The Best Way to Use Festoon Lights in Your Garden

We’ve all been there, we’ve spent hours in the garden weeding, planting, running in and out of the house to cater to our children/dog/husbands every whim and just as we’re about to sit down to enjoy all the hard work in the garden and sip on a well-deserved G&T, it gets dark. We are currently revamping our garden space, see here and the first thing we did was put up festoon lights so that we could use the space straight away.

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If you truly want to make the most of your garden space (and for many of us, the only time we really get to enjoy it is in the evenings), why not think about adding some festoon lights? Not only will it provide light (obviously), it will also add a wonderful feature to your garden.

Which festoon lights should I purchase?

Probably my favourite way to light up a garden, festoon lights bring a festival vibe to your garden and are a bonus garden feature during the day. There are plenty to choose from when purchasing festoon lights including –

Bright White

Perfect for really lighting up your garden when it gets dark. These look fabulous under a pergola or to light up your patio just outside your back door.

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These bright white festoon lights in Yvonne’s patio area really transform the space. Image credit: @sixat21

Warm glow

I prefer these as they give off a romantic light and don’t feel like your garden is lit up like a football stadium under floodlights. These look good everywhere and we have them over our newly revamped gravelled garden space at the back of the garden.


Probably not for everyone but if you want to go for something fun and festival like, rainbow coloured festoon lights are perfect. They look great during the day as the garden provides a great backdrop for the different coloured lights.


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Rainbow coloured festoon lights under a pergola. Image credit:

Which power option should I choose?

Festoon lights have become so popular in recent years, there are plenty of options when it comes to lighting them. Just make sure if you live in the UK, they are waterproof!

Solar panel

Probably the easiest way to power festoon lights is by solar panel. You don’t have to worry about connecting them to a power point and they will turn themselves on when it gets dark and off again after a couple of hours. You can purchase them from –

Wilko Clear/Brass Solar String Lights – £10

Sainsbury’s Home Clear 20pk solar festoons – £20

Amazon 24ft Solar Festoon Lights – £14.79

Battery Powered

Another great way to power your festoon lights without having to worry about a plug socket is battery powered. These can be left outside come rain or shine and tend to have a long battery life.

Lights4fun 60 Warm White Battery Lights – £79.99

Bluefire 7m Battery Powered Timer Lights – £16.99

Festive Lights 4.5m Battery Festoon Lights – £9.99

Mains Powered

You can also purchase festoon lights that are mains powered. We have an outdoor shed with connected electricity so this is my preferred option, just remember to turn them off again before going indoors.

CuckooLand 20 Bulb Festoon Lights – £35

John Lewis 9.5m Outdoor Lights – £52

How to hang your festoon lights

When it comes to hanging your festoon lights, there are so many options.

Hang them from your trees/walls/shed

You can use your trees in the garden (like we have) to wrap them around and drape them over the patio area. Anything that is fixed in your garden space is ideal to use to hang your lights, put hooks up on your garden shed and drape them over to adjoining trees or fence.

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Jade has used her fence either side of the garden to hang her festoons. Image credit: @jade.doutch

Use your pergola or garden parasol

I think one of the most effective ways to display festoon lights is to drape them under a pergola or parasol. You can create a wonderful cascade effect and it will perfectly light up your outdoor living space in the evenings.

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This amazing space in Julie’s garden makes me rethink my decision not to buy a pergola! Image credit: @aldridgejulie


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And at night, the most romantic setting. Image credit: @aldridgejulie
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Pair your festoon lights with fairy lights and you are onto a winning combination. Image credit: @pandora.maxton

No fixed items in the garden?

Don’t worry, you can get creative and invent ways to hang your lights. Use heavy plant pots with plants in and place tall sticks deep into the pots to hang the lights around the garden. You could also create your own festoon light holders by using large plant pots or buckets, a very large branch or stick and fill the bucket with cement to hold the branch in place. Sally of wrote a fab blog post on how to do it. You can also purchase festoon holders like the ones on


festoon lights, patio, outdoor living, outdoor lights
Using tree branches in buckets with cement help hang the festoons around the garden. Image credit:

Want to make a real feature out of festoons?

A bit like instagrammers hanging ladders from their bathroom ceiling, you could hang a ladder from a nearby tree and drape festoons over them to provide a stunning lighting solution over a garden table.

And finally…

Not all festoon lights have to be hung above in the garden. They are also a great feature to light up a garden path or patio or even display them around flower beds to light up the greenery and floral displays in the evening.

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Shepherds hooks being used to hang the festoon lights along a garden path. Image credit:

I think we will get a lot of use out of our lighting and in particular, our festoon lighting this summer. We love spending time out in our gravelled garden space now and actually look forward to the sun going down so we can turn all the lighting on! What festoons will you go for?

Mel x

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