String Lights look great when hung for a curtain effect, a few well-placed string lights can provide both practical benefits and style. Since the requirement is not to have a pre-existing structure for these types of hanging deck lights, this can be a quick and easy project; moreover it is also relatively inexpensive. However just throwing around lights everywhere you can on your deck is never a good idea therefore, it is advised to take a moment and plan, prepare and learn a few of the finer points about how to string these lights over a deck, determining how you want to hang or drape them, making sure you have everything you need.
Materials You Will Need
Even if you are a total amateur, hanging outdoor lights on deck is a fairly easy project. With a little presentation, you can successfully hang string lights within the span of a singular hour. The cost of material greatly varies on several variables such as the type of lights, quality of lights, and the brand but since most of the time, you might not require to purchase any tools the entire project can be as inexpensive as $50 to around $80 at the most.
Things you will need,
Furring Stripboard (2” x 2” x 8”)
Galvanized Wood Screws
Cup Hooks (1-¼” or Similar)
Outdoor String Lights
Paint or Stain (Optional)
To determine the amount of string lights that you would require it would be advised to take a moment to measure the total distance you would need to cover. Keep in mind all stylistic choices when determining the length of strings needed. For instance, if you plan to pull your string lights properly taut across a specified area since there won't be any dangle then you wouldn't need that much longer to cover the specified amount therefore you can have a lesser amount of cable. If you plan to dangle some of the wire over then definitely you should get extra length than you would require to achieve that desired look.
Read more: How to create a Herringbone Decking Pattern
To determine how many stripboards or cup hooks you would require, plan the layout of your lighting in advance. Try to select furring strips that are designed to match or accent your decking properly. If you can't find pre fabricated strips that match your deck then you can always paint them over or stain them to your liking.
How to Hang String Lights on Your Deck
Hanging string lights is not a difficult process at all, however it can become a bit more complicated if you don't follow the steps in proper order.
Determine How many Posts are Needed
Outside of deck railing, posts serve as the very location where your hanging hooks will be. The number you need will depend entirely on the amount of lights you want to run through and the direction that you want to run these lights on. The simplest of the setup can use just a few poles but depending on the type of design that you want to create you might need a few more. Depending on your lights and their respective location, you can anticipate a new pole about every 7-10 feet. This can also vary if you want your lights to dangle or just have a tight fit.
Paint or Stain the posts to match the deck
It's mostly about preparation that allows you to hang lights on deck without having problems. You can skip this step if you have already found posts that match the color and style of your deck. Alternatively, you will need to stain or paint your posts before you install them, and let them dry for a full day before proceeding. You can also stain the posts after they have been installed on your deck, but you will have to protect the rest of your deck from drips and runoff.
Dip Hooks in Liquid Plastic
In all likelihood, the hooks you purchase will be electroplated galvanized metal. Wires of string lights that are energized should not be in contact with metal. Buy a small can of liquid plastic and dip the hook end of the hooks into it before allowing them to dry and cure for 48 hours. Please be careful not to allow any liquid plastic to get onto the hook threads.
Screw a Hook into the Top of each Post
Drill a pilot hole in the top of your first post; make sure that the diameter of the hole is smaller than the diameter of the hook you want to install. Once the pilot hole is complete, manually twist the hook into its position until you have it firmly started into the post. From here, you can either use pliers to manually turn these hooks into the post or an electric drill can be used for the purpose.
Attach the Posts to the Railing at the Corners of the Deck
You need to place your deck posts properly to hang string lights successfully. Whenever you plan the placement of posts on your deck, keep in mind how they relate to other elements carrying lights. As soon as the placement is determined, use a level to make sure the posts are level, then drill at least one wood screw into each post. The second point of anchorage is provided by connecting posts to the railing at the edge of your deck in addition to screws at the post's base.