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8 Creative Ways to Light Your Outdoor Living Design

8 Creative Ways to Light Your Outdoor Living Design

Outdoor living is a luxury of modern technology. The sealed, beautiful kitchen appliances and hidden electric lines make it possible to create a truly immersive outdoor living design. Popular renovations include outdoor kitchens, dining spaces, napping lounges, and even entertainment dens. But the key to fully enjoying your outdoor living is lighting design that enhances your space in the evening.

When most people think of outdoor lighting, the first thought is a door-side wall sconce. While this is a classic design that makes finding the backdoor easy, there are many more innovative and artful ways to light your deck and outdoor living spaces than a simple sconce.

In this blog, we're spotlighting eight immersive ways to light your outdoor living design.


Covered Patio Recessed Lighting

If your outdoor living design includes a covered deck or patio, install recessed lights into the ceiling overhead. Recessed lights are a subtle yet complete source of illumination. They allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of outdoor design, provide a soft glow when relaxing, or turn up the lights for cleaning or finding small items. 

Installing recessed lighting can be done in a grid or a simple row down the center of your roofed space. All you need is a power line running into the roof section for a quick and effective source of light for your evening outdoor events.


Post Lighting for Railing and Pathways

Post lighting is one of the most elegant and traditional forms of outdoor lighting. We have been hanging glimmering lanterns on posts to light up our evening event spaces long before electricity lit our homes. Post lights make a lovely ring around your deck by emplacing on the railing posts themselves. You can also create a charming effect with post lanterns along your front walk and through the path of your back garden.


Diffuse Glowing Paver Lights

Paver lights are one of the best designs for ambiance available for outdoor lighting. If you don't want posted path lights, you can pave them right into the path itself. Paver lights are the size and shape of another stone in your paved pathway and are easiest to find shaped like a simple brick. The surfaces are sturdy and safe to walk over, safe for pets, and can even take a few accidental whangs when you're working on the lawn.

In fact, you can even build paver stones vertically for walled brickwork. This can be a truly beautiful and diffuse way to light your outdoor space.


Canopy String Lanterns and Fairy Lights

Many people love the look of string lights in a canopy above their pergolas and patios. Under the open sky, use one or more poles to create upward lines of light over your head. Or you can use the frame of your pergola to crisscross a string of lanterns over the deck. Both provide a lovely, gentle source of illumination over your entire outdoor space while also creating that twinkling overhead effect.

For more lighting and a more traditional look, use string lanterns. There are a wide variety including glowing paper lanterns, geometric glass lanterns, and old storm lanterns. You may favor twinkling fairy lights, but you don't have to settle for holiday strings that burn out and break easily. A professional installation of string lights can last for years of beautiful outdoor illumination.


Wall-Mounted Lanterns and Sconces

Outdoor wall-mounted lights are an efficient way to use your home's frame to illuminate your deck, patio, and yard. In fact, many outdoor living designs involve extended walls with soft glowing wall lights along the perimeter. This is a gentle way to provide outdoor lighting and reminiscent of many home lighting traditions.


Gas-Lit Fire Tables

Fire tables are a delightful place to gather outdoors. A fire table is a stone or metal table with a central circle or rectangle of gas-fueled fire. A portable fire table can be fueled by a propane tank like your grill, or you can have a permanent line installed for a permanent fire table location. This provides light, entertainment, and a wonderful place to sit around with friends and family in your outdoor living space.

Fire tables come in many shapes and sizes. You can have yours built-in with stone or bricked in. A fire table might be the trendy coffee table between your outdoor lounging couches or the center of your outdoor dining table.


Railing-Top Lanterns

Lantern sconces can only reach so far, but the top of your deck railing makes an elegant place for evenly spaced lanterns.  Light the entire perimeter of your deck and perhaps, if the sizing is right, your whole outdoor space. Railing-top lanterns give your outdoor living space a classic, historical look with a modern twist. This design favors railings with intermittent center posts and thick post designs. Hollow railing design allows you to run an electric line to each lantern seamlessly through the rails and posts.

Railing-top lanterns favor a wider post, and styles that feature a periodic center post at evenly spaced intervals. However, slender, and uniform railings can also be adorned with lanterns using the right aesthetic match.


Patterned-Glass Path Lights

If you place patterned glass over a path light, the light casts a projection of that pattern onto the ground. Patterned-glass path lights are not just pretty to look at - they also adorn your pathways and grass with an aesthetic pattern from the underside of the glass. They are also lovely, small sculptures to place throughout your garden.

Many gardens have path lights, but not as many have a projection of geometric patterns over their back walk or the surrounding patio.


Luminescent Pool Lights

If you have a pool or spa, consider how lighting under the water can diffuse into the rest of your outdoor space in a truly beautiful way. You may even choose to turn the lights up brighter when you're not swimming to illuminate your entire back garden and patio with its luminescent glow. When you're ready to take a swim, turn the lights down to a comfortable radiance and enjoy well-lit swimming even in the middle of the night.


Lit Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Did you know that you can hang ceiling fans outdoors? Pergolas, covered porches, and overhead beams pose the opportunity for airflow and elegant lighting. Many modern ceiling fans can be used outdoors, and they can feature a subtle source of diffuse light. This can be a great solution for outdoor living in climates that get toasty during the summer and stay warm through the night. An outdoor ceiling fan is the next best thing to air-conditioned space and can help you truly enjoy your outdoor living even when it's hot outside.


Designing or improving your outdoor living space takes elegant, creative lighting. You can find everything you need with Urban Ambiance. Explore our online selection or contact us for more ideas on how to beautifully light every corner of your home.

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