11 Ways to Hang String Lights in a Backyard Without Trees

String lights are a great way to improve the ambiance of your backyard space. But what do you do if there are no trees in the yard? You can still hang string lights, but it’s going to take some creativity! In this article, we will share 10 ideas for how to hang string lights in a backyard with no trees.

How to hang string lights in a backyard without trees.

How to Hang String Lights in a Backyard Without Trees

String lights, also known as bistro lights or cafe lights are a major trend in outdoor living right now.

Not only are they practical and useful, but they also create a warm and inviting vibe in any outdoor space.

But what if your backyard has no trees to hang the lights from?

Don’t worry, string lights are still a possibility for your backyard dreams.

With just a bit of creativity and elbow grease, you can add outdoor lighting to your space.

Hanging string lights in a backyard without trees is definitely a little more challenging, but it can be done.

Here are ten ideas to get you started:

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1. Purchase a String Light Base Stand

If you’re looking for the easiest way to hang outdoor string lights in a backyard without trees, here’s your solution!

These string light base stands are specifically made for this situation. The genius design includes a pole that slides into the base which can then be filled with water or sand.

It comes with clips to attach lightweight globe lights to the top of the pole and can accommodate a 20 to 30-foot strand of lights.

The tank stands can be used indoors or outdoors on almost any surface including your lawn or patio.

2. Hang Them From the Roof

String lights hanging from hooks on roof of patio.

One way to hang string lights without any trees is to attach them to the roof of your house or patio cover. This option works best if your home has an exposed beam or rafters that you can use to attach the lights.

Many people attach the lights to their roof the same way they attach their Christmas lights; using a staple gun with staples that are long enough to go through the rope lights and into the wood. The idea is that the staple goes around the wire and pins it down using pressure.

This method is semi-permanent as you would need to remove the staples before taking down the lights, but it is a very secure way to hang them.

Another possibility is to use Command Clips that are specifically made to hang outdoor lights. These adhesive hooks are strong enough to stay attached to your siding and are removable if you decide to take them down.

They also make Q Hanger Hooks for hanging outdoor string lights that create a polished and clean look.

3. Attach Your String Lights to a Fence

Outdoor string lights attached to wooden backyard fence.

One way to hang string lights in a backyard without any trees is to attach them to your fence.

This option works best if you have a wooden or metal fence, but can also be done with vinyl fencing.

If you are attaching the lights to a wooden fence, use a staple gun with staples that are long enough to go through the rope lights and into the wood.

If you are attaching string lights to a metal fence, there is no need for staples. You can use zip ties which creates a seamless and clean look.

For vinyl fencing, you’ll want to attach the lights using something that won’t crack or split the product. We recommend using the Command Outdoor Light Clips that will keep your vinyl fencing intact and looking great for years to come.

4. Hang Them From the Pergola

Sting lights attached to pergola in backyard without trees.

A pergola is a great way to create shade in your backyard, and it can also be a great place to hang string lights. The pergola can act as a natural frame for the lights, just like the gazebo.

Many homeowners install pergolas to provide shade over concrete patios or to create a designated outdoor living space.

By hanging the bistro lights to your pergola you can use the space in the evening for dining, mingling, or any other outdoor gathering.

5. Install Metal Poles to Attach Your Lights

Backyard lights attached to metal poles.

You can also install poles in your yard and attach string lights to them, allowing you a ton of flexibility as to how and where they go!

Just make sure that the location allows for sufficient slack in the wires so they don’t tangle or break over time.

To install the poles you’ll want to use concrete to permanently set the poles and make them safe during wind storms.

You can also find Outdoor String Light Poles that come as a set.

These metal poles include a 4 pronged base that inserts directly into your lawn or soil. While these claim they can be left up year-round, we recommend that they only be used seasonally since a close inspection of the product didn’t have us feeling like they could withstand the 40 mile per hour winds that are common in our area.

That being said, they would work great for a pop up backyard bbq, birthday party or wedding.

Another consideration when installing poles for your lights is that they should be at least 9 feet high.

String lights tend to sag due to their weight over time, and you don’t want them strangling people as they walk through your yard. By hanging them high enough they will stay at the desired height and you won’t have to adjust them after they are installed.

6. Use Heavy Planters and 4×4’s:

This is a great option for DIYers looking for an easy weekend project.

Where we live the ground is incredibly hard, making the process of installing metal poles to hang our string lights next to impossible (and not very fun).

If your ground is hard or you just don’t like digging holes, using planters to hang your lights is a wonderful option.

Once you’ve determined where the planters will go, you’ll want to put them in place before beginning the project since they will be very heaving once you’re done. Of course, you can always use a dolly to move them if you need to.

Step 1: Attach the pressure-treated 4×4 to the bottom of the wooden planter with L brackets.

Step 2: Mix quick-set concrete and pour it into the planter until it’s about halfway full.

Step 3: Once the concrete is dry and the wooden post is secure you can go ahead and attach the string lights to the tops of the beams using cup hooks.

The planter stands should last for years to come and add style and charm to your space.

7. Hang String Lights from Decking:

Outdoor bistro lights attached to deck rail

If you have a deck, you can easily hang your string lights from the railing. This is a creative option if you want to avoid putting any holes in your fence or walls. You can use the same methods we have mentioned above to attachment the lights to the deck railing: zip ties, staples and hooks all work great.

8. Attach Them to Your Gutters

Lights attached to gutters.

A super fast way to hang string lights in a tree-less yard is to hang them from your gutters along your roof line.

All you need are some gutter light clips and you’ll have your string lights hung in a flash!

The gutter clips make the process of hanging lights almost enjoyable.

The light clips literally clip directly onto your gutters without the use of any tools at all making the entire process quick and easy. All you have to do is clip the wire from your lights onto the opposite side and they will hang securely until you decide to take them down.

9. Use Your Neighbors Trees

Backyard bistro lights at night.

If you’re really in a bind and need to find a way to hang your string lights but don’t have any trees of your own, ask your neighbors if you can borrow theirs!

If you’re friendly with your neighbors and promise to treat them to frequent backyard barbecues they will probably give you the green light to hang your outdoor string lights from their trees, especially if their branches cross over the fence line into your yard.

10. Attach Them to a Gazebo

If you have a gazebo in your backyard, this is another great option for hanging string lights. The gazebo can act as a natural frame for the lights, making your backyard space look even more beautiful.

If you have a free-standing gazebo, this is easy. Just do as use a staple gun or hanging hooks as mentioned above.

11. Use Garden Clips

Garden clips used to hang globe lights along trellis.

Another method for hanging outdoor lights in your backyard is to use garden clips. These are typically used by homeowners who want to grow vines or other plants up their fences and over porches.

But they can also be used to hang string lights. Just attach the garden clips to your fence in the desired location, and then clip the light strings to the garden clips.

Garden clips are also great option if you want to have more control over where the lights are placed, and it also allows you to move the lights around as needed.

Backyard String Lights FAQS

Do you need a guidewire to hang string lights?

No, a guidewire is not needed to hang string lights.

Without a wire the light sets will be easy to install anywhere in your yard and can even be moved around if you change how they are displayed from year-to-year.

The purpose of a guidewire is to keep the light sets from hanging at different heights and to avoid tangling, so in the case of outdoor globe lights you don’t really need one.

How do you run power to outdoor string lights?

When hanging backyard string lights one of the most important questions is where you are going to plug them in.

If your lights are going around a patio or deck, there’s a chance that you already have an outside outlet that you can use as a power source. That’s the best-case scenario.

Of course, if you don’t have an outdoor electrical outlet you can always have one installed.

At our house, we were able to convert a lightbulb on our patio into an outlet using an outlet light socket adapter to power our string lights.

But what do you do if there is no access to electricity where you want your backyard lights to be?

In that case, most people use an outdoor extension cord.

If you choose to use an extension cord you’ll want to make sure that the cord runs along the edge of a patio or deck so that it’s not a tripping hazard.

It’s important to note that using outdoor string lighting is simple as long as there is electrical access nearby.

If there’s no electrical access in your backyard and you still want to hang lights then your best bet is probably going to be solar lights. However, it’s important to note that many homeowners report that solar patio lights aren’t as bright and cost quite a bit more.

When running power to your outdoor string lights, always follow the instructions that come with your set. There are a variety of ways to get power to your lights, so find the one that works best for you.

What kind of hooks do you use to hang string lights?

There are a variety of hooks that can be used to hang string lights. Some popular options include S-hooks, cup hooks, and J-hooks, but our favorite are Q hooks.


S-hooks are one of the most popular ways to hang string lights because they are so versatile. They come in different sizes and styles and can be used to hang anything from string lights, wreaths , wind chimes, bird feeders , etc.

Cup Hooks:

A cup hook is a staple in any homeowner’s tool box because it has so many uses that the average household could use on a daily basis. Like S-hooks they are available in different sizes and styles, but their defining characteristic is that they are designed to fit into a hole or nail head. This makes them the perfect solution for hanging string lights on wooden posts because it leaves no visible trace of how your lighting was hung up .


The only downside to cup hooks is that you need to have a nail or screw that will fit into the hook. If you don’t then your other option is to use J-hooks .

J hooks are similar to S-hooks, except they come with their own nails so there’s no need for any additional hardware. Just hammer them right in and you’re ready to hang string lights.

Q Hooks:

If you’re looking for an easy and quick way to hang string lights then Q hooks are the answer. They come with their own nails so there’s no need for any additional tools, and they can be used on a variety of surfaces – from metal to plastic.

The best part about Q hanger hooks and why we love them for hanging backyard string lights is they have a safety buckle design which clips the wire inside the hook and will prevent it from slipping out and falling.

Just like there are a variety of ways to get power to your backyard string lights, there are also a variety of hooks that can be used to hang them. Choose the one that works best for you and your lighting setup.

Final Thoughts

Outdoor string lights are a relatively inexpensive way to make your backyard more inviting and fun.

At first, it can seem like hanging lights in a yard without trees is a difficult task, but with just a bit of creativity and the right tools, you’ll be able to get your lights hung up in no time.

Whether you decide to install poles, hang them from your fence, or clip them to your gutters, there are lots of options that will allow you to add lighting to your backyard this weekend!