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What are the Different Types of Awning Lights?

Dennis Wilcox
Dennis Wilcox

There are two types of awning lights: hanging lights and light strips. The hanging type of awning lights come in light strings and can be clipped onto awnings over patios or outside recreational vehicles (RVs). They usually are made of plastic or acrylic and are available in many sizes, shapes and colors, making them a good choice for decorative or accent lighting while also providing some illumination, which can be good or poor depending on the quality of their construction and the materials used in it. Awning lights also can be purchased in the form of light strips, which provide good illumination but generally are not decorative in nature. Light strips are meant to be mounted permanently on awnings, an especially useful feature for RVs because their awnings are often rolled out and back in on a frequent basis.

Hanging awning lights can be seen adorning RVs in campgrounds or RV parks in a variety of designs and colors that are just about unlimited. They can be a disappointment if the expectation is they all provide good illumination, however. Some might, and some might not. If they're of a less-expensive type, it’s likely they can accommodate only lower wattage bulbs and that they are made of thick plastic, which blocks more light.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

A higher-quality hanging awning light, one that will provide better illumination in addition to decorative or accent lighting, generally will be made of acrylic. This will allow the use of a higher-wattage bulb. More expensive, higher-quality hanging awning lights will also feature a more heavy-duty electrical cord that might stretch, allowing for more options in the placement of the lights, or that might self-coil so as to not dangle from the awning. Higher-quality hanging awning lights generally are more durable, making them a good choice if they must face adverse weather conditions on a frequent basis.

Regardless of their quality, hanging awning lights are just that. They are not permanent, which can be an inconvenience for RV owners who move around a lot, because they have to constantly put them up and take them down. People who have a patio on their home might also need to put up their hanging lights and take them down on a seasonal basis. These annoyances can be bypassed by installing the light strip type of awning lights, which are permanent.

Light strips provide very bright illumination. Installation involves slipping the strip inside the utility groove or pull strap of an awning’s roller tube. They are meant to stay put after they have been installed, so they can be rolled up with the awning when it's no longer in use. Another benefit is that they have no electrical cords that hang down or that can become entangled.

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