Introduction: Hanging Outdoor Party String Lights
An outdoor party may be in your plans and if it is, then you want to be sure that you create the best atmosphere possible. Party lighting can be added to turn your outdoor party from looking hastily put together to an unforgettable party that looks like you planned it for weeks.
The best thing is that you can use the Christmas lights that you used to decorate for the holidays. The standbys of C7 and C9 bulbs make a wonderful addition to your party and G30 bulbs are a great chocie as well. Some people use mini lights for their party lighting. No matter which type of lights that you choose, hanging party lights can be a simple way to make your party more fun and enjoyable.
Step 1: Staple or Glue?
There are two easy ways to hang party lights - stapling or gluing. Which one should you use? It is dependent upon your particular preference and situation. You will want to consider:
- Stapling is quick and simple. It is definitely faster to staple the lights to your home or structure, however, when you want to take them down, the process can be made much longer, as you will remove each staple with needle-nose pliers.
- Gluing can make them easier to take down. While it will take you a bit longer to install the lights, taking them down is very simple, if you don't mind leaving little bits of glue residue.
- Think about the surface you are highlighting. Attaching lights to a brick wall will be impossible with a stapler, but it will work perfectly with glue. Painted surfaces plus glue can mean paint peeling when you remove the lights. You want to think through what surface you are installing the lights on and then choose the least destructive method for hanging them.
Step 2: Stapling With Purpose
Stapling your party lights is pretty straightforward. Before you start stapling, however, you want to consider how long you are going to keep your lights up.
If you are going to keep them up for just a few days, then it really does not matter what kind of staple that you use. However, if the lights are going be up for weeks, months, or even longer, you want to put a bit more thought into the type of staple. Stainless steel staples are recommended to help reduce rusting.
When you remove your lights, be sure that you take out all the staples, as rusting can leave rust stains on most any type of surface. These stains are difficult, if not impossible, to remove.
When you are installing, here are some tips:
- Use one stapler per light socket
- Staple close to the socket, instead of between two sockets
- Don't staple through the electric cord
Step 3: Glue Your Lights
There are some surfaces that are unsuitable for using staples, which makes them ideal for using a hot glue gun. Brick and concrete are surfaces that are perfectly suitable for glue. While it will take a bit longer than stapling, it is still a very simple process to attach each light.
Hot glue is not the ideal choice for every situation. Painted surfaces are one of the surfaces you will want to refrain from living hot glue on, as paint can be damages. On metal, the glue may not stick very well, and on plastic, the hot glue could damage the plastic. Mini lights are not the best choice to use hot glue.
Here are some tips for using hot glue to install your Christmas lights:
- Take the bulbs off the line until you have install the line. This keeps glue off of the bulbs.
- Apply glue to the side of the socket, opposite from the clip.
- Don't apply glue to the socket base, as this can cause damage when you remove the lights.
- Glue residue will be left behind and, most often, weather and sun will remove the glue residue. If you want to get every bit of glue off, use a hot air gun to soften the glue and then scrape it away.
Step 4: What Do I Do If Glue or Staples Won't Work?
Sometimes, gluing or stapling are not good choices. Don't worry, however, as there are a multitude of clips and attachments that you can use. Here are some different attachment methods that you can consider when you are installing your outdoor party lights.
Step 5: Avoiding Common Lighting Problems
Whether you use glue, staples, or one of the many clips or attachments, you want to avoid these common lighting issues. Some of these problems include:
- A cord that is too long or too short. Stay true to the old saying, "Measure twice, cut once." Use a piece of string to determine the length of line you need. This will ensure that your light lines are the perfect length.
- Damaged lines. Plug in your lights and check them before you install them. This will allow you to replace burned out bulbs to keep you from having to when they are hung.
- Avoid cord damage. Be patient when you are installing your lights. Don't staple through the cord and be sure that the cords are not twisted when you install the lights.
- Plug in the lights after installation. While you may think that there is no danger installing the lights when they are plugged in, you can get a major shock if you staple through them accidentally. Keep them unplugged until you have completed installation.
Step 6: Have a Beautiful and Fun Party!
Decorating for a party using outdoor string lights can be a great deal of fun. As long as you understand how to hang them and make a plan, hanging outdoor party lights can be like a party in itself.
When it is time for the real event, your guests will love the amazing ambiance that you have created with your light installation. Every staple click and glue stick will be well worth the time and effort.