What are Festoon Lights? - TEKLED UK

What are Festoon Lights?

Festoon lights, also known as party lights or string lights, are a type of decorative lighting that consists of a string or cord onto which a series of bulbs are attached at intervals. These lights are designed for both indoor and outdoor use and are popular for creating a warm, inviting, and festive atmosphere. They are often used in gardens, patios, event spaces, weddings, and various celebrations, as well as in commercial settings like cafes and restaurants to add a cozy, ambient lighting.

Key characteristics of festoon lights include:

Bulb Types: Festoon lights can come with a variety of bulb types, including traditional incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs, and energy-saving bulbs. LED versions are particularly popular due to their long life and energy efficiency.

Bulb Shapes and Sizes: The bulbs can vary in shape and size, with common types including round (globes), teardrop, and Edison-style bulbs. The choice of bulb can significantly affect the lighting's overall look and ambiance.

Connectable Strings: Many festoon lights are designed to be connectable, allowing you to join multiple strings together to cover larger areas without needing multiple power sources.

Weather Resistance: Outdoor festoon lights are typically weather-resistant to withstand elements like rain and wind, making them suitable for permanent or semi-permanent outdoor installations.

Versatility: Their simple yet elegant design makes them versatile for a wide range of settings and occasions, from casual backyard gatherings to more formal events like weddings.

Warm, Ambient Light: Festoon lights generally emit a warm, soft light that can create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, making them perfect for evenings and nighttime events.

Festoon lights are appreciated for their aesthetic appeal and the ability to transform any space into a charming and inviting area. Their ease of installation and flexibility in arrangement also contribute to their popularity for both personal and commercial use.

How Are Festoon Lights Used?

These lights give a beautiful visual appeal to both indoor and outdoor locations and go great with any decorative appeal. Outdoor settings in cafes, music festivals, and even breweries frequently feature festoon lighting. However, they also make a wonderful lighting solution for patios, yards, and within the house. They are made up of large glass globes, which are frequently warm white or multicoloured. They are majorly used as decorative bulbs for both indoor and outdoor use. However, with a bright bulb, they can also work as a good source of general illumination as well.

Where Are Festoon Lights Used?

The versatility of festoon lights allows you to use them in a variety of ways. You can hang them nearly in any space around your home, indoors as well as outdoors. They are flexible  and easy to install on your own as the globes easily screw into the sockets. Another great feature about festoon lights is that even if one of the bulbs goes out, the other bulbs continue to illuminate the space. There are two varieties of festoon light; flush and hanging giving you the options to put them up however you like. A very popular method is to hang them from large poles which allows the strings to perfectly curve and give them a very garland-y look. While festoon lights mainly serve as a decoration, with the right bulb, they can also be used as an ideal light output source. You can also use dimmable bulbs and customise the level of output as per your mood and needs.

Let us talk more about the usage areas of festoon lights when it comes to residential and commercial spaces.

1. Commercial Spaces Setting

Festoon lights make any occasion more memorable as you instantly feel the warm ambience they give off. Whether you are sitting in a suburban café or a large family eatery during a cosy evening, festoon lights instantly set the mood for you. No contemporary style café or restaurant can have their décor finalised without incorporating festoon lights in it. They are not only great for ambience settings but are also very picturesque. People are now actively looking for outdoor eating places where they can take instagram worthy pictures and what better than festoon lights to create just that atmosphere. They are a great lighting source all around the year as the light they put out is not very harsh. Festoon lights are available in lengths from 10 metres all the way up to 100 metres, meaning they can even cover large spaces like warehouse breweries or pubs with rooftop or outside seating. 

2. Indoor Spaces in the Home

When it comes to residential use, festoon lights are just as good and effective. You can use them above your bed to create a decorative effect or hang them along polaroid pictures to create your own gallery. You can also decorate your child’s bedroom to give it a magical effect. A very common design is to wrap or hang them along the staircase railing. That works as an ambient light and at the same time ensures safety by lighting up the staircase.

3. Backyard

With more people investing time and money in sprucing up their backyards, festoon lights come as ideal options to set the mood for a party, a special event or to just have backyard decorations all around the year. They give off a wonderful festive vibe and are perfect for every occasion, small or big. Whether you want to create a romantic atmosphere for your small backyard wedding, amp up the ambience at a barbecue night or design a cosy and inviting environment for your backyard to have intimate dinners with your friends and family, festoon lights have you covered. Now you can make autumn nights more memorable with lights all around your garden or patio sitting spaces.

What Are Festoon Lights Used For?

We have been talking about the miracle that is festoon lighting. It has so many different usages that at this point, it is really only limited by your imagination. You can use them to light an event or, better yet, simply brighten up your home. It has the potential to easily upgrade the décor  of your indoor and outdoor space and can be installed virtually anywhere for decoration purposes. Mainly used as ambient or mood lighting, with the right lumens, you can use festoon lights for other purposes such as accent light as well. As decorations, you can have multiple usage for festoon lights as an outdoor lighting source. You can wrap them around the trees in your home garden, or place them along the fences to light up your perimeter. You can also use them to beautify your balcony or your windows to set you the mood. There are many more inspirational ways to use festoon lighting. You just need to know how to use them and revamp your space.

Are Festoon Lights Bright?

Whether or not a festoon light is bright depends on two factors; what is ‘bright’ for you and what bulb you are using. To answer the first question, we first need to understand how the brightness of a bulb is measured. A lot of people confuse watt as the measurement of brightness for a bulb when it is in fact measured in lumens. To further explain, a light bulb that is marked 200 lumens will put out 200 lumens or lms of light. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light. A bulb marked 800 lms will be super bright. Since festoon lights are very similar to mood lighting or ambient lighting, the choice of lumens depends on how much brightness you need to set the atmosphere in your space. Modern festoon lights also come with dimmable features for you to customise the brightness as per your need. So, you may opt for a 2W bulb which puts out 160 lumens of light and also have plenty of bright light to illuminate your commercial as well as residential space. 

What Should Be Considered When Buying Festoon Lights?

With more people investing in their home décor, decorative lighting has gained quite a popularity. There is no more overlooking when it comes to designing the right ambience for oneself. Festoon lights are proof of how great lighting can transform the mood of any indoor or outdoor setting to make it appear chic and desirable. Known for its warm ambience and great design, festoon lights are timeless additions to elevate your patio, backyard or even an upcoming barbecue party with family and friends. Not only do they look adorable but are also an energy-efficient, affordable and easy to install lighting option. However, like every fixture, there are certain things that you need to consider before buying the perfect fit for your home. Let us talk a little bit about these factors.

Type of Light: Festoon lights come with three different types of light bulbs; incandescent, filament globe and LED. When choosing the right fit among these, the most important thing to consider is the purpose and the setting for which you are buying your lights. Incandescent globes are quite affordable but have a short lifespan of around 20,000 hours. They are best suited for short time use such as a garden party or an outside concert. Filament globes are preferred for their warm yellow light which also gives off a very nostalgic vibe. However, they are the most expensive option among the three. LED bulbs are gradually becoming more popular because of their modern robust technology. They are versatile and perfect for applications that need a sturdy, long lasting bulb. These bulbs are much lower wattage than the above two and can easily last up to 40,000 hours, making them an ideal choice for outside applications and if you are planning to run your lights consistently over a long period. 

Styles: As we have mentioned above, festoon lights come in two different cord styles; flush and hang. The flush festoon lights have the lampholder sitting flush directly against the cable with no hanging. This means that the lights are placed in the same position as you place the cable. This style is great for lining the edges of a signage or a billboard. These are also suitable for wrapping around the trees or placing against fences. You can also use flush festoon lights indoors to light up your mirror, shelves or even over your bedheads to create a warm ambience. The hanging style festoon bulbs feature the bulbs hanging from a small cable that is attached to a main cable cord. These are a popular style and are perfect for hanging between poles or posts, under a roof or creating a festoon light ceiling.

IP Rating: An IP rating of a fixture measures the resistance of lights to the outside elements such as water and dust. The higher the number, the greater the resistance. If you are planning to install your festoon lights outdoors, it is important to pay close attention to the IP rating of the lights. Higher IP rated Festoon lights have a seal at the base of the lampholder which when sealed correctly, creates a tight seal to prevent water or dust from getting in and damaging the bulbs. An IP rating of 44 is ideal for this purpose if you wish to maximise the longevity of your lights as it will have a more robust seal to keep your lights weather adaptive. You can use those with IP rating of 20 or 23 for indoor use.

Voltage: Good quality festoon lights are commonly available in two voltage types; standard and low. Their differences vary and depending on your needs, one may be more suitable than the other. The standard voltage festoon lights are very easy to use and generally do not require hiring an electrician. They can also be used occasionally and stored away afterwards making them very versatile. Low voltage, on the other hand, are commercial grade festoon lights which are commonly used in commercial applications. Their design is more focused on safety and durability, making them sturdy enough to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. They are ideal for spaces where the lights need to be installed for a longer period and are virtually maintenance free. To get the most out of your festoon lights in the long term, it is advisable to opt for a 24V low voltage option.