How to Hang String Lights on a Covered Patio Without Nails

If you’ve just installed a new covered patio, you might be wondering how to add string lights. We want you to make a cozy outdoor space that can be lit up in the morning and evening, and we highly recommend installing lights on your patio cover! First off, we’ll share the basic safety tips to keep in mind for using outdoor string lights. Then we’ll go over some nail-less options for you to consider. Without stringing you along any further, let’s get you enlightened on patio lights!

Basic Outdoor Light Types and Safety

You should be selective with the lights that you choose for your covered patio. Worn light strings, excessively long strands strung together, open light sockets without bulbs, and non-outdoor rated lights can all be hazards. You’ll want to be especially sure that your string lights are weatherproof to keep them safe for your home- even in heavy rain and snow. has created an entire guide on the best type of outdoor lights in 2022. You can be selective with the size, type of bulbs, and lifespan.

Once you’ve picked out the lights you’d like to use, you can start preparing to hang them.

How to Hang String Lights on Your Patio Cover Without Nails

You can hang string lights on your patio cover without nails by using outdoor Command hooks, zip ties, awning hangers, or Alumahooks. Punching holes in your aluminum patio cover can be done, but you can avoid damage altogether by going nailless. At ShadeWorks, we void our warranties for pergolas and patio covers that have any drilling, nailing, or screwing of anything excessively heavy in the MOCKWOOD aluminum material.

Alas, we still want you to add string lights on your patio cover! We have four alternate ideas for you to explore.

awning hooks and zip ties

1. Awning Hangers

If you have shade screens installed on your patio cover, awning hooks could be used to hang string lights from your shade screen roller tube. This wouldn’t be our first recommendation for hanging string lights because the lights can get in the way of putting your shade screen up and down, but if you want to put lights up temporarily, you could use these to hang string lights loosely. These awning hangers from Camco are made from durable polypropylene and are rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. According to Camco, these hooks will need to be removed every time the roller tube needs to be used.

2. Zip Ties

Outdoor-rated zip ties can be used to hang string lights on your patio cover. Kable Kontrol’s black nylon cable ties are made with a UV stabilized Nylon 6-6 material that can withstand temperatures of -40 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit! They come in a variety of different strengths and lengths. Once you determine the weight of your string lights, you can make an appropriate purchase based on their 18lb – 250 lb breaking strengths. These zip ties are rated 4.9 out of 5 stars with almost no complaints!

command strips and alumawood hangers

3. Outdoor Command Hooks

Outdoor Command hooks allow you to hang Christmas lights, rope lights, string lights, and other decorations without the use of screws or nails. These hooks are said to withstand winter weather conditions, water, and strong UV rays. Make sure to follow their installation instructions for maximum stick. These hooks are rated 3.7 out of 5 stars, with most of the complaints being about price and lack of stickiness.


4. Alumahooks and Hangers

Alumawood’s Alumahooks and hangers are by far your best option for hanging string lights on your patio cover. They can also be used on pergolas and other outdoor structures! Choose whether you’d like to hang string lights on the inside or outside of your patio cover with their different hook and hanger types. These can also be used to hang plants, wind chimes, bird feeders, and misting systems! They’re made of powder-coated steel and can withstand most weights. These hooks are rated 4.2 out of 5 stars and come in white and Spanish brown.


A Few Tips and Tricks We’d Recommend

After you’ve purchased your lights and other hanging materials, we’d recommend a few other tips during installation.

Make sure to give yourself enough length to be able to plug in the lights to your outlet. If you’re using an extension cord, make sure that it can have enough reach to your first mounting location.
Choose the mounting locations of where you’d like your hooks, hangers, or zip ties to be.
Install the hooks or hangers before hanging the lights. If you’re using zip ties, you should secure them on the light string as you work.

While you might be able to drill screws or hammer nails in your aluminum patio, we’ve gone over a few nailless options for you to consider. Protecting your patio cover by using nail-less solutions will help it last! We hope that these four string light hanging ideas will be useful for your patio cover. If you’d like to learn how to hang curtains on your patio cover, learn how here.

If you are looking to purchase an aluminum patio cover, see how ShadeWorks MOCKWOOD patio covers are built to last!

Scroll to Top