Quick and easy backyard fence lighting project

Backyard Fence Lighting

Planning a party?

Enjoying summer evenings in the backyard?

This project doesn't require a ladder or special materials.

With about 40 minutes of time and under $125 for bulbs and a cord, a backyard can go from "You have a lovely backyard" to "Wow, what's the special occasion?" or better yet, "Whoo whoo, this looks like a party!"

Materials List

The cord might be in your Christmas lights display storage.

There may already be a 100-foot C7 cord in your Christmas light stash. Any standard outdoor rated C7 cord and bulb combination will work. White traditional Christmas bulbs are also a fantastic option.

We love the look of round bulbs for parties and patios.

The Process

Unwrap the cord. (Sometimes this translates to untangle.) Take time unwrapping a longer Christmas light cord because even the most orderly stored cord can become a hot mess if hastily unwound.

Lay the cord out along the fence line to make sure it fits the project before installing clips. Keep an eye on where your beginning plug is located in relation to the nearest outlet.

Choose a spacing for the clips. Close spacing works well if the goal is for the final installation to be fairly straight or if let loose, the look will be super "swaggy" or "dippy".

We planned for 4-foot spacing at first but decided that was too much dipping and increase the clip spacing to every 8 feet for a gentle dip between attachment points.

These are the surface mount clips.

By now, it's time to apply more mosquito spray.

If there is not an outlet handy but access to a spotlight or lantern is available, consider using an adapter to create a virtual outlet. You have a choice to choose one that turns a light socket into a single plug or one that allows a bulb to be installed as well as providing power the light string.

After installing all the clips, install the cord into the clips.

Add bulbs. A quick counter-clockwise turn of the bulb helps avoid cross-threading.

Now, drink another can of sparkling water with grapefruit flavor. (That was our beverage of choice for this project.)

Here is a time-lapse video of the project with more photos to follow.


We loved the results and we know you will in your space as well. Please share photos of your backyard lighting projects in the comments below.


We used the same bulbs to make sure all the lights were on in this festive sign. Check and check. One backyard ready for a party or a few friends sharing a bottle (or two) of sparkling French wine on a Tuesday.

Originally published July 3, 2020. Revised May 31, 2022