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How to Hang String Lights on a Metal Pergola

Small lantern string lights decorating a pergola outdoors.
Small lantern string lights decorating a pergola outdoors.

When it comes to hanging string lights you really can’t ask for an easier task. The hardest part is making sure that there are no knots in the wire and all the lights stretch out nicely. That is if you are attaching the string to wood.

When it comes to attaching string lights to metal though, that is a different story and may take slightly more work to get the job done. To find out how to attach string lights to the metal pergola, just continue to read our article. It has the instructions you need to know about.

What Is a Metal Pergola

Metal pergola attached to a very modern house with a pool.

This explanation is for those people who have never heard the term pergola before or do not know what it refers to. The term pergola comes from the Italian word pergula. That Italian word means protection.

In some cases, a pergola offers limited protection from the elements. All a pergola comprises is an outdoor structure made from either wood or metal. It is supported by columns, not walls, and is usually attached to an existing wall.

These are landscaping or decorative structures that enhance a home or garden. They are not traditional rooms nor are the arbors. Arbors are free-standing structures supported by posts, etc., while pergolas are attached to an existing wall.

How to Attach String Lights to a Metal Pergola

Metal pergola made of I-beams and metal poles, zig zagged with string lights

Attaching string lights to a wooden pergola is very simple and easy. It should only take you 20 or 30 minutes to get the job done. Plus, you have innumerable methods and tools to secure those string lights.

With metal pergolas, many of those methods are eliminated as they do not work with metal. So you need some alternative options to make sure those string lights are secure and decorative.

1. No Security

By that we mean there are some metal designs that enable you to string your lights without using any screws, cables, ties or glue. You just wrap the lights around different parts of the metal structure, and the loops hold the wire where you want it.

This is the easiest method you can use as all it takes is a little common sense and creative talent to get those lights in place.

2. Plastic Ties

Red zip ties on a white background.

You have seen these. They have a clasp to them and all you do is put the one end in through the clasp and pull the plastic tight. Layout the string lights in the design you want and then proceed to elevate the string and use the ties to hold them in place.

This can be done with wire ties and string if you do not have any plastic ties handy.

3. Make A Chandelier

This option will really show your creative and decorative talents once you are done. All you need is a little wire, a metal hoop, paint, and the lights. The first step would be to paint the metal hoop using spray paint and use a color that does not clash with the color of your pergola.

Then attach approx. 3 pieces of wire to different parts of the hoop so that the hoop will hang evenly and be balanced. Make the wire long enough to tie them together over the metal frame in the location and height you want.

Once that is done, twist the wire so that it will hold the lights in place. When you are finished with that task, hang your lights over the hoop. You can use plastic ties to hold the string lights on the hoop.

4. Anchors and Hooks

J hook attached to a metal wall anchor on a reflective mirror background.

This is also a time-consuming task, and it means putting holes into your metal pergola, but it is effective and permanent. Drill small holes in the spots where you want to secure the lights. When the holes are ready insert an anchor and then screw the hook into place. Make sure the hooks facing up.

After getting the hooks and anchors in place, simply hang your string lights over the hooks. Again, plastic ties can secure the lights to the hooks. This method gives you plenty of design options and if you paint the hooks the same color as the pergola, they should be invisible.

Some Final Words

These are just some of the options you have available., If you brainstorm a little, it is possible that you will come up with some great alternative methods. The most influential factor will be the design of your pergola and the type of metal it is made from.

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