power to your lights.
Can You Leave Outdoor String Lights Out During the Winter?
You can leave outdoor string lights out during the winter, but it isn’t always recommended. New and high-quality string lights are designed to handle year-round weather, but super low-temperature locations can potentially cause damage to your lights.
This is why choosing an accessible location is important, as you may choose to bring your string lights inside during the winter season. No matter how well-built your set of string lights is, you may want to store them if you anticipate a heavy storm coming!
Do String Lights Get Hot?
String lights can’t get hot, for the most part. They can get warm, but not hot and are not likely to cause concern for many homeowners. String lights are unlikely to burn or melt a surface, especially ones typically found in an outdoor setting. However, if you feel as if your string lights are getting hot, you should promptly unplug them.
Hanging string lights in your backyard without trees can be easier than you think. No matter your landscaping or backyard situation, you can find a way to safely and effectively hang your outdoor string lights without hassle or unnecessary renovations. We hope you have found a solution in our comprehensive guide!
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.