The BEST outdoor string lights

June 19, 2015

Hello! I had to share this find with you because you all are always so helpful! When I shared our finished pergola earlier this week and asked about outdoor lighting SO many of you suggested the string lights from Costco. 

A little background first -- I have been researching these lights for months. Even before we decided to do the pergola, I was trying to figure out a way to add them to the deck and patio. Every time I'd come across someone raving about a set they liked, they were at least $50 a strand. I nearly choked every time and did the whole "I will NEVER spend that much on outdoor lights!" gasp -- even though I know better to say never by now. 

Literally every time I found rave reviews about them, they were expensive. So last week I found some on Amazon that had nearly 1000 reviews and 950 of them were positive. People were like, oh, "I dropped a bulb on the floor and it didn't even break!"

Well two minutes after I pulled them out of the package two bulbs tinked against another one (while plugged in) and then blew the whole strand. It literally took two minutes. The glass was way too thin. And those were $30 a strand.

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I always look at the negative reviews too and even though there weren't many of them, someone mentioned Feit string lights and said they were infinitely better. They said those were commercial grade and held up much better. The company we first ordered from on Amazon also had the more industrial version, but they were $80 a strand (choke) and the lights were only every three feet. I wanted more than that. 

SO. Enter the rave reviews from all of you about the "Costco" version (you can find them online as well!). And what do you know…after I got them home I realized they were the Feit brand that reviewer was talking about: 
best string lights for outside

I am SO pleased with them so far. I actually unscrewed the bulb from the store display to feel the thicker glass -- much better than what we had before. 

These were nearly $60 each and that was hard to swallow, BUT they are almost 50 feet long (the other ones we ordered were 25). And the bulbs are every two feet, not three. They are heavy duty too. 

My favorite part? That the bulbs come already off (makes installation MUCH easier) and they give you a ton of extra bulbs! This is what we have left after hanging two strands: 
best outdoor globe lights

You can get them on Amazon here if you don't have a Costco membership (or if they don't carry them). I believe you can also buy more colors on 

Here's a closer look at the lights: 

industrial grade pergola lights

They have a much more industrial look -- the bulbs are more of a light bulb shape and not a globe. And the bulbs have a very slight amber coloring to them -- but you don't really notice it. 

I got two strands up in less than an hour. I just draped them through the beams -- be careful though because the stands are HEAVY. I gave myself a fat lip when one flipped over a beam and knocked me in the mouth. ;) 
best outdoor string lights

Before I put them up we noticed there are little holes for hooks or zip ties on every light. We contemplated just hanging each one down on cup hooks instead of draping them, but decided we liked this better. 

A sweet reader on Facebook shared her photos of how they did it -- it's a much cleaner look for sure. I liked it way more than I thought I would, so we'll decide after we stain it if we want to do that. Installation would take quite a bit longer because you have to hang the cup hooks at just the right spot. (We ended up moving the lights -- go here to see!)

It got me thinking that you could also weave the strands through the other direction so you don't see them under the beams:
best outdoor lights pergola

Just weaving them through is a much more relaxed look and looks more whimsical to me. I don't know what we'll end up with but we do know WE LOVE IT. All of us just stood out there last night with goofy grins on our faces because it was so pretty. 

We plan to string the lights to our trees too, but I think we'll need help with that. (Go here to see how we hung the outdoor lights over the patio.) The strands are HEAVY and they need support (the instructions say to attach them to a cord or rope) -- plus I don't think we have a ladder tall enough to get them where we want them. So that may come later. 

Just had to share these because we're so happy with them so far! You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to this item. I know many of you said you were pleased with the Target versions too though, so if you are looking for some of these, check those out too. 

Go here to see how we hung these lights over the patio at our new house

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  1. Thanks for the info. Once I find my new home, I want to hang them from my porch and trees. Love the look on the pergola.

  2. Those lights are the best! I bought mine to use at my vendor booth, but I might need to buy some for our house too!

  3. We saw these lights at Costco last week and almost bought them, but I used my phone in store and found that they were cheaper on Amazon ;)
    Glad you like them. I will have to work my hubby so we can get some!

  4. That's good to hear -- I looked on Amazon and the cheapest I found these was $80 a strand! If you can, send me a link and I'll add it to the post! :)

    1. They show $78.50 now but I know at the time we were in the store they were around $60. Should have bought them, dang it!

    2. I know this thread is old BUT costco is clearing them out right now for $30 per box. A STEAL. They have another kind coming in so if you want these same ones...last shot! They are sold in stores and their website.

  5. Our neighbor got this brand via Amazon and they have held up well to all the wind, hail, and storms we have had!

  6. I have been looking for outdoor lights for forever! I still have some garage sale christmas lights hanging around until I bite the bullet and get something better. This will do the trick! I'm so glad you posted about your lights!

  7. Thank you so much for this post! My family have a place next to a pond on our property where we enjoy cooking out and all that, but we've been looking for some heavy duty string lights to use in the trees so that we don't have to have a fire every single time we want to hang out after dark. I'll definitely be looking into these :) Please do another review after you've had them (& they've been exposed to the elements for a while)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  8. Super for a party!
    I wonder two things; how much energy they consume and how to battle the mosquito fest with so much light.
    They do look great, though. :)

  9. Absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful outdoor space - even lovelier at night with the glowing lights. Know you'll certainly enjoy!

  10. Wow! I have been wanting some lights for our screened-in-porch but wasn't sure what to get. This post is so helpful. Thank you for linking to your reader who posted pictures because our beams are like hers. I wouldn't be able to go all the way around our beams. I'll need to hook to the side. So it was good to see how that looks as well. Just might have to do it now that I see how pretty they look!

  11. Love your lights. They look great in your new area.

  12. Can anybody help with link to where you can buy it (and have it sent to Europe)?

  13. Thank you so so so much for sharing these. I have been looking for lights in this style and had them in my cart at Ballard Designs for a month but UGH - SO MUCH MONEY. Now, I just need to find a Costco. Totally worth the road trip, I think. ;)

  14. I have these same bulbs on my wish list, too! I had them same reaction shopping for bulbs and the same reaction when I found these at I haven't ordered them yet but I am happy to have found the best at a great price!

    1. Great news! As of today, July 1st (technically 2nd since I'm a night owl), Costco has them for $39.99! I just bought 2 sets yesterday and noticed them $10 cheaper today on the website when I was going to do my review. It's a $10 manufacturer rebate and FREE SHIPPING.

      Mine are amazing on my brand spanking new pergola and were worth every penny.

  15. From 7/1 - 7/22 they are $39.99 at Costco. That's a great price. I read the blog and took your advice and I couldn't be happier!

  16. I just bought these at Costco yesterday. They're only $39.99 per strand right now!


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