If you're looking at festoon string lights, you've probably noticed you're confronted with billions of different options. And what's more, everyone says. "We've got the best string lights." Which is rubbish.
Yes, there is a difference between festoon lights and Christmas lights.
Before you race out and spend money on lights, here's something to ask yourself.
- What do you want to use the string lights for?
- Do you want lights for Christmas decorating?
- Do you want permanent outdoor lighting you can use for 7+ years?
Where are you going to install these lights?
Let's look and determine the best string lights for you to get based on what you want to light up. And how good you want your outdoor area to look.
What Are Chrismas Festoon Lights?
Come Christmas time, hundreds of companies crawl out from every corner of the internet and start advertising Christmas lights. Most of these lights are made cheap and nasty and might make it through one Christmas if lucky.
Much of this lighting is not waterproof and looks as bad as it's made.
And another thing…
Most of this cheap Christmas lighting doesn't pass Australian consumer law. Although it might be low voltage, the part that plugs into the power point hasn't been tested to meet Australia Electrical Standards.
Why are products that meet Australian standards important?
Have you heard of phone chargers catching fire? You don't want lights causing a fire.
Tonnes of this cheap lighting ends up in the rubbish after Christmas, creating more waste problems.
What Are Ordinary Festoon String Lights?
Well, that all depends on what you call ordinary.
Ordinary, average, low-quality festoon lights are:
- String lights, you have to keep the plug undercover
- Have a low IP rating. The IP rating is the waterproof rating of the product. The higher the number, the better it is
- You can't replace bulbs if they stop working
- The wall plug doesn't meet Australian Electrical Standards
- The light colour is Warm White 2700K, 3000K, or cool white
- You've got to carefully read product details so you know exactly what you're getting
- String light kits look flimsy
- A mobile device might control it
- Use tiny copper wires
Why are all the items listed above a problem for string lights?
They are cheap lights made with cheap materials and components that simply don't last. Get used once and then thrown away.
How To Choose High-Quality Festoon String Lights That Last
- IP65 waterproof rated
- UV resistant cable
- Warm white 2200K bulbs
- Removable features (you can replace bulbs if they stop working)
- Cable Warranty of 5-Years or more
- 24V Low Voltage
- Festoon lights are made for commercial and residential use (the same cable is used for both)
- You can connect string lights to extend the total length of your lighting
- The first bulb and last bulb are the same brightness level because high-grade 1.5mm2 copper is used
If you want to invest in string lights, you can enjoy them for years and use them repeatedly. Then it's worth investing in string lights that tick all the boxes listed above.
Read the product details with the list above beside you and tick it off as you go.
If You're Looking To Light Your Outdoor Entertaining Area
If you want to light your outdoor entertaining area or you want lights for a special occasion, here's how you go about it.
Low-voltage string lights with shatterproof bulbs are the way to go. To create a beautiful ambient outdoor setting, choose warm white 2200K bulbs and dimmable because it's impossible to create beautiful lighting with string lights if you can't dim them.
Christmas Lights And Festoon Lights - It's a big deal for many people to light up their entire house and yard with lights.
Avoid using cheap Christmas lights where possible because they'll disappoint you, give poor-quality light, and won't last.