The 12 Best Outdoor String Lights of 2022

Create an instant outdoor oasis with these twinkling string lights.

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Best Outdoor String Lights of 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

There's something magical about an outdoor space draped in twinkling string lights. Not only are outdoor string lights practical, since they help increase visibility when grilling or entertaining, but they're also quick to install, easy to maintain, and affordable, all while helping to upgrade your backyard aesthetic instantly.

But before you rush to your nearest home store, there are a few details to consider when deciding on the best outdoor string lights, from style to durability. Every pick on this list is weather-proof, meaning the lights can withstand elements like heat, humidity, wind, water, and snow. Many of these picks also offer tech-powered features like smart app functionality, voice control, and scheduled timers. Some string lights are even equipped with custom color-changing abilities and varying brightness modes to set the vibe.

Whether you're grilling a weeknight meal or having guests over for a cozy bonfire, get your backyard ready for entertaining with these best outdoor string lights.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Addlon Outdoor String Lights

Addlon Outdoor String Lights
Courtesy of Amazon

Consider this Addlon pick a triple threat, thanks to its heavy-duty construction, bright lights, and adaptable design. With an insulated exterior and durable cord, these lights are weather-proof, which means they're resistant to high heat, wind, water and humidity, and snow, so you won't have to worry about leaving them outside all year long. The cord length runs 48 feet, with a 96-foot option available for larger spaces. They can be programmed with a dimmer if you're looking to create even more of a mood.

Price at time of publish: $50

  • Lengths: 24, 48, or 96 feet
  • Power source: Plug-in cord

Best Solar-Powered: Brightech Ambience Pro Solar-Powered Outdoor String Lights

Brightech Ambience Pro Solar-Powered Outdoor String Lights
Courtesy of Amazon

These Brightech outdoor string lights can be easily installed, and the illuminating Edison bulbs can last up to six hours on a full charge of sunlight. Heat-resistant up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, these lights can also withstand wind, rain, and snow. The shells are made of clear plastic, though you'd never know unless you tap them, and the flexible, strong cord can handle years of use.

Price at time of publish: $48

  • Lengths: 27 or 48 feet
  • Power source: Solar powered battery

Best Durable: Novtech LED String Lights

Novtech LED String Lights
Courtesy of Amazon

A step up from traditional string lights, these elegant Novtech lights are also a great choice, emitting a soft, warm light similar to a candle. Shaped like a globe with LED beads inside, each light features a 10,000-hour lifespan and is completely waterproof. Because they're low voltage, they're considered energy-saving compared to others and won't overheat or turn yellow when used for long periods. The only downside is there is no option to add a dimmable function.

Price at time of publish: $60

  • Lengths: 58 feet
  • Power source: Plug-in cord

Best for Maximum Length: Baxstel LED Outdoor String Lights

Baxstel LED Outdoor String Lights
Courtesy of Amazon

If you're looking for an option similar to the Brightech string lights minus the solar-powered feature, go for these Baxstel string lights. Made from shatterproof plastic with vintage-inspired Edison bulbs, these lights provide a warm hue, and they're designed to withstand the elements. These lights are also quick to install and can be connected if one strand is not quite large enough for your backyard. In fact, you can attach up to 40 individual cords, making these a great choice for larger venues like parks or restaurant spaces.

Price at time of publish: $40

  • Lengths: 27, 48, or 96 feet
  • Power source: Plug-in cord

Best Color-Changing: HBN Color-Changing String Lights

HBN Color-Changing String Lights
Courtesy of Amazon

Add some color to your backyard with the tech-forward HBN Color Changing String Lights. Not only are they durable and weather-proof, but they also feature smart voice controls via Alexa, Google Assistant, or HBN's app. When you connect them wirelessly, you'll have the power to turn them on or off immediately or on a scheduled timer and adjust the colors and brightness. Lasting up to 25,000 hours, HBN's lights also include nine pre-programmed color modes with 16 million color combinations, from warm white for a relaxed ambiance to vibrant green and purple hues. Depending on your space, stick with one strand or link up to 48 together.

Price at time of publish: $70

  • Lengths: 24 or 36 feet
  • Power source: Plug-in cord

Best Fairy Lights: Metaku Globe String Lights Fairy Lights

Metaku Globe String Lights Fairy Lights
Courtesy of Amazon

The most affordable pick on our list, the Metaku Globe String Lights Fairy Lights provide a glowing ambiance. This stylish alternative to traditional Edison string lights includes 80 crystal-inspired globes per strand, which emit a warm white light and are fully battery-operated. The lights are equipped with ten levels of brightness and eight distinct modes, including flash, twinkle, slow fade, and steady on. They're suitable for indoor and outdoor use and can withstand elements like heat, wind, water, moisture, and snow. A remote control is included for easy operation.

Price at time of publish: $25

  • Lengths: 16, 26, or 33 feet
  • Power source: Battery

Best Smart Lights: Banord Smart Outdoor String Lights

Banord Smart Outdoor String Lights
Courtesy of Amazon

This popular smart outdoor string light setup includes many of the same benefits as the HBN lights except for the color-changing feature. You can remotely or automatically control these lights via an app, Alexa, or Google Assistant and even coordinate time settings to create a lighting schedule. As with most of the picks on this list, they're durable, energy-saving, shatterproof, and weather-resistant. You can also take advantage of the light's dimmable function, which allows you to manipulate the brightness depending on the desired ambiance.

Price at time of publish: $50

  • Lengths: 50 feet
  • Power source: Plug-in cord

Best Wall String Lights: Magictec String Lights

Magictec String Lights
Amazon

Create a glowing canopy or background light wall with these Magictec curtain lights. Running more than six feet when suspended horizontally or nearly 10 feet vertically, this is a great option to illuminate a standard window curtain or create a backyard light display for special occasions. Each strand includes 30 warm, white starry lights with a single-touch controller that allows users to choose between eight different modes. These lights are waterproof and linkable, so you can connect multiple strands for larger spaces.

Price at time of publish: $17

Best Lights with Clips: Romandle String Lights with Clips

Romandle String Lights with Clips
Amazon

Ideal for a memorable occasion like an engagement party or anniversary celebration, the Romandle String Lights include clips to hang photos, art, keepsakes, and more. The small, golden light bulbs offer just enough light to highlight your feature wall, creating a warm, cozy atmosphere without cluttering the space. Plus, you can light up your photos anywhere because they're wireless and battery-operated.

Price at time of publish: $14

Best Star String Lights: Yummuely Star Lights

Yummuely Star Lights
Amazon

Upgrade the traditional string lights setup with the Yummuely Star Lights. With two lighting modes (flashing and steady on), they're a great outdoor option because they're fully battery-powered. Wrapped in clear PVC, these lights are waterproof and low voltage, so they can be hung up safely year-round in the backyard.

Price at time of publish: $8

Best Romantic String Lights: Warm Fairy Curtain Lights

Warm Fairy Curtain Lights
Amazon

For a lighter, daintier alternative to the Magictec String Lights, these fairy curtain lights can create a more romantic environment when illuminated. Like other options, they include eight different modes with a convenient remote. As for power, they can be plugged in via USB, so you can use them indoors and out.

Price at time of publish: $20

Best String Lights with Vines: Minetom String Lights with Vines

Minetom String Lights with Vines
Amazon

Looking to add greenery to your lighting display? This pick from Minetom combines small, warm string lights with artificial ivy vines. The lights are made up of ultra-bright, warm-white micro LEDs, giving the lighting a fairy effect, while the leaves add a natural touch. They're also battery-operated and portable, waterproof, and equipped with eight effects, from twinkle to flash.

Price at time of publish: $26

Our Favorite

The Addlon string light set has everything we'd look for in outdoor string lights — aesthetically pleasing, durable, easy to use, and comes in lengths that can cover large or small backyard areas.

Factors to Consider

Types of Bulbs

Most string lights are made with LED bulbs. They're energy-efficient, low-voltage, and offer a longer lifespan compared to other bulb types. If you're planning to hang string lights outside, especially in direct sunlight, LED bulbs are the best option.

String Length

String length is an important factor if you're looking for enough light to drape across a large space. Many of the best string lights offer at least six feet in length, though that may not be enough if you plan to hang them across a large backyard or event space. Most of the picks on our list can be connected to extend their overall length.

Power Source

Between batteries, plugs, USB, and solar-powered options, many different power sources are available for the best string lights. It all depends on where you plan to use them. If they will be hung outside, solar-powered lights are the easiest, most energy-efficient choice. However, if you want the flexibility to hang them indoors, consider battery-operated picks. Note that USB and plug-in options require the most planning, as you'll need a nearby outlet or extension cord.

Our Expertise

Clarissa Buch Zilberman is an acclaimed food writer with nearly a decade of experience. She has written for Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Visit Florida, and more. For this piece, she conducted a deep dive into outdoor string lights to narrow down the market's best.

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