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Outdoor entertaining area including a deck, outdoor table and chairs, and a barbecue.

Overview

Create a glittering galaxy of overhead light with festoon lighting. These pretty lights are affordable, energy efficient, and easy to install. Follow this D.I.Y. guide to hanging festoon lights.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

Steps

1Choose your lights

Festoon lights are a great way to introduce soft, ambient lighting to your outdoor area. Light sets come in a range of styles and colours. You can opt for warm white (like we have) or liven up the party by choosing coloured bulbs.

2Decide where to hang your festoon lights

Once you've picked out your lights, decide where you’d like to hang them. You might want to create ambient lighting in your garden or backyard, or drape them across your balcony. Choose a longer length for more flexibility or try crisscrossing them for effect – the design is up to you. Once you’ve decided on the look and location, measure and mark up where you want to put your steel wire eye strap – this will form the anchor point for your lights.

DIY - Step 2 - Decide where to hang your festoon lights - How to hang festoon lights

3Measure up your steel wire

This length of wire rope will be what reinforces your lights and keeps them hanging in the correct position. The easiest way to measure how much you'll need is to set your measuring tape to one metre, then unspool the wire according to how many metres you'll need. Add an extra 30cm to each end of your rope to ensure you've got enough for mounting. Once you've got your desired length, use the wire cutter on your swage crimper to cut the rope.

DIY - Step 3 - Measure steel wire - How to hang festoon lights

4Create your swage

Thread your swage through the wire rope. Create a loop and thread the wire back through the swage, pulling it tight before adding your rope thimble into the loop you've created. Push it up to make sure it's tight. Using your swaging tool, crimp the swage closed to make sure the wire rope stays in place.

DIY - Step 4 - Create your swage - How to hang festoon lights

5Mount your eye straps

Put your eye strap through the loop you've just created – you're now ready to create your first mounting point. Screw in your eye strap to the point you previously marked on your wall.

Tip: Use metal screws if drilling into aluminium and timber screws if drilling into timber. Make sure to wear the appropriate safety equipment.
DIY - Step 5 - Mount your eye straps - How to hang festoon lights

6Connect your wire rope

Connect your wire rope to the metal eye strap, then create another loop at the other end, threading back through the swage. Add another rope thimble and clamp using your swage tool. Pull the wire rope tight before clamping down.

DIY - Step 6 - Connect your wire rope - How to hang festoon lights

7Hang your lights

Start with the end that has the power point connection to make sure you don't run out of lead and then start hanging your lights. String your lights up along the wire rope, securing with cable ties as you go. (Remember to cut off any extra lengths to keep things neat). If you would like your lights to be straight, link your cable ties close together and pull taught. If you'd like a draping effect, spread the cable ties out and leave them a little loose.

Tip: Check the light bulbs work before installing your lights, especially if you’re using an older set of festoon lights.
DIY - Step 7 - Hang your lights - How to hang festoon lights

8Want more lighting tips?

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.