Lighting Designs for Your Patio

Lighting Designs for Your Patio


Picture the lighting at your favorite restaurant for date night – the lighting is soft and romantic. With the plush booth and gentle glow of light, you can settle in for a long, relaxing meal. Now, picture the ambiance (or lack-thereof) at your local McDonald’s; the seats are hard, and the florescent lighting is jarring. Although starkly different, both restaurants use their lighting design to achieve very specific goals. You can apply this same pattern of thought to your patio. Patio lighting is all about ambiance. If you are looking for ways to set the perfect scene, consider these lighting designs for your patio from the pros at The Perfect Light.

The Magic of Downlighting

One of the most effective ways to encourage friends and family to relax and enjoy your patio space is using subtle downlighting. Here are some ways to incorporate downlighting into your patio lighting design:

  • Fill Your Trees with Moonlight 

    To create a charming moonlight effect, you can attach lights to trees and aim them downward through the foliage. We recommend using stand-off hanger bolts to attach your down lighting fixtures to trees. Use 4 or 6-watt LED lamps with 4K color temperature to match the color of natural moonlight.

  • Bathe Your Pergola in Moonlight 

    If you do not have mature trees to treat with downlighting, you can create the same moonlight effect with a patio cover or pergola. Acting as a ceiling, a pergola can support many different types of light fixtures. Hang chandelier lights from the middle of the ceiling to softly illuminate a dining area. You can install recessed can lights directly into the ceiling for a similar effect. Another option is to mount decorative fixtures like lanterns to the patio cover posts.

String Lights for Open-Air Patios

If you don’t have a patio cover or pergola, you can get creative with some string lights. Here are some ways you can use string lights to illuminate your patio:

  • Illuminate the Background 

    You can drape string lights across some plants or along a wall to add a cozy glow to the space. Fill a wire mesh basket with LED string lights and hang it from surrounding trees for a homemade rustic accent piece.


  • Freestanding Illumination 

    If you don’t have a structure to hang string lights, this is a great option. You can place large planters at each corner of your patio and plant poles to the bottom of each planter with cement. Then, you can hang string lights from pole to pole to illuminate the perimeter of your patio with a subtle glow. For this project, we recommend café-style string lights or incandescent string lights to achieve the best ambiance.

Light Up a Vertical Garden

This is a more contemporary design and can be very effective for creating a relaxing atmosphere. You can find fantastic prices on for vertical garden wall mounts, or you can get creative with your own DIY masterpiece. Here are some of our favorite vertical garden lighting ideas:

  • Incandescent String Lights 

    We recommend these for simple frame planters with succulents. Arrange your succulents into your planter frame, and freely weave the string lights throughout the foliage for a touch of whimsy.


Incorporate Gazing Globes

Gazing globes have been around since the 13th century and have even been believed to hold mystical powers. These ideas hold some truth in the magic they can work for your patio lighting. Here are some ways to use them:

  • Planted LED Gazing Globes 

    You can do a lot with this idea. Place different sized LED gazing globe lights in terra cotta pots. You can place these around your patio floor or place them on a leaning ladder among potted plants.


  • Illuminate Garden Decor 

    Another creative way to use gazing globe lights is to place them with decorative garden statues or atop pedestals. You can create an enchanting atmosphere by placing pedestals of varying heights around your patio with gazing globe lights.

Consult with a Lighting Expert

Are you eager to explore more lighting designs for your patio? Consult with one of the pros from The Perfect Light. Our lighting team is passionate about helping you create the perfect atmosphere with your outdoor lighting, and we are ready to make your vision a reality with our services! Call us today at (972) 616-4104 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment with a Perfect Light expert.

Leave a Comment

We would be glad to get your feedback. Take a moment to comment and tell us what you think.

Latest Landscape Lighting and Christmas Lighting Customers