The BEST Outdoor String Patio Lights

June 19, 2015

The BEST outdoor patio string lights that will hold up for years!

When I shared our finished pergola and asked about outdoor string lights, SO many of you suggested the patio lights from Costco. 

I had been researching these LED 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!" Even though I know better to say never by now. :)

I later 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.

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.
I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links. 
See my policies and disclosure page for more information. 

So I started my search over again. Enter the rave reviews from all of you about the best outdoor string lights from Costco.

They are the Feit Electric brand and they are by far the best I've found for outdoor spaces: 
best string lights for outside

I am SO pleased with them. I actually unscrewed the bulb from the store display at our local Costco 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 LED bulbs are every two feet, not three. They are heavy duty too. 

My favorite part? That the bulbs come unscrewed from the socket (this makes installation MUCH easier) and they give you a ton of spare bulbs! 

Here are all of the replacement bulbs we have left after hanging two strands: 
best outdoor globe lights

You can also get these cafe lights online if you don't have a Costco membership (or if they don't carry them).

Here's a closer look at these filament string lights: 
industrial grade pergola lights

They have a much more industrial, Edison bulb look. The bulb type is 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. 

Here are some details about these heavy duty patio lights: 

  • Each strand comes with 24 light sockets.
  • Our lights came with 12 spare bulbs in each pack. 
  • These low voltage lights are approved for moisture and outdoor use.
  • The total cord length for our version is 50 feet.
  • The durability can't be beat. These are commercial-grade and often used for outdoor seating at restaurants. 
We had a dedicated plug with a switch installed on the pergola, so they are plugged into an outlet right there. 

You can also use an extension cord and a remote control dimmer for string lights. We've used that as well and it works great. You can dim the lights and/or set a timer for them to turn off on their own.  

I just draped the strands 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. 

We could also weave the strands through the other direction so you don't see them under the beams:
Feit outdoor lights pergola

The whole family just stood out there with goofy grins on our faces because it was so pretty. This ambient light creates such a lovely mood.

A reader shared her photos of how they hung these over their outdoor area and I liked it way more than  my installation. So after the wood pergola was stained, we rehung them along the beams and it looks SO much better: 
Feit outdoor string lights

You can tour that whole dining area under the pergola here

We later hung the outdoor lights over the patio from the trees as well. Since these strands are so heavy, if you are draping them long distances they need additional support from a cord or rope. 

You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to these Feit outdoor lights. Many of you said you were pleased with the Target cafe lights as well, so if you are looking for outdoor patio lights, those may be a good option. 

We also hung these cafe lights in our current backyard and they have held beautifully up for years:
patio with cafe lights

That tutorial is helpful if you don't have any trees to hang these heavy duty light strands from!

Never miss a post by signing up to get posts via email. 

Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  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!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!