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Patio and Deck Lighting Ideas

Patio and Deck Lighting Ideas


Summer will be making its official exit soon. With that in mind, you may find yourself wanting to enjoy a last hurrah or two outside. What better way to relish in the great outdoors than by spending time on your patio or deck? Keep your outdoor living space beautifully illuminated for the summer all year long using a variety of stylish and functional lighting options.

Patio vs Deck Photo courtesy of wallbasehq.com

Before we explore your lighting choices, let’s start by explaining the difference between a patio and deck. Patios are a versatile backyard space often made of concrete, rocks, bricks, stone or gravel. Patios are almost always designed based on the landscape of your home. Since they are built on ground level, you are unlikely to need any type safety railings. You will normally see patios attached to the home, but in some homes they may be unattached.

Decks are an outdoor space usually constructed of vinyl or wood. Unlike patios, they are not placed directly on the ground. Your deck can be connected to the house or separated and added to the upper levels of your home with an attached stairwell and safety railing. For example, a deck may be placed outside your bedroom, or just outside the kitchen or dining area. Depending on the structure, the spaces are typically more closed off than patios.

Outdoor Wall Sconces

Sconces always seem to add a touch of beauty to a space. Bring that beauty to your deck by placing individual outdoor sconces on deck posts.  Contingent on the size of your posts and the amount of light being emitted, you can choose sconces that use 1-3 lights.  Wall sconces can easily be mounted against posts to light the floor and dark corners of your deck. In order to achieve a beautiful glow, pair the fixtures with outdoor-rated LED lighting with a warm color temperature of 2700K.  Light emitted at this temperature creates a natural and calming tone, ideal for evenings spent on the deck . Another plus in choosing LED lights is they are energy efficient and long lasting.  In order to be used outdoors, both the lighting and fixture must be rated for outdoor use.

So your patio doesn’t have posts, but you’re still interested in using outdoor sconces? No problem. Mount them on walls in any areas that may need additional light in the evening, such as near the back door leading to your patio. If your patio consists of an outdoor kitchen or you just really love to grill, place sconces above your cooking area for task lighting. You never know when you might get the urge to grill a few hot dogs after dark.

Ceiling Fan with Lighting

During the summer months, it can be difficult to keep your backyard space cool. If you have an enclosed deck space, an outdoor ceiling fan with lights would be an excellent addition. Fans with lights are a great source of overhead lighting for your patio, and they can also keep you cool and relaxed. When choosing your fan, you’ll need to decide between those rated for damp and wet locations. If the fan is rated for damp locations, this means it rarely comes in contact with water aside from some mist here and there; however, ceiling fans rated for wet locations are crafted to be well protected from water. For example, a ceiling fan rated for a damp location may not fare as well as a ceiling fan rated for a wet location in the midst of a rainstorm. Choosing a ceiling fan not rated for outdoor use could result in warped blades that resemble a drooping flower. Other considerations include choosing a color that will compliment your space, ceiling height and fan size. 

Pathway Lighting Motion activated Lighting

While hanging out on your deck, you have to be careful where you’re stepping. Because decks tend to be off the ground and may include an attached stairwell, you should be extra careful when walking around at night. Keeping your path clear and illuminated is vital to your safety. When lighting your stairs for example, light needs to be cast downwards towards the walking path and not upwards into your eyes.

Whether you have a deck, patio or both, pathway lighting is a great investment. Pathway lights allow you and your visitors to move freely by illuminating their steps. The lights can be distributed along the side of the path leading towards your patio. If you have a deck they can be spaced out evenly in different locations throughout your deck space, including the stairs. Consider choosing pathway lighting fixtures that have a medium to large hood so that light is more evenly distributed and directed towards the path.

Motion Activated Lighting

Maybe you’re not interested in investing in sconces or pathway lighting, but you’d still like to maintain illumination for safety in the dark corners of your patio or deck. Battery operated motion step lights are simple to use and shut on off automatically to prevent usage in the daytime. Mount these LED lights to your stairway banister or even beneath each stair.

Patio String Lights Image courtesy of www.all-hd-wallpapers.com

There is something enchanting about the glow of string lights. Keep that enchantment throughout the year by adding patio string lights to your deck or patio. Drape a few strings beneath the roof of your deck or around the posts.

For patios, string lights from the back of the house onto a nearby tree to create a blanket of warm light. For those feeling extra ambitious, try using medium base sized stringers underneath your patio umbrella to create an ideal ambient glow to dine under.

Whether you’re a patio person, a deck person or a fan of both, these spaces are all about fun and leisure time. Now that everything is illuminated, sit back in your hammock take in the last bit of the warm summer breeze and relax. Have any other ideas on patio and deck lighting? Don’t be stranger, drop us a line in the comment section below and as always, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest or Instagram!

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