How To Hang String Lights In Backyard Without Trees

We may earn an affiliate commission for purchases using our links (at no additional cost to you). Learn More.
hanging outdoor string lights

Don’t have trees in your backyard but want to hang string lights?

String lights are an excellent way to add ambiance for entertaining and gentle lighting for safe navigation of your backyard space.

Thankfully, there are many ways to hang strings lights when your backyard is treeless.

Stick around to learn the best ways to hang string lights from other objects and the pros and cons of each method. Once you find the method that suits your needs, you can enjoy the sparkle string lights bring!

From Posts And Poles

Hanging string lights from posts or poles is a quick way to provide temporary or permanent support.

Temporary solutions

Pros

  • You can place them exactly where you need them
  • It takes only seconds to install and remove
  • You can spray-paint the buckets to fit any color scheme

Cons

  • Need to store them when not in use
  • Costs add up if you need to string a large area

When you want string lighting for occasional backyard gatherings, short or long metal hooks are the simple solution and my go-to way to hang lights in my treeless backyard.

These poles slip into the ground and feature a hook at the top hold the lights.

Another temporary solution is to stand, center, and level an eight-foot pole or wood post inside a bucket you fill with cement. You can also use shorter poles if you wish to delineate or “rope off” and area.

After the cement hardens, the pole will not lean, and the bottom-heavy weight prevents it from tipping over. 3-inch PVC and wood 2x4s make cost-effective pole material.

Drill a large center hole to run the string lights through before stretching the line to the next pole. You can also use cup hooks, or a zip tie to hold the string in place.

To balance the weight of the pole and lights and prevent tip-overs, use at minimum a 2-gallon bucket for short (under four feet) posts and five-gallon bucket for tall posts.

Permanent solutions

Pros

  • Poles won’t budge
  • Lights (even heavy ones) can hang all year securely
  • You can place poles in optimal locations

Cons

  • Can’t move the pole
  • Supplies are costly
  • Digging and cement work takes effort

If you plan to display strings lights all the time, consider a permanent installation of a pole or post.

Follow these steps:

  1. Mark off the spots you want the posts. Space poles eight to ten feet apart for better support of the string lights.
  2. Verify there are no water, cable, or electrical lines buried in that location.
  3. Use a post-hole digger to remove dirt to below the frost line (typically two-feet-deep for warm climates and four-feet-deep for climates that freeze.)
  4. Place and center the pole in the hole. Make sure the pole is long enough to extend seven or eight feet above the ground.
  5. Pour cement into the hole.
  6. Use braces to hold the pole upright and level as the cement hardens.
  7. Attach a hook or drill a hole at the top of the pole to attach the string lights.

If you plan to use commercial-grade string lights, permanent installation is best.

Why? The sturdiness of these posts allows you to add a thick support wire along your string light’s path. Use zip ties to hold the heavier string lights to this wire to reduce sagging and blowing in the wind.

Along Fencing

Pros

  • Quick and easy installation
  • Placement prevents interference from people or pets
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Lights may be too far from the area you want to highlight
  • May have to put holes into the fencing

Draping string lights along fencing is super quick and requires few fasteners to keep the lights in place.

For the exact placement of lights, use clip-hooks along the fence top. If you have a thin wood-slat fence, consider S-hooks that slip over the fence top with the bottom half of the hook holding the string lights.

If you use rope-style string lights, install screw-in plastic clips that the lights snap into to hold them in place.

Along The House

Pros

  • Lights remain up and out of the way
  • Supplies are inexpensive
  • Can be left up all year

Cons

  • Need a ladder to install attachments and hang the lights
  • Position of house/shed/garage may not be ideal

Hanging string lights along the house keep them out of the way and provide a pleasant overhead illumination.

Use clips that slip onto gutters, or nail in rubber-coated hooks every four to six feet into a wood surface to hold the string lights securely in place.

If you have buildings situated across from each other, place strong hooks along both eaves, and stretch string lights back and forth between the buildings. This pattern creates a “party” feel and also provides even light to the area below.

Hanging lights from building eaves require the use of a tall ladder. Use all ladder safety precautions, being especially careful when working anywhere near overhead power lines.

Between Bushes

Pros

  • Simple installation
  • Free or low-cost hanging supplies
  • Creates a nice ambiance

Cons

  • Bushes need to be close enough to keep the lights from looking sloppy
  • Easier for kids or pets to tangle in the lights

If bushes in your backyard are within six or eight feet of each other, you can stretch or drape string lights between them.

Use twist or zip ties to attach the string lights to a sturdy branch within each bush.

I like the “natural” feel of hanging string lights in bushes since the foliage creates interesting shadows. The height of the lights in bushes is lower, which forms an excellent perimeter.

Keep in mind that over time, string lights left in bushes may incur damage from birds, squirrels, and other visitors that like to chew.

Power Source For String Lights

Placing string lights around your backyard requires a power source.

Locate the nearest electrical outlet to start your string light path, or use extension cords to bring power to the location you need. Be mindful that extension cords create a trip hazard, especially at night.

I am in love with solar string lights, which eliminates problematic cords while saving on your electric bill.

Hang the solar string as you like, then situate the power panel in an optimal location to catch the sun during the day. Once the sun goes down, the lights automatically illuminate and stay on for hours.

Solar string lights come in trendy Edison-style bulbs, rope lights, and fairy lights. Many come in a wide range of color and length choices as well, to personalize your space even more.

In Summary

String lights glowing at night create a magical feeling that increases the enjoyment of your backyard space.

I hope this article gives you the perfect solution to hang string lights in your backyard without trees.

When you use the tips above, you can light up your yard (or any other area on your property) for BBQs and special events. Or choose to make them a permanent feature year-round.

Don’t let a treeless backyard stop you from designing the perfect way to hang string lights. Now you, too, can increase the beauty and safety of your outdoor space!

Leave a Comment