I used to buy outdoor light strings at Smith & Hawken and Martha Stewart, but Smith & Hawken's only licensed through Target now and Martha Stewart no longer makes the versions I liked, so I've begun to look elsewhere and round out my source list. With LED bulbs and solar-powered lights becoming more accessible and online retailers like Amazon and Lamps Plus stocking huge inventories, there's actually a ton of good options out there.
>> Huntington 50 Foot String Light with 10 Galvanized Steel Shades:
These go for anywhere between $150 and $200 (available at Amazon and other online retailers). They use regular 25-40 watt bulbs, and they're nice and big.
>> Galvanized Shade String Lights 50 Foot Length:
Another string of lights with galvanized steel shades at Backyard Gardener, $170.
>> Huntington Galvanized Metal String Party Lights:
These are smaller and they use 5-watt bulbs for a dimmer glow. $20 at Amazon.com.
>> Copper Shade 50 Foot Length String Lights at Lamps Plus:
The copper shades reflect light beautifully in the evening. Available at Lamps Plus for $190.
>> Solar String Lights by Solar Illuminations:
These LED lights are solar powered, $90.
>> String Bulbs: G50 15 Light Set:
Nice big, round bulbs in clear glass, $24 at at PartyLights.com.
>> Simple Green: LED Lights for the Patio:
This photo comes from
Danny Seo's blog
and shows strings of LED lights on his patio. The advantage of LEDs is that they're energy efficient and they don't burn out as often as regular bulbs.
>> String Lights Zig Zagging Overhead:
This post gives ideas for ways to install your string lights. (Photo from
Modern Outdoor Lighting
>> Golden Globe Lights:
Another version of globe lights, $39 - $99 at Napa Style.
>> Paper Globe Lanterns:
Classic summer style. These are on sale right now, $20 for a set of 10 at Pottery Barn.
>> European Cafe Commercial Quality String Lighting:
A 35-foot string with 7 sockets and galvanized shades, $90 at Amazon.com.
>> Commercial-Grade Heavy-Duty Outdoor String Lights:
A 54-foot strand with 24 sockets from Sival, $95.