10 Different Types of Patio and Deck Lighting Ideas

Discover the different types of patio and deck lighting options which you can install around the house for added livability and a lit outdoor backdrop. You shouldn't let the fun stop just because it's past sundown.
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Backyard deck lit up at night

The right lighting fixtures for the patio and deck will not just illuminate your outdoor space but also provide a sense of security. To achieve this sense of security, install lights on all entry points and on paths, driveways, and deckings. You can also do so by eliminating shadows on some parts of the house such as on the eaves, side doors, windows, and garages.

A well-lit patio and deck should have a restful ambiance that’s perfect for entertaining or hosting a dinner alfresco. They should also be subtle and unobtrusive yet be able to create an impact around your outdoor space once the sun fades out.

1. Torches

Light torches made of weaved bamboo.

Torches are a fantastic way to provide light for your patio or deck area. Since you will be dealing with fire, it is important that you take certain safety precautions when using these. Generally speaking, modern torches are very safe and you shouldn’t have any issues using them safely. Just remember to place them in a spot where they won’t accidentally catch anything with their flames.

The flames won’t be too high on these torches so you will really just have to watch out for low-hanging tree branches. Keep the torches away from leaves and other things that could catch fire and you will be perfectly fine. These torches are very beneficial because they can help to keep the insects away from you while you’re enjoying your time outside. They will provide great mood lighting for you while you’re hosting a small gathering on your patio or deck.

People purchase these torches very commonly because of how useful they are and how cost-effective they can be. You can purchase torches such as this at a very reasonable price and the durable bamboo design allows them to last for a long time. This is excellent for people who want to have access to fun atmospheric lighting without having to spend too much money. You can find torches such as this at most major retailers, too, so they won’t be difficult to track down.

If you are going to be placing them on your deck, then you might want to place them around the deck for the best results. You may need to place several of these torches to get the right amount of light but it will partially depend on how much light you want. This won’t illuminate the area brightly or anything as the lighting will be much more atmospheric. Even still, this is a great option that many people enjoy.

2. Candles

Orange candles in a glass container and decorated with minimalist designs.

Candles are popularly used outside to help provide light for patios and decks too. They are used for very similar reasons to the torches. People like buying candles such as this to help keep the bugs away and make their time outside more pleasant. Many of these types of candles are made using citronella, which deters bugs from coming around.

You can buy candles that are scented differently but these types of candles are great for keeping the mosquitoes at bay. Those who like to spend lots of time outside need methods to keep the mosquito population from overrunning them in the evenings and these candles have proven to be quite useful for this. Admittedly, these candles don’t provide an ample amount of light.

Placing several of these candles on your patio or deck could be a good way to provide yourself with some ambient lighting. It is enough to see what you are doing and to enjoy yourself. Some people would find candles such as this to be inadequate as the sole source of light so you will want to weigh your options. The candles are useful when you don’t want a lot of light and are more worried about keeping the bugs off of you.

Luckily, these candles are quite inexpensive. You won’t have to worry about being able to afford these as buying several of them won’t break the bank or anything. You could buy quite a few of these candles and place them at specific points around your deck or patio. This will provide a small amount of lighting and will help you in your fight against the bugs.

3. Fire Pits

Black, metal-woven fire pit with grilling items included. Source: Amazon

If you are the type of person who enjoys having light sources that feel more natural outside, then looking into installing a fire pit is a really good idea. The fire pit idea may work better in your patio area than on a deck, of course. If you only have a deck, you would want to place the fire pit near the deck and not on it for safety reasons. Regardless, this is something that could provide your patio or deck area with a lot of light.

Fire pits can help to provide you with a lot more than just light, though. You can also use them to cook food during your family gatherings. It is very easy to buy removable cooking grids for these types of fire pits so you will be able to bring them out when you want to make some food. It really helps to give you the vibe of camping outdoors and enjoying nature.

The fire is also going to be able to keep people warm. If the nights tend to get a little chilly in your area, then you will still be able to feel comfortable outside when you have a fire pit. Simply light up the fire and you can enjoy spending time with your friends and family outdoors deep into the evening hours. These fire pits are a lot of fun and everyone will love making use of them at parties.

The amount of light that the fire pit gives off is pretty good too. This may be a light source that you will only want to use on occasion so it would be beneficial to have other lights as well. Even still, it is worthwhile to own a fire pit. If this idea appeals to you, then you will be able to get a really nice fire pit at an affordable price.

4. String Lights

String lights on a patio during night time.

String lights are among the most common types of outdoor lighting that you will see. People love the look of string lights on their decks or patios and they can actually provide a lot of light. There is something about string lighting that gives off a very whimsical feeling. They’re interesting to look at and you can string them in visually interesting ways that help your deck or patio to stand out.

These types of lights are pretty versatile because you are able to use them in imaginative ways. You could simply string the lights in straight lines and they will look nice. You can also decide to string them up in a pattern or wind them around a pillar. Some people like to attach the string lights to their roofs and then have them run all the way down to the railings of their decks.

It will be up to you to decide how to best make use of this type of lighting. Whatever your ideas wind up being, you will be able to make great use of them. They are fairly inexpensive as well so you will be able to buy plenty of these lights without having to spend too much of your money. This will make lighting up your deck or patio area that much simpler.

String lights should be able to be found at most major retailers and you can also find them at some hardware stores. Online retailers commonly sell them as well so it won’t be tough to track down exactly what you want. You will find different styles of string lights as some of them will have bulbs that look different. Take the time to pick out the option that appeals to you the most.

5. Landscape Lighting

Six pieces of solar-powered landscape lighting for decks and patios.

Landscape lighting is an option that you will want to consider when looking for outdoor light sources. These types of lights are very commonly used by people with large garden areas. It is a good way for them to be able to illuminate their plants at night so that they can admire them. They’re really easy to use and they actually light up the area quite well.

There are many different styles of landscape lighting to choose from as well. You can purchase motion-sensitive lights that will turn on when movement is detected nearby. It is also possible to purchase landscape lights that are completely solar powered, making them a very environmentally conscious choice. The lights being shown off here are solar powered so you will definitely want to take them into consideration.

These specific lights are incredibly simple to install. All you have to do is stake them into the ground wherever you want them to be. Then you will be able to have light wherever you want it. When you are looking to illuminate your patio or deck area, it would be smart to stake them around the perimeter of your deck or patio.

You could also choose to stake the lights in the ground somewhere nearby the deck or patio if you would like the light to be a bit further away. It shouldn’t be an issue to have the lights fairly close to your deck or patio as the light that these units give off shouldn’t be too harsh in most cases. This is certainly one of the easiest ways for you to light up your deck or patio area. It will be very simple to figure this out and since they are solar powered, you won’t have to worry about electricity or batteries.

6. Lanterns

Small-size, colorful lanterns for patios and decks.

Lanterns are a superb lighting solution for your outdoor area. You can buy a lantern that will provide a nice amount of light for you but it will never be so much that it seems too bright. These are great for providing the right atmosphere around your patio area and you will probably want to put up several of them. Most of the time, you will see people hang up several pairs of lanterns around their decks or patios.

These types of lanterns are really nice looking too. They have a significant amount of aesthetic appeal that is going to make your deck or patio look even better than ever. Anyone who enjoys having a rustic flair to his or her lighting solutions is going to be interested in purchasing lanterns such as these. There are also many different styles of lanterns that you can choose from.

The overall versatility of lantern lighting is quite high due to there being so many styles to pick from. You can find lanterns that look really rustic and charming but you can also purchase lanterns that are modern and sleek. Depending on what types of designs appeal to you, you will be able to create a completely different look that will be all your own. This is really appealing to people who want their deck and patio areas to stand out from the crowd.

Hanging up your new lanterns won’t be a difficult task either. They will be a little more cumbersome to work with than the string lights that were mentioned above but this is still relatively easy. Simply pick out the ideal spot where you want to hang them and you will be ready to host parties outdoors soon enough. Lantern lighting is going to prove to be very nice and people will likely compliment how neat they look.

7. Solar Deck Lights

Solar deck light made of weatherproof plastic.

Source: Home Depot

Perhaps the easiest solution for lighting up your deck area is going to be to install deck lights. These deck lights can be placed at specific locations around your deck. You will be able to turn them on very easily and they can provide an ample amount of light. This makes lighting up your entire deck simple and you will be able to sit outdoors at night without having to worry about not being able to see well.

The deck lights being shown off here are solar in nature too. They are completely powered by solar energy, making them a very desirable product. Not having to worry about wiring up these lights to your house or having to fiddle with batteries is always nice. You can simply place these deck lights on one of the posts of your deck and they will be ready to work great.

The level of light that you will get from a deck light is dependent on what you decide to purchase. You can purchase deck lights that are very bright but you can also find lighting options that are a bit more ambient. Take a close look at what you are purchasing before you buy it to ensure that you are getting the amount of light that you want. This way, you won’t be disappointed when you install a light and see that it is either too bright or too dim for your liking.

It can be a good idea to play around with the positioning of your deck lights as well. Try to work out where the ideal placement of each deck light would be in order to provide the right illumination. Proper light placement will help you to need to use fewer lights and can save you a bit of money. These lights will work well for your purposes so just make sure that you buy what you want in order to have the best experience on your deck.

8. Lighting Sconces

Glass and plastic lighting sconce that can be mounted on the wall. Source: Amazon

Lighting sconces are some of the most useful types of lighting that you will find on this list. If you want to light up your deck area very easily, then buying some lighting sconces is going to be a simple way to do it. These lighting sconces can be wired right into your home so that you can turn them on with the flip of a switch. They will then provide all of the light that you need in order to see on your deck or patio area.

These lights are more than just practical too because they look really fantastic. You will find so many unique styles of lighting sconces on the market. Some of them will look incredibly ornate and you will want to consider which style is going to look right in your deck or patio area. If you are going with a rustic country feel for your patio or deck, then it will be possible to find a lighting sconce that matches your tastes perfectly.

Typically, these lighting sconces will be placed right on your house itself. Wiring them into your system may be easy for you if you feel confident in your skills. It might also be best to get a professional to come and put them in, depending on how good you are with these types of tasks. It definitely isn’t a big job to install this type of lighting and it will be very useful for your deck and patio areas.

You can also buy different bulbs for these lights if you want more vibrant light or dimmer lighting options. This makes lighting sconces even more versatile because you have the ability to sort of tailor things to your liking. If you want to light up your deck or patio area properly, then this is probably the best way to do that. It isn’t as simple as using string lights but it can definitely provide more light.

9. Outdoor Table Lamps

Outdoor table lamps in white, green and yellow.

You will see outdoor table lamps being used in many people’s patio areas. If you have a little table area on your patio where you eat lunch or have chats with your friends, then it makes sense to purchase one of these lamps. Outdoor table lamps are made to be very rugged so that they can stand up to being used outdoors. These lamps will be able to provide the light that you need to enjoy your patio once the sun has gone down.

There are many people who love using these outdoor table lamps to add to the overall visual appeal of their patio areas. You will be able to find lamps that look really interesting and they will definitely fit right in with your sense of style. A good outdoor table lamp can be more interesting to look at than some of the other lighting options on this list. You might want to use an outdoor table lamp rather than landscape lighting or torches, depending on your sensibilities.

It won’t be hard to find a good outdoor lamp that you can make use of, either. You should be able to find these types of lamps at many major retailers and you can always turn online to purchase what you need. You should think about your patio furniture when buying your new lamp and then try to pick a lamp that looks as if it belongs. Having everything match up well in your patio area is going to make it that much more enjoyable for you.

You can also change out the lamp shade if you find an option that has a base you really like but a lampshade that isn’t quite right. Once you have picked out what you want, all you will need to do is place it on the table and you are good to go. This is a lot easier than many of the other options so simply being able to plug your lamp into a power source is quite nice. Some people choose outdoor table lamps simply because they don’t have to worry about the hassle of installing anything.

10. Outdoor Security Flood Light

Security flood light that can sense motion.Source: Home Depot

Another option that you will want to think about is purchasing an outdoor security flood light. These types of lights have proven to be popular options for home defense and they will certainly work well to illuminate your deck or patio area. These lights can illuminate a fairly wide area and will be very bright overall. Some people might even find these lights to be too bright.

You may want to place this flood light a little bit away from your deck or patio area if you want to use it as a comfortable source of light. It might be so bright that having it up close will wind up seeming to be a nuisance. These are incredibly popular among people who have pools attached to their decks, though. They are very bright and will make it so that everyone can see exactly what he or she is doing inside of the pool.

These are also excellent for security purposes. Having such a bright light is often enough to deter any potential threats from wanting to step foot onto your property. This is a beneficial light to own but whether or not it will be right for your patio or deck area is up to you. There are options that are more aesthetically pleasing but this is going to be a great way to make things really bright at night.










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