Bistro Lights : Outdoor String Lights

Bistro Lights: Outdoor String Lights
Written by twitiq

Do you want to use lights in your yard or outdoor area? You can get many options like post lights, well lights, solar-powered portable lights, up and downlights, and outdoor light shows. Bistro lights called string lights can be a great choice. These lights offer a range of versatility, but in some cases, they are not ideal. Dig into the article to know the benefits as well as drawbacks of these lights so that you can make your decision properly.

What are bistro lights?

Bistro lights refer to those outdoor lights which people generally use to illuminate and enhance the outdoor space. We use these lights for restaurants, wedding receptions, and patios. You can hang these rope lights along a wall or ceiling or strung them from poles to illuminate the area.

Usually, whenever people want lights in public areas, they want to use bistro lights. For example, you can use these in a restaurant’s outdoor seating section or a wedding reception place. It is even possible to hang bistro lights in the backyard. Several people illuminate their pool areas, patios, yards, etc., by using bistro lights.

These lights are basically rounder bulbs that are spaced evenly and emit warm white light. However, it is possible to use whatever color bulb you prefer. You can style these lights so that they can match the aesthetic.

LED bulbs are long-lasting and capable of handling outdoor temperatures in an improved way. Therefore, it is better to use LEDs for bistro lights. LEDs can save energy, indicating that you need to maintain these less. Therefore, these don’t need replacement more often and helps you to save money on LED bulbs.

Are bistro lights the same thing as string lights?

Bistro lights are mainly the string lights used for illuminating backyards. The string lights are basically long light strands connected by a wire that you can wrap around something. Generally, these lights are a warm white color, but you can get them available in any color.

There are many reasons why outdoor string lights are famous. These are simple to use and put up. But in other cases like if it comes to talk about other outdoor lighting fixtures, it will require costly installations and remodelling. You can use outdoor string lights as DIY and prevent digging up the garden to lay out wires or paying a contractor to remodel your wall.

The outdoor string lights can be hung on the existing patio walls, fence. Sometimes, you may hang these by putting them in a pole, but it depends on the size of the area you are hanging the string lights in.

As these are simple to install, outdoor string lights are available at much cheaper rates than other yard and patio lighting methods. You can hang these lights from a rope in your backyard easily, whereas Christmas lights and similar products need special installation. You can buy ropes and outdoor string lights from any hardware store.

These lights are versatile and can go almost anywhere. It creates a soothing and mind-grabbing ambiance when you hang these lights on the wall of your house directly, your fence, around the patio, wrapped on poles in a garden, or hang in the open yard. The LED Bistro lights are long-lasting, due to which you can continue your experiments with where you are willing them to go.

Can bistro lights go both inside and outside?

You can use string lights both inside and outside. The outside string lights are referred to as bistro lights whereas indoor ones are not called bistro lights. But it is the same thing.

In the dining rooms or bedrooms, soft lighting is suitable. Therefore, you should use Inside string lights in such cases. You can hang these lights on the wall for both lighting and decoration. For normal light fixtures, an electrician is required to install and place the fixture & wire properly. But for the string lights, there is no hassle.

You can hang these on nails or tacks evenly spaced on the wall. Don’t want to damage your wall? Then, hang these lights on command hooks, with tape, with putty. Otherwise, you can wrap these around furniture.

Fairy light is another type of string light used for accent lighting. These are basically tiny LED lights’ smaller strands. While you can hang these around a room, you can also bunch them. Then, you should place them with decorations to illuminate them. You can use these lights during Christmas time to illuminate your room and accent the holiday spirit.

Regarding exterior home lighting designs, you can get many options available. These lights are easy to set up, and reasonable lighting processes that can add to the ambiance of the home & yard. Remember that compared to other lighting methods, these outdoor string lights are easy to set up and more budget-friendly.

How do you hang bistro lights on your patio?

There are a lot of ways to hang these lights. You can use nails or hooks which help to hold up the strand and hang them on the wall of the house or fence.

Moreover, you can wrap the lights around bannisters, support beams, and poles just like Christmas lights. However, you can attach these lights to the ends of the ceiling.

What type of bulbs should you use for bistro lights?

Generally, these lights use a warm white light with a glass bulb. However, different colors or materials are available. LED bulbs are the best ones to use because they do not get as hot as incandescents. Therefore, these are safer to use, mainly around flammable materials such as plants and patios. The LEDs are long-lasting and energy efficient. Although these are a bit more expensive, these save your money on electrical bills and light maintenance.

Are bistro lights expensive?

You can get outdoor bistro lights at several price ranges like cheaper models cost $15, whereas top-quality models need more than $100. It can cost you more when you want a special installation for your bistro light setup. If there doesn’t exist any light sockets in your backyard, it is essential to have an extension cord. Otherwise, installing sockets can cost some hundred bucks.

Why should you get bistro lights?

While backyard bistro lights are available at cheaper rates than other outdoor lighting, these lights make a specific atmosphere that is almost impossible to  beat. The lights make the area warm and give you comfort. Moreover, these lighting create a relaxing environment. While many restaurants prefer this aesthetic, many people add this to their homes.

Lighting lets us know about an area and the person in charge of it. Soft lighting refers to a welcoming area that you can use for gathering and socializing spots like a backyard patio. If you want to make your house such an area where everyone hangs out, you should use these lights for communicating comfort and welcome.

The Advantages:


The biggest benefit of these lights is they are versatile when it comes to talking about how and where to use them. You can use the lights over pergolas, arbors, or other canopy structures for providing overhanging light. This type of lighting can offer abundant lighting directly overhead and there is no need for a fixed wiring connection.

Different aesthetic effects:

Adding a variety of aesthetic effects are one of the reasons due to which you should use the LED Bistro lights. If you are willing to enhance the vegetation, you can hang in or around vegetation. Lighting can be positioned as a shower effect along the walls’ trellis’ side. However, these lights can also get this effect when you strung overhead of a pergola or draped over the pergola’ or arbor’s side

These lights can be used to illuminate other fountains & waterfalls for creating a unique pattern. You can not get this pattern using other lighting options like spotlights or submerged lighting.

Use for entrance ways or light ways:

You can use the lights near a footpath, elevated slightly along with posts for creating lighting instantly along a walking surface. While it is possible to drape this lighting along with structures, you can cover a path, like balconies, overhangs, posts, or arbors for creating overhead lighting. It is a popular way to incorporate vegetation, mainly trees. You can drape it across an entranceway, along a deck railing, or around a pool. While these lights can be used to illuminate a particular area, these turn specific spaces more visible for safety measures.


These are available in different designs, colors, and bulb options. Edison-type bulbs which use incandescent bulbs can produce a warm soft glow. This ones don’t produce so bright lighting which is great for hot summer days. However, you can use colored bulbs to create a fun atmosphere for holidays and festive seasons.

Bistro Lighting Drawbacks and Considerations:

Bistro lights can be an excellent lighting option for all occasions. These are perfect lighting choices for different functions & come with several designs. But it never indicates that these can fulfill your every lighting requirement. Several bistro LED lights are available at higher cost than other lighting options. It might not be the most economical choice, depending on how much light you require. As LEDs are more energy-efficient, these are a great pick for regular uses.

People who entertain occasionally should not go for them. You should know that these are brighter than other lighting options. Therefore, it is essential to position these carefully to prevent them from creating a nuisance. However, it is not an ideal choice for those who want to light up certain structures or cover large distances.


You should know that a Bistro light strand is basically a light strand that remains suspended in the air. Every light is positioned about a foot and a half apart. However, High-grade outdoor Bistro lights come with UV coating for protecting the cords from sun damage. If you want to buy commercial grade Bistro lights with LED lamps, then you should know that it can last ten to twenty years. Whereas Single Pendant Bistro lights are different in several ways.

However, lamps and sockets are almost the same, but the core is totally different. The regular bistro lights come with several sockets and lamps that remain strung and positioned on the same cord. But Single Pendant Bistro comes with one socket and lamp that remains suspended at the end of the cord. You can use these bistro lights for creating the illusion of a chandelier. Otherwise, you can place these lights from different heights for creating an interesting mystique.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How high should you hang bistro lights?

You should use them at least 8-10′ off the ground. People who use larger bulbs, need to raise the display height, depending on personal preference.

  • How much does it cost to install bistro lights?

$1000 is the starting price of Bistro lights Installation, including an electrical outlet and materials for small backyards.

  • What is the difference between bistro lights and string lights?

Bistro lights can perform well in rustic settings ( like barns), old mill & warehouse spaces, natural environments, out-of-doors and tents. If it comes to talking about string lights, these come in smaller sizes than the earlier ones. People use these around the perimeter of tents as extra light sources.



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