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Edison lights are a great way to add a bit of antique or rustic charm to any space. They’ve been popular indoors for a few years now (after making a long awaited comeback) but now you can get outside varieties. These are the best outdoor Edison string lights to decorate your yard or patio.
Best Outdoor Edison String Lights
All of these outdoor Edison string lights can be used to decorate your spaces outside. They’re great for patios, decks, balconies, and stringing around the backyard. They’d also be great decorations for special events like backyard BBQs, birthday parties, and especially weddings.
What Are Edison String Lights?
Edison string lights are similar to other lights that can be strung up and hung, in this case outside. The key difference is that these lights have Edison bulbs rather than regular light bulbs.
An Edison bulb is a type of light bulb that has a U shaped filament inside. Normally they’re a bit longer and narrower than standard bulbs, although you can get some variety in the bulb shape.
These outdoor Edison string lights aren’t made from glass, but instead encased in plastic so you can use them outside.
How to Measure for Outdoor String Lights
The measurements on the lights are the length of the string, but that’s not exactly the distance they’ll cover. You’ll want your lights to have a little bit of hang to them, which means you need about ⅓ more distance of string (depending on how much hang you want) over the actual distance.
To measure, get out the tape measure and find the linear distance of where you want to hang your string lights outside. Once you get that number, add a bit extra to the total for your hang.
If you want a really accurate measurement, you can also hang actual string and measure that. First, put it up exactly how you will hang your string lights, including any sag that you want on the strands. Second, pull down the string, stretch it out, and measure that length.
The amount of string you used should be pretty close to the length of string lights you need the purchase to illuminate that area.
Finally, don’t forget about your power source. I’d recommend getting an outdoor extension cord and then running that to the first set of lights. That way you don’t have to worry about buying extra sections of string lights (which can be pricey) and you won’t have light where you don’t want it.
Make sure you measure for the extension cord too so it’s long enough (but not too long!)
Amico 2 Pack 48FT LED Outdoor String Lights with 2W Dimmable Edison Vintage Plastic Bulbs
I love this pack because it comes with a large amount of string lights. There’s something frustrating about ordering a set of lights only to find out it’s super short! The plastic bulbs are waterproof, shatterproof, and resist all kinds of outdoor weather.
In terms of the Edison bulbs, they’re pretty simple versions of the traditional design. These bulbs are a bit rounder and more stout than the real thing, but they do have a vintage quality to the lighting tone and string design. Inside, the filament (although a simple version again) is visible.
- Comes with a decent amount of lights per order (2 strings)
- Plastic bulbs are resistant to all kinds of outdoor weather conditions
- They’re dimmable, which can be used to change the ambiance of your lights
- Not the most authentic Edison bulbs
- You will want to add extra wire supports if you’re stringing them over a large, open distance
- Although the bulbs are replaceable, it may be difficult to find exact replacements
G40 Globe Patio Lights with 27 Edison Glass Bulbs
These aren’t quite Edison bulbs, they’re actually Globe style light bulbs. But most people mistake them for the former because of their similar qualities: vintage design and interior filament.
Regardless, though, these lights look absolutely fantastic when strung along a backyard or patio. The bulbs are made of glass, not plastic, so they have a more sophisticated look. That quality also makes them more fragile, though, so be aware.
- Bulbs can be replaced relatively easily (most hardware stores sell this style of bulbs)
- No dead space in between the strings (so there’s no gaps when you hook multiple strands together)
- Bright, but not too bright (they are dimmable though)
- Glass bulbs are more prone to breaking than plastic ones (however, the customer service is great about replacements)
- Bulbs put off some heat, so be aware when you hang them
- Need to be well secured when hung because the bulbs could break if your lights fall down
iMartine Outdoor Led String Lights Color Changing Patio Lights
These are about as far from traditional as you can get but I love that they’re still the Edison style bulbs inside, even if they are colour changing LEDs. Really, it’s the best of both worlds! Vintage style plus modern LED technology.
The bulbs are shatterproof, water resistant, and do well in the sun too. The set comes with a remote that you can use to program the lights. Colour options include solids of the colour options, flashing different colours, or dimming the lights of any colour (or non colour if you just want plain.)
- Comes with a remote that controls colour and brightness
- LED lights are more durable and last longer than traditional bulbs
- Lights are shatterproof and resist outdoor elements
- Less traditional when it comes to bulb style
- Bulbs scratch easily so be cautious when hanging/handling
- Lights are 38” apart, which might not be close enough for your lighting needs
Solar String Lights Outdoor Waterproof, AWALOSA 52Ft LED Patio String Lights
While these are similar to the design of some other outdoor Edison string lights on this list, this set is unique because they are solar powered instead of requiring power. That means you can set them up almost anywhere – deep in the backyard, at the campsite, or outside your cabin.
Besides not needing to be plugged in, the bulbs themselves have an Edison style bulb and filament inside that gives them a vintage quality. This creates a unique ambiance when you hang them up.
- They have an automatic on/off feature that turns the lights on automatically at dusk and back off in the morning to recharge
- If you don’t have the ability to charge them via solar, the batteries can also be charged via USB
- Different lighting options can be set right on the solar panel
- Comes with an extension cord to make them easier to install
- Need to be kept charged
- Doesn’t come with a remote
- You need to be careful of the solar panel, which means it may not be good around kids or pets
Afirst Outdoor String Lights 20FT with 22 Edison Bulbs Vintage Bistro Lights
These are probably the best outdoor Edison string lights if you’re really hoping for that traditional look. Instead of being a solid piece, the filament is the traditional two pieces of metal that were originally used to conduct electricity when Edison bulbs were invented.
As for the bulb style, they’re long and narrow like traditional Edison bulbs. Thankfully, they also blend modern technology and are designed to resist rain, snow, sun, wind, and almost anything your yard or patio can throw at them. Still, they’re made from glass and will break like a typical glass bulb.
- About as authentic as you can get with outdoor Edison style lights
- Bulbs are spaced 1 foot apart which means no large gaps between lights
- You can connect a total of 61 strands together so there’s plenty of opportunity to light up the whole yard
- Bulbs are made from glass so they break easily compared to plastic options
- You’ll probably want some extra hooks to hang them because of the weight of the bulbs (so they don’t sag too much)
- Not LED bulbs so they burn out quicker than LED varieties
What Are the Best Outdoor Edison String Lights?
Although there’s a lot of options out there depending on the style and features you want, the best outdoor Edison string lights in my opinion are the Amico LED Outdoor lights.
They might not be perfect Edison bulbs, but I feel like they make it up for that by being so hardy and resistant to both inclement weather and breaking.
But the Globe Patio Lights and the Afirst Outdoor String Lights are more authentic in terms of design (especially the later), but they have glass bulbs that are more prone to breaking than their LED counterparts.
The Solar String Lights are a solid runner up, though. I love that they look more like Edison bulbs in both shape and filament, but while the solar power is convenient, I feel like it will not be as durable in the long term as plug in lights.
Finally, if you want colour changing, then the iMartine Outdoor LED lights are the way to go for sure.
Best Outdoor Edison String Lights – Final Thoughts
All of these outdoor Edison string lights have their own qualities that set them apart, and each are the best in their respective category. For some people, authentic style is going to be more important than durability, while others will appreciate LED bulbs more.
No matter which you choose, this selection of the best outdoor Edison string lights are going to add ambiance, light, and style to your backyard, patio, or event all year long.