Festoon lights are firmly at the top of everyone's wishlist when it comes to garden lighting. It's easy to see why too. We love the large exposed bulbs that give any space a modern touch, and they typically give off a much better light than their fairy light counterparts.
The best festoon lights are easy to use: you can string them across patios, hang them between trees or even use them to light garden paths. There are solar designs or options that are powered by batteries, which are useful if you don't have access to an electrical socket in your garden.
With the evenings getting darker, now's the perfect time to up your garden lighting game with these great ideas.
1. Go battery powered for ease of use
The beauty of battery and solar powered lighting is that you can use it anywhere outdoors. Ikea’s Utsund lighting chain is battery powered, comes with 12 lights, and we love the idea of weaving them in and around these Solvinden solar powered lamps. The glow after dark of the two styles combined would be truly magical, while the all-white scheme is modern and fresh, making it a perfect look for a contemporary garden, balcony or patio.
2. Illuminate unexpected areas
Areas to the side of the house often get forgotten when we add mood lighting to our garden, but stringing up some festoon lights can instantly transform an uninspiring part of the garden into somewhere far more atmospheric. It means guests will also get a warm welcome as soon as they come through the gate into your outside space. Wayfair’s Violetta 20 light festoon lighting allows you to mix and match the bulbs so you could use white, single coloured or multi-coloured. The cable is high grade double insulated PVC which is very durable and weatherproof, so they can be used all year round. There's also a 50 light option, which is great if you have a larger space to light up.
3. Add a touch of sparkle
Don't shout at us for mentioning the C-word, but it's never too early to start thinking about getting in the Christmas spirit, is it? Invest in a set of fabulous festoon lights now and you can enjoy them outdoors in autumn and then make them part of your festive decorations in December. Plus, how amazing do these look? Each of these indoor/outdoor geometric lustre festoon lights from Cox & Cox has a lustrous finish that makes them iridescent and there are twenty globe bulbs suspended from a white cable. In the warmer months wrap them around a favourite tree for summer evening entertaining, and in the winter you could hang them around your front door to create a welcoming glow.
4. Connect multiple sets
Got a large garden and need multiple sets of lights to illuminate your space? Look for lights that come with a connector so you can join several sets together for a longer length of lighting that only needs plugging in at one end. Lights 4 Fun's Pro Series enables you to connect up to 150m of festoons from one plug, meaning you can light up your whole garden ready for garden parties and celebrations!
5. Try a different style
Festoon lights don’t always have to be a string of lights that can be hung from hook to hook. Mix it up with something like these cluster lights from Garden Trading for a great alternative. Featuring five filament-style LED bulbs that hang at different lengths, they're battery operated so can be hung from a tree or perhaps from the centre of a pergola or gazebo for a romantic alfresco setting.