These String Lights on Amazon Start at $17 and Can Instantly Upgrade Your Outdoor Space

Transform your porch, deck, or pergola with these customer-loved sets.

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Outdoor String Lights 25 Feet G40 Globe Patio Lights with 27 Edison Glass Bulbs
Photo: Amazon

The food is only half the equation for a memorable meal when dining at a restaurant. Just as important? The decor and ambiance. While I love a good dining room as much as the next person, I'll admit a soft spot for outdoor seating options; restaurants always make them look so chic! Luckily, creating a romantic or cozy atmosphere at your house is as easy as putting up some string lights.

String lights, also known as bistro lights, fairy lights, or deck lights, come in a variety of lengths, brightness, hues, and bulb shapes. Their cost also varies greatly, and (unfortunately) isn't always married to their durability. How can you tell which is best? Which patio string lights should you buy? As a passionate amateur outdoor decorator, I scoured Amazon reviews to find some customer-loved, top-rated ones in a variety of different categories.

Before we dive into the options, a few takeaways. First, it's key to consider the location and distance to your nearest outdoor power outlet. Some string lights come with extra-long cords, but you may need to add an extension cord to get the job done. Second, as you search for your dream lights, make certain that they're weatherproof and outdoor-approved (every option included here is, provided you protect the battery pack on the last pick). Finally, you'll want to consider extras and add-ons. I'm talking about options like smart technology, spare bulbs, and dimming or flickering customizations.

No matter which of these string light sets you choose, one thing's for sure: Your next barbecue, wood-fired pizza night, or outdoor happy hour is going to look a whole lot dreamier. And P.S.: Some are even on sale right now.

Addlon 48-Foot Outdoor String Lights

Customer-loved patio lights
Courtesy of Amazon

How popular are these vintage-style, black-wired lights? Try 16,850 five-star ratings popular. These are among the most—and highest!—reviewed string lights on Amazon, and for good reason: They're designed to easily string together multiple sets for a customized size. "They make my backyard look like an oasis!" said one reviewer who shared photos (Can confirm: It's gorgeous). They also feature a timer setting, and an authentic Edison-bulb look. Bonus: They're currently on sale.

Brightown Incandescent 25-Foot Globe Patio Lights

Customer-loved patio lights
Courtesy of Amazon

If you prefer a globe shaped bulb, here's a cleverly customizable option. This set from Brightown has over 37,330 perfect ratings, and is attractively priced—a 25-foot string is just under $17. But the genius of these lights is that they come in three different lengths, all the way up to 100 feet. You can also choose which color wiring you want (white, black, or green), as well as what color of incandescent bulbs (the multicolored ones are fun). "Great product for an affordable price," noted one customer, who also shared a good tip for hanging them: Remove the bulbs until the wiring is secure.

Brightech Solar-Powered 27-Foot String Lights

Customer-loved patio lights
Courtesy of Amazon

This 27-foot set comes with a dozen LED lights that are powered entirely by the sun—no outlet needed. The removable solar panel has been rated to last for years, and the bulbs are super weatherproof (they've been tested to withstand temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 mph winds). Over 14,330 five-star ratings prove these are winners, with customers praising everything from their "subtle, romantic" hue to the maker's outstanding customer service. Now's an excellent time to get your own set; they're currently on sale for 38% off.

Baxstel Dimmable LED 48-Foot String Lights

Customer-loved patio lights
Courtesy of Amazon

Need options when it comes to light intensity? This set from Baxstel is dimmer-compatible, although you will need to purchase that separately. At 30 watts, with a soft, warm glow, they're a customer favorite with over 3,600, er, glowing ratings. "Purchased one set and had to get a second one," shared one customer, who was especially impressed with the simple installation. Unlike many dimmable lights, these don't flicker when the intensity is lowered—a major plus for those seeking subtle lighting.

HBN 36-Foot Color-Changing Smart String Lights

Customer-loved patio lights
Courtesy of Amazon

String lights that can be controlled with WiFi, Bluetooth, or other smart technologies aren't widely available yet, but this set from HBN is a standout in the Amazon selection. It has hundreds more five-star ratings than its competitors thanks to its lightning-fast installation (one customer commented that the apps were "practically automatically detected" and set up). Hot tip: If multicolored lights aren't your style, you can choose just one from the spectrum, all from your smartphone.

Metaku 33-Foot Battery-Operated String Lights

Customer-loved patio lights
Courtesy of Amazon

No outlet and no sunshine? No problem; these battery-operated lights are on sale, and a shopper favorite with over 2,700 five-star ratings. Customers note that like most battery-operated lights, these provide more of an ambient glow than ultra-bright lighting. But unlike its competition, these come with a remote control and multiple settings, including "slo glo" and "twinkle." And at just $18 right now, it's hard to beat the price.

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