How to use catenary wire and festoon poles
Reduce stress on festoon lights cable
We strongly recommend the use of catenary wire when permanently installing festoon lights. Festoon poles are portable and, as such, offer a greater deal of flexibility for temporary installations. Read on and watch the videos below to discover when, why and how you should use them.
Using catenary wire to support festoon lights
Catenary wire ensures that the light cable is supported along the lit length when suspended. This avoids placing unnecessary stress on the cabling, which can cause damage to festoon lights over time.
Our recommendation is to use PVC coated garden wire, since metal wire can become hot and melt the plastic on your festoon lights.
Step-by-step: How to install catenary wire
- Attach the first end of the catenary wire to your chosen starting point (this may be a tree, hooks, screws, nails or wrapped on a festoon pole)
- Use hooks (if the festoons have hooks) or cable ties every 50cm to attach the catenary wire to the festoon lights cable
- Attach the end of the wire to the last point of the installation
- Cut off any excess catenary wire
Using festoon poles to support festoon lights
Festoon poles provide support for festoon and string light installations, where natural support from trees, fences, etc. isn't possible. This allows lights to be 'swagged' over longer distances.
Festoon poles are stainless steel, have a diameter of 22cm and arrive in 3 pieces: the bottom piece with a 30cm spike for staking into soft ground, the top piece with a hook for hanging the lights, and an optional middle piece to extend the overall height from 5ft (1.8m) to 8ft (2.4m) if desired. We recommend placing poles around 3m apart for optimal support.
Step-by-step: How to assemble and install festoon poles
- Connect together the two (or three if 8ft height is desired) pole pieces using the simple push lock mechanism
- Stake the pole into ground using the spike, pushing down on the step with your foot to ensure it goes in far enough
- Place poles approximately 3m apart
- Hang lights over the hooks - wrapping cable around, if necessary, to reduce the amount of drop on the cable
Frequently asked questions
Q: Should I use both catenary wire and festoon poles?
A: This depends upon the installation. Using festoon poles on their own is fine for temporary installations, but if the lights will be left up for some time, then we recommend using catenary wire too.