Looking to add a little sparkle to your patio? Adding outdoor curtain lights is a quick and easy way to transform your outdoor space into a twinkling wonderland!
Whether you want to create a cozy ambiance for a relaxing evening or a lively atmosphere for a fun gathering, updating your patio with curtain lights can help set the mood.
Here’s everything you need to know.
How Do Curtain Lights Work?
Curtain lights consist of a main cord that is hung horizontally across the top of a wall, doorway, or window. Vertical strings of lights extend down from the main cord mimicking the look of curtains hanging from a curtain rod.
Curtain lights are often used to create accent walls in bedrooms, on patios, or used backdrops at weddings or other events. They can also be hung along with sheer curtains over windows to create an ethereal or romantic ambiance.
How To Hang Curtain Lights On Your Patio?
Hang curtain lights on your patio with push pins, small nails, or Command clips with outdoor tape. Space your tacks, nails, or hooks about 1 foot apart along the top of the wall, window, or structure from which you wish to hang your curtain lights.
The Best Outdoor Curtain Lights (Amazon Find)
As a part of my big patio makeover, I wanted to add curtain lights to create a nice ambiance. While searching around on Amazon I found the MAGGIFT 304 LED Curtain String Lights.
This set had over 17K ratings and 4.6 stars. I figured all of those people couldn’t be wrong so I added them to the cart. I caught them on sale and applied the coupon to get them for about $25.
The light length and width are both just under 10 feet. This worked perfectly for my 10-foot patio.
I purchased the warm white version of these outdoor curtain lights, but they do also come in cool white, blue, purple, and a multi-color option.
You can use these lights indoors or outdoors and connect up to 3 sets if you have a large area to cover.
In the box, these outdoor curtain lights were neatly packaged along with the remote and instructions.
There are twist ties securing the entire bundle and also each individual string of lights that hangs down from the main line.
Step 1: Test Your Lights
Before you begin hanging your lights, make sure you test them. Plug them into the nearest outlet and make sure they light up.
The last thing you want is to have climbed up and down a ladder a dozen times only to find out your outdoor curtain lights don’t work.
Step 2: Uncoil your lights along the base of the wall.
Uncoil the main line, but do not remove the twist ties from the small bundles. You will have a tangled mess on your hands if you do. Instead, stretch out the main line across the floor below the area where you wish to hang them (bundles intact).
Decide where you want your lights to start and finish. In my case, the entire string of lights fit just about perfectly against my wall. So, I started at the inside corner of my patio.
Note: If the string lights end up being longer than your wall and you have found yourself with excess strings, see the section “What To Do If My Curtain Lights Are Too Long (Horizontally)” below.
Step 3: Insert pushpins along the top of the wall.
To hang the main line of these outdoor curtain lights, I wanted to use the easiest and cheapest thing possible. So I opted for clear push pins.
I used a ladder to reach the wood ceiling trim and began inserting the pushpins about 1 foot apart.
Step 4: Hang your mainline on the pushpins
One end of the string lights has a connector where you can attach another set of lights. The other end has the plug.
Make sure you orient your string lights with the plug side near your outlet or extension before you begin hanging the line.
Then, start with one end of your outdoor curtain lights and begin hanging the main line along the pushpins until you reach the other side.
Step 5: Let down each string of lights.
Remove the twist tie from one string of lights at a time and let them down the wall.
If you have hung your curtain lights inside, you’re done. But, if you’ve installed them outside like me, you’re going to want to secure your outdoor curtain lights so they don’t tangle in the wind.
I’ll show you how I did that in the next section.
How To Secure Outdoor Curtain Lights So They Don’t Tangle
Once you’ve installed your curtain lights, you’ll undoubtedly notice that they are feather-light. They sway in the slightest of breezes and will tangle together in a strong wind.
Because I plan to install an outdoor fan as a part of my big patio makeover, I knew I needed to find a way to secure these outdoor curtain lights so they didn’t tangle together in the breeze.
To secure each string of lights I simply attached the tape to the back of the decorating clips.
I fit two of the small clips across the width of the tape and then just cut them in between to separate them.
Then, I placed them approximately 4 inches up from the bottom of the wall.
Lastly, I slid the string of lights into the clip to hold it in place. I did not pull the string tight. Instead, I left a little slack so that they would still have a bit of movement.
Be sure to place your clip where the string naturally falls or else you may end up with a crooked string of lights.
So Nice I Bought Them Twice
I initially started out trying to create a feature wall with my outdoor curtain lights.
I thought they would look great behind my new Sunnydaze Planter Bench. And they did, but it felt a bit unbalanced.
The other side of the patio was darker and I didn’t like that. So I decided to buy a second set of lights to illuminate the opposing wall.
Unfortunately, there was a little hiccup. This wall was shorter in length than the other one and I would be left with excess strings of light.
On top of that, I did not have an outlet on that wall, so I needed to a creative solution.
What To Do If Your Curtain Lights Are Too Long (Horizontally)
From the photo below you’ll see that one side of my patio cuts away at an angle and the wall is slightly shorter than the other. It was closer to 8 feet than 10 feet.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have more curtain lights than wall, here’s what to do.
Start by following steps 1 through 5 under the “Installation” section above. Then, make sure you have a pushpin, nail, or command hook at the very end of your wall.
Next, gather up all of the excess strings of lights and tuck them all over the last pushpin. This will make them all run together.
Then use a larger command clip like the Command Outdoor Light Clips to secure the bunch at the bottom of the wall.
Finally, clean up your wires by using additional clips to run them across the bottom of the wall. Again, I did this about 4 inches up on my wall.
I’m in a high flood, hurricane-prone area and didn’t want any wires sitting where water could pool up.
As I mentioned earlier, I did not have an outlet along that wall so I needed a short extension to get me to the next outlet. I was happy to find these little 1-foot outdoor extension cords on Amazon.
Unfortunately, because I am also plugging my lights into a smart plug so I can connect them to Alexa, the heads of the extension protrude too far outside of the outlet box and I am unable to close the cover.
I’ll probably end up switching out my existing outdoor outlet cover for a deeper version so I can have everything closed up.
How To Set Your Outdoor Curtain Lights on a Schedule
While the remote control has a number of different light modes, dimming options, and shut off timer, I didn’t want to have to mess with that tiny remote daily.
Instead, I wanted to make my patio lights a part of my Alexa Smart Home. So I grabbed a couple of smart plugs and connected them to my Alexa App.
I located the plugs under my devices and named them Patio Lights 1 and Patio Lights 2.
Then, I created a group for the two plugs and called them “Patio Lights”.
Next, I created a routine for the group that turns the lights on at 5:30 pm and off at 10:00 pm every day.
Alternatively, I can just say “Alexa, turn on the patio lights” and everything lights up.
It’s the best!
I absolutely love these outdoor curtain lights. They’re a fantastic buy.
I should, however, mention that they are quite bright on their default setting. This is something I didn’t notice until I installed my second set.
With lights on both walls, the lighting is perfect, if not borderline too bright.
You do not need to turn on any overhead lights if you have a small enclosed covered patio setup like mine. If you do, it will be so bright you’ll feel like you’re in Vegas.
I do wish that when I dim the lights the setting is retained after I turn them off, but it is not. After a few nights of dimming them, I decided to just live with them at their default setting.
PROS & CONS
PRO: Clear Wire
The wires being clear is awesome. They disappear against any background and all you are left with is twinkling lights.
You can’t beat the price of these. Even with no sale, at full price, you’ll still be able to get a set for under $40.
PRO: Curtain Lights Are Lightweight
These outdoor curtain lights are incredibly lightweight. This makes solo installation easy and gives you a variety of inexpensive options from which to hang your lights.
PRO: Lighting options & Timer
The dimmer function, 8 light modes, and shut-off timer are fantastic features for special events.
PRO: Several Light Color Options
After experiencing these outdoor curtain lights, I’m glad to know that I have other color options should I need them for another project. I can trust that I’ll get the same great quality product.
CON: Remote Receiver Has Limited Range
When using the remote, you need to have a direct line to the receiver.
The range seems to be quite limited and I find myself having to stand directly in front of the receiver to dim my lights. This may also be because I have plants and furniture in front of my receivers.
CON: Can’t Cut To Size
Unlike some LED strip lights, you cannot cut these curtain lights down to size. Instead, you’ll need to use the method I described above to discreetly gather your excess strings of light.
CON: Prone to Tangle
Because they are so lightweight, they will easily tangle in the wind if you use them outdoors. You will need to find some way to anchor them to the wall. Otherwise, you will find yourself constantly having to untangle them from one another.
I hope you found this post helpful. Don’t forget to come back to the blog to see the final reveal of my big patio makeover.
You can purchase the same outdoor curtain lights I used on Amazon. And you can find the Command decorating clips and Gorilla Mounting Tape at Walmart or Target.
Here are a few more posts you may like:
- DIY No Sew Replacement Patio Cushions
- Sunnydaze Planter Bench Review
- How to Add Color to Your Outdoor Decor Without Flowers
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