Do you want to buy the best outdoor rope lights available to create a warm and welcoming environment in your yard or garden? Rope lights saw a huge surge in popularity due to improving technology and how cost-effective they are. They’re easy to install, and you don’t need many tools or accessories to help it look great. They’re versatile, and they come in many different color combinations that make them aesthetically pleasing.
It’s easy to find these types of lights in almost every restaurant, workshop, office, bar, club, or home, but where do they get them? What should you focus on when you start to shop for them? We’ll outline everything you need to know below.
1. WALCUT Warm White LED Rope Light
Walcut’s rope lights work well in commercial and residential settings, and you can easily use them indoors and outdoors. You’ll get a longer string of lights that measures 100 feet from tip to tip, and you can easily have them wide open to the elements or pushed through tight areas without them breaking down. They work well for special occasions or for simply lighting up your yard.
These rope lights feature very bright white LED bulbs that are very energy efficient, despite how bright the rope lights are. The rope itself features solid engineering that ensures the lights won’t flicker or fade once you switch them on. They use PVC tubing that is very durable, and it can handle everything from environmental factors and regular twisting or turning to long hours of operation. The rope lights also resistant to water, and they have a UV resistant coating on them.
- Available in three different sizes
- Can choose from eight different colors
- Encased in heavy-duty PVC tubing
- Lights are directional
- Can develop loose connections
- Difficult to cut into small fragments
2. MINGER DreamColor LED Strip Light
As one of the most colorful rope lights on the list, Minger’s LED strip light works well in commercial settings or in the comfort of your own home. Each strip comes in 16.4 foot sections, and you get a very flexible piece that you can easily manipulate to fit your desired area. The very bright LED lights throw out of a lot of bold color from the second you switch them on until you shut them back off without flickering or failing.
As a bonus, you can set these rope lights to music. There is an app you download that you can use to sync the rope lights up to the music using your phone. This makes them excellent for musical holiday displays around Christmas or Halloween, and they’re nice for clubs. You can change the colors to solid if you wish with their color changing function, and the rope lights have a waterproof coating that will protect them against rain and humidity.
- Can easily set the rope lights to music
- Easy color changing – Switch between multicolored and solid colors
- Very flexible tubing
- Slight delay when you turn them on
- Updates to the previous setting between uses
- Doesn’t stick to any surfaces very well
3. Metaku Waterproof Dimmable Tape Lighting
If you’re trying to find a cost-effective way to improve the lighting on your patio, garden, or inside, try these rope lights. You’ll get a 16.4 foot light rope with each order, but it’s a very thin rope that is easy to put into tight spaces without it being too bulky. Each 16.4 foot section of the rope lights comes packed with an impressive 300 LED light bulbs to enhance the brightness of the room, but they don’t consume a lot of power because they’re very energy efficient.
These rope lights use a 12V adapter with a nice rubber backing to draw their power, and it has a waterproof outer layer that protects the lights from damage. You can vary the light’s intensity settings using the user-friendly light control. With just a push of a button, this rope light will dim and brighten again. The rope lights are very responsive, and the rope lights come with 3M adhesive built in to help the rope lights connect to whatever surface you want to attach them to.
- Available in three colors
- Rotary dimmer is user-friendly
- Comes with five fastener clips
- Connection point is very short
- Control is very thin plastic
- Color may be off from the picture
4. Russell Decor LED Rope Lights
If you’re looking for some of the longest and best rope lights on the market, try Russell Decor. This light rope stretches 100 feet from end to end, and it fits in a broad range of spaces outside and inside. You can string the rope lights through trees, lay it along walkways, wrap it in your hedges, along fences, patios, or string it along your roof. The outer tubing on these rope lights is slightly thicker and waterproof, but this doesn’t compromise their flexibility.
The lights in this LED rope light come in red, blue, and white. You’ll get a 50 pack of clips that you can use to safely and effectively clip the lights up outside. The rope lights run off 120Vs, and this makes them an energy-efficient option. The lights stay cool with extended use, and the entire unit comes with a six-month limited warranty that protects you against damage or defects. When you finish with the rope lights, you can coil them up and store them away.
- Has a bright red, white, and blue coloring
- Comes with 50 attachment clips
- Very energy-efficient and it stays cool
- Can’t switch the colors or dim them
- Slightly more expensive option
- Wires tend to come apart at the soder points
5. Wintergreen Lighting LED Rope Light Kit
Wintergreen Lightings’s LED kit is a great option when you’re shopping for the best outdoor rope light. It comes in a 16.4-foot length, and it has a very flexible tubing that’ll bend and flex without breaking down. It’s not very noticeable unless you switch the lights on, and it’s a thinner design. There are 150 LED light bulbs packed into this rope light that produce a very warm, white light, and they stay cool through long operation sessions.
The lights can last up to 150,000 hours, and they maintain a steady glow. This rope light runs off of a 120V plug, and you get a robust power cord that attaches directly into the PVC tubing for protection. There are several clips included that you use to attach the lights to your chosen surface. You can cut them apart every three feet without a problem if you want smaller sections.
- Rope light available in six solid colors and one multicolor set
- Can cut apart the rope light every three feet
- Winds up tightly between uses for easy storage
- Tubing is colored, not the lights
- Easy to break the outer tube
- Can grow dim after repeated use
6. GuoTonG LED Rope Light
Many people claim that these are some of the best rope lights available on the current market. You’ll get 50 foot long sections with each order, and they have a slightly thinner build for maximum flexibility. It’s energy-efficient without sacrificing brightness, and there are 900 SMD LED lights packed into every 50 foot section. The transparent tubing has UV protection to prevent it from breaking down, and it also creates a waterproof barrier.
This outdoor LED rope light runs on 110V AC power, and this is a standard outlet or extension cord. You can easily snap multiple strands together to create 150 foot ropes that will go all around your garden, yard, or patio. It comes with a full year warranty against failure, defects, or damage from the date of purchase. You can cut this strand of lights once along the pink mark without damaging it.
- Get 900 LED lights in every section
- Can cut the rope light in half
- Can connect three 50 foot sections together
- Sections of lights can come loose
- Have a very harsh white coloring
- May only work for a few weeks
7. Aerful LED Rope Light
This LED rope light comes in eight very bright colors, and the rope light includes six different lighting modes that allows you to switch them out to meet your needs. There is a small remote included that lets you remotely control the brightness levels, colors, speed, modes, and on or off. This makes these rope lights ideal for decorating for holidays or for jazzing up your backyard. These are extendable units that allow you to connect up to 65 feet of lights, and they’re flexible enough to bed.
The rope lights all have very high water resistance, and this can protect them from burning or shorting out. There is mounting hardware and additional connectors included with these outdoor lights to make installation quick and easy. There are two fuzes and a polarized plug to reduce the risks of shock. The thick PVC jacket protects the rope lights from damage from UV rays as well. Finally, there is a very responsive customer service team.
- Rope light comes in several colors and lighting modes
- Can control the settings via remote
- Able to connect three strands
- Controller box isn’t waterproof
- Doesn’t get very dim
- Screws that hold the mounting plastic are very little
8. Omika Led Rope Light
This rope light from Omika come in a 66 foot long strand that has 200 individual lights packed in. They’re extremely bright LED lights, and you get 16 different color options that you can cycle through amber, yellow, orange, cyan, blue, red, and more. The lights power up via a 12V low-voltage power adapter that ensures you’re safe when you use them. It won’t overheat with extended use, and it won’t drive your light bill up very high.
The lightweight remote allows you to switch through the colors, change the brightness, adjust the speed through four modes, and set a six-hour timer. This rope light has an IP68 PVC tubing that seals out water and protects the bulbs from the elements. The wire lights have dual copper strands for added durability, and you can easily bend and shape the rope light around into almost any shape without snapping them.
- Available in battery-powered and plug-in styles
- Cycle through 16 lights and several modes
- Remote is very user-friendly and simple
- Does not remember the previous mode when you switch it off
- Rope light prone to tangling
- Remote doesn’t have a long range
9. Homestarry Solar Rope Light
This rope light comes with a dual system that pulls power from a traditional battery as well as from solar power. You get 300 LED lights in a 100-foot rope strand in each order. The solar lights run for six hours before you have to make the switch to the batteries. You’ll get an RF wireless remote that lets you cycle through eight modes with the touch of a button. The extra-thin waterproof film that protects the lights is both waterproof and UV-resistant.
This rope light offers a high degree of flexibility that won’t tangle, and the entire rope light set up has a very user-friendly operation. If you have an issue, there is customer service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You get a small solar panel that’ll charge during the day, and the remote has a maximum distance of 130 feet. The rope lights will turn on automatically when the sun goes down.
- Uses batteries and solar power
- Remote has a long reach of 130 feet
- Very thin and flexible design
- No warranty attached to it
- Rope light not very bright
- Control panel is very heavy and unbalanced
10. TORCHSTAR LED Neon Rope Light
Torchstar’s outdoor rope light come with 120 LEDs spaced every 3.3 feet that give you up to 160° of light. You’ll get well-balanced bright illumination that won’t dim or flicker. The outside tubing of these rope lights is an environmentally-friendly PVC material that seals out the moisture and protects your rope light from shorting out. There are integrated connectors that allow you to link up to 150 feet of rope light on one strand to loop them around your yard or garden.
You’ll get seven different color options when you pick this rope light, and the neon color stands out against any backdrop. Each purchase brings a UL-listed polarity fuse, 30 plastic mounting clips, 3.9 foot power cord, and 60 nickel-plated screws. This makes installation fast and easy, especially around windows and patios. It has a customized rectifier that comes with a max load of 5A. The rope light will last up to 50,000 hours, and there is a year warranty attached to each purchase.
- Full year warranty from the date of purchase
- Bulbs burn up to 50,000 hours
- Available in seven colors
- Can blow fuses
- Difficult to get in touch with customer care
- Very rigid design that doesn’t bend easily without snapping
How to Choose Outdoor Rope Light
Now that you’ve looked at 10 high-quality examples of the best rope lights available on the current market, what do you need to consider when you start comparing products? Not all of these rope lights are the same, and you want something that is going to last for a long time after you hang it up. This is where our buyer’s guide comes into play.
Defining the Best Rope Lights
Unlike traditional strings of lights that are exposed to the elements, rope light offers more protection for the fragile bulbs. The rope lights use a tube of PVC-type material that encases the bulbs and provides a flexible but durable barrier against things like rain, UV rays, and snow. They can have connectors in the tubes themselves that allow you to attach multiple strings together to create longer ropes of light that can extend around your home or garden.
Picking out thin rope lights will give you more freedom to bend and twist them, but they are also more fragile. Thick rope lights are popular for outdoor use because they’re durable.
Types of Rope Lights
Generally speaking, rope lights come in three broad categories. You can define these different categories by their power source. Some have dual power sources. The most popular types of rope lights include:
- Battery – Battery-powered rope lights are convenient because you can place them around your yard without having to think about running extension cords or ensuring the area gets a lot of sunlight. They’re very cost-effective, but you do have to make a point to swap out the batteries every few weeks to keep them looking their best. They can power your lights for up to eight hours at a time or more, depending on the lights.
- Wired – Wired lights pull their power from your home or business’s electricity. You won’t have to worry about running out and changing the batteries, but you do have to rig up a power source when you want them to work. They won’t dim, and they won’t run out of power unless your home loses power. It can be difficult to reach an outlet in some instances.
- Solar – The final type of rope light is solar. These are an environmentally-friendly option that needs very little upkeep once you get them set up. They also have no cost associated with running them. They have their own on and off sensors depending on the sunlight. You can put them anywhere in your yard that gets adequate sunlight to power them. They run for around six to eight hours each day.
Solar panels are a very cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly way to keep your lights running, and they automatically switch on.
LED or Incandescent Lights
Once you decide on a style of the best outdoor solar lights that works for your needs, you have to decide on a bulb type. Incandescent lights were a very popular choice for years because they burn very bright without emitting a lot of heat. However, they drew a lot of power. LEDs are more efficient and smaller. They use a lot less power and stay relatively cool when they’re on.
Today, LEDs are the preferred choice for lighting because they’re cheaper and safer than the traditional bulbs. They glow very brightly, and many of them come with dimmer switches that allow you to set the mood around your yard.
The Best Outdoor Rope Light Buying Considerations
Settling on a type of rope light and which bulb you want will help narrow down your choices to a reasonable level. This makes it less overwhelming for you as a whole to shop. We’re going to make it even easier by giving you several buying considerations you can use to compare the various products to find the perfect one.
You want to keep your energy consumption down, and buying an energy-efficient string of rope lights can go a long way. LED lights use minimal power, but there’s another perk. Many manufacturers know that their consumers want a very bright bulb without paying a lot for it, so they make sure their lights are bright and lasting. Check for an energy-efficiency rating on the lights you compare, and see what the average run time is for each one.
Even if you choose not to spend a lot of money on your rope lights, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality. Look for lights that come from tough materials. The outer tubing should be a PVC-type plastic that is clear, but it shouldn’t have any gaps or cracks that moisture could seep through. The connection points are another big one, and they should form a tight seal. Finally, look at the bulbs themselves and make sure nothing is loose.
The rope lights should be easy to install. Many of them come with a host of mounting hardware like clips, screws, or a 3M adhesive that will help to hold them in place. For the most part, the clips tend to hold up much better than the adhesive, especially if you put your lights outside. You can clip them onto the edge of your patio or fence and drape the lights into the small bracket. It’s slightly curved, so it’ll hold them nicely.
Installing an outdoor rope light shouldn’t be a difficult process, and this is why you want to ensure they come with mounting hardware that is suitable for outside.
You want to buy the safest rope lights possible to avoid shocks. This is why it’s important to look for the different safety certifications on the box. This will help you decide which one is better. The UL certification is one you want to see. This stands for Underwriters Laboratories, and this is an independent third-party that has been around for over a century. The IP ranking is the second one to watch for. This determines how dust and water-resistant your lights are. The higher the number, the more resistant it is, and the better it is for you.
The final thing you want to check for with your outdoor rope light is the reliability factor. Ideally, your lights will shine for hours at a time without flickering or fading out. The top rope light choices don’t have this happen because they use quality parts and double-check the connections. LEDs have a very long lifespan, and many manufacturers offer a warranty on them that covers workmanship and the materials.
The best outdoor rope lights are a cost-effective and beautiful way to light up your outdoor area and enjoy the rope light well after dusk. Our top 10 picks and short rope light buyer’s guide outlined everything you need to know to make an informed decision and light up your garden.
Ashley is a seasoned horticulturist with a passion for all things green. She has a Master Gardener Certificate and cultivated her expertise through over 10 years of hands-on experience in a thriving greenhouse environment. Her green thumb extends beyond work hours, as she relishes the joy of nurturing her own vibrant garden oasis. Inspired by the bountiful harvest, Ashley delights in canning the fruits of her labor and using homegrown herbs to elevate her culinary creations. Alongside her botanical endeavors, she eagerly tackles various DIY projects around the house, combining her creativity and practical skills to transform spaces into havens of beauty and functionality.