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Elevating your patio game this summer doesn’t have to be some massive DIY project. Sometimes, the path to a refreshed patio is as simple as a new set of outdoor string lights.
If that sounds like your ideal summer project, then you’re in the right place. Below I’ll break down exactly how much you should spend on a new set of patio lights, which stores to shop, and even how to hang your outdoor string lights.
By the way, an easy way to track patio sales is to download the Krazy Coupon Lady app and favorite our home and garden page. We’ll send you alerts and messages as soon as the best deals go live.
1. First, you’ll always want to calculate your outdoor string light prices by cost per foot.
This is the easy part. Just divide the sticker price by the length of the outdoor string lights, and you’ll have the information you need moving forward to figure out if you’re getting a good deal or not.
2. Walmart’s outdoor string lights are the best value at $0.38 per foot — and that’s a regular price.
This one really isn’t close, y’all. The best value on outdoor string lights is this Mainstays 31.5-foot set from Walmart (reg. $11.72), which boasts a price per foot of $0.38. I’ll show you how far away the competition is below.
That everyday price beats the best sales I’ve seen from Amazon, so check Walmart first when you’re shopping for outdoor string lights — no matter the season.
I’ve read some complaints about how these lights perform after a rainstorm, but hey, if you want value, it won’t get better than this.
PRO TIP: Read our best tips for saving money at Walmart here.
3. Shop Amazon outdoor string lights during bimonthly sales to get lights for as low as $0.40 per foot.
Over the past few years, outdoor string lights haven’t been featured in the major sales from big hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. In fact, Home Depot’s everyday price matched the value from sales at both stores (more on that later).
Thankfully, in 2021, Amazon had bi-monthly sales on outdoor string lights between January – April, and then again in September – December. Here’s the value I saw in October 2021:
Buy 1 Banord 29′ Globe Outdoor String Lights, $19.43 reg. price
Use code for 41% off reg. price
Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Final Price: $11.46 ($0.40 per foot)
In 2022, we’ve seen a continuation of Amazon’s spring discounts on outdoor string lights:
Buy 1 Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights, $36.99 reg. price
Use coupon for $12 off
Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Final Price: $24.99 ($0.52 per foot)
4. Amazon’s also the best place to buy color-changing outdoor string lights, at $2.37 per foot.
For folks who are looking for smart, color-changing outdoor lights, Amazon’s the spot. Their smart lights from HBN cost $2.37 per foot.
Although the data we have is pretty limited when it comes to the best sales for color-changing outdoor string lights, the best sale we saw on these items in 2021 was during Black Friday season at Amazon.
In 2021, they had Govee smart lights on sale for $0.83 per foot.
Buy 1 Govee 48-Foot Lynx Dream Outdoor String Lights, (reg. price $69.99), $39.99 sale price
Free shipping with Amazon Prime or on orders of $25+
Final Price: $39.99 ($0.83 per foot)
See this week’s best deals from Amazon.
5. Never pay more than $0.60 per foot retail for outdoor string lights.
If you’re shopping around for outdoor string lights, you shouldn’t pay more than $0.60 per foot.
Between Walmart’s ridiculously low everyday price that I mentioned above ($0.38 per foot) and sales at Amazon ($0.40 – $0.52 per foot), you should refuse to pay more than $0.60 per foot.
Although you’d think that Home Depot’s 48-foot Hampton Bay LED string lights are a good deal at $1.04 per foot each, Amazon Prime members can get the same thing for $0.42 per foot.
Don’t like Home Depot’s price? Learn our best tips for saving money at The Home Depot to knock down your total.
6. Get to know the best regular prices for the top outdoor string light brands.
Here are the US outdoor string light brands and their everyday cost per foot in 2022:
- Mainstays Outdoor String Lights, from Walmart for $0.38 per foot
- LECLSTAR LED Outdoor String Lights, from Amazon for $0.42 per foot
- Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights, from Amazon for $0.52 – $0.62 per foot (sale price)
- Hampton Bay LED Black String Lights, from Home Depot for $1.04 per foot
- Feit Electric 48-foot LED String Light Set, from Costco for $1.25 per foot
- Mr. Beams LED Outdoor String Lights, from Amazon for $1.42 per foot
- Portfolio White Incandescent String Lights, from Lowe’s for $1.45 per foot
- HBN Color Changing Outdoor String Lights, from Amazon for $2.37 per foot
7. Know how to hang outdoor string lights.
If you’re hanging lights from your trees or from the side of your house, you’ll need to drill a hole into either surface to hold cup hooks. Once they’re secured, simply hang your lights from the cup hooks.
If you don’t have any trees and don’t want to drill into the siding of your home, then you should consider hanging the lights from wooden posts. Lowe’s has a step-by-step installation guide here.
PRO TIP: Need to rent tools? Read our primer before renting tools from Home Depot or Lowe’s.
8. The best wattage for outdoor lights is 40 – 80.
Wattage refers to the amount of energy a light bulb uses. The lower the wattage, the more money you save on electricity.
The nice thing about outdoor lighting is that you don’t normally need super bright lights on your patio anyway.
Employees I spoke with at Home Depot said you should aim for 40 watts for your total brightness, which emits enough light to illuminate, but not so much that you’re blinded each time you try to enjoy your patio.
Any other questions about how to save on outdoor string lights? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading!