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Want to see our top picks at a glance? We're reviewing the top light rope and string lights on the market today.
The Lampat Globe Lights are one of our highest-rated picks for the best light ropes and strings! So, what's so great about them? For one, they're made to withstand the strain of both indoor and outdoor use, so they're perfect for decorating the living room or the garden. And at 25 feet (7.6 meters) long, there's plenty of rope here to accomplish even the loftiest decorating goals. With end-to-end connections, you can extend the length of your strings lights as needed.
There's wide spacing between each bulb—one whole foot, in fact. While the company does have a one-year satisfaction guarantee, this is not extended to the bulbs themselves. Add a little extra flair to your living space with these reasonably priced lights today!
If you're looking for the light rope on our top 10 list that will get you the best bang for your buck, look no further than the Hong Kong Homie Group's 6 pack of starry stringed lights. With six different 7-foot light ropes, you're getting roughly 42 feet for less than $10 on Amazon. In fact, it all averages out to roughly 21 cents a foot!
These high-quality LED white light strings are thin, bendable, and waterproof, so the only limit to their use is your own imagination! Each rope comes with a small battery box, which is not waterproof; the LED light batteries themselves should last up to 48 hours.
Looking for an amazing low price? The ANJAYLA LED Fairy String Lights deliver at $7.99 on Amazon for the 10-foot (3 meter) option.
These thin silver wires host 30 LED lights, with 4-inch spacing between each individual bulb. Weatherproofed, they're great for either inside or outside use (although the battery box is not waterproof). AA batteries are needed to operate these strings, although they are not included in this purchase. The sellers currently offer a 1-year warranty. All in all, we give them a respectable 8.6 rating.
Many of these top-rated items also include free shipping on Amazon. Note, however, that free shipping is restricted to certain regions.
Whether it's for a home improvement project or Christmas or a wedding event that requires a bit of extra spark, there's no end to the possibilities with fairy light strings. Want to learn more? See our in-depth buyer's guide below.
Light ropes and light strings, sometimes called fairy lights, are lights run along a wire, and they have a wide variety of applications. These light sources may not be your sole source of lighting for a dark area, as many light ropes' light output is minimal in comparison to normal light bulbs. However, there are many situations that can call for these lights: weddings, outdoor garden parties, college dorm décor, cabinet lighting—you name it! These strings serve as great complimentary or decorative lighting sources.
Light ropes and light strings come in various forms and colors. Some come in strips, some have small bulbs, and others still may have large globe-shaped bulbs. Some are thin and flexible, while others are thick and firm.
All of this variety can make it difficult to know what to search for; don't worry! We're here to help you break it down. They can all essentially be divided into two categories: indoor and outdoor lights.
Indoor rope lights are typically small, incandescent or LED bulbs attached to or lining an encased wiring string. Using string or rope lights has been a common indoor practice for quite some time.
So, just what can these lighting ropes be used for, exactly? Just about anything, really! Except for a few technical concerns like power sourcing and waterproofing, the only real limit on what to do with these lights or where to place them is your own imagination. Some common uses for indoor string lights include:
Rope lights are most commonly used for under cabinet lighting. When used for under cabinet lighting, the light rope is installed on the bottom side of hanging cabinets. Ideally, the light rope will be concealed by the bottom lip of the cabinet encasing. The pro of this practice is that your countertops are fully lit up, leaving no dark areas on the countertops. Even better, this can free up space, as there will not be a single stray cable laying around to clutter your countertops. There are really no cons to this practice, other than extra energy use, although minimal, and a slight bulkiness to the rope lights.
In addition to rope lights or string lights, LED light strips are commonly used for under-cabinet lighting, as they are generally thin and easily concealable. These light strips are flexible, thin circuit boards that contain rows of tiny LED light chips. Some are ropes of small lights embedded in a clear, often plastic, tube that creates a translucent rope of incremental light. In fact, strip lighting is more recommended for under cabinet lighting as the strips are easier to hide and debatably easier to install under cabinets. Strip lighting can also be referred to as an LED tape light.
Rope lighting can also be utilized to brighten a staircase, give light to china cabinets, add floor lighting to indoor theaters, or for mood lighting, among other uses. There are plenty of ways to use these lights as their form makes them concealable and flexible to orient however one wishes. The rope lighting can be applied under individual stair lips or along a stairway railing.
For theater lighting, rope lights can be used to provide a minimal source of floor lighting, allowing one to maneuver the area while the room as a whole remains dark and ideal for theater viewing. In a home theater, rope lighting can be placed along the base of a couch or under the base of chairs.
There are also light strings, like Christmas lights, that are strings of encased wiring with bulbs placed sequentially down the string. These bulbs could be small like Christmas lights, or large, dangling bulbs from strings. Many types of holiday lights will have special colors or bulb-shape options, depending on what you're planning to celebrate. For example, many Christmas lights will come in red and green, while Halloween-themed strings might have orange-colored bulbs. Some manufacturers sell specialty or novelty bulbs shaped like stars or moons.
Using rope lighting along crown molding in a room is a common practice for livening a room. Installed in the crown molding, this technique can provide an elegant aesthetic that highlights the room and its design. With nearly endless possibilities, rope and strip lighting can be used indoors to give any space a jolt of life, or the light source that it desperately needs.
As with indoor rope lighting possibilities, rope and string lighting both have many applications outdoors as well. When choosing lighting for outside purposes, however, make sure that they are weatherproof and properly insulated. This way, weather conditions or even small animals will have a harder time wearing down these light sources.
When using this type of lighting for primary light sources outdoors, it is recommended that LED rope lights are used. Why? Because they are much brighter than incandescent bulbs. Also, be sure to use a cool instead of warm varieties, as the cool white provides more light than the warm white LEDs. A fantastic benefit of using rope lighting for your primary light source is that the rope light will attract far less insects and bugs than a typical bulb of light.
One such use for outdoor rope lighting is as a primary source of light for your outdoor area. For instance, some can be installed around the underside of a roof or a deck. This would provide non-overbearing illumination that falls evenly on any desired area.
String lights can provide a decorative feel that can enhance any party or social gathering. Large-bulb varieties make great outdoor party lights. These larger bulbs, incandescent or LED, have playful tone to them. There are usually about 12 bulbs per string for these varieties, so multiple ropes are likely required to cover a large area.
One popular way of orienting string lighting for party lights is to string the lights from a central point outward, almost giving the appearance of a "light tent." These strings of light can be hung from trees, hung along walls, or back and forth across an open area. String lights are perfect for outdoor parties as they give off a homey/intimate and charming feel. As with many of these light forms, the applications are nearly endless.
An additional application for strings lights is outdoor lighting around the garden. When lining garden beds with this type of lighting, one is left with an elegant border separating garden from lawn or driveway, etc. For this application, the rope lighting would be lined along the edges of the garden beds. In addition to providing an attractive boundary between the garden and lawn, the rope lighting will give off just enough light to accent the plants, flowers, or decorations within the garden beds, creating an elegant garden appearance that one can appreciate into the darker hours of the night.
Rope lighting can also be used to illuminate outside stairways and railings. Using rope lights to line deck railings and stairs or fence edges is great way to embolden the shape of the structures and their presence in the yard. The minimal output of these lights is again perfect for maneuvering, allowing one to see where and what they're doing without overpowering the area with light.
Not only can rope lighting bring complete elegance to your yard and garden, they can also be used for decorative lighting, such as Christmas lighting. Although many people use string lights for Christmas lights, rope lights can create a more vivid lighting experience. The greatest pro of all is that these lights are often water resistant, allowing for outdoor placement without the worry of water damage.
Besides where and how you will place your light ropes or string lights is what kind of light source you will use: incandescent or LED.
There are some benefits and drawbacks to both. Ultimately, though, which lighting source you use will be up to you.
Think of a stereotypical light bulb; you are probably thinking of an incandescent bulb. These types of bulbs contain wire filaments that glow when heated. As such, they naturally are more prone to overheating than their LED counterparts, and will need to be replaced more often as well. They also will burn through more energy. The benefit to these bulbs, however, is that they are quite cheap.
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LED stands for "light-emitting diode." They work through a process called electroluminescence, which basically means they light up when an electric current runs through them. As such, LED bulbs run cooler, meaning that they're less of a fire hazard. The way they operate also means they are more environmentally friendly, burning through less energy than incandescent alternatives.
In short, lights are often more effective, safe, and energy efficient in the LED form. LED lights require less electrical current to reach output levels when compared to their incandescent counterparts. Also, the cool white of an LED light is a brighter light form than incandescent white. LED string lights are near double the cost; however, they last much longer than the incandescent bulbs.
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Depending on the type of light rope, supplying power to these lights can differ. For rope lighting or stringing lights, it will depend on whether or not they came with a switch.
Lighting that comes with a switch is usually straightforward: simply switch on the lights when you need them, and flick the switch off when they are not in use. Some options even come with a remote control to power lights, making them easier to use.
Lighting that does not come with a switch will instead possess a typical outlet plug to provide power to the bulbs. To turn the lights on and off, you would simply have to plug or unplug the lights. For lights like this, it is ideal to have the plug in a location you can easily access, though not so out in the open that it creates an eyesore.
It is possible to hardwire light ropes into a light switch so that they go on and off by the flick of a switch. However, unless one is experienced in the field of electrical work, it is highly suggested that this method is not undertaken without a professional's guidance or advice.
Sometimes light ropes and string lights can attach to one another by simply plugging them together, end to end. This way, you can extend the length of your lighting. It is recommended that any and all plugs are not directly on the ground, as that is a hazard for water and weather damage.
Other strip lights, both LED or incandescent varieties, use batteries as a power supply. When opting for these kinds, pay close attention to whether the battery box is weatherproof. Packaging may say a light is waterproof upfront, but hide the fact that the power box itself is not. Pay close attention, as this could affect placement plans.
It is also important to consider the fact that rope and string lights also come in different voltages. Manufacturers typically produce thicker rope lights in 12 volts, 24 volts, and 120 volts. The 12v and 24v rope lights are better suited for use with a battery source (instead of outlet), while the 120v ropes are compatible with the average outlet. Thinner options are typically produced in 120v fashion. Again, any normal outlet should do fine in handling the voltage from these lights. A strip light, or LED tape light, is typically around 12 volts, which is more than easy enough to accommodate via outlet. Being that there are a plethora of rope and string light types, it should be possible to find something your home can handle and you can enjoy!
Besides the factors listed above, other things to consider when looking to shop for these products include:
Certain products can come in a wide variety of colors. There are many that come in one set standard color; think of the standard white LED strip. However, Those looking for an RGB LED strip can certainly find one, and many now come with the fun feature of being able to change the color. Some rope lights even have what is called a "chasing" effect, where the light will run down the rope as if it is chasing itself. Not only that, but many an LED strip light can also twinkle. There really is a string or rope light out there for any purpose!
Color is an especially important consideration if you want to make a custom eye-catching sign. A popular option is to use an RGB LED string or strip light kit. These kits are simply multi-colored, often neon, lights on either a string or in a tube or strip. These multi-color kits are a bit more expensive than regular LED strip lights.
If you are looking for something simple and cheap, there's plenty of nice fairy lights out there that can properly light your home, bedroom, patio, or garden. If you want to twist the lights into a certain shape, you'll have to ensure that the products you buy are flexible enough to do so.
However, lighting kits are nice because they come with lots of convenient features and accessories. For example, sometimes these kits include a remote control so you can change the colors of your rope tube lights. LED lighting is more common in these types of kits, so they will also burn brighter.
LED strip lights will typically emit brighter than incandescent ones. This high brightness can make LED strips great options to light the home if current lighting situations are too dim. An LED strip light is also therefore great for lighting an outdoor garden during darker hours.
However, some situations will call for low lighting. For simple indoor decoration purposes, like accenting the floor panels of a room, highlighting a kitchen cabinet, or creating a lighting display in a china pantry, or even bar lighting, something bright is not exactly preferable. In these cases, look for options that have dimmers or brightness-adjustment settings.
You can often control these settings through different means. If the lights have a remote controller, simply adjust the brightness that way. If your fairy lights are battery operated, there will be a battery center. Sometimes these battery boxes have adjustable settings on them.
Light up your world in an energy-efficient way! There's several options available to you, including:
Some items will require little effort for installation, while others can be a real hassle. A smaller or thinner LED rope light, for example, is relatively easy to install. All it would take is perhaps some small tacks or even tape to place the LED light strip where it needs to go. Some even come with adhesive backing to make installation even easier!
There are many options when it comes to your rope and string lighting. Using some imagination and proper hardware, you can transform any room, yard, or garden into an elegant, well-lit place. So, get out there, shop around, and grab some rope lights; the possibilities are endless.