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How to Choose the Best String Light Pole for Your Backyard

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String Light Poles

Too Many Choices? Read This

On the hunt for the best yard pole for string lights? We’ve got you covered, right here, with a comparison of five popular string light poles.

Improving the look and feel of your outdoor space can be a fun and rewarding task when you have the tools you need to get the job done right. 

But how do you know what you need? 

Choosing the best string light pole boils down to a certain set of characteristics, or features. That’s why comparing products is an essential pre-purchase act. 

Easy, right? There are so many options out there, after all.

Wrong. While the variety of options may seem to help, the reality is we end up inundated with choice, leading to a feeling of pressure or paralysis. So, rather than having more choices to sift through, what we really need is greater clarity on a few good options.

We can apply this philosophy to virtually any situation in which choice prevails. But for now, we want to make your life a little easier in a practical way. That’s why we shortlisted 5 string light poles and highlighted their best (and not so best) in a cross-feature comparison – so you can choose your best string light pole quickly and easily.


Your Questions, Answered

In this article, we’re going to cover the most common questions people have about string light poles, starting with these:

Q: How Tall Should Pole Be For String Lights? 

A: Between 8-10’. A height of more than 10’ will take away from the intimacy and coziness of your outdoor setting.

Q: What poles are compatible with the lights I want to hang?

A: You’ll discover that many string light poles are compatible with your light preference. However, there are several factors to consider, such as the distance of your electricity source from the desired location. We’ll discuss these factors in this article.

Q: Should I get a Single Or Multi-pack? 

A: We recommend 12-16’ between each pole, so check the length of your string lights, know the area you want to cover, and purchase enough poles to meet your needs.


A Comparison of String Light Poles

Excello Global Bistro String Light Poles

#1 Excello Global Bistro String Light Poles 

Heavy duty, 10 ft, 4 pack, for yard & deck

Install Ease Score: 8/10

Best for: All Yard Types & Patios

Convertible base transforms from a smooth stake to a heavy duty base with 3 drilling holes for anchoring it to wood or concrete.

It’s advertised as having universal mounting options, but we question their stability. It also features a long, 10” shaft that stakes into most ground surfaces, but without prongs or forks to grip the ground, it may have less staying power than its competitors.


Why We Love It 

The convertible base gives you the freedom to move it from one location to another as your preference changes, or if you move house. In addition, one set includes 4 poles with both mounting options.


Product Specs

  • Universal mounting options – wood, grass, or concrete
  • 4x 10’ poles + 4x stake bases + 4x platform bases + 12 self-tapping Hex Hed screws
  • Powder-coated black steel poles & bases
  • Doesn’t include string lights
  • Flat tops


What’s Missing?

Prongs or forks in the stake to stabilize it long-term, and a little bit of style wouldn’t hurt!. Also, several people mention its heaviness as an impediment. Some people reported that it rusted and broke. 

While the following is more a flaw than a miss, we think it’s worth mentioning: 10” is the absolute maximum we’d recommend for string light poles, so these are probably better suited for a very large and less intimate space.


Overall Value (Quality for Money): 7/10

We think the price is a bit steep given the quality reported in the reviews and the lack of true stability.


backyard therapy string light poles

#2 Galvanized Metal String Light Poles from Backyard Therapy

For yard, 2 top options, sturdy ground fork

Install Ease Score: 10/10

Best For: All Yard Types

With its unique barbed prongs and deep installation, this 2-pack string light poles drives deep into most ground types and stays put until you’re ready to move it. It even works for patios that are low-to-ground because the poles can be installed around the perimeter, or in heavy-duty planters.


Why We Love It

Well, we made it! Based on reviews from customers, one of its best features is its long-term stability. However, that doesn’t make it impossible to move. Its grippy barbed prongs anchor reliably to most ground types. Customers also like having two style options – the quad ring or the classic (we like that too!), both which help keep the string lights in place during windy weather.


Product Specs 

  • 2x 9’ tall poles (8’ after installation)
  • Solid iron prongs with anchoring barbs
  • Classic & quad-ring tops included
  • Galvanized, powder-coated steel for ultimate durability & weather resistance
  • Easy installation 
  • Brand offers US-based support & loads of DIY resources


What’s Missing?

These poles are designed for your yard and can’t be attached to a fence. However, we have fence brackets available so you can easily convert these into fence light poles. 

If you’re looking to cover a larger area, you’ll have to purchase multiple sets, whereas some brands include 4 poles. However, our poles make up for that in quality and reliability. We think it pays to purchase a better pole because you end up saving money in the long run.


Overall Value (Quality for Money): 10/10

$119.00 – Slightly more than the average, run-of-the-mill string light pole. But as we suggested, a higher-quality pole & customer support gives you a better foundation and greater reliability.


#3 Espird String Light Poles

Deep 20” installation, good for some soil types

Install Ease Score: 4/10

Best For: All Yard Types BUT…

A 20” cork stake is certainly going to be sturdy, it poses a pretty risky problem to underground pipes. Unless you know where yours run, we’d never drive a stake deeper than 10” into our backyards. A spiral-style grip also makes for slightly more labor than we think is necessary (and perhaps, a pair of durable work gloves to protect your hands).


Why We Love It 

We like that deep installation is possible, but only if completely safe to do so. Also, there’s mention of an additional plastic part for installation between poles to stabilize the light strings. It’s a great idea, however, the listing doesn’t include information on how it actually works. In addition, we’d opt to use a more durable material than plastic.


Product Specs

  • 2x 10’ poles (8.5’ after installation)
  • Stainless steel ring top
  • Powder-coated stainless steel
  • Plastic accessories included to stabilize lights
  • Up to 20” depth spiral installation


What’s Missing?

Safety precautions or recommendations for installation. While these may be included in the set, we think they should be highlighted in the listing to help consumers be more conscious of this issue. 


Overall Value (Quality for Money): 7/10

We think the price is fairly reasonable, given the durability and inclusions. However, unlike other brands, they include only one style option for pole tops.


#4 Holiday Styling String Light Poles

For fence installation

Install Ease Score: 8/10

Slightly more labor-intensive given they’re designed to attach to fences.

Best For: Yards With Fences & Patios with Railings

This set is uniquely designed for fenced-in spaces and patios. Note: these are not suitable as free-standing string-light poles. The fence or railing gives the required stability with brackets and screws included in the set. They feature a rubberized foot to protect patio flooring.


Why We Love It 

It’s a great option if you’re looking for a fence attachment only. While that’s a drawback to versatility, it solves the problem of working with a small, fence-bound space or patio. We also love the rubberized foot that appears to help protect a floor’s surface from scratches while also providing stability.


Product Specs 

  • 2x 9’ galvanized steel poles
  • 3 brackets
  • 6 screws
  • Attaches to fence with brackets & rubberized foot


What’s Missing?

We think a few more style options would help jazz this string light fence pole up a bit more. 


Overall Value 

This appears to be a solid set, ideal for fence and patio install. Looking at social proof, 85% of the 326 customer reviews are five-star, which in our minds, makes this one a winner. Fence poles tend to run a bit less expensive as they don’t include the stake to secure the pole in the ground. 


#5 Panapo String Light Poles

Curvy top + hanger on side

Install Ease Score: 5/10

There are a few more parts to deal with compared to other brands but for the purpose of increasing stability.


Best For: All Yard Types

This 2-piece set offers a slightly more elegant look in the free-standing variety, and they give the option of hanging flower baskets or additional lights. These are suitable if you’re looking for something a little less minimalist and a bit more ritzy. With a 5-prong anchor, they drive deeply and securely into most ground types, albeit without the added security of barbs featured in other types of string light poles.


Why We Love It 

We love the option of two pole tops designed for aesthetic appeal but also for the practical purpose of keeping the string lights in place. They’re a bit too fancy for our taste, but that feature will appeal to many consumers. Also, the brand includes step-by-step installation instructions with safety reminders – we like safety reminders!


Product Specs 

  • 2x 9’ tall poles (8’ after installation)
  • Claw hook design pole top
  • Shepherd hook for planters, birdcages, or other decorations
  • 5-prong anchor, longest is 11.25”
  • Easy installation
  • Reinforced stability with 2-part pole that screws together


What’s Missing?

For us, the barbed prong is a winner among string light poles, and while this brand has a lot of great features, it’s missing this one. 


Overall Value

Surprisingly, the social proof score is less than we expected it to be. There are several complaints regarding lateral support, so this set may not prove to hold strong in the face of high winds.


The Take-Away

Having presented the facts and taking a few liberties with interpreting them, we hope we’ve narrowed the options down considerably, so you’re prepared to take the leap now and make a purchase. Or, at least be working with fewer options and simplifying your decision making process. 

A key point to consider is stability. While a particular option may give you a prettier face or a little more bang for your buck––seemingly, if it’s not stable, durable, and resistant to weather damage, it’s simply not worth it in our books. 

So, enjoy the process, and have fun turning your backyard or patio into a simple and satisfying escape!

PS: To learn more about choosing the best string lights for your poles, don't forget to check out our comprehensive guide on Top 5 Outdoor String Lights


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