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8 Simple Outdoor Rope Light Ideas for Your Backyard

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Rope lights are one of my favorite types of Lights to put up simply because they’re easy to do.

And in this article I share with you some of the top ways that you can use outdoor lights in your outdoor projects.

One of the best ways to use rope lighting is to attach it to your deck railing and this was one of the first outdoor lighting projects that we did.

Our decking was about three levels high and we wanted some lighting to go all the way down. We didn’t want to use step lighting but we wanted to be able to illuminate the area while we were going down the steps in just in general and easy way to cast light on to our backyard decking.

With that we chose rope lighting to do this for us. We loved the fact that we could make it any size. You can simply extend it by attaching extra rope lights to your system. You can start with one strip to make it manageable and then if you need more, simply unscrew the end and attach a new one on there.

Another thing that’s great about rope lighting is all the different colors that they now come in.

Not only are there more colors, there are more ways to do rope lighting. You can have rope lighting with power or a solar version and can also have ones that are battery-powered as well. We’ll cover each of those in this article.

Deck Lighting

With deck lighting you can do multiple things. You can either wrap the deck spindles with lighting. That gets a little complicated, but you will definitely have a lot of light on your deck area.

One of the ways that we did it was adding the rope lighting underneath the handrail attached with cable clips. It was a very easy project, but gives off great lighting on the bottom area of your deck and it’s not shining in your face as much.

rope lighting on deck

To make sure that you have the proper amount of rope lighting you want to measure out your deck in linear feet where you want to add the rope lighting. Measure the length of your deck and go along till you have your whole deck perimeter set out.

Then you can take those measurements and match them up to the rope lighting that you want.

The strip lights come in a hundred and fifty feet so that you can make sure that you have the proper links that you need.

Landscape Lighting

The next type of rope lighting that’s easy to use is landscape lighting. If you have a great area with shrubbery or an area with beautiful plants and rocks. Rope lighting will make each area a delight to see and really showcase.

Having landscape lighting makes it easy when you have a mulch border area or any kind of boarded area. You can add the rope lighting along that area to really showcase the border between your landscaping areas.

Walkway lighting

Creating the space in your backyard it’s important to have the proper lighting so people can see where they’re walking. Using rope lighting around a walkway will help people find their path safely and their way to your backyard.

With walkway lighting you can install the lighting along your walkway and you can also use landscape stakes to keep them in place.

Staking them will not only help people not accidentally trip on them but also keep them in place so you won’t accidently hit them while mowing.

Tree Rope Lighting

If you have beautiful trees in your backyard and want to showcase them at night, then adding rope lighting is quite easy and simple to do.

Some of the best trees for rope lighting are palm trees or any other tree that grows really tall before the branches start to branch out.

Pool Rope Lighting

Usually, you have spotlights in the pool that light up the pool. Sometimes the problem with this is you had to install the lights when you installed the pool. The other issue is the spotlights seem very bright in certain areas and not helpful in others.

This is where conveniently placed rope lighting comes into play. With rope lighting, you can add it during or after the construction. And it offers better lighting coverage than the spotlight lights in the pool.

Ambient Lighting

I love ambient lighting. It’s not harsh or in your face, but it illuminates the areas so you can easily see and move around in.

One of the best places to use rope lighting is for ambient lighting around your outdoor kitchen area. Under the counter is a great place to put the rope lights so people can see where to sit.

Highlight Outdoor Steps

This is in a similar vein as the walkway lighting. Highlighting the steps with the rope lights is an easy way to show people where the steps are. This helps reduce tripping hazards and really shows off your backyard areas.

Garden Warmth

You can even do something more with the heat that comes off the rope lighting and create a heat mat for starting and growing seeds.

Here’s a great how to article for using rope lighting to warm up seeds from the Vegetable Gardener.

Types of Rope Lights

Now that you have some inspiration for your next rope lighting project, let’s talk about the different types of rope lights. You can get battery powered, solar powered, and the traditional electrical ones.

On top of that, you can choose from regular incandescent light bulbs for your rope light or get the LED type.

Battery Powered Rope Lights

Battery powered, or 12V, rope lights are great if your project isn’t near an outlet. You can still use the rope lights to illuminate your area. You’ll just have to make sure that the casing is water proof and you’ll have to change out the batteries when needed.

Most of the battery powered rope lights are also the LED lights. Simply because it takes much less power to light the LED lights than it does to light the incandescent ones.

Solar Powered Rope Lights

Similar to the battery powered lights, the solar rope lights makes it much easier to use if you aren’t near an outlet. This is especially useful for wrapping a tree.

You can find lots of solar powered ropes lights at many stores like Home Depot, Target, or Amazon.

Over To You

So now we’ve shown you 8 simple ways to use rope lighting for your outdoor lighting projects. Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas on how to use rope lights or other types of lights in your own backyard and ready to tackle one of these cool lighting projects.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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