Outdoor Festoon Lights: How to Create a Beautiful Garden Space

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.

I love spending time in the garden once the sun sets and outdoor festoon lights are the best way to light up your garden!

Outdoor festoon lights: how to create a beautiful outdoor space Pinterest pin

When we revamped our garden, one of the first things I did was put outdoor festoon lights up in the tree to determine how we would use the space.

I wanted to create a cosy corner where we could sit in the evenings and invite friends around. 

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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), but it will also add a wonderful feature to your garden.

festoon lights in the garden with gravel and a fire pit

Which outdoor 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.

Having the right light solution in your garden can also help provide a wonderful vibe for your family and visitors. It is always a good idea to choose lighting that goes well with the overall decor of your garden and home. 

Are festoon lights bright enough to light up your garden space? It depends on what lighting style you go for and how many you purchase.

I would say, depending on the size of your garden, 20 festoon lights are enough to brighten up a seating corner.

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 outdoor festoon lights look fabulous under a pergola or light up your patio just outside your back door.

festoon lights, pergola, outdoor living, outdoor lights
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.

festoon lights and solar lanterns in the garden at night


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.

festoon lights, pergola, outdoor living, outdoor lights
Rainbow-coloured festoon lights under a pergola. Image credit: lights4fun.co.uk

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.

Can you leave festoon lights outside? Yes, the majority of festoon lights are for outdoors so they will all be waterproof (a must when you live in the UK!)

Outdoor festoon lights come with a detachable plug socket, so when you are finished, you can unscrew the plug element and take it indoors without having to take down the festoon lights completely. 

Solar panel

Probably the easiest way to power outdoor festoon lights is with a 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

Amazon 24ft Solar Festoon Lights – £14.79

Lights4Fun 15 Drop Bulb Solar Festoon Lights – £24.99

festoon lights, net lighting, pizza oven and a fire pit in a gravelled courtyard
Solar-powered drop outdoor festoon lights – Lights4Fun

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

Are festoon lights waterproof? If you want to purchase mains-powered festoon lights, you need to make sure they are for outdoor use and waterproof. 

I definitely prefer mains-powered outdoor festoon lights.

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

LIhgts4Fun 50 Warm White connectable festoon lights – £227.99

Courtyard garden with arched gate, bushes, festoon lights and dining table
Image credit: Lights4Fun

How do you hang festoon lights outside?

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

It doesn’t have to be complicated, just use what you already have in your garden. 

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 fences.

festoon lights, decking, outdoor living, outdoor lights
Jade has used her fence on 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.

rustic garden setting with bushes, pergola and festoon lights
This amazing space in Julie’s garden makes me rethink my decision not to buy a pergola! Image credit: @aldridgejulie
festoon lights hanging from a pergola over a courtyard garden
And at night, the most romantic setting. Image credit: @aldridgejulie
festoon lights and fairy lights hanging from a pergola with boho inspired light fittings and a dining table
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 them 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 a stick and fill the bucket with cement to hold the branch in place.

I love the way Sally from gettingstuffdoneinheels.com has hung her festoon lights from large tree branches cemented into tin planters. 

festoon lights hanging from large branches that have been cemented into tin planters
Using tree branches in buckets with cement help hang the festoons around the garden. Image credit: gettingstuffdoneinheels.com

If you don’t fancy doing it yourself, you can purchase metal festoon holders and place them straight into the ground, like these ones on festive-lights.com.

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.

Another great way to use them is to intertwine them around your iron fence or drape them around the outside of your house. 

Edinburgh USB Solar Micro LED Festoon Lights

And finally…

Not all outdoor festoon lights have to be hung above 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.

festoon lights hanging from hooks along a garden path
Shepherds’ hooks are used to hang the festoon lights along a garden path. Image credit: lights4fun.co.uk

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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how to use outdoor festoon lights in the garden Pinterest pin

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