How to Hang Gazebo Lights
How to Hang Pergola Lights
As night falls, you may still want to enjoy the outdoors or entertain in your yard. Putting lights on your pergola will help create a comfortable and cozy space into the evening. Whether you want to create an exciting centerpiece or illuminate the area with creative designs, hanging lights on a pergola is easy, safe, and fun to do.
Hanging the Lights Safely
Purchase lights made for outdoor use.Commercial grade string lights will have thicker wires and waterproof sockets. These lights can be hung year-round and will survive through all seasons.Check the packaging of the lights to ensure they are safe outside.
- LED lights won’t cause damage to nearby greenery, unlike incandescent bulbs.
Use a staple gun meant for wires and cables.These special staple guns have a U-shape that fits around the wire to avoid punctures. Some of the staple guns will have angled tips to fit into hard to reach corners and secure wires more discreetly.
- Staples are typically galvanized steel, but they can be purchased prepainted to match the colors of either the wood or the cable.
Stand on a sturdy fiberglass ladder.Since you’ll be working with wiring and electricity, avoid metal ladders that could conduct electricity. Stay off the top 2 rungs of the ladder to prevent falls. Keep the ladder on flat sturdy ground.
- If using an extension ladder, have someone hold the bottom of the ladder for added support while you work.
Designing with String Lights
Create pillars of light by wrapping them around the posts.Make sure the plug end of the string is at the bottom of the post so you can easily reach an outlet. Wrap the lights towards the upper trellises. Staple the wires to the posts to keep them secure.
- Fairy lights will add a more subtle glow for a more intimate feeling.
- If you only wish to light the ceiling of the pergola, run an extension cord up the post.
Run the strings of lights across the rafters.Staple the lights to the upper rafters of the pergola every 5 inches (13 cm) so they do not hang loose. Wind them back at forth across the rafters until you go from one end to the other.
- String the lights twice on each rafter to light the area better.
- Use hanging icicle lights to add a fun visual to the ceiling of your pergola.
Make a zig-zag pattern to add visual interest.Rather than stapling the lights to the boards at the top, string them diagonally from one side of the pergola to the other. Staple the lights on the end rafters where you change the string's direction. Let them hang loosely, so they do not break from too much tension.
- To keep the lights more secure, use metal wire attached to hooks as guides.
- Use yellow Edison bulbs to add an antique or classy feel.
Bring the lights to the center from the corners.To make the space seem grander, take strings of lights from each corner and make them meet in the middle. Let the strings hang lower before stapling them to the ceiling in the center of your pergola.
- White globe lights will add a soft glow to the area while adding elegance to the area.
Hang curtain lights around the perimeter.Similar to icicle lights, curtain lights hang down lower and create a wall of light. Staple white curtain lights on the outer rafters of the pergola to add an all-around glow to your outdoor space.
- Leave an opening in the curtain lights so you can easily walk in and out of your pergola.
Making a Chandelier
Purchase a large metal hoop.Find a hoop depending on the size you want for your chandelier. For a larger piece that draws interest, pick a hoop that has a diameter of at least 30 inches (0.76 m). This will allow you to wrap the lights multiple times.Hoops of this size can be purchased online or at many hardware stores.
- You can also purchase a hula hoop and use spray paint to give it a matte finish.
Attach string lights to the hoop with zip ties every 10 inches (25 cm).Start at the end without the plug and wrap a zip tie around the hoop. Continue to wrap the strings of lights around the hoop, securing them as you go. Use as many lights as you need to illuminate the area thoroughly.
- Test the brightness of the chandelier by plugging it in periodically.
Secure low-gauge metal wire to the hoop in four spots at an even distance.The wire should still be flexible, so use one that is 20-gauge or lower. The smaller the number, the thicker the wire will be. Twist the wire to secure it to the hoop.
- The length of wire you use dictates how low the chandelier will hang. Use a wire cutter to trim it to the correct size.
Twist the wires together in a loop at the center of the hoop.The loop will serve as the hanger for the whole chandelier. Make sure the wires are all of the same lengths so the chandelier doesn’t hang crooked.
Hang the chandelier from a metal hook.Install a metal hook into the top of your pergola so the chandelier can hang firmly. Hooks can be purchased at any hardware store and installed either by screwing it in or with nails.
- Hang the chandelier in the center of the pergola to get the most even lighting.
Run an extension cord to the ceiling.Plug in an extension cord to the end of the chandelier. Conceal it the best you can by running it along the wires and stapling it to the pergola. Use a darker colored cable that is more difficult to notice when it is dark and the lights are on.
- Visit Pinterest to collect ideas for lighting schemes and layouts for your pergola.
- Attach lights with staples only when they are unplugged. If the wires are punctured, they can cause electrocution or short out.
- Use lights meant for outdoor use that are waterproof and have durable cords.
Video: Pergola Light Design Ideas, Pictures
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