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How To Hang Festoon Lights In 7 Steps (Complete Guide)

After years of research and trying various setups ourselves, we came up with a SIMPLE & COMPLETE Guide on How To Set Up Your Festoon Lights in only 6 steps.
beautiful festoon lighting in backyard
Follow the steps below to create a stunning garden or backyard!

Our team of experts and electricians always strives to find the simplest and most practical solution when it comes to setting up lights in outdoor spaces. 

There are many guides out there on how to install your string lights, but we made sure that it’s easily written with minimal tools needed for easy understanding and practical use.

Tools & Material Needed
Do I Need A Wire To Hang Up Festoon Lights?
Tools To Hang Festoon Lights In Backyards Or Gardens
How To Hang Festoon Lights Without Trees
How To Hang Festoon Lights On Brick Wall
Your Complete Guide To Hang Up Festoon Lights (In 6 Steps)
What To Do Next

Please note that you can attach your festoon belts with or without a wire support cable.

Keep reading to find out more on how to hang festoon lights in your garden.

Tools & Materials Needed To Hang Festoon Lighting

festoon lights tool kit
Here are some of the tools needed to hang up festoon lights (more below).

Before we throw ourselves right into installing our festoon lights, we need to establish what tools we need. For that, go ahead and take a look at the area you’d like to set up your string lights.

Figure out if you’re attaching them to an existing structure like trees, brick, or concrete or if you need to set up additional poles – you’ll need slightly different tools for each situation.

After all, you don’t want to hang your festoon lights off anything that may fall off after some time.

Do I Need A Wire To Hang Up Festoon Lights?

You don’t need to use wire to hang up your festoons if the fixing points are less than 8m apart. Should the fixing points be more than 8m apart, we recommend using the tools in the list below.

Tools To Hang Festoon Lights In Backyards Or Gardens

festoon lighting tool kit 2
You’ll need these tools if you hang up your festoons with a wire support cable.

Outdoor Festoon Lights

Before buying LED festoon lights, make sure to measure out the length needed for your backyard or garden depending on the pattern you’d like to string. We’ve covered what to consider before buying festoon lights in our LED Festoon Light Buying Guide.

Outdoor Extension Cord (If Applicable*)

If you have an exterior outlet, an extension cord might be unnecessary. However, if you’re planning to use an extension cord, make sure that it’s rated for outdoor use. 

Tape Measure

Use a tape measure to measure the distance between set-up points.


A pencil to mark where you want to drill the holes.


Use an electric or manual drill depending on the material of the wall or post.

Metal Cup Hooks or Eye Hooks

The hooks should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the belts and support the wires.

Wire Rope*

The string lights will be attached to the initially set up wire rope.

Wire Cutter*

You’ll need a wire cutter to cut the wire at the end of your setup.

2x Copper Swages*

Copper swages will help you create a loop with the wire that’ll be attached to the hook on the wall. 

2x Rope Thimbles*

The rope thimbles help support that loop made with the copper swages.

Swage Crimper*

The swage crimper will tighten the copper swages so that the wire stays in place.

Zip ties

These will be used to secure the lights to the eyelets and the wire rope.


You’ll need a ladder if you’re setting up above ground level.

How To Hang Festoon Lights Without Trees

how to hang festoons without trees
No trees? No Problem! Use poles, posts, or fences to hang up your string lights.

If you don’t have trees in your outdoor backyard or garden, don’t worry we got you! You can easily set up your festoon lighting on wooden posts or fences. Here are the tools that you will additionally need if you plan to set up your lights on a fence or post:

Wooden Post

If you don’t have any trees, posts or poles are an excellent alternative. 


Use these to attach the hooks to the pole or fence in your garden.


You’ll need a hammer if you’ll use the nails.

Weighted Buckets

The weighted buckets serve as a foundation in case you use posts.

How To Hang Festoon Lights On Brick Wall

how to hang festoon lights on brick wall
Make sure to have the right equipment if you set your fixing points in brick walls.

If you’re planning to attach to concrete or brick you’ll need a wall plug to hold an eye-screw in place. Alternatively, you could also use some type of Dyna-bolt.

Your Complete Guide To Hang Up Festoon Lights (In 6 Steps)

Step #1 – Plan the layout

festoon lighting layout design examples
Choose your lighting design.

Before starting to drill holes in the wall, figure out what pattern you want. The most common patterns are:

  • Zig-zag
  • Around the border
  • Pinwheel pattern
  • X-Shape
  • W-Shape
  • V-Shape

But don’t forget to keep the location of the power source in your outdoor space in mind!

At the same time, you might also think about looking around your backyard/garden to see what other things or objects you have that can support the pattern, like tall fences, posts, trees, and the sides of your house.

Most people have trouble fixing points that aren’t close to the house, and that’s where installing posts or poles come into play. Done correctly, you can set up a sturdy pole easily. This gives you countless options over how you choose to illuminate your space.

For fixing points more than 8m apart, you should use a support wire (see tool list).

Step #2 – Test your LED festoon lights!

test your festoon lights
Never ignore this step to avoid malfunctions of the LED lights.

Plug your LED festoon lights and test them before even thinking of hanging them up. This often-overlooked step is important to avoid unnecessary accidents and wasting your time. Save your nerves afterward and run a quick check!

Step #3 – Measure your steel wire & create your swage

how to create a swage
This is how you create a swage step-by-step.

The wire rope length is what you need for the lights to hang in the right position. Unroll the wire beside a measuring tape of one-meter length. Then unspool the wire for exactly how much you’ll need to cover your space and add an extra 30cm to every end just in case any of your measurements are off. Once you’ve cut your desired length, cut the rope with the wire cutter.

Grab your swage and fasten it to wire rope. Make a loop and push the wire back through the swage, pulling it up tight to make sure the rope stays in place. Slide up the rope thimble into the newly created loop before crimping the swage.

Step #4 – Install fixing points and mount your eye straps

drill a hole and attach the hook
Drill a hole and install the hook.

It’s best to begin the installation of your hooks by drilling holes for the screws first. You can add adhesive for extra security. However, most outdoor surfaces won’t require this.

If you drill into timber, you’ll need timber screws. If you’re planning to attach to concrete or brick, make sure to use a wall plug to hold the eye-screw in place.

Then you’re ready to create your first mounting point. Screw in the eye strap and hook your wire loop – Congratulations on your first hook, we’re nearly at the end!

Step #5 – Hang your wire rope

Before you create another loop at the other end of the rope, make sure to pull your wire nice and tight before clamping down. Follow the same instructions as in Step 2.

Stringing cables across a large length of outdoor area can really be quite a headache. Here are a few things to remember when installing wire rope over longer distances: You can install support wires over nearly any length that the manufacturer recommends. Consider using additional support poles if you plan to string them across an area that is longer than 16 meters.

Step #6 – Attach your string lights to fixing points and steel wire cable

hang your festoons on the wire
Use cable ties to attach your festoon lights to the wire.

Once you have your hooks in the wall and your support lines up, it’s time to hang the festoon cable itself! Unscrew the light bulbs and hang up the belt using cable ties to fix it to the fixing points or your support wire. You have to make sure that you attach the lights firmly enough so that they won’t just fall out of place the moment someone accidentally brushes against them. 

In an installation where the fixing points are under 10 meters apart and no wire cable is required, you can simply attach the belts to the fixing points.

Tip: Use black cable ties instead of snap hooks to attach the lights to the wire. The cable ties will blend in with the colour of the belt while the snap hook stands out.

Electrical power cords can cause injury if they’re not secured properly after being set up. To ensure this is not a danger, staple the main electrical cable to the wall or ground so that it can’t be easily tripped over.

Step #7 – Screw LED bulbs in & switch the lights on

beautiful outdoor lounge with string lights
Congratulations on successfully setting up your string lights in your outdoor area!

Make sure the power is off before you screw in all of your LED light bulbs. You see, most festoon lighting kits are fitted with E27, Edison screw fittings, which are the easiest to use. Screw each bulb clockwise until it connects to the base of the socket. 

The LED bulbs should be screwed all the way in so that they can create a tight and waterproof seal.

Now switch on the light and enjoy the warmth with glow in your next outdoor garden party!

What To Do Next

Looking for festoon lighting professionals to help you set up for your next garden party? Visit our festoon and fairy lights shop or call us on 08 7082 9332.

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