Summer nights at home are about to get so much cozier.

By Hillary Maglin
Updated August 04, 2020
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Courtesy of Brands

Aside from the current global pandemic, one thing is for sure: summer is the season of spending as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors — especially in the evenings, when the sun is low and the temperature is just right. It's the perfect time to light up the fire pit, sip on a cocktail, and breathe the fresh, night air. The only thing that could up the ambiance ante even more? A set of cozy string lights, offering a soft glow overhead.

In recent years, hanging string lights has become a staple for patios, decks, and other outdoor gathering areas. They're guaranteed to impress during barbecues and graduation parties, but they're just as dazzling when the only people outside are you and the family. If you're looking to give your outdoor space a simple yet effective upgrade, read on for our favorite string lights on the market.

Globe String Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

These basic globe lights are the definition of classic. They're simple, soft, and an ideal accessory for a rustic backyard get-together. String them over railings or across the ceiling — either way, they'll lend any home a bit of charm.

To buy: amazon.com, $40

Firefly Jar Lights

Courtesy of Wayfair

Nothing says summer like a subtly glowing fairy jar, so why not string a dozen or so across your patio? These little jars, complete with cork lids and burlap string bows, are sure to provide a magical evening as they twinkle and flicker at dusk.

To buy: wayfair.com, $38

Flickering Flame Lantern Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

These boho lantern lights are cozy as can be, and they'll perfectly complement nights by the fire. Thanks to their warm glow and woodsy appearance, these lights will take you straight into fall when the season changes.

To buy: amazon.com, $24

Colored Bulb Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

Whimsical, colored glass lights are just as fun and inviting during the day as they are when the sun goes down. In addition to offering a cheerful pop wherever they're hung, these bulbs are experts at weathering high winds and rain.

To buy: amazon.com, $36

White Metal Lantern Lights

Courtesy of Amazon

You won't find patio string lights more elegant than these small-yet-sturdy white lanterns. Designed for backyard bridal showers and high tea, this lighting option will be the envy of every guest.

To buy: amazon.com, $19

Mini Lemon Lights

Courtesy of Target

Lemons are the essence of summer — so if you're dreaming of some place tropical, these novelty lights might be up your alley. Put them up for your next pool party, and keep them up for nights huddled around the fire pit.

To buy: target.com, $22

Hand-blown Glass Bulb Lights

Courtesy of Wayfair

Want to truly transform your backyard into a nighttime oasis? These glowing glass bulbs provide an ambiance like no other. Similar in appearance to ornaments on a Christmas tree, these colorful lights turn a bland patio into something that would make a professional decorator swoon.

To buy: wayfair.com, $89

Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold Bulb Lights

Courtesy of Wayfair

We love these Moroccan-inspired lights because they manage to seamlessly complement any patio, no matter the decor style or color scheme. But our favorite thing about them? They're solar powered, which means they'll look good and do good at the same time.

To buy: wayfair.com, $53

Elongated Bulb Lights

Courtesy of Wayfair

These elongated tear drop lights make for a totally unique backyard look. Hang them from the roof of your deck to brighten up a party, or string them through trees and bushes for a dreamy, ethereal vibe.

To buy: wayfair.com, $49

Novelty Cactus Lights

Courtesy of Target

Fun and trendy should always be the M.O. for summer decor, so why not go for a set of cute cactus patio lights? They're perfect for themed cookouts, or nights when you'd rather be desert lounging at a southwestern resort.

To buy: target.com, $22

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