How Do Fairy Lights Work?

This write-up will answer all the possible queries regarding the question- How do fairy lights work? We attempt to delve into the world of fairy lights and their working mechanism. The dedicated FAQ section at the end of the article will cover any other remaining questions.

Fairy lights create a beautiful and dreamy ambiance. They brighten up any area. Primarily used for decorative purposes indoors and outdoors, they can turn any backyard or living space into a shining area. They act as an added X-factor especially when you are hosting. During Christmas, fairy lights are extensively used around the house as they light up the place and ooze a warm and festive mood. The main idea is to highlight one place and illuminate the surrounding areas. 

What are Fairy Lights?

These are a string of lights connected to a battery-run control box. To explain in simple terms, these are small lights hanging from a string. They have space between them and are not clustered together. This gives an aesthetic look to the lights. Fairly lights can almost work anywhere. You can hang them on trees, throw them on the bush, hand them around the house or simply decorate your room with them. Wherever they are placed, they are guaranteed to transform the ordinary space into a magical land. 

Classic fairy lights were made of blown glass with a metal filament, plastic base, and metal wires. These aren't energy-efficient and cost a lot of money. Therefore, LED fairy lights and battery operated LED string lights are more popular. Nowadays solar powered and USB string lights are becoming popular as well. Moreover, copper/silver wire fairy lights are very popular in recent times. These lights are designed with thin wire wrapping around a strand of copper and silver wire; incredibly effective at saving energy which allows the strand to endure a very long time. In our discussion of how do fairy lights work, we will take a look at solar powered and USB powered lights as well.

How Do Fairy Lights Work?

Technically speaking, LED lights have light-emitting diodes that convert electrical energy into light. These do not use incandescent bulbs. The electrons and electron holes collide to emit light. They release energy that produces glare. This is how fairy lights glow. 

Some Tips to Keep in Mind

Some Tips to Keep in Mind


When it comes to the pertinent question at hand- how do fairy lights work; the answer is incomplete without educating ourselves regarding some tips and tricks to bear in mind. 

If the connection between the battery pack cable and the switch breaks, resolder it after removing the batteries. 

Secondly, if the connection between the end of the light strand and the cable to the battery pack breaks, take out the heat shrink and separate the wires. Also, remove the insulation from the cable of the battery pack. Install a new piece of clear heat shrink, twist the wires, and solder the connection. 

If the connection between the contacts on the battery cover and the battery breaks, add two extra screws to the screw holes. This will hold the battery in place.   

Are LED Fairy Lights Energy-Efficient?

Yes!! They are more energy-efficient and durable. In fact, these are the most affordable option. The traditional fairy lights using incandescent bulbs consume a lot of energy. In comparison to the LED ones, you end up using over 90% less energy. It's this low power consumption of the lights that make them a popular product all year round.

How do Solar Fairy Lights Work?

Solar fairy lights are attached to a control box that has batteries in them. During the night, the batteries use the power they have stored. The control box is connected to a solar panel that charges the batteries during the daytime. There is a light sensor in the solar panel that switches on and off the light automatically. It also lets the batteries charge once they discharge. In a nutshell, it is the solar panel using the power of the sun and converting it into electricity to light up the fairy lights. Use solar string lights if you live in a sunny area. These are energy efficient and use the free energy of the sun.

Do Solar Powered Lights Work Indoors?

Do Solar Powered Lights Work Indoors?


Yes, they do. To use solar lights indoors you need to keep two important things in mind. One, purchase a good quality solar powered string light that has a high-quality unit. How do you identify one? The battery box or the control box of the light will have a lot of solar cells in it. More cells mean more reserve energy can be stored and used during cloudy days.

The second is the location. Research says the best location to use solar string lights indoors is to place them facing south. If the south direction isn't an option for you then you need high-quality indoor fairy lights that can work in any direction. Indoor fairy lights come with a variety of designs and options, for instance, stars fairy lights, LED curtain fairy lights, led candle lights, and many more.


Why using solar string lights is advantageous?

Apart from the fact that solar string lights are environmentally friendly, they are extremely self-sufficient. These turn on and off automatically. Secondly, they are based on the principle of DIY and are extremely energy efficient. They save you a lot of bucks. Overall, they are a safer and brighter option. 

How Do USB Powered Fairy Lights Work?

Apart from the plug-in and solar powered versions, USB powered fairy lights are another choice. Unlike the solar powered lights, these can be used indoors and outdoors without debating much about the location. USB ports are common around the house. All you need to do is plug them in a reliable power source and light them. You needn't worry about the batteries running out of charge. 

Using Multicolor Fairly Lights

Sometimes you may want to take the whole idea of fairy lights to the next level and blend in several colors. Yes, fairy lights are available in red, blue, and green LEDs. You can combine these and get multicolor LED fairy lights. Ensure that each color string is connected and controlled by a separate control box. You can either have all the colors on or keep one color switched off and others on. 

Can We Cut Fairy Lights?

Yes, you can. Provided certain conditions are met. Firstly, when you cut the fairy lights using scissors, ensure that the blubs are connected in parallel. Secondly, each blub should receive the same amount of bolts simultaneously. Most of the bulbs in fairy lights are connected in parallel and each receives the same bolt at the same time. Therefore, shortening a fairy light isn't too problematic. Just make sure to cap both the ends of the wire with wire connectors. 



How long will fairy lights stay on?

Depending on the quality and the battery life of the fairy lights, one can keep the lights on. Some experts advise keeping the fairy lights on for only 6 hours and then switching them off. No matter how good a quality lights you are using, it is never advised to keep them on all night. To avoid house fires or overload a socket, never leave the lights on overnight or when you are going out. 

Do fairy lights need to be plugged in?

Fairy lights that aren't battery operated need to be plugged in. USB powered string lights need a socket as well. Solar powered do not require a socket as they run on the energy stored in the solar cells. Lights that are powered by batteries like battery-led candle lights and battery-operated curtain fairy lights do not need to be plugged in to operate.

Do fairy lights use a lot of electricity?

No, they do not. Provided you are using LED string lights. Incandescent lights consume a lot of energy. For example, an incandescent fairy light uses over 40 watts per 100 lights costing around $18-$20 per 1000 bulbs. In comparison, LED fairy lights consume anything between 1.2-2 watts of energy costing you $1-$2 on your energy bill. 

Do LED lights need batteries?

No, they do not. LED lights are plugged into a socket. Therefore, they run on electricity. One of the reasons why most people prefer LED lights is because you do not need to replace batteries every now and then. Plus, they consume very less electricity.

How do you hang fairy lights on the wall?

How you hang the fairy lights depends on the place you plan to hang them. To hang the lights on the walls do not use nails. For indoor purposes, use command hooks. They are clear and self-adhesive wall hooks. You can stick them on walls, mirrors, shelves, or any place you do not wish to ruin. Once the hooks are secured in place, hang the lights. Other items you can use to hang the lights on the wall are adhesive tapes, adhesive glue, thumbtacks, and push pins. Also, you can always hang the fairy lights on any picture frames or paintings on the wall. 

Final thoughts

Fairy lights are like a bunch of fireflies. They make any place attractive and unique. You can hang them overhead to create an illusion of stars in the sky. They act as a perfect ambiance while having a romantic dinner with your partner or during Christmas dinners. We began this write-up with the question- how do fairy lights work. They are a DIY. Anyone can install them, transforming their indoor or outdoor areas into decorative and attractive places.