Colorful front porch with globe string lights

27 Things To Do With String Lights

String lights are the chameleons of lighting. They can be hung, strung, twirled or wrapped, and their versatility is the inspiration for thousands of creative DIY projects.

Before we get into this mega list of 27 unique ways to use them, let’s talk about what qualifies as a “string light.” By definition, a string light is a series of lights along a coated wire. From there, the variety flourishes, but I’ve narrowed it down to four basic categories:

Four different types of string lights

  • Mini String Lights are small bulbs in a variety of shapes and colors and are what you usually see wrapped around a Christmas tree.
  • Globe String Lights have larger bulbs in different shapes. You may also hear these referred to as Edison Lights, Cafe Lights, Patio Lights or Party Lights.
  • Fairy Lights or Micro String Lights are tiny LED lights (about the size of a grain of rice) along a very thin bendable wire.
  • Novelty String lights and Specialty Lights typically have a dedicated theme or purpose, like snowflake or pink flamingo string lights.

For every different type and name that they go by there are endless creative projects and decor ideas, but here’s a round-up of a few of the most memorable string light applications I’ve seen:

27 Unique Ideas for String Light Projects

Star fort made out of cardboard box and string lights
1 – Star Fort Cave via Life as Mama
DIY flameless fire pit with string lights and cardboard
2 – DIY Fire Pit via October June
Backyard wedding with string lights
3 – Backyard Wedding via Style Me Pretty

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Weekend Warrior Recessed Lighting Project, Part Two

Weekend Warrior Series: LED Retrofit Lighting, Part Two

During the course of May, our team celebrated National Home Remodeling month by doing some simple lighting projects around the house and sharing them with our readers. We called it our “Weekend Warrior” series because all of the projects can be completed in a weekend (or less!). 


 

Weekend Warrior Retrofit LED Lighting Project

Project Two – The 1-Hour Project

In my last post I shared how we installed recessed lighting in our bonus room. Once I installed the LED retrofits there, I was hooked on the quality and energy-efficiency of the lighting. I decided to change out our seven 75-watt PAR30 halogen recessed lights in our kitchen with seven LED retrofit modules. The 7 halogen recessed lights used 525 total watts of electricity. By switching to LED retrofit modules I would reduce that wattage use to 87.5 watts! HUGE energy savings! In addition to the LED retrofit modules, I also changed out my dimmer switch to a Lutron Maestro C-L dimmer.

This was one project I was able to very easily do myself. In fact, I finished this one in less than an hour. (more…)

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Weekend Warrior LED Recessed Lighting Project

Weekend Warrior Series: LED Retrofit Lighting, Part One

This is the fourth post in our Weekend Warrior blog post series, part of our quest to bring customers unique products and creative ideas for DIY lighting projects around the house. We previously covered how to install security lighting, a custom pantry lighting solution, and creating a kid’s book nook with a wall mounted reading light.


Weekend Warrior LED Recessed Lighting Project

Since moving into my home in 2009 I have completed a number of lighting projects. In fact, I started a New Home Project blog post series documenting them. I am happy to report that a couple of those posts helped others with their own under cabinet and over cabinet lighting projects.

It has been a couple of years, but recently I embarked on two new projects with one overriding theme — Saving money by adding and/or replacing existing lights with LED. The first project that I’d like to share is adding LED recessed lighting to our bonus room to add more general illumination to this room, and the second one switched out our halogen recessed lights to LED. In both projects I installed 6-inch LED retrofits.

Project One – The Weekend Project

My bonus room’s general illumination came only from the lighting on our ceiling fan. For the size of our bonus room this was woefully inadequate. So, jump forward 6 years and we are finally getting around to painting this room and making it more than a “holding area” for random stuff. We decided it was a good time to increase the light level in this room with four LED recessed lights in the 4 corners of the room.

Bonus room with overhead light
Before we installed recessed lighting in our bonus room, our ceiling fan was the only light in the room.

When our house was built in 2009 I used PAR30 halogen light bulbs in our recessed lighting. At the time LED recessed lighting was still a little pricey and there were not many options. Now times have changed. LED recessed lighting, specifically LED retrofits, have come down in price and there a number of options available. (more…)

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Using a reading light in a kid's book nook

Weekend Warrior Series: A Kid’s Cozy Book Nook

This is the latest project in the Weekend Warrior blog post series, part of our quest to bring our customers unique products and offer creative ideas for DIY lighting projects around the house. 


How to create a kid's cozy book nook with reading light

For my Weekend Warrior project, I took a boring, ho-hum playroom corner and created a cozy and private reading area for my 9-year-old son, Max.

Here’s the deal:

I think every kid needs a place to call his own. A place to curl up and read an adventure novel on a rainy day, or just a place to escape pesky brothers. A book nook.

After lots of intense discussion, Max and I decided that his book nook needed a few crucial ingredients to make it the coolest-place-ever:

  • A small, cozy area with a comfy place to sit
  • Tons of interesting books with lots of super-hero action
  • A plug-in nearby for charging his Kindle
  • A reading light so he can read under his many future sheet-forts
  • Some pictures or posters to hang on the wall

Now:

We’ve already got most of the necessary ingredients for the perfect reading nook: a bookshelf full of interesting books, a cozy corner in the sitting area off of his bedroom, and an overstuffed bean bag. All we lacked was a reading light and some wall art.

A Cozy Corner, Before the Book Nook
Corners and closets are prime real estate for a cozy book nook.

How I chose the best reading light for our nook:

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Weekend Warrior | Pantry Lighting Project

Weekend Warrior: Installing a Battery Operated LED Pantry Light

When Pegasus Lighting’s President Chris Johnson heard that his neighbor Greg had installed such a unique solution to his dark pantry problem, he knew it was perfect for our Weekend Warrior blog post series. The Weekend Warrior series is part of our quest to bring our customers unique products and offer creative ideas for DIY lighting projects around the house.  


Weekend Warrior blog series | Pantry LIghting

Written by guest blogger Greg Prospero

For years my family has struggled to deal with an unlit kitchen pantry. It was dark and deep leaving its contents shrouded in spooky mystery. You might reach in for a box of Oreo cookies and come out with a bag of dried organic snap peas. To avoid these frustrating mix-ups we resorted to using our iPhone flashlights or a small battery powered LED puck light – neither of which delivered satisfactory illumination of the pantry contents.

This DIY will explain how you can bathe your entire pantry in bright and uniform LED light whenever you open the door. The build is simple and low cost. There are only a few parts and the lighting is powered by 8 AA batteries that should power your lights for more than 15 hours.

Weekend Warrior Pantry lighting project | Before and After (more…)

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WW-Netbright-social

Weekend Warrior: Installing NETBRIGHT™ Wireless Motion Sensor Networked Spotlights

Today begins our newest series: Weekend Warrior. It’s part of our quest to bring our customers unique products and offer creative ideas for DIY projects around the house. This week we’re tackling one of our most innovative new products: The NETBRIGHT™ Wireless Motion Sensor Networked Spotlights. 


Weekend Warrior | Security Lighting Project

The Problem – lack of security lighting for rear of home.
The DIY solution I chose – Mr. Beams Netbright Wireless Spotlights.

I recently moved to a part of North Carolina where many of the homes in the area are vacation homes that are vacant throughout much of the year. Unfortunately, during the off-season months break-ins are common and I thought it would be wise to install security lighting around the perimeter of my home.

Currently, we have a fantastic motion sensor floodlight that gradually increases its light level installed at the front of my home. I have gotten into the habit of making excuses to walk near it just because I think it’s so cool.

Front floodlight image
My front entrance with existing floodlight

The back entrance of my home … not so much… (more…)

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Energy Efficient lighting upgrades that add value to your home

Energy-Efficient Lighting Upgrades that Add Value to your Home

Energy Efficient Lighting Upgrades may add value to your home, blog title image

You want every penny you spend to add value to your home, so when you’re considering selling how do you decide which upgrades are worth it? According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), 9 out of 10 people who are looking for a new home are more likely to choose an energy-efficient home. And, they are often willing to pay a little more for it.

The Most Wanted List
Source: NAHB.org, What Home Buyers Really Want

The graphic above represents the top 10 features that are important to home buyers, differentiated by the percentage of people that have to have it (orange), and those that would really like to have it (blue). This study begs the question – How many potential home buyers are marking your house off their list because it lacks some of these features?

It’s clear that energy efficiency is a highly sought after feature. When you’re looking for ways to reduce power use in your home, lighting is a great place to start. Here are some easy and cost-effective ways that you can make your home lighting more energy-efficient, and therefore more attractive to potential buyers.

Update Your Light Fixtures with LEDs

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) have revolutionized energy efficiency in the lighting industry. Aside from unscrewing a light bulb, upgrading your incandescent recessed light fixtures with LED retrofits is one of the easiest ways to update your lighting system. If you can change a light bulb, you can DIY this project. We even have a cheat sheet to help you choose the right one. (more…)

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LED fiber optic star ceiling kit

How To Use Fiber Optic LEDs to Create a Sci-Fi Sanctuary

Science fiction aficionados may appreciate today’s blog post on one of the fundamental ingredients needed to create an other-worldly retreat where you can … well, space-out. From childhood bedrooms to multi-million dollar estates, science fiction has been the motivation for some of the most amazing spaces ever. Call it your Star Wars Sanctuary, Asimov Alcove, or Halo Haven, sci-fi rooms all have similar characteristics that give it their “universal” appeal. LIGHT.

Modern home Theater with fiber optic star lights
via Houzz

Create an Astral Atmosphere

One of the most popular settings for a fictional future is in outer-space. A black landscape, interrupted only by the flickering of shining planets & stars is the perfect backdrop for sci-fi design. LED fiber optic ceiling lights will make you look like you’re in space.

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Photo Gifts That You Can Make This Weekend

Perhaps the most thoughtful and creative gift that you can give is sitting on your smart phone even as you read this. With just a printer and a few art supplies, photographs become unique keepsakes that can tell any story you want.

Tips for creating custom photo gifts:

  • Design like an Expert — Add cool photo effects, frames and text to your pictures with Canva.com or Picmonkey.com. They are free, easy and will make you look like a pro!
  • Get Social — Scout out your friend or family member’s Facebook or Instagram feed for great photos that you can customize and print.
  • Look Back — Dig through old boxes of family photos to use in your project. To avoid damaging original prints, photocopy them or use your digital camera to take a picture of the image, then print that.
  • Prepare to Print  — Most home printers are more than adequate for these projects, but if yours is on the mend or you’ve just realized you’re out of ink, make a quick trip down to your local digital photo or copy center.
  • Make it Shine –Incorporating light into your design adds a unique intensity to the photos. Brighten the gift with repurposed lamps, custom picture lights, tea light candles, or simply the brilliance of the sun.

Check out some of our favorite photo gift ideas with tutorials!

how to make a lightbox
Lightbox Project via Pegasus Lighting
diy photo lamps
DIY Photo Lamps via Shelterness

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miniature christmas tree

6 Popular Holiday Lighting How-To’s

Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day and even Halloween … No holiday is immune to the spell of twinkling of lights. Since July 2009, we’ve written over 600 blog posts. It comes as no surprise that a large majority of them have centered around a holiday. If you are one of the many folks hauling out holiday lights this weekend, you’ll appreciate this round-up of 6 Popular Holiday Lighting How-To Blog Posts that we’ve accumulated throughout the years.

1. Holiday Lighting Guide

Get out your notepads because we’re building a strategy in this 2013 blog post with loads of tips on creating the ultimate holiday lighting plan.

holiday lighting guide
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