How do you choose between what’s nice to have and what’s right to have when shopping? It’s a tough decision to make. The best outdoor light sets walk a line between what makes sense on paper and what feels right in the location.
There are three areas to consider when selecting an LED light set.
Does it satisfy a personal need or preference?
Does it function in the environment where it’ll be living?
Does it physically do the job?
We’ll answer those three questions below.
Personal Preference Matters Most When Shopping For Lights
At the end of the day, it’s your money and your life. Spend it how you want on what you like. The key here is to know that there are options.
Color: there are multi-color string lights, single-color string lights, different color temperature string lights, themed string lights … and, well, you get the point. If you change a color, you change the mood. The best option for a summer barbecue may not be the best option for a holiday dinner.
Bulb style: there are condensed lights that are petite like 5mm LED lights, ball-shaped lights that add a special look to a space, and textured lights that provide a decorative flair.
Specialty application: consider a unique approach with icicle lights, net lights, glow lights, or sculpted flower lights.
However the lights live in the space is up to you, but the best decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
Environmental Factors Can Affect The Functionality Of A Light
There are studies that suggest humidity is directly related to performance degradation of LED lights, or in other words how durable and efficient they are over time. Temperature and moisture directly affect LED reliability.
The installation location will dramatically alter during times of day and year, so that deck in a Southern backyard, for example, that sits in direct sunlight will heat up throughout the course of the day beyond what you may anticipate.
Moisture creep can also impact the functionality — more on that in the next section.
Environmental factors like weather and moisture are serious considerations when determining the right LED outdoor light, not to mention the appropriate and correct installation of the lighting in the given location.
But, and this is crucial, the build quality will make all the difference. Shameless plug: for most types of weather, LED Lights Unlimited products work efficiently and effectively.
The one takeaway from this section to support you finding the best outdoor LED lights is that it’s not just the product itself that should affect the purchase. It’s everything around and near the product, too, that’ll potentially affect it.
It’s also what’s in the product. Go figure.
Physical Form Factor Will Determine The Best Functioning Lights
Product design is intended to function for both utility and usability.
One string light may be better than another because it’s longer, offering more value on the dollar and out of the box for the end user who’s maximizing the amount of lighting needed for an outdoor location. Commercial C7 LED lights (containing up to 7 diodes per bulb) and C9 LED lights (containing up to 9 diodes per bulb) come in lengths longer than retail grade variants.
Take into consideration how outdoor lights are connected, too. Do they just plug into each other? Seems like a quick and easy way of handling things, but there are string lights that screw together instead of plugging together, improving the total moisture resistance.
There could be cases where the best lighting application is actually a shorter string or a miniature bulb, for example if they’re being hung in close quarters like a boat or shed.
Although raw performance factors like light output and size are incredibly important to think about when choosing one option over another, they’re not the only consideration.
Aesthetics have just as much of a role in the usability of a product. Flower lights, for example, are a playful way to match the existing decor in a given space. Warm white cage lights cast a rustic or vintage look to a space. Lanterns glow comfortably and potentially establish a feeling of warmth.
When shopping for the right light set, don’t get caught up in bold claims or price tags as indicators of quality. Choose the lighting that meets your needs, functions appropriately, and makes you the happiest.