A home’s patio is an extension of the living space. Perhaps you have a wide sliding glass door that invites sunshine and garden views into the living room or a cozy cottage door that opens into a private oasis. Your patio should be a place of relaxation, family gatherings, and warm summer evenings. However, without patio lights, few people would spend long welcoming hours on the back patio after the sun goes down. At Quality Accents, we care about the beauty, lighting, and practical design of your patio and backyard space.
Today, we’re diving into everything you need to know to design a “lit” and well-illuminated patio for your home.
The Types of Patio Lights to Choose From
- Wall Sconce or Wall Hanging Lights
- Post and Pier Lights
- Covered Patio Overhead Lights
- Covered Patio Ceiling Fans
There are four types of patio lights to start with. By far, the two most popular are wall-mounted lights and post-and-pier lights. Naturally, wall-mounted lights extend from the exterior wall of your home or garage. They are wired through a small hole in your siding (similar to how your doorbell is wired). They can arch up from the mount like a sconce or down from the mount like a lantern. Some modern wall lights form bright metal cages around the light while traditional wall lights often hang as Tudor or Colonial-style lanterns.
Post and pier lanterns stand on top of a post. These can be free-standing lanterns like classic street lights or you can top your patio railing posts with pier and post patio lighting. The best time to install a fence-integrated pier and post-patio lighting system is when you are rebuilding the patio fence or railing with hollow pieces that can hold power lines. Free-standing patio lights may be powered through a line buried underground.
If your patio is covered, you may also enjoy overhead lights. There are small chandeliers and pendants rated for outdoor use, but the most popular style of overhead patio light is an indoor-outdoor lit ceiling fan.
Features to Look For in Patio Light Design
- Gas Lantern
- Glass Globe
- Metal Hood
- Unique Glass
- Cage Fixture
What should you look for in a stylish patio light design? There are a few features that make a beautiful patio light stand out in style and the effect of its warm, welcoming glow. Glass lanterns are a patio classic and there are many different styles to choose from. However, glass globes are unique to the turn of the century when “modern” was having your home lit with gas lines. You may prefer the dimming effects of an adjustable metal hood or the charm of a two-tone patio light.
Some patio lights have unique glass that casts a beautifully patterned shadow, while modern and industrial lights follow the cage light trend.
Ways to Enhance Your Patio Lighting
- Install Smart Light Bulbs
- Oil the Lantern Glass
- Colored Film
- Adaptable Patio Light Dimmer
You can also enhance the lights you choose by changing something about the light fixture after it is installed. A classic trick is to oil the glass so that it creates a warm and slightly diffuse glow around your home’s patio and entrances. A modern option is to apply a film to the outside of your patio light glass panels which can change the color quality and even the pattern of the light.
Of course, modern homeowners favor installing a smart bulb so that patio lights can be turned on, off, or change colors at a voice command or tap of a mobile app. You can also make your gatherings more relaxed with an adaptable dimmer for your patio lights accessible from a covered panel.
Best Locations for Patio Lights
- Welcoming Patio Door Lights
- Poolside Patio Light Design
- Pier and Post Lights for Patio Railings
- Garage Driveway Patio Lighting
Where are the best places to install your patio lights? It depends on the outdoor design of your home. Many people prefer two lights flanking their back garden door to make getting indoors and relaxing near the back door more comfortable. However, other outdoor patio spaces are worthy of their unique patio lighting designs.
Poolside patio lighting can be essential for the safety and enjoyment of evening swims, and if you have railing around your patio, pool, or pathways, then integrated pier and post lighting is an elegant design choice. You should also consider the right patio lighting for your garage driveway, especially if it has become a place where children play, or where neighbors gather.
The Best Finishes for Patio Lights
- Black and Cast Iron
- Bronze and Oiled Bronze
- Brushed Nickel
- Stainless Steel
There are some great finishes available for your patio lights. First, base your choice on how well the finishes look with your home exterior design. Within that palette, choose a finish that is the most charming addition to your patio environment and ambiance.
What Are the Best Lights for Outdoor Patio?
Outdoor patio lights are typically wall-mounted lanterns, pier and post lights, and permanent string light installations. Each offers a unique type of charm. If you have a covered patio or even overhead beams of a permanent pergola, you can also enjoy an outdoor flush light or ceiling fan.
How Do You Put Lights on a Patio?
Putting lights on your patio requires a professional installation in which they are first secured and then connected to your home’s outdoor-facing power circuit.
What Are the Best Locations for Patio Lights?
The best places for patio lights are mounted to the exterior of your home or on top of fence railings. However, some prefer post lights that stand like charming old-fashioned street lights with a lantern on top.
What Styles Are Most Popular for Patio Lights?
Patio lights range from industrial and modern styles in clean lines and brushed nickel to old-fashioned Victorian lanterns with oiled glass, Edison light bulbs, and glass globe or cast iron lantern styles.
Why Are Installed Patio Lights Better Than String Lights?
Hanging string lights is a temporary lighting solution that is not weather-durable. String lights often burn out one bulb at a time and do not withstand storm conditions well. If you desire string lights, a lighting specialist can help you find more durable string lantern solutions and install them with reinforced features.
What Is the Best Way to Hang a Patio Light?
The best way to hang a patio light is with professional assistance. Unless you are very DIY capable, you will need the help of a licensed electrician and someone who knows how to attach a new light safely to the home’s exterior siding – or run lines safely through your patio railing. At Quality Accents, we can help you design a beautifully accented outdoor space from your patio edge to the far end of your flowerbeds. Contact us today to learn more.