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The Ultimate Festoon Lighting Buying Guide

The Ultimate Festoon Lighting Buying Guide

We’ve all been there, spending hours in the garden doing a number of things one after another — planting, weeding, running in and out of the house to our children — and just as we think about sitting down to enjoy a few relaxed moments outdoors and sip a cold, refreshing drink, it gets dark.

But, hey, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can enjoy some quite moments outdoors whenever you want. Simply install festoon lights in the garden to effortlessly transfer it into a warm, inviting space.

Festoon lights are also the perfect choice for many a special occasion. Whether it is outdoor parties, family get-togethers, barbeques, or outdoor dinners, festoon lights can help you create just the right kind of ambience.

If you’ve ever wondered what festoon lights are or how to choose them, we’ve got you covered. In this buying guide, we’ll cover:

  • What are festoon lights?
  • Why go with festoon lights?
  • Where to hang festoon lights?
  • How to install festoon lights?
  • How to pick the right kind of light bulb for your festoon lights?
  • What is the difference between standard voltage and low voltage?
  • Six quick, simple buying tips

Sounds good? Let’s dive in.

What are festoon lights?

Festoon lights are also known as party lights or string lights. Simply put, festoon lights are strings of hanging light bulbs or globes hung from two structures (such as poles, beams, posts, etc.). The word ‘festoon’ originally describes garlands and wreaths hung at banquets and celebrations. These lights lend an aesthetic appeal to an outdoor or even indoor area and are also a perfect choice for pairing with any theme.

They are commonly found throughout outdoor areas in cafes, pubs, breweries, and music festivals. You may even find them suspended between city alleyways. Nevertheless, festoon lights are also suitable for around the home in the garden or backyard or on the balcony. You can also use them indoor if you want.

Festoon lights feature small bulb sockets that can hold different types of bulbs. This in turn gives you option for using whichever type of bulb — for instance, Edison or LED light bulbs — for a personalized look.

Another good thing about festoon lighting is that when one bulb on the strings stops functioning, the rest stay lit. As you can guess, this makes maintaining them very easy. All you have to do is swap out the light bulb that has stopped working.

Why go with festoon lights?


Festoon lights are a great choice for decorative purposes. Since lighting makes a world of difference when you’re hosting a special event or entertaining guests, consider installing festoon lights to create an ambient setting in your garden or backyard.

Here are some of the main reasons why you should go with festoon lights.

  • Atmosphere

These lights add a warm, inviting ambience to any space, indoor or outdoor. Plus, the amount of light that it produces is perfect for an outdoor function. You can hang them up in your backyard or garden to lend the space a warm, intimate feel. On the other hand, if you wish to create a modern and stylish look to an indoor space, hang them down a wall.

  • Easy to install

The fixture is extremely flexible and allows you to set them up wherever you want. Since the globes easily screw into the socket attached to the fixture, you can easily change bulbs when needed.

  • Suitable for all kinds of occasions

Festoon lights are suitable for all kinds of occasions, such as an anniversary, outdoor wedding, family get-together, outdoor party, etc. You can even use them inside the house if you want to create a stylish, modern look.

  • Available in different varieties

Festoon lights are available in a number of varieties, with the two most common ones being hanging and flush.

The hanging style features bulbs hanging from a short cable attached to a main cord.

In the second style, the bulbs don’t hang from a short cable. Instead they flush against the festoon lighting cable without any hanging.

Where to hang festoon lights?

You can place festoon lights anywhere around your home. You can even place them inside if you want. Thanks to their ease of use and versatility, placement of these lights is limited to only one thing — your imagination.


You can easily find festoon lights for your backyard or garden. These lights are available in the perfect lengths for all kinds of backyards — large and small. You can hang them from a courtyard, string them in trees, or hang them from one part of your backyard to the other.

Our 10m Black Festoon String Lights with 10 Bulb (240V) is perfect for any outdoor (and also indoor) setting. Some of its most notable features are:

  • Can be joined together to make longer string lights, thanks to the waterproof universal joint on both ends.
  • IP65 rated and is perfectly safe for indoor and outdoor use.
  • 240 Volt Australian Standard 2 pin plug for easy install
  • Free 11-watt incandescent bulbs included (but if you want, you can upgrade to LED bulbs for an extra cost)

Inside your home

Many think that festoon lights are only for the outdoors, but that’s not so. You can use also them inside your home to decorate the living room, a child’s room, or a staircase railing.

Commercial Applications
Festoon lights are used in commercial establishments, cafes, eateries, pubs, etc. These lights help create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Café outdoor seating areas, open-air restaurants, and beer gardens are also ideal for festoon lighting.

When to Use Festoon Lights?

You can use festoon lighting for a number of things, such as:

Create an amazing and unmatched atmosphere at a wedding, regardless of whether it’s being held on a farm, at a golf club, or in a backyard, by lighting it up with festoon lights.

Backyard Parties
These lights are just perfect for backyard parties. Whether it’s a family get-together on a warm autumn evening or a Christmas party, installing festoon lights over a grassy grass can help create an unrivalled atmosphere.


More and more food festivals, street parties, and concerts have started using festoons to create a warm, ambient atmosphere.

You can enhance any event such as a corporate function or a store opening by using festoon lights. Thanks to amazing versatility and plug-in capabilities of festoons, you can set them up quickly for events and pack them away afterwards.

How to Hang Festoon Lights

Here are some important tips on how to hang festoon lights in your space:

Plan & Measure
Start with measuring both the space and the hanging distance. This will help you decide:

  • What length of light you require
  • Whether you next extra cables, wiring or hooks

Pro Tip: If the length of festoon lights is not sufficient, consider using a 3M, 5M, or 10M extension cord. With a commercial-grade extension cord, you can easily ensure your festoon lights reach the power outlet.

Install Lamp holders Downwards
The last thing you would want is to install festoon lights with the lamp holders facing up. For optimal illumination, make sure your lamp holders are facing downwards on those spaces you want to illuminate the most.

Unleash Your Creativeness
Hang your festoon lights creatively to create the maximum impact. So get creative when you are installing them — drape them across the backyard fence, wrap them around a big tree at the centre of your backyard, or suspend them across entertaining or eating areas.

Consider the Layout
Depending on your purpose behind using the festoon lights and their lengths, you can hang them in many ways. Three most common layouts are:

Parallel Layout
Hanging festoon lights in a row parallel to each other is a simple yet effective way to give your space a classy look. This layout is ideal for outdoor entertaining settings and found frequently in breweries, cafes, and outdoor areas.


Wedge Layout
This particular layout focuses around a particular point, like a pillar or a tree, and hanging the festoon lights spread in a wedge shape to a secure point, such as a fence or skirting board. By picking suitable lengths of festoon lights, you can keep the layout as large or small you need.

Criss-Cross Layout
This layout is usually perfect for areas that are small and cozy, such as courtyards. You can cover a big area without requiring long measurements of strings.

How to pick the right kind of light bulb for your festoon lights?

Festoon lights are all about versatility. They come in a number of different types of bulbs. You can easily pick one that suits your needs the best.

Popular of their classic warm glow, Edison bulbs can set mood for your party, especially if it is being held outdoors. These bulbs come in different shaped filaments, which can add a decorative touch to your space.

Classy as Edison bulbs are, they do have a few shortcomings. The main problem with glass bulbs is that they can get very hot during operation. For this reason, they aren’t practical to use around kids, pets, and adults who have had a drink or two. Additionally, they can cost a fortune to run and get smashed so easily, no matter how careful you are.

LED bulbs, by contrast, offer all the charm of glass string lights without the hassle. They are cool to the touch, not easily breakable, and cost-effective to run thanks to their longevity. If you want to save more on the cost of running festoon lights, consider solar string lights, such as our Solar Festoon String Lights.

What’s more, some LED string lights can be even controlled by voice. Our RGBCW string works with both Google Assistant and Alexa. Now you can instantly turn your festoon lights on and transform your place’s ambience from ordinary to spectacular with just a voice command.

If you want to dim LED bulbs, or for that matter incandescent or halogen ones, you can do so easily using an external dimmer.

You can use these festival bulbs to spruce up your parties, music festivals, or Christmas festivities.

Low Voltage
If you want to give your space a nostalgic glow, opt for LED bulbs made using polycarbonate materials. These bulbs have low voltage and are almost shatterproof.

What is the difference between standard voltage and low voltage?

If you are looking for qualify festoons, you should buy either standard or low voltage festoons, depending on your hanging needs.

Standard Voltage
Compared to low voltage, this one is much easier to use. They are usually installed using a wall plug. That basically means you won’t need to hire the services of an electrician to set them up. Also, you can quickly set the up before an occasion and then take them off afterwards. These lights work with a number of light bulbs and can be used in different ways to add some pizzazz to your space.
Low Voltage
You are more likely to see these festoons in commercial and residential applications. They are very durable and safe and can easily withstand severe weather conditions. These festoons are almost maintenance free and some of them are as long as 100 meters.

These are a great option for spaces where you are going to install lights for a much longer period. Since these are low voltage, the cost of running them is low.

IP Ratings

Festoon Lights, just like other outdoor lights, have IP rating. This rating indicates how well a light is protected against both liquids such as water and solids such as dust.

When you are purchasing an outdoor lighting, such as festoon lights, make sure it is IP65 rated. IP65 rated lights are ideal for domestic and commercial use and are completely protected against water jets and foreign bodies, like dust.

 Some Quick Buying Tips

  • Make sure the lamp holders are facing downwards
  • If you are using long festoon cables, use wire and cables to reduce dropping and sagging
  • If you want a permanent installation, opt for low voltage festoon lights
  • Always check the IP ratings before you buy festoon lights
  • Before you start installing festoon lights, draw up a plan to see which layout works with your space