Summer’s just around the corner and you’ve finally set up your outdoor terrace awning and created a beautiful outdoor terrace to cater to the busy months ahead. But although the natural sunlight will illuminate your patio during the day, have you considered your lighting options when the evening sets in?
Light up those beautiful summer evenings on your deck or terrace with outdoor light fixtures. They will add a touch of charm to your outdoor dining experience and create an ultra-cozy setting to entertain your guests. In addition, lighting fixtures will prolong the use of your outdoor lounging area so your guests can wine and dine round the clock.
Outdoor awnings and retractable pergolas provide the perfect canvas to build a charming outdoor lighting setup. There are a variety of different styles and options when it comes to choosing outdoor lighting options – depending on your budget, objective and personal taste.
Below are 4 awning lighting ideas that will instantly transform your terrace into an inviting lounging retreat your guests will simply love.
1. String Lights
String lights will instantly enhance the look and feel of your outdoor living space by bringing a soft, dim-lit effect to your patio space without breaking your bank. String lights are available in many shapes and sizes, so you can customize the look of your patio to your liking.
In addition, they are easy to install and lightweight, so they won’t weigh your awning down. Wrap them around the beams and railings of your home or commercial awning to create a dreamy ‘night under the stars’ effect, place them in the periphery of your sun shade for a theater/star look, or just cross them from one side to the other for a cozy outdoor living room look.
String lights are the perfect option for free-standing retractable pergolas or wall pergolas. If you do not have electrical wiring on your patio, opt for LED or battery-powered ones instead. Because string lights are ambient, if you have a bigger terrace, you will likely want to supplement them with additional lighting sources, such as spotlights.
Used to accentuate architectural structures and landscapes, spotlights provide a sleek and clean lighting design, and enhance the structure of your awning and any personal touches you’ve added. Spotlights are a great option for defining the space and framing your awning.
Unlike string lights, spotlights need to be professionally installed. Typically positioned on the ground, they can also be mounted on your awning’s beams or the top of columns to illuminate focal points on your terrace like food preparation areas or flower arrangements.
3. Hanging Lights
Hanging lights lend a refined, unparalleled charm to any pergola or outdoor terrace awning. Install them in clusters at different heights over large outdoor dining areas, or for a different look, install only one or two main hanging lights above your outdoor dining table (depending on the size of the table).
Hanging light fixtures work best on a pergola or awning that has easy access to electrical wires. The retractable roof structure gives a visually striking backdrop to hang lights from. Make sure your outdoor awning is tall enough so that guests don’t bump into them while walking around.
Make an impactful and authentic statement on your terrace with chandeliers. From classic to contemporary, a chandelier offers a fabulous focal element. If you have a fixed retractable awning, hanging a chandelier should not be an issue.
Popular options for patios, lanterns are a great choice for pergolas. These can be centered over a dining or seating area or on your pergola’s perimeter for that added touch of character. For a rustic look, try lights with wooden basket covers to mimic the feel of a European cafe.
4. Built-in Lights
If you have a stationary or fixed retractable awning, you may want to consider built-in lights. They provide soft, mild glow background lighting in your terrace.
This can include fixtures with small bulbs on each beam or at the corners of the pergola. Wiring is discreetly run along the tops of beams. Light fixtures can also be mounted on posts that support the structure. There are several types of built-in lights that include placing fixtures with small bulbs at intervals across each beam or installing slightly larger fixtures at the corners of the pergola. Built-in lights work best with wall pergolas, allowing for discreet, easier wiring.
When choosing the right lighting option for your patio cover, consider the functionality and type of ambiance you wish to create. Don’t limit yourself, perhaps a combination of two or three lighting solutions will give you the flexibility you desire.
Avoid making lighting an afterthought and make it a part of the design process to ensure endless, stress free evenings. Whether you choose built-in lighting, a chandelier, lanterns, string lights or a combination, consider all your lighting options during the planning phase to ensure wiring is discreet and electrical outlets are available and safe.