How to Hang Patio Lights on a Deck

If you have an outside decking area, you will naturally want to spend as much time outdoors as you can, day and night. To be able to use the space at nighttime, it is a good idea to hang patio string lights. Not only will these light up the space at night, but they also look pretty and can be bought in different styles to suit each individual.

Photo from shutterstock

In this guide, we are going to talk you through three different ways to hang string lights around a deck, so read on to find out more.

Method One: Hanging String Lights from Posts

1. Preparation

To plan the layout, you should first decide where to hang the string lights and mark the spots for securing the posts. Next, select the appropriate string lights by measuring the required length and adding extra length if necessary. Since decks are often outdoor spaces, it's important to choose string lights with a waterproof rating.

2. You will need:

  • Ladder
  • Tape measure
  • Cup hooks
  • Wooden poles (2.4m-3m)
  • Power drill
  • Bolts, nuts, hammer and wrench
  • Zip ties
  • Paint and brush
  • Wood clamps

3. Paint the posts

To ensure design continuity, paint the posts the same colour as the decking, ensuring you are using outdoor paint and that it has sufficient time to dry.

Photo from fencearmor

4. Attach cup hooks to the posts

Using the power drill, screw the cup hooks into the posts. The hooks shouldn’t be too large or the wooden posts may split. Try to ensure that the open end of the hook is facing upwards.

Photo from dailyhousehold

5. Secure the posts to the deck railings

Line up the wooden posts against the marked railing using a clamp to fit them tightly. Once they are in place, drill through the posts and railings, insert the bolts and secure them with a wrench and a nut.

Photo from decks

6. Light them up!

Before installing the lights, check bulbs, test, and position plug. Disconnect power, use zip ties to secure lights to hooks, then light them up for ambiance.

Photo from shutterstock

Method Two: Hanging String Lights Using Heavy Planters

1. Preparation

Decide where you are going to hang the lights, determining the location of the pots and how long the lights need to be.

2. You will need:

  • Ladder
  • Quick drying cement and water
  • Heavy duty flower pots
  • Cup hooks
  • Wooden pole
  • Tape measure
  • Zip ties
  • Electric drill
  • Extension cord

3. Install cup hooks

Screw the cup hooks into the posts, making sure they are not too large and that the open end of the hooks is facing upwards.

4. Mount the posts

Make sure the pots are clean, and mix the cement and water until it is smooth. Insert the posts vertically and pour in the cement mix, allowing it to dry and set before doing anything else.

5. Decoration

You can grow flowers on top of the cement if you wish to, creating a beautiful planter. Add a layer of soil, planting vegetation, and watering it, and transform the cement surface into a natural beauty with mulch or flowers.

Photo from eclectic-spark

6. Adding Lights

Check that the lights are working before you hang them, and then secure the lights to the hooks using zip ties, before plugging them into the power source.

Photo from foxhollowcottage

Method Three: Hanging Lights Directly Onto the Deck

1. Preparation

Measure the length of the lights along the deck and mark the points where cup hooks can be installed.

Photo from remodelaholic

2. You will need:

  • Cup hooks
  • Electric drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Zip ties

3. Install the cup hooks

Use the drill to screw in the cup hooks at the marked points, ensuring the open ends are facing upwards.

Photo from manmadediy

4. Put the lights up

Checking firstly that the lights are working, secure the lights to the hooks using zip ties and light them up.

Photo from shutterstock


All three installation methods are possible to use when hanging patio string lights, and which one you choose will depend on the space you have. Using posts is the most aesthetic option, whereas heavy duty planters give you more flexibility over design and style changes. For an easy option, direct installation on the deck is the best choice, requiring few materials.

Photo from shutterstock

If you’re looking for patio lights, Ollny’s patio lights are great and will add a touch of cozy ambience to your outdoor space.

➡️ How to Hang Outdoor Patio String Lights Effortlessly

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