An excellent set that works both indoors and out. Consistent performance makes this one an easy favorite.
Bright illumination. Easily connects to other strings. Packaging makes it simple to set up right out of the box. Connects to extra sets. 8 settings – combination, waves, sequential, slow, flash, slow fade, twinkle, and steady. Can truly be used either indoors or out.
No remote control. Large space between vertical strands.
A versatile set of curtain lights that offer a warm glow and many of the same features as pricier lights.
Features 300 high-efficiency LED lights. Comes with user-friendly remote control. 8 lighting modes as well as a timer. Can be used on windows, walls, doors, floors, and ceilings. Waterproof for outdoor use.
Some buyers report issues with getting the remote control to work.
Wedding or barbecue, it doesn't matter because the extra length and remote control make this a great set for any outdoor event.
Full remote control over 8 light modes: combination, waves, sequential, slogs, chasing, slow fade, twinkle, and steady. Rated for both indoor and outdoor use. Longer than other strings, giving you the power to cover more distance with one string.
There have been a few issues with nonworking lights and plug compatibility.
While they're rated for both indoor and outdoor use, these are best reserved for the indoors.
A higher than average light per strand count at 306 LED lights for the entire set. Comes with the standard 8 lighting patterns: combination, waves, sequential, slow, chasing, slow fade, twinkle, and steady. The memory function stays on the last setting.
No remote control. Some units have a problem with the plug slipping out of the electrical outlet.
Connectable curtain lights that work indoors and outdoors and allow you to customize their appearance.
Warm white light. Can be connected with 2 other sets. Includes a remote control. Features a timer and 8 lighting modes including steady, slow fade, and twinkle flash. Safe for use outdoors.
Many sets come out of the box tangled and can take a while to straighten.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
The right lighting isn’t just about illuminating a space for reading or writing. With the proper lights, you can also effectively set a mood and make a space feel cozier. Curtain string lights add a soft, warm glow to create the perfect ambience for a bedroom, living room, or patio.
Curtain string lights are like standard string lights — small LED bulbs connected to a cord. However, curtain string lights have several vertical strands of lights that hang off a central horizontal cable, making it easy to hang the lights over a window like a curtain. Some curtain string lights aren’t just for indoor use, though. You can hang them from the overhang above your patio or deck for lovely mood lighting outside, too.
But you first have to be sure to choose a quality set of curtain string lights, which can be a challenge because there are so many options on the market. Our buying guide includes all the tips you need to find the best curtain string lights for your home.
Curtain string lights have a central strand that sits horizontally against a window or wall or from the ceiling. Some models feature hooks at the top that allow you to easily attach the lights to a curtain rod or hardware on the wall or ceiling. Others don’t have hooks, so you’ll have to attach the lights to the rod, wall, or ceiling with zip ties or some other type of fastener.
The individual strings of lights hang vertically from the central strand. In most cases, these strings are separated and held with twist ties in the packaging so they don’t get tangled. Don’t remove the twist ties from the lights until you hang the horizontal strand or you’ll wind up with tangled lights.
Modes: Some curtain string lights offer multiple lighting modes, so the lights don’t shine in the usual steady fashion. You can find curtain string lights with as many as ten lighting modes that include flash, twinkle, wave, and slow fade.
Colors: Most curtain string lights have white lights, but some may also change color to multiple colors at once or a single shade like blue, red, green, yellow, or purple. If you want your curtain string lights to shine with a steady white light, you can pick nearly any model. However, if you prefer other lighting modes or colors, make sure to read the product description carefully so you choose the lights that offer the settings you want.
Most curtain string lights have a standard power cord that plugs into a 110-volt outlet for operation. That means you have to be sure that there’s an outlet near the location where you hang the lights, which can limit where you can use them.
Curtain string lights with a longer cord give you more flexibility and more options for where you can hang the lights. If you can’t find the lights you want with a longer cord, you might need to attach the string lights to an extension cord.
Curtain string lights are available in various lengths. Most range from 6 to 10 feet, but you can find some sets that are as long as 20 feet. Some curtain string light sections can be connected to one another if you need to cover an extremely large area for a party or event. In terms of the individual strings, most are about 10 feet long. You can find some that are a bit shorter, too.
Remote: Many curtain string lights come with a remote control that allows you to turn the lights on and off or adjust the lighting mode from across the room. A remote makes it much easier to operate your lights and is particularly helpful if you like to change the settings periodically while using the lights.
Sets without a remote often require you to plug the lights in to turn them on and unplug them to turn them off. Other models may have an on/off button on the central strand that you have to press for operation.
Dimming: Depending on the mood you’re trying to create, you may find that some curtain string lights are a little too bright on their normal setting. Some lights can be dimmed, so you can turn down the lights to give them a warmer, softer glow. This feature can help you save energy, too.
Color temperature: Some curtain string lights allow you to choose from multiple light colors, but if you opt for white lights only, you might prefer a set that offers two light temperature colors. That means the lights can provide bright white illumination or a warm yellow glow for the perfect lighting for any occasion.
Timer: If you don’t want to have to remember to turn your curtain string lights on and off, it helps to choose a set with a timer. A timer usually provides an automatic 6 hours on, 18 hours off rotation, so the lights are always on for the period that you want them.
Memory: Some curtain string lights allow you to program your favorite settings, which means you don’t have to manually select the right setting every time you turn on the lights.
Curtain string lights may be suitable for indoor use only or indoor/outdoor use. If you want to use the lights in your yard or on your patio or deck, you’ll need a set with waterproof wiring. The lights themselves should be marked IP44 or IP54, which means they’re rated for use where they might be subjected to splashing water. The plug and controls should be IP rated, too.
Most curtain string lights must be plugged into an outlet, but some are battery powered so you can place them nearly anywhere. Some sets use replaceable AA or AAA batteries, while others include a rechargeable battery that can be charged via a USB cable.
You can hang curtain string lights horizontally over a patio or deck to create a ceiling-like effect.
Extension cord: Iron Forge Cable Outdoor Lighted Extension Cord
If you want to use your curtain string lights in a spot without a nearby outlet, you need an extension cord. This heavy-duty 100-foot cord from Iron Forge is durable and rated for outdoor use.
String lights: Brightown Globe Outdoor Patio String Lights
You might want to pair your curtain string lights with other string lights to create the perfect mood for an event. We love this set from Brightown because it features attractive round bulbs and offers a soft, subtle glow.
Curtain string lights vary in price based on size, modes, installation, and other features. Most sets cost between $9 and $100.
Inexpensive: The most affordable curtain string lights are generally small sets that are 6 feet or shorter. These usually only have one or two lighting modes and lack a remote or other special features. They are often only suitable for indoor use. You’ll typically pay between $9 and $19 for these curtain string lights.
Mid-range: These curtain string lights are usually between 6 and 10 feet long. They offer several lighting modes, come with a remote, and may be suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Some are battery powered, too. You’ll typically pay between $14 and $35 for these curtain string lights.
Expensive: The most expensive curtain string lights are longer than 10 feet and offer eight or more lighting modes, include a remote, and are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Some sets are also battery powered. You’ll typically pay between $32 and $100 for these curtain string lights.
A. Many homeowners hang them over a window or on a wall inside the home. Outside, you can hang them from the roof over a patio or deck. Curtain string lights also make great decorations for a special event like a wedding, holiday party, or other festive gathering.
A. If you buy a set of quality lights and use them properly, they’re usually perfectly safe. Make sure that the lights you buy are Underwriter Laboratories (UL) certified, which means they’ve passed certain safety tests. If you plan to use the curtain lights outside, check that they’re waterproof and rated for outdoor use.
A. If there are nails on the wall, you hang the lights on those. However, if you don’t want to damage the wall, opt for adhesive hooks that you can apply to the wall without making any holes.