This post will show you how to hang globe string lights under a deck. Hanging outdoor globe lights is an easy upgrade to any patio or outdoor space. This post also contains affiliate links. You can read more about that here.
How to Hang Globe String Lights Under a Deck
This is one of those posts that I debated writing because I wasn’t sure if it would be silly to dedicate a whole post to hanging outdoor string lights. I decided to write it because, after researching existing tutorials, I realized that most of them were for hanging string lights on decks or patios…not under second-story decks.
You might think that the requirements would be the same. Alas—they are not. At least for us they weren’t. That’s because hanging the string lights under a deck shields them somewhat from mother nature. I felt like some of the tutorials were overkill. Rigging up guy wire? Using heavy duty carabiners? It seems like overkill to me for what we wanted to do.
So here are my tips for hanging string lights under a deck. (See our full backyard post here.)
Tip 1: Invest in decent-quality globe string lights.
This does not mean you need to drop hundreds of dollars on lights. It just means that you might not want to buy the cheapest option you can find. I spent an entire 2-hour Ramona nap one day browsing string lights and reading reviews. (What can I say, I was tired and didn’t really want to do anything else.)
If you search “outdoor string lights” or “outdoor globe lights” on Google or Amazon, you get approximately 900 billion results to sort through. I quickly realized that the prices were much better on Amazon than they were through Target, so I started reading through Amazon reviews.
I settled on the black globe string lights, way cheaper than the options at Target, from the Outdoor Lighting Store for a few reasons:
- Reviews were great.
- The lights came with extra bulbs. (Which you’ll need, I guarantee you’ll break at least one while hanging them. And they ended up being very securely packaged upon arrival.)
- Zip ties were included as well.
- They claimed to have a warm glow instead of a bright white light.
- Each strand (at least of the 50-foot kind) could be connected to one another.
- The company offered a two-year warranty and seemed to have pretty good customer service. You could also order new bulbs, which can be difficult with some string lights.
Tip 2: Plan your layout in advance.
Sketch it out. Then bounce your idea off of someone else. I had a plan in mind, explained it to Mike, and he quickly squashed it. Always defensive when he dislikes my ideas, I demanded a better idea. And he delivered.
Hanging the lights is a process and involves getting up on a ladder and drilling holes, so don’t make yourself do it twice! If you map out your plan, you can also decide how much length you need on your lights. Keep in might the slack you’ll want to have to drape them.
I ordered a few strands not knowing exactly how much we’d need, and then I had to go through the hassle of returning one of the packages. It wasn’t that bad through Amazon, but it could have been avoided had we (I) planned better before ordering.
Tip 3: Use cup hooks AND zip ties.
I used Yueton Vinyl-Coated Screw-In Ceiling Cup Hooks in black. Sturdy, coated, and hidden up in the rafters. After we placed the hooks and hung the lights, we added a zip tie around the string on each cup hook for extra stability. Mike thought this was overkill, and honestly, he was probably right. But the zip ties came with the lights, and I figured the extra support wouldn’t hurt.
As I mentioned before, a lot of the tutorials I’d read said to use wire strung taught between each hook and then running the lights along that. I think this would be appropriate if the lights were out in an area that had more exposure to the elements. But since we’d hung our lights under our second-story deck, they were shielded from the wind pretty well.
Here they are strung into a cup hook before the zip ties went on. Don’t put on the zip ties until you’re positive you love the layout. If the zip ties are on there tight, you could risk cutting the string light’s wire when you remove them.
We’ve gotten so much use out of these lights already and will probably use them well into the fall. Will check back next year to let you know whether they made it through the winter. Too lazy to take them down. 🙂
**Update one year later!**
Hey guys, just popping in to update this post. We originally put our lights up in April 2018. It’s now May 2019, and they are still doing great. We did not take them down over the winter. We did not even take the lightbulbs out.
It was a bit of a gamble, but they have lived through numerous terrible thunderstorms, snow storms, and even some hail. Like I said before, they are pretty shielded under our deck, so that probably helps. It was a bit nerve-wracking when we turned them on for the first time, but not even one bulb had burnt out. I still have the spares in the garage just in case.
We’re so excited to get outside and use our little yard again! I did spring 2019 steps to prep your backyard for spring and summer post, and you can see a few shots of them there. Here’s one taken during the day when the lights off:
If you are sprucing up your backyard for spring and summer, you might like some of the other DIYs we have in this space: DIY concrete paver outdoor coffee table and matching side table, HVAC unit screen, chunky modern outdoor dining table build, and our finished tiny backyard.