One thing it was lacking, however, was light, which made it difficult to enjoy once the sun went down. Over the winter, I saw some string lights at Costco that I fell in love with. They had large standard looking light bulbs that hung down and were generally awesome looking. I told David that when we built our deck (which at the time was still a "some day" project) I wanted to get them. And so now that we have our deck, that's just what we did.
As for how we installed them, I looked at a few tutorials on Pinterest and decided upon this one. I liked it because it is easily removable unlike some others I had seen that involved setting conduit or posts in concrete. We followed their directions to a T, with one addition.
We added a pipe strap further up the conduit for added stability. We were especially concerned about that particular factor because our string lights were of the heavy-duty commercial variety, and thus quite a bit heavier than most lights.
We used three poles on the yard side. On the house side, we attached metal hooks to the board that runs along the house right under the soffit. I'm sure it has a name, I'm just not sure what it is. We pre-drilled a hole to get through the metal that covered the wood, and then just hand screwed the hook in place.
I eagerly awaited nightfall all day long. And I was not disappointed.
You'll notice we also added some rope light. We ordered it from Amazon and attached it under the 1" overhang of the deck with the clips it came with. It's as much safety as it is for ambiance, since we didn't want anyone falling off the edge of the deck or missing the step down.
I'm so thrilled with how it turned out, and can't wait to enjoy many warm evenings under these lights!