Last weekend Steve had the idea that it was time to add globe string lights to the back patio. Especially since we were starting to see them on clearance in the garden section of just about everywhere. And, according to Rachel, my teenager least likely to be found in the garden… it was the coolest thing we have done outside yet. The globe lights just keep making me feel like we’re sitting outside an Airstream on vacation in 1955. Or at a cool urban outdoor restaurant. Or in Austin. Convinced?  So check out all these outdoor globe string light ideas and be inspired!

We purchased two strings of globe lights from Target at less than $15, and strung them to our roof edge and back to the support poles for our shade sails. We now know that there are some at Costco that are a lot nicer and more heavy duty, maybe a little more expensive but actually we have seen them come down in price drastically in the last couple years. Update: We found these on Amazon and they are very comparable to the Costco lights and they are LED! But we just love the glow and the outdoor ambiance that these outdoor globe string lights give off!


We actually want to start you off with a DIY tutorial… In the case you don’t have already existing supports, ‘Bright July‘ shows you how to make some easy support poles for outdoor globe string lights. Now that you have this down, the rest is pure inspiring!



This next idea is from ‘The Haystack Needle‘, and goes to show you can get that sweet European restaurant flavor even if your outdoor space is a small alleyway. Or maybe especially because it’s a small alleyway!


From ‘Apartment Therapy‘, this lovely cottage in So Cal wraps the outdoor globe string lights through a rustic overhang, and makes them even more charming than on their own.


Use just a couple of strands of globe lights over an eating area… takes the dining area  away from anything related to boring, especially for an evening cocktail or cup of tea.


From ‘Brick and Mortar‘, this is another example of how you can use globe string lights in a small space, and make big impact.


From a backyard makeover from ‘Hometalk‘, this backyard space would not be the same without these lights. Don’t believe me? Cover the top of the photo, then uncover… see? These globe lights look like the type that you can get at costco which as I mentioned are a little more heavy duty. They even have LED versions now!


From Beth at ‘Local Milk‘, who, btw, has won numerous awards for her food and photography blog (Visit! Amazing!)… these are again a great example of how simplicity works with these globe string lights… you don’t need some big display like Christmas on steroids… And you don’t have to just use them up above! Line a porch railing or deck with them… use creativity!



Finally, from Pinterest, this is one last bit of inspiration. Sorry, couldn’t find the source for this photo.


Hopefully you are inspired to get some outdoor globe string lights yourself and bring some ambience to your backyard or patio! Be sure and check out our post on 15 Backyard Lighting Ideas and DIY Patio floors Ideas! Our sister site OhMeOhMy also has a great post on Starry Starry String Lights : Decor Ideas for Year Round you might love as well! Also check out How To Install LED Strip Lights on our other sister site TBD!


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  1. Amanda August 6, 2018 at 2:26 am

    Love this article! We’ve never maintained our outdoor lights before, so I think that we’ll just go ahead… Thanks for sharing.

  2. linda June 8, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I use solar lights year around!! I live in New Hampshire so solar is really the way to go !! The light sparkles off the snow!! I also use battery lights which are on timer. What a feeling to see if you happen to come home after dark & to have all the light already on

  3. linda June 8, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I use solar light year around ! I live in New Hampshire. I buy them when they go on clea

  4. Elizabeth Coit May 18, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I’m sorry to say I tried these lights from Target’s with great expectations and found water in all of them (all globes , two strands) within two weeks. They were definitely rated for outdoors but they must have meant Arizona, not Maryland.

    1. Kathy Woodard June 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      We didn’t have any trouble with them, except they seemed a little more fragile than some others we had seen. (You get what you pay for?) Anyone else had trouble with water in their light?

  5. Anne Hudspeth April 11, 2016 at 7:51 am

    We had ours strung along a path to our waterfall.. And then the squirrels chewed them one by one.. It was so sad and wierd that they liked electrical cords….

  6. Pancho August 29, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Did u use clear or frosted bulbs.. which is better for outside?

    1. Kathy Woodard September 17, 2015 at 8:52 am

      We used clear, we just like the retro feeling from them!Plus, its a more “sparkly” light, which is really nice in the evening…

  7. Patti June 18, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Love all these ideas. Also really like the succulent “gardens” hanging on the fence in the one picture. Any idea how they were made?

    1. Kathy Woodard August 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Those are cool! I’m so sorry, no idea!

  8. Susan May 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    We had some globe lights and I loved them. But they filled with water and the glass broke during our Indiana winter.

    1. Kathy Woodard June 9, 2015 at 10:41 am

      We take our down during the winter weather…. Love our globe lights!

  9. B December 28, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    whuch lights did you purchase?

  10. Janelle December 7, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Hi! Just saw this on Pinterest and I had to let you know we’ve had them up in our backyard for years! Really – at least 4 years and we’ve never taken them down. True, we are in California, but we do have a wee bit of freezing temperatures, but no snow. We have them ringing the perimeter of most of our yard. (I need to add a few more!) It adds such a romantic ambience outside. Love them! Great post!

    1. Kathy Woodard December 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Hi Janelle! We love ours too! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Aurora September 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Always wanted to do this for my front and back yards…are the lights waterproof. Didn’t want to have to keep taking them back down. As we have a lot of rain here.
    Thanks for the great post. The pictures are very inspiring.

    1. Kathy Woodard October 31, 2014 at 6:50 am

      We have no problem with the rain, they are rated for outdoors, similar to Christmas lights… Love our globe lights!

      1. Linda Myer White July 18, 2015 at 5:37 am

        We knew some Woodards in landscaping years ago in Bradenton. Would love to get back in touch. Any relation?

        1. Kathy Woodard August 4, 2015 at 3:03 pm

          Sorry Linda, no relation!

      2. Sally Harvey August 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm

        Would love to see a picture. I just received mine and trying to decide if I want to criss cross them or string them in rows?


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