So, you need to figure out how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees? While this may seem like a major headache, it doesn’t have to be.
Cozy evenings outside is only one of many benefits of beautiful exterior lighting. It can deter criminals and nocturnal animals from entering your property. Plus, it may make it easier to sell your home at a better price.
String lighting is an excellent solution to garden lighting. The only downside is that it requires something to hang from. Trees are prime candidates for this, but what if you don’t have any?
So, what is there to learn about how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees?
How to Hang String Lights in a Backyard Without Trees
Before you begin, it’s best to lay the lights out along the intended path to ensure that the string is long enough. Keep in mind that you’ll need to leave some slack. That makes sure you have enough length, and it also lets the lights hang and move naturally.
Also, remember to start from the outlet you’ll be using. Otherwise, you’ll have to resort to extension cords and other not-so-elegant workarounds later on.
You may also want to check your lights now and make sure they’re working before you start the whole process.
There are two main things to address.
Firstly, you need elevated supportive spots to hang your lights. If these are lacking, you’ll need to create some. Also, there’s the matter of planning and proper placement.
Secondly, you’ll need ways to attach your string lights. Hooks and clamps are generally good and easily available just about everywhere. The type that screws into the supports is ideal.
So, let’s break this process down into easy, approachable steps.
Use existing supports
The easiest solution to how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees is to attach them to whatever suitable slats and surfaces are available. That could be your deck, the roof or eaves of your house, or various garden elements.
A logical place to start is the patio or deck, or a gazebo or pergola. Check for any sturdy places where you can mount your string lights. Check for good supporting places as high up their structures as possible.
If these supports are different heights, double check that your lights can reach between them. If they’re too far apart, consider lighting them up separately. For example, you can string one set of lights around a gazebo and another along the deck.
Figuring out how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees is easier with some creative thinking. Some things around your garden may have the essential light-hanging qualities of a tree.
Do you have a big parasol? Perhaps there are tall bushes? Even tall planters can make good supports for string lights. Just remember to fill them with something heavy to prevent them from toppling over.
If you really want to connect the elements of your garden with overhead string lights, you can even create your own additional supports this way. If there’s a long, unsupported gap, you can place one right there.
You can also use such planters to hold dedicated posts that act as pillars to hold your string lights up. That helps you get them up high and clear the space underneath so that even tall people can move freely around the garden.
On the fence about how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees? Try this!
Winding string lights around trees and posts or hanging them up high aren’t the only options here. You can line fences and railings with string lights for a cool and easy garden lighting solution.
Stick some string lights on the fence, and you’ll be casting light on your whole garden from practically every direction. With some lights stringed on your balcony railing, you add more depth and dimensions to the garden at night.
Patios and gazebos are also ideal spots for you to breathe new life into your backyard with this method. And if you have a bridge or staircase in the garden, lighting up the railings will create a very flattering effect at night.
All you need is a handful of clips and hooks. What’s more, it can take less than an hour, depending on the size of your backyard.
Almost like trees
When deciding how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees, it’s smart to think of something similar to trees. Wooden posts, such as 4 by 4s, make excellent supports for hanging string lights in a backyard without trees.
Plus, they’re visually pleasing too. This is especially true if you plan to start your string light loop on your house or deck and continue out into the garden. The posts will match the existing supports, and you can easily customize them with some paint or woodworking skills.
Lining a path with wooden stakes and hanging lights above is a timeless solution for a lovely night garden. That way, the posts can act as standalone light supports, much like trees would in an older garden.
In fact, the posts can become impressive aesthetic elements of their own. Whether you place them in specific patterns or decorate them, the solutions are endless. You can even hang flower pots or grow ivy on them.
You can always coil string lights around a single post or a few of them as well. Possibilities are abundant with this easy and versatile method.
What you’ll need
- Pressure-treated posts (12 to16 foot)
- Suitable string lights
- C hooks
- An earth auger or garden shovel
- A ladder
The main things that require close attention are the wood posts themselves. Make a general plan for where you’ll place them to determine how many you’ll need.
The length helps to ensure that you can bury the posts deep enough for good stability while keeping hanging lights out of head-knocking range. You can use shorter ones
As for thickness, 4inches by 4 inches is universally great. However, you may need thicker ones if you’ll hang heavy lights off them.
Raising the stakes
If these tools seem too specialized for you, it’s also possible with an ordinary shovel. It’ll take more work, but it’s not that hard.
You’ll want to dig down between three and four feet for stable posts. Try to make the holes as evenly deep as you can for a symmetrical result. Also, make sure to dig straight if you’re using post hole diggers.
Now, you can start planting your posts in the holes. Once they’re in, start filling the gaps around them with soil or gravel. For the straightest results, you’ll want to use a spirit level and adjust the stake as you pack down the earth around it.
There’s little else to raising the support stakes. Now for how to hang string lights in a backyard without lights but with wooden posts planted.
Get on your ladder and start screwing in your C hooks at an appropriate height. You can attach them on top of the post or on its side near the top. You can also add multiple rows at different heights.
Do you want really symmetrical, straight results? Measure the distance from the ground and mark each post at the same height.
Hanging your lights
If you haven’t tested your lights yet, do so now. There’s no sense in hanging lights that’ll need taking down right away. If something’s wrong, address it now and continue once the problem’s gone.
If you’re attaching part of the light string to your house, you may want to use light clips or nails instead of screw-in hooks. It’s generally easier and helps you preserve the facade.
Many outdoor string lights, such as these, have convenient hanging sockets or holes for stable mounting.
If you use a kind without, it’s best to wrap the string around each hook or clip a few times to ensure strength. Since that requires additional length, it’s best to go with built-in hangers.
That’s how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees by using ordinary wooden posts.
The flexible method
Are wooden posts not your kind of thing? Another solution for how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees is by using round poles. This can be an easier process too, and it’ll be easier to adjust or maintain later on.
Regarding the cost, it can be cheaper or more expensive than wooden posts depending on your preferences.
Another benefit of this method is that it can also work in spots where you don’t have the option of digging deep into the ground for support.
What you’ll need
- 10-foot weatherproof poles
- One length of PVC pipe
- String lights
- A ladder
- (Optional) Deep, heavy planters
Regarding the poles, the only thing to make sure of is that they can withstand years in your backyard without degrading. Vinyl-coated wood ones are great, as are thin metal support poles.
As for the PVC piping, you’ll want at least two feet of it for each pole. The ideal width leaves only a slight gap between the pipe and the pole so that it can’t wiggle around.
Is your pipe too wide? Don’t panic. You can use sand or gravel to stabilize the pole.
If there are spots where you can’t bury a pipe in the ground, that’s where the heavy planter solution comes into play. It’ll make a good substitute that even works on decks and concrete slabs.
Here’s how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees using simple poles and PVC pipe.
Creating your supports
First, you’ll want to cut the pipe into appropriate lengths. Two-foot pieces are a great format. For the best results, cut one end at a 45-degree angle.
Why should you cut it at an angle? Well, a sharp angle makes it easier to drive into the ground.
It’s time to get your sledgehammer, mini sledgehammer, or mallet. If you don’t have either of these, a rock or other heavy object will work.
Now, hammer the pipe into the ground. If it gets harder, it’s time to lift it out and remove some dirt. If you cover the mouth of the pipe with one hand and pull with the other, the suction will pull the dirt along.
Repeat this process until you reach the appropriate depth. You can leave a few inches sticking out or make it almost level with the ground. If you’re lining a deck or flower patch, try to keep the pipes hidden behind them for the best looks.
Next, simply drop the poles into the pipes. If they wiggle around too much, hold them straight while dropping sand or gravel into the pipes until they’re stable.
What about the planter idea? Here’s how you apply it.
Deep planters are best, but big buckets can work in a pinch. You’ll want to fill them with gravel or concrete in the bottom to secure the poles and create a low center of balance.
An added benefit of this method is the ability to move your poles around and rearrange the light.
Next, you can hang the lights. Using the method we described earlier, attach the string lights to your new supports.
If you got metal poles and can’t screw hooks into them, you can use clamps or zip ties.
Let There Be Light
Now you know how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning our methods and found new inspiration for your garden.
Is there something you’re still wondering about how to hang string lights in a backyard without trees? Do you have something else to say?
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