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Get the Hang of It: How to Hang LED Rope Lights Outside

Posted by Birddog Lighting on Sep 7th 2022

Get the Hang of It: How to Hang LED Rope Lights Outside

Picture it: backyard barbecues, patio gatherings, and ghost stories around a campfire. Your outdoor space holds memories that last a lifetime, but you have to create it first.

Keep your summer fun going long after sunset with LED rope lights.

LED rope lights produce an inviting atmosphere for your backyard, patio, or campsite. Installing LED lights is an easy weekend project once you learn how to hang them.

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of LED rope lights and how to hang them anywhere.

Benefits of LED Rope Lights

If replacing outdoor lighting frustrates you, LED rope lights have you covered. The average life span of LED lights is between four and six years, but they can last up to 10 years in good conditions. In contrast, incandescent lights burn out after 1,000 hours.

LED rope lights produce bright light without consuming significant energy, another key benefit. LED rope lights use about 1 watt per foot, but incandescent lights use three times as much energy. If you want efficiency, LED lights are the way to go.

After all, your new LED patio lighting causes less damage to the environment and your electric bill.

Rope lights also bend to your creative whims. You can shape them into words or images, or wind them around the trees in your yard.

Although extreme heat can damage LED rope lights, they are suitable for cold climates. Low temperatures prevent damage to the lights' semiconducting element, which increases lifespan.

Most LED bulbs don't produce heat through infrared radiation, releasing little warmth. Incandescent bulbs emit almost 100% of their energy as heat.

Don't want singed fingers or small fires? Choose LED rope lights for your next project.

Choose Your Outdoor Project

The first step for hanging your outdoor rope lights is to choose what space you want to illuminate. Once you've decided, measure the dimensions of the space and draw them out. This will help you visualize your space and how you want the lights to connect.

Don't be afraid to get creative with outdoor lighting! If you're hanging lights on a wall, you can stack layers of rope lighting to create a brighter atmosphere. You'll also have a picture-perfect backdrop for summer parties and nights with friends.

Intimidated by the task of hanging rope lights on your ceiling? Light mounting tracks remove the hassle of hanging lights along ceilings or roofs.

Mounting tracks are often transparent and made from lightweight materials like PVC. Tracks are easy to install, and they protect your rope lights from the elements. Using mounting tracks can prevent LED rope lights from drooping or falling.

Rope lights are the best option for patio lighting and garden lighting. Not only are rope lights ideal for hanging, but you can also line your steps and flowerbeds with them. For a more festive mood, wrap LED rope lights around railings, trellises, columns, and trees.

Get the Right Supplies

After you've mapped out your outdoor space, it's time to gather the right tools for the job. Here is a list of everything you will need to hang your rope lights:

  • Measuring tape
  • Screws
  • Electric drill
  • Screw-in light clips
  • Wire strippers/cutters
  • End caps
  • Power connector
  • Weatherproof heat tape kit 
  • Heat gun
  • Mounting tracks (optional)

Check your LED lights' specifications before you buy supplies. Some outdoor light rope assemblies include materials like end caps and power connectors. A weatherproof heat tape kit will include wire cutters.

How To Hang LED Rope Lights

To begin, identify which electrical outlets you will plug your rope lights into. Unspool your lights and test them for light output and color correctness. Always unplug your lights before you begin installation.

Measure and Mount Clips

Once you have measured your outdoor space, use a pencil to mark where your clips will be. Screw-in clips are preferable for outdoor landscaping projects. Install your clips between six and 12 inches apart.

Next, use your electric drill to mount each of your clips. Note: you can substitute clips for a mounting track if you are hanging lights in a linear design.

Cutting Rope Lights

Cut your LED rope lights as needed. Most lights will have defined markings on the tube where you can cut. If not, the packaging should state how many inches apart you can split the rope.

Never cut your LED light rope while it is connected to power.

Hang and Connect

After you've cut your outdoor rope lights, attach them to your clips. Be careful not to tug on the rope lights or force them into the clips, or you may cause damage.

Use wire strippers to remove the protective wire insulation and expose the wires of your LED light ropes. Connect negative and positive wires together with a power connector.

Secure Connections

Use your heat gun to shrink the adhesive melt tape to your light rope connections. You will find the melt tape in your weatherproof heat tape kit.

Secure your end caps to the exposed ends of your LED rope lighting. End caps protect the cut end of your light rope and prevent dirt and water from entering the strand.

Once you seal your connections and end caps, plug in your lights to see the beauty of your project completed.

Enjoy Rope Lighting All Season Long

Now that you're a pro at hanging LED rope lights, you can spruce up any outdoor space in time for warmer weather. Invest in quality outdoor lighting to seal the deal!

Birddog Lighting has provided brand-name lighting solutions to satisfied customers for 20 years. We offer a selection of over 2,000 lighting products, all for your creative projects.

Create the outdoor space of your dreams! Buy our best-selling LED light ropes.