Decorating your Patio with Lights

patio lighting

As you design your patio to get the most enjoyment out of it as possible, don’t forget to consider lighting. From additions as simple as lanterns and string lights to professionally installed fixtures like wall sconces and chandeliers, lighting is an important addition that will add functionality as well as a festive feel that will will elevate the way you use your backyard.

Wall Sconce

patio wall lighting porch wall sconce

Especially beside doorways, stylish wall sconces are a no-brainer for adding light to your backyard and patio. With electrical wiring already hooked up, it’s as simple as looking for replacement outdoor wall lights that match the style aesthetic of your furnishings. From industrial and modern to farmhouse and traditional, there are many stunning options to brighten your patio-scape at night and add a flourish in daylight as well.

String Lights

back yard string lights string lights on the deck

String lights offer a special twinkle to your nightscape. Easily hung along walls or fences, you can also swag these mini dazzlers across pergola frames or around umbrella stretchers or ribs. Create a ceiling of lights by draping strings of lights overhead, use the corner of the roof or support from trees and other posts. Look for solar versions to hang in areas where connecting to electric would be a challenge.

Candles

outdoor lanterns with candles

Don’t overlook the ease and allure of candles. Whether on their own, inside a lantern or gathered together in groupings, candles provide soft light that is appealing and infectious. LED candles run on solar power or battery and emulate the flickering of the flames, without the worry of open flame or burning out.

Solar Lanterns

outdoor solar lantern

Whether set along walk ways, edges of the deck, or hung from trees, solar lanterns are one of the simplest ways to provide light and ambiance. These standalone items recharge themselves daily and use a low-light sensor to turn on automatically as the sun goes down. No electrical wiring is required so these beauties can be used anywhere that they get enough light to recharge their built in batteries.

Chandeliers and Pendants

chandelier on a porch outdoor ceiling fixture

A porch or patio with permanent structure overhead offers the option of hanging an outdoor chandelier or pendant light. Even though the roof or overhang is protected from the elements, it is best to install lighting designed for the outdoors in these spots. Since the environment isn’t controlled like it is inside, these fixtures will potentially be subject to high moisture and extreme temperatures. But don’t think that being relegated to outdoor fixture options will limit your style, you can find outdoor chandeliers and hanging lights in a wide range of styles from traditional to contemporary, with finishes that evoke industrial, boho, beachy or old-world themes.

Outdoor Floor and Table Lamps

outdoor floor lamp outdoor table lamp

One of the must-have patio accessories for well-appointed outdoor living is an outdoor floor or table lamp. These pieces provide a finishing touch to any outdoor seating area, making your outdoor living space feel complete.

Deck Lighting

outdoor wall sconce patio string lights

An automatic concern when you have an elevated deck is lighting for the edges as well as any steps it may have. Wall sconces can be used around the perimeter of a deck that is attached to the house. Lights can also be installed on the step risers or railing posts to further illuminate the edges of the deck. These are crucial for safety of movement on the deck at night. For additional ambiance, consider adding string lights to handrails, pergolas or along overhangs.

Path and Garden Lighting

Placing small lighting spikes in the ground to brighten paths and garden areas helps define your back yard at night. These can be part of a set running on a low voltage outdoor system or can be individual lights that are powered with solar energy. Typically the low voltage systems will provide more light, however they require more work to install. Solar garden lights are simple spikes that can easily be placed anywhere, even shady spots typically have enough sunlight during the day to recharge the enclosed battery enough to power the lights for several hours when they come on at dusk.

Torches

outdoor garden torch

Torches add drama to your landscape. Because they include an open flame, you’ll likely only use these lights on special occasions and when you will be outside the entire time they are lit to enjoy them. You’ll need to be very careful when determining their placement, that they are secured sturdily, cannot be knocked over and that they aren’t near anything that could catch fire. Patio torches are fueled by odorless oil or gel. For mosquito prone areas citronella scented fuel provides the added bonus of keeping the bugs away.

New on the market are solar torches that emulate the appeal of flickering flames and provide ambiance without the danger of open fire. These have the added benefit of coming on daily at dusk and much less worry of placement or fuel management.

Unique Applications

solar string lights

Look around your patio and backyard for unique places to place patio lighting. Is there a fence that could be spruced up with a set of string lights? Would your garden swing get more use in the evenings if you had path lighting to illuminate the way? Maybe the canopy of your huge backyard tree could become a stunning focal point with lanterns hung from the boughs. The options are endless, so don’t hold back. Use your creativity to add a bit of light to your patio and yard.