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13 Different Types of Patio Lights

Having a great ambiance and good light sources on your Patio gives you a great experience in the evening. This article discusses the types of patio lights and how they fit your style.

A patio with lights and furniture.

When it comes to the lighting on patios, people tend to overlook how important it is and what a great source of ambiance it can be. It can be a lot of fun to spend time outside, and if the lighting is just right, it can be the source of great happiness. While that statement may sound rather dramatic, you only have to experience awesome patio lighting once to know it’s true.

So, what are your options? There are many types of patio lights, and we’ll discuss them here so you can easily choose the best kind for your exterior.

1. Landscape Lighting

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Landscape lighting is an option for people who have nice and large garden areas with many opportunities to place lights. This is also a good choice for avid gardeners who want to appreciate and share their hard work at night.

There are different landscape lighting choices as well, such as motion-sensitive lights that only activate when people are nearby, or even solar-powered pathway lights. You can place these throughout the garden as you please.

Typically, you’ll find that landscape lighting isn’t as difficult to install, and it can be staked into the ground wherever you think it’ll fit best. You can also place them around your patio and enjoy the lovely illumination they offer.

2. String Lights

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String lights are another option that comes in many different sizes and shapes. These are very easy to install as well and can provide a lot of high-quality light effortlessly.

From fairy lights to different colored bulb lights, you can string these lights up around your patio, around trees, and anywhere you think they’ll suit your yard. You can install them in straight lights, set them up in various patterns, attach them to your roof, or wind them around pillars. The possibilities are endless with string lights.

Generally, string lights are also inexpensive, so if you’re on a strict budget, these might be just the option you’re looking for without sacrificing creativity or quality for affordability.

3. Solar Deck Lights

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One of the most simplistic but attractive lighting options for your patio might just be deck lights. They are surprisingly easy to install and provide ample lighting for larger areas. You can place them at specific locations depending on the kind of mood you want to create.

Solar deck lights are especially useful because they’re powered by solar energy, cutting your costs on electricity. Also, that means you don’t have to worry about sorting out the wiring before you can use the lights. Although some solar lights may be able to use batteries, you don’t have to bother with that either.

What’s great about solar deck lights is that you can move them around as you see fit, finding the perfect spot for each of them over time.

4. Lighting Sconces

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If you’re looking for something a little bit more sophisticated and fancy-looking, you might want to consider lighting sconces. They can light up patios quite effectively and can be wired so they’re switched off from inside your home.

There are many styles of lighting sconces to choose from, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding the right design for your patio. From rustic country designs to more modern and elegant lighting sconces, the options are almost limitless.

You’ll have to install these lights right on the walls of your home, though, so keep that in mind. The wiring could be a bit complicated too, so think about it carefully before buying this kind of patio light.

5. Torches

Those looking for a more exciting way to light their patio would love using torches. Of course, it can be dangerous to use open flames in this way, so you can also look at electronic options that mimic the appearance of typical torches.

Modern torches are much safer than traditional ones, and lighting them safely won’t be a problem to worry about too much. The only real threats would be low-hanging branches of nearby trees. 

An unexpected benefit of these types of lights is that they can be great at keeping insects away from you while you enjoy your time on your patio. And they’re really good for creating a nice mood for your outdoor gatherings.

6. Lanterns

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Lanterns are a great way to give your patio and backyard a unique ambiance and make people feel like they’ve stepped into a different, enchanted world. They can provide ample light, or just a little bit that creates mysterious shadows. It’s all up to what you want.

You’ll find lanterns in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, making it easy to find the right style for your desired aesthetic. Plus, most lanterns give off a natural hue, complementing gardens and patios alike.

Some lanterns will have to be installed against your walls, or on your patio railings, while others can be placed on tables or hung over your garden and patio.

7. Orbs and Spheres

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These lights are a bit different in that they’re likely not going to be as bright as some of the other options on our list. They’re like a modern version of lanterns with all of the beauty while also offering an ethereal look for your garden.

You can hang these orbs and spheres anywhere in your garden, in trees, or around your patio and house walls. It all depends on what kind of atmosphere you want to create. 

Most of these lights are available in different colors (some even change colors randomly or according to your chosen setting) and as solar lights that require no wiring. Just take the time to shop around and find the decorative spherical lights you like most.

8. Outdoor Pendant Lighting

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If you need outdoor lighting that looks as good as something from a movie while providing enough useful light at the same time, think about using outdoor pendant lighting.

These beautiful lights can be the centerpiece of your patio or simply hang in the background, creating a nice atmosphere. Ideally, they’re placed over a table or a space on your patio that you’d like to draw attention to. You may not find them to be great for lighting areas in your garden, though.

Pendant lighting is fantastic for outdoor gatherings and will make your patio feel like the place to be once the sun’s gone down; you’ll just have to sort out the wiring.

9. Candles

Most people might not think that candles would be of any use outside the home, but they’d be surprised. The modern versions that you get these days are really attractive but also provide ample lighting.

Similar to torches, you’ll have to be careful when using candles unless you opt for the electronic versions. They come in many sizes, colors, and with scents that can make your patio feel like the best place to relax in the evening.

You can place these candle lights wherever you like, as long as you keep in mind that they’re open flames. Again, unless you’re using electronic candles. Then you can put them all over your garden and create a fairytale atmosphere without worrying about fires or accidents.

10. LED Festoon Globe Lights

LED festoon globe lights are a brilliant option for any patio or garden and can create a romantic and dreamy atmosphere quite easily. You can hang these lights from your patio ceiling, rope them around trees, pillars, or even your patio furniture.

There are many different colors and designs to choose from as well, and they all create beautiful lighting. Typically, the light from these globes is warm and welcoming. If you want a patio that looks like somewhere fairies could hang out, you’ll love these lights!

11. Fire Pits

While not traditional light sources, fire pits can take your patio and backyard space to a whole different level. These are light sources that feel a lot more natural than typical outdoor lighting, and they create a sense of being closer to nature.

For safety reasons, you’ll probably have to place the fire pit (or pits!) on the ground near your patio rather than on it. Fortunately, though, they should be able to provide strong enough light that it doesn’t matter. 

Fire pits are also great for keeping you and your family warm on chilly evenings and can be a way to prepare food while spending time outside. Talk about versatility! Fire pits are available in a wide range of designs and sizes, so you shouldn’t find it too difficult to find the perfect one for your backyard.

12. Outdoor Table Lamps

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Here we have more standard and safe light sources: table lamps. If you have a table or a few flat surfaces on your patio, you can brighten things up with a table lamp or three. They are usually designed to be not only good-looking but rugged as well, so you can leave them out in the elements without fear of breaking.

As with most patio light types, these ones are available in a huge variety of styles, colors, and sizes. Finding table lamps that will look great on your patio won’t be an impossible task. If you can’t arrange lights all over your patio and garden, or just don’t want to, these lights will be a fantastic alternative.

13. Pot and Planter Lighting

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Last, but certainly not least, we look at pot and planter lighting. This is a creative way of lighting up your patio and backyard that also manages to beautify it quite well.

Potted plants tend to be rather common on patios, and if you have a few, or plan to add some, you’ll love the idea of adding lights to them. These planters can be found in various sizes and colors, so you won’t struggle to find some that complement your current aesthetic.

You can have a few of these lights or choose only one or two that can act as centerpieces as well. It all depends on what you prefer and what you want your patio to look like.