Have you ever noticed the lights lining the ceiling at your local restaurant, or the dangling colored bulbs festooned around the patio of the house across the road? Don’t you just love the warm fuzzy feeling you get at the sight of firefly lights adorning your tree at home during Christmas? String lights are commonly used to create a new aesthetic and to add ambiance to a place — and their use is so easy and widespread that we never really put much thought into how much difference a simple string of lights can make.
String lights come in various sizes, but the small and miniature clear or colored lights are the most common. They can be used to improve illumination in your home’s darker spaces, creating special corners that can be both dreamy and practical. They can also set the mood for cozy nights during very cold winters or add sparkle to outdoor gatherings even on humid summer nights. They are great way to create a festive ambience for parties, to bring forth the holiday spirit, or provide sparkle to the home on days when you’re entertaining guests.
The coming of solar power has given rise to new ways of using string lights in home décor. Designed to absorb direct sunlight to power up their batteries even as daylight fades, these lights can keep going for up to eight, even ten hours every night. With the option to use lights more often without the worry of skyrocketing energy bills, you can give your home’s interiors and exterior all the enhancement they need with stable, twinkling, or multicolored lights. Here are ways you can beautify your home with decorative string lights.
Use as Landscape Lighting
Your outdoor space is one of the first things your guests and neighbors will likely take notice of. You can certainly create a great first impression with a landscaped garden, lawn, or front yard. What good will a landscape be, however, if your guests can only see it during the day? Capture the attention of visitors and passersby even at night by integrating outdoor solar string lights into your landscape — use these lights to accentuate key spots in your garden or lawn.
You can wind lights around your pathways to illuminate walkways, spotlight your yard’s centerpiece with uplights, or hang façade lights to bring focus to your outdoor space. You may hang low-wattage solar lights on your pots and bushes, recessed areas, stairways, perimeter walls, and fences. Doing so will highlight certain aspects of your garden or walkway without blinding, and may prevent slips and falls on the footpath. You may opt for hardwired, plugged-in, or solar lighting fixtures to suit your lifestyle. And while you’re at it, why not automate your outdoor lights to work with a sensor so that they can instantly turn on when evening falls?
Brighten Outdoor Living Areas
Mini solar lights and multicolored solar rope lights create an enchanting atmosphere on your patio, deck, pergola, or gazebo. You don’t need to invest in complex lighting systems for these spaces; solar string lights are quite affordable to set up. They’re very eco-friendly, as you can charge them up with the sun’s energy every single day, then use them every night at no extra cost to you. Since they are solar-powered, there should be no worry about outlets, and you can move them anywhere at leisure.
When combined with motion lighting, you get the added savings of using your lights only when they’re absolutely needed. Try a cloudy day when you’d like to hang out on your deck or gazebo, and there isn’t enough natural light to illuminate your favorite spot. In addition, your outdoor lighting may double as security lighting with motion-triggered string lights attached. Homes without motion or automated lighting can put their outdoor lights on a timer to ensure these go on at the right time and keep your outdoor spaces usable at night, safe and secure.
Integrate Lights in the Design of Your Living Areas
One smart and creative way you can use string lights is by hanging them as a divider in an open concept living room. If you want your living room to be as flexible as possible to accommodate different activities, and don’t want it to be limited by a permanent wall, you may use strands of lights as your ‘wall.’
Try removing some of the bulbs in the string and arrange for the remaining bulbs to highlight framed artwork in your living room. You may also line solar-powered string lights along a wall and clip photos onto the string for an improvised photo display minus the frames. Some homes place light strands inside a jar or a geometric lantern for a contemporary DIY light; however, a solar string may not always be the right choice for this, unless you find one that still receives enough sunlight.
String lights can be used to bring focus to very high ceilings or to illuminate a hallway that lacks overhead lighting. They can be used to replace chandeliers or hanging lights in the dining room; or you may place light strands on an otherwise drab wall to imitate the effect of a starry, starry night.
Make Bedrooms and Sleeping Quarters Cozy
Recent trends in string lights are moving to the bedroom, as well. Some people drape solar LED string lights on top or behind the canopy of their beds for that soft glow. For your children’s bedrooms, you may hang solar lights from a hook to act as a contemporary night light or under the upper bed of their bunk bed to make it extra cozy for the one occupying the bottom. For your room, you may create mood lighting by hanging a few strands on your bed frame, or use string lights with bigger bulbs on your nightstand to create a makeshift lamp. Like in the living room, you may also turn a blank wall of your bedroom into an accent wall and hang globe string lights, among other things, for that fantastic effect!
Create a Party Atmosphere
Spring and summer are huge seasons for parties and get-togethers. There’s no reason to confine yourself to the indoors to bond with family and friends once daylight has faded. Your patio, deck, or gazebo will be the perfect spot for a summer party or barbecue. You simply need to prep it up for your social gatherings. Add mats, mirrors and pillows to create a comfy ambiance. And of course, there’s nothing like cozy color-change lighting to bring out that party spirit!
Instead of installing an expensive lighting system, for which you may need a professional electrician, attach 20 or so solar-powered Christmas lights to a trellis or clump of trees in your backyard to decorate your barbecue spot. Make sure you charge up your solar panels well in advance of the party to make your barbecue and outdoor dinner last well into the night.
Color-changing lights will work well for outdoor gatherings, as constantly changing hues will prevent your décor from looking lifeless and boring. You may also choose to hang warm solar string lights on your patio or in spots overlooking the yard for lighting that does its work without being obtrusive. To maximize long-term savings, use LED colored lights. Some can even be controlled remotely, using your smartphone.
When considering solar string lights to create accents in your home, keep in mind that you need to place your panels in a position to receive direct sunlight every day. If your panels charge your solar lights fully, you get more than enough light to last the night anywhere in your home, and you don’t have to keep monitoring them.
These lights are weather-resistant and require minimal maintenance. Solar string lights bring the possibilities for usage to a whole new level. You’re sure to love the many creative ways in which you can constantly update the look of your living spaces with them.