December 21, 2021 4 min read

- Power Practical Brand Team

Feeling a little cooped up from the pandemic? No need to sit with that cabin fever when a perfectly usable outdoor space is ready for you to adore it with stylish deck rope lights!

What are these outside rope lights, you ask? Well, they’re like regular string lights, but 10000x cooler, stronger, and more reliable. They’re protected in a waterproof plastic coating, they come insomany fun colors, and they’re super easy to install! 

Decorating with rope lights sounds fun, but once we get them, what are we supposed to do with them? Wrap them around stuff? Well, yes, but there are honestly a lot of really cool things you can do with patio rope lights. And we’re about to dive right into them! 
First we’ll go over the basics - How to use rope lights (it’s harder than you might think), general tips and tricks, the best rope lights to get for your deck, and finally, the top outdoor LED rope lighting ideas! Let’s make our space a little brighter!

Tips for Working with Rope Light

Landscape rope lights, like any kind of outdoor fixture, have a couple important steps in order to be properly installed. But don’t sweat - I promise this is super easy, there are just some safety tips and tricks to go over before we light up our backyard like a fireworks display!

How to Hang Rope Lights on a Deck or Outdoor Area

1. Safety First

Before you start hanging your deck rope lights, you’ll want to…

  • Make sure they’re not plugged in while they’re rolled up, as this can cause them to melt.
  • Do NOT cut your rope lights anywhere other than the marked cut spots.
  • UNROLL your rope lights before you cut them. 
  • Do NOT cut or damage the outer casing, as this can be quite dangerous or even cause a fire! 
  • Ensure the light end cap is on before plugging them in. 
  • Do not pull on or stretch your patio rope lights.

Rope lights are made of lots of little lightbulbs attached to a wire that is encased in a thick plastic tube - as such, they are durable, but messing with them without these safety tips can be dangerous. If you’re looking for one of the safest alternatives, try these Luminoodle LED lights. They’re easy to install, waterproof, and come with their own remote to change the color and turn them on and off at will - they even come with ties for permanent installation. 


  • Find Your Spot

We’ll go into some location ideas in a little bit, but while installing, you’re going to want to have picked out and measured the location you want to put your exterior rope lights first. 

  • Figure Out Your Desired Rope Length 

This step is super important, because most rope lights can’t be cut, and if they can, it’s almost impossible to be put back together. Luckily, some LED lights come pre-packaged to be very long (As an example, these lights are a solid 20 ft), so you don’t have to worry about running out of space while installing your outdoor LED rope.

  • Install The Cable Clips

These come in most (if not all) deck rope light kits. They’re not always cable clips, sometimes they’re ties, magnets, or even utility loops. Either way, you’re going to want to figure out where to place them. Make sure to distribute them evenly so your lights don’t sag! 

  • Attach Your Lights

Make sure they’re unplugged before you do this! Rope string lights can get a little hot, and it’s way easier to install them while they’re off.  

  • Turn On Your Lights! 

We’re done! Now just plug in your lights and see how your outdoor space goes from dim to dazzling in just a matter of seconds. Now you can entertain guests, have a party, or just relax!


The Best Rope Light Ideas for Outdoor Landscapes

From landscape lighting to gorgeous walkways, there are endless different uses for rope lights. Here are some of our personal favorite deck rope lighting ideas to get your imagination running: 

  • Wrap your deck spindles to light up your patio. This is by far the easiest light installation you can do, with a lot of reward. You don’t even need nails, clips, or magnets! Simply wrap your landscape rope lights around the deck spindles evenly to get a lit up wonderland in a small space! We recommend these LED rope lights for this project - they’re over 20 ft, easily installable, and can be turned off via remote. 
  • Light up your trees with a colorful light display. You may need a power cord for this, but it’s totally worth it! If you have any trees in your yard, wrap them up with a colorful LED strip to glam it up with some glow. You may need some adhesive or fasteners to keep them in place! For this project, try these colorful patio rope lights, so you can customize the color to your mood.
  • Make your walkways safer (and spectacular)! No one will ever trip in the dark on their way out to the car again! Plus, it just looks super cool. To install, you’ll need some large staples to pin them down (make sure to not penetrate your rope LED string lights this way). 
  • Camp in your own backyard. This isn’t a permanent installation, but it’s a fun activity to do outdoors! Set up a tent outside and line the tent poles with your outside rope lights for an extra fun way to get outdoorsy while you’re homebound. For this one, we recommend this waterproof light rope. It can be used both as a long set of string lights and a lantern that you can hang at the top of your tent, or to carry with you back to the house if it gets dark. It’s a 3-in-1 set in 1 large rope!

Final Thoughts

There are so many more outdoor, yard, patio, and deck rope lighting ideas out there - but hopefully you’re inspired to get a little more light in your life! If you’re looking for other bright ideas, don’t forget to check out our website. It has instructions, tips, tricks, and the best products to get your outdoor area looking delightful! 

Hope we’ve enlightened you! Ahaha! Hah! 

Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor