If your house is the hub for Memorial Day, you know you need an abundance of food and drinks on hand. However, what you might easily overlook is the importance of your outdoor lighting placement. Without ample illumination, your soiree will fizzle out long before the fireworks show.
So what do you do? Give your outdoor living space the kind of lighting upgrade that will set the tone – for Memorial Day and beyond. With help from these design tips and patio lighting ideas, you’ll be well-prepared for the season ahead.
How to Plan Your Patio Lighting
Your strength may be in hosting parties, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tackle a home project or two. Planning your patio lighting for the summer is not as complicated as it seems. Simply follow these five, fool-proof steps, and you’ll create a memorable space in no time.
Step 1: Settle on a style
A home is more than its interior design. Your outdoor space should have some personality as well. This will largely be defined by your landscaping, patio furniture, and any accessories. Some homeowners take a contemporary approach with clean lines and an emphasis on greenery. Others like to create a tropical oasis, complete with tiki torches, palm trees, and vibrant hibiscus. No matter what you like, it helps to have the style well-established before you consider your patio lighting options.
Step 2: Identify dark spots
Remember, you aren’t trying to light a ballpark. You just need enough illumination to cook food, play safely in the yard and talk to someone across the table. That means you’ll probably want direct light above your grill or outdoor kitchen. Meanwhile, the main sitting area can be spotted with ambient lighting, like string lights, wall sconces, and outdoor pendants.
Step 3: Pick your placement
Once you’ve determined which areas of your patio need illumination, you can narrow down the exact placement for your light fixtures. Some smart placements include:
- Stringing lights over and across your deck or patio (from post-to-post)
- Adding lanterns or lamps in each corner of your space
- Hanging lights on a gazebo or pergola
- Winding string lights around the base of a tree
- Dressing your deck railings with lights
Step 4: Check your surroundings
Do you have a walkway from the patio to your pool deck? Or, maybe you have a wall of fencing around your yard. Extend your patio lighting to the surrounding areas for a more complete look and feel. You want the light to flow into any adjoining spaces, whether that be path lighting or outdoor wall lights. This will also help highlight the full size of your yard, even if you’re short on square footage.
Step 5: Choose your fixtures
There are a number of patio lighting ideas you can implement to round out your outdoor lighting scheme. Some of the most popular patio lighting options include:
- String lights
- Path lights
- Outdoor post lamps
- Outdoor wall lights
- Ceiling fans with lights
9 Patio Lighting Ideas to Brighten Your Memorial Day
Now that you know where to place your fixtures and what types best suit your space, it’s time for the grand finale: shopping! Below is a mix of covered patio lighting ideas, as well as wall sconces and lanterns that will instantly liven up your Memorial Day when the sun is winding down.
The Pier 1 pendant has the classic bell-shaped lamp shade you expect from farmhouse lighting, but the glossy finish keeps it from being overwhelmingly outdoorsy. To get the most of this modern-day farm fixture, hang one or two above your outdoor dining table. It will flood your food with direct light.
With its dainty metal flourishes and etched amber glass, the Sorrento 1 wall light adds just a touch of whimsy to your outdoor escape. It’s the kind of piece that’s pulled straight from a fairy tale, and now it can be a part of yours. Frame your patio door or accessorize a set of columns with these aged-iron accent pieces.
Who needs fireworks when you can light up the sky with your own starburst? The Feiss Hilo Chandelier is an out-of-this-world design that will draw attention while it disperses light. Place this powerful ceiling light in the middle of your most active gathering space, and let it spark some lively conversation all on its own.
You can celebrate the stars and stripes all year-round with the Buckenham Ceiling Fan. Featured in the center of this fixture is a well-defined celestial shape made of pure-and-polished chrome. It’s further highlighted by the LED light that emits a star-like shine above your intimate sitting area. Between the cool breeze and warm light, the Buckenham creates the perfect level of comfort.
Sometimes, you need a temporary fix or want to shine a light on a very specific area. While a flashlight might do the job, the Lyndon LED Lantern is a much more sophisticated choice. This portable companion complements traditional design very well. Yet, its modern features – like wireless Bluetooth technology and five-hour battery life – are suitable for any home.
The Atlantis Outdoor Wall Light is uniquely understated. Hiding inside the modular fixture are two LED’s that emit enough light to lead you around the pool deck or guide you to the sliding glass door. A contemporary backyard would welcome the minimalist design, especially in a satin black or titanium finish.
If you’re looking specifically for covered patio lighting ideas, the Feiss Allier Chandelier should be on your radar. The oversized globe with a five-light candelabra speaks to a variety of styles. The weathered wood is quintessential farmhouse design, but nature’s rawest element also pairs well with a purely traditional patio or elegant beachside abode.
The sheer weight of the Glacier 3 Hanging Lantern is enough to grab your attention, and then you notice the sharp, shooting angles and realize this fixture may be the coolest outdoor accessory you’ve ever seen. In fact, the design is inspired by the icebergs of Antarctica. You certainly can’t miss it, even if you tried, which is why you should let it shine front-and-center above your eating space.
With the Compass 1 Outdoor Wall Light hanging on the patio, you won’t have any trouble finding your way around. The bright pillar of opal glass casts plenty of light for the general guidance – just like the navigational beacons that inspired its design. Naturally, this modern cage sconce is a nautical no-brainer, but the sleek structure and oil-rubbed finish make the Compass 1 suitable for traditional and contemporary homes just as well.
Make Some Memories
When you’re looking for backyard lighting ideas for a party space, think about what you need and where you need it. This will help you create the right ambiance without overwhelming your houseguests. That said, never compromise on style. After all, you’re the host with the most – and you don’t want anyone to forget it!