How To Hang String Lights Around Your Pool?

If you want to liven up the pool area, installing string lights is the way to go. These lights create a lovely ambiance that will lighten up the pool area and encourage more pool usage. So, if you fancy yourself a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, this is how to hang string lights around your pool.

Hanging string lights will create a fantastic ambiance enticing people to swim. String lights can be installed around the pool using wooden poles, existing trees, or the decking surrounding the pool. The string lights should be 8 to 10 feet above the waterline for safety.

What Type Of String Lights To Hang Around Your Pool

So, you have decided to light up the area around your pool with some string light! Great, now the next step will be to choose the type of string light to use. This is an important decision as it will affect the quality of the light surrounding your pool area and how it will look during the daytime.

Let’s have a look at a few of the string light choices.

Standard Or Commercial Grade String Lights

There are two grades of string lights available; each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Standard Grade String Lights

Standard-grade string lights have a lower upfront cost and are more suited to temporary lighting solutions. They will come in weather-resistant or indoor ratings, so be sure to choose the weather-resistant string lights.

Standard-grade string lights will not last as long as commercial string lights as they are more of a quick solution than a permanent fixture. The strings come in shorter lengths than commercial string lights, which is great if you only have a small covered area to illuminate.

standard pool string lights
Standard string lights for garden or pool lighting

Commercial Grade String Lights

The higher price tier of commercial grade string lights may deter many home DIY enthusiasts, but it will create a professional look after installation. These string lights are all-weather rated, so they can be hung all year round without worry.

Commercial-grade string lights often come with weatherproof sockets, longer string lengths, and heavy-duty wiring. These string lights are well suited to longer runs covering a larger area and providing quality illumination.

The Different Type Of Bulbs On String Lights

There are four types of bulbs that can be found on string lights. The bulb type will influence how the string lights will look and function.

  • LED – LED bulbs have a high upfront cost but last longer than most common bulbs. They come in a variety of different colors to create the perfect ambiance. LED bulbs are a popular choice for outside lighting.
  • Incandescent is a cost-effective bulb that can be used outdoors but does not last as long as LED. The color options for incandescent bulbs are limited; thus, miss-matching color bulbs are common.
  • Solar – solar bulbs on string lights are a great way to illuminate a pool area. The solar cells need to be in the sun to charge the battery, so installing them around a pool is ideal. Solar string lights are easy to install as there is no need to run power to the lights; they create their own. The downside is that quality solar string lights can be costly, and some maintenance will be required from time to time.
different string light bulb types
Different bulb types for string lights

The Different Light Styles For String Lights

The style of light is important as it will need to compliment the surroundings, adding to the ambiance.

  • Globe Bulbs – made from glass, these bulbs come in large and small sizes in various shapes. They are well suited to outdoor lighting and create a traditional or bohemian outdoor style.
  • Edison Bulbs – A traditional light bulb look that has a filament that provides a warm glow. This bulb creates an industrial look that is still very popular.
  • Rope Lights – rope lights or tube lights are covered in a PVC tube. They are weather resistant and easy to install; however, they do not provide a wide beam of light. These lights are best suited to a staircase, bar, or on the railing.
  • Lantern Lights – Colorful and playful, these lantern lights create a fun party style. They are available in many different materials, colors, and shapes. Lantern lights are weatherproof and are a great way to decorate the area around a pool.
string light bulb styles
Different styles of string lights

What To Consider Before Hanging String Lights Around Your Pool

Now that you have an idea of the type, style, and grade of string lights you will be hanging. The following should be considered before purchasing them.

What is the number of strings required? – String lights come in various lengths. How many will you need to create the style you are looking for?

Where are the strings going to be mounted? – Are there posts, trees, or fencing around the pool where the strings can be mounted too? Sketch out the layout of the string lights around the pool to get a visual idea.

Are there any obstructions in the way? – If there are any tree branches or roof posts or wiring that are hanging over the pool.

How high are the string lights going to be? – A good height is between 8 and 12 feet above the water line. This will prevent any entanglement with pool equipment or persons diving into the pool.

Are the string lights going to be taut or drooping? – Taut string lights may need additional stays on the mounting point, while drooping string lights do not. Wind will cause drooping string light to sway while taut strings stay in place.

Where are you getting the power from? String lights will require a power supply from somewhere. Ensure that there is a safe way to get the power to the light. There should be power at the pool pump or from existing outside lights.

How To Hang String Lights Around A Pool

Now that you have considered all the possibilities and purchased the string lights, we need to hang them! There are many different pool shapes; some may have posts, trees, or decking around them. Follow the easy steps below to install your string lights around the pool.

Hanging String Lights From Posts

Setting up some posts around the pool will make for an easy installation. Follow the following easy steps to install the posts and hang the string lights.

  1. To install the posts, add some mixed quick-set concrete to a heavy-duty container, barrel, or large flowerpot. Shake the container to remove any air bubbles that may be in the mix.
  2. Place an 8 or 10-foot treated post in the center of the container. Ensure that it remains straight up while the cement cures.
  3. Once set (2-4 hours), place the posts at their strategic locations around the pool, as per your sketch.
  4. Drill pilot holes at the top of the posts and install the outdoor cup hooks
  5. Run the string lights through the cup hooks on the posts.
  6. Ensure the string lights are secured correctly to the cup hooks. Use additional cable zip ties if needed.
  7. Run power to the string lights. Use an outdoor-rated extension cord or run a permanent cable to a power source.

Hanging String Lights From Trees

If you have trees around your pool, use them as anchor points to hang string lights. If there is a long run with no trees, add a post. Follow the following steps to hang string lights from trees.

  1. Lay the string lights on the ground to ensure you have the correct lengths between the trees.
  2. Measure and mark the correct height you want the string lights in the tree trunk
  3. Drill a pilot hole into the tree trunk at the marked spot
  4. Screw the weatherproof cup hooks into the pilot hole. Ensure that they are secure!
  5. Run the string lights through the cup hooks on the tree trunk.
  6. Ensure the string lights are secured correctly to the cup hooks. Use additional cable zip ties if needed. If the string is not taut enough, use a cable stay kit. The kit has additional spring hooks that can be tightened without damaging the tree trunk.
  7. Run power to the string lights. Use an outdoor-rated extension cord or run a permanent cable to a power source.
hanging string light on tree next to pool
Hanging string light from tree next to your pool

Hanging String Lights From Decking

Some pools may have decking with a wooden fence. If the string lights are going to be hung low, then there will be no need to lengthen the poles. For added height, additional wood poles can be bolted onto the existing poles or onto the decking. Follow the following steps to hang string lights from the decking.

  1. Determine how many posts you will need. Install the posts to the back of the deck with deck screws, ensuring they are all the same height.
  2. Drill pilot holes into the posts at the required height
  3. Screw the weatherproof cup hooks into the pilot holes. Ensure that they are secure to the pole.
  4. Run the string lights through the cup hooks on the posts.
  5. Ensure the string lights are secured correctly to the cup hooks. Use additional cable zip ties if needed.
  6. Run power to the string lights. Use an outdoor-rated extension cord or run a permanent cable to a power source.