Pergolas have remained timeless over the years and are a staple in most backyards.
They create outdoor spaces that are stylish, beautiful and dramatic. Especially as the sun sets in the summertime.
As night falls, you may still want to enjoy the outdoors or entertain in your yard. Pergola lighting can help you achieve the perfect evening outside.
So, as you plan for and build your pergola, lighting ought to be an important part of your design plans.
If you’ve not yet lit up your outdoors, this is the year to make your space work for you after dark with the right lighting.
Below is a list of 11 stylish pergola lighting ideas for your home. These will brighten up your space and enhance your evening outdoor use.
String lights add a magical feel to outdoor spaces. They are ideal for an evening party or a romantic dinner for two. They also tend to encourage dancing.
Stringing pretty white lights on free-standing pergola beams creates a dreamy and cosy atmosphere.
Wrap string lights around posts or hang them on beams to create an enchanting effect. These lights are easy to install. All you need is an electrical outlet to plug them into for an instant festive feeling.
This is a common lighting option during the holidays. You can even hang the lights on outdoor trees or front step railings.
Many designers use string lights to enhance pergolas.
You can also use built-in lights to provide background lighting to your pergola. They make for a dramatic effect.
Built-in lights come in many shapes and sizes. You can place fixtures with large or small bulbs at intervals across each beam to provide dim overhead lighting.
You can also mount light fixtures, like those you’d find at a front door, on the structure’s supportive posts.
Depending on your taste, you can blend the design of your home with your pergola and outdoor space. There are plenty of styles and fixtures available.
You can use built-in/mounted lights on a pergola that is close to the house to enable simple and discrete wiring.
Whether big or small, hanging lights provide a unique style to a pergola’s design. They illuminate while still looking stylish, refined, and polished.
Installing hanging lights in clusters keeps lighting soft and creates a wonderful ambience, ideal for outdoor areas.
Hanging lights work best on a pergola that has easy access to electricity, to allow for discrete wiring.
Lanterns are a protective enclosure for a light source, such as. candles or a wick in oil. This makes it safe and easy to carry, hang, and use outdoors.
There are a variety of lanterns that you can use in your pergola or yard, including:
- Fun and Simple Hanging Chinese Lanterns
Hang Chinese lanterns in your backyard to create a festive atmosphere while adding colour and design interest. Add a playful pop to your pergola.
- Easy DIY Mason Jar Lanterns
This is something you can do at home. They require very few materials and effort but still produce beautiful results. Since they produce an open flame, use with caution and keep out of children’s reach.
- Pretty Hanging Moroccan Lanterns
Consider using Moroccan lanterns. They create a stylish and cosy indoor feel while sitting outside.
- Post-Mounted Lanterns
Use the posts and beams of your pergola to mount lanterns. Lanterns are simple and beautiful. They hold candles and achieve a similar effect as having lights at the front door on a house.
- Whimsical Paper Lanterns
Whimsical paper lanterns can be hung at varying heights around the pergolas. You can use a variety of colours to achieve your desired effect.
Fairy lights are both illuminating and enchanting. They add a soft glow and turn a bare structure into a magical place.
You can use fairy lights both inside and outside of the pergola to make it inviting.
Wrap these lights around the rafters to suspend them into the air or tack them on pergola beams.
Examples of fairy lights include;
- Battery-powered fairy lights which one can use in lanterns.
- Flameless fire pit fairy lights like the one on the left. Fire pits are dramatic and beautiful.
- Garland fairy light clusters, which you can shape and bend to work with a variety of decorations.
- You can find more types of fairy lights here.
Chimineas are also a good investment towards your pergola lighting. A chiminea allows you to burn smaller fires than a fire pit.
While they do not have a 360-degree view like fire pits, chimineas still achieve a similar effect. They enable you to both light and heat your pergola, sitting in one corner as smoke goes up the chimney.
They emit less smoke and retain more heat because they have a tunnelled chimney, making them ideal for enjoying the outdoors even in the cooler months.
Consider doing some DIY Chandeliers. You can make them with materials you already have around your home, like twine and branches. Country living has some great ideas you can check out.
The beauty of DIY is that you not only get stylish outcomes that you love, but they also add a unique touch to your home.
While picking out chandeliers, ensure to pick exterior lighting chandeliers. You need the services of a licensed electrician for proper wiring, or you can choose battery-operated LED chandeliers for outdoor use.
These are ideal as they need no wiring. But use caution and take them inside when the weather is not favourable.
Downlights are lights you hook into pergola beams; they throw light downwards, creating both a dramatic and understated effect.
Aside from pergolas, you can hang downlights on walls, eaves, patio roofs, and trees to cast light from above.
This type of lighting is great as you can cook, entertain, relax, or play until the wee hours.
Wall lights create subtlety. They are a great idea if your pergola is next to a wall within your home.
They give a nice ambience to the pergola when hosting a barbecue or a relaxing dinner.
Wall lights are convenient as they can also illuminate the backyard.
LED Lights are a fun addition to pergolas because they can be colourful, adding both beauty and practicality.
LED Lights are a great choice, as they are energy efficient and are not affected by cold temperatures. They are a better choice for pergolas than incandescent bulbs.
Candle lights are beautiful. They are also romantic. These can be standing on their own or you can fix them into creative jars or vases.
They are affordable, energy-efficient, and add a sensuous feel to any location. You can mix and match to create a subtle uniqueness. Of course, you must be careful whenever using an open flame, inside or outside.
Several Pergola Lighting Factors to Consider
When it comes to lighting a pergola, here are a few factors to consider:
- Consider the functionality of the pergola.
Will you be using it to entertain? Or to unwind with a significant other?
You can integrate two or three lighting solutions within your space for different uses.
- Plan for lighting during the design of the pergola.
Do not make lighting an afterthought. Once you build the pergola, it is more challenging to factor in certain types of lighting.
- Consider local regulations within your area.
Check with your local government about rules for installing a pergola in your home.
Also, check whether there are any lighting restrictions.
- The location of your pergola will also affect lighting.
Where you position your lights will impact the ambience of your pergola. The angles of light will affect the shadow, style, and feel of your outdoor space.
- Always purchase lights for outdoor use.
Outdoor lights have thicker wires and waterproof sockets. They can be hung all year round and survive all seasons. Always check labels, to ensure they are outdoor lights.
Keep in mind the location of the pergola itself. Freestanding pergolas require more thought if you want to use electrical lighting.
Consult a professional pergola builder to perfect the look and construction of your pergola.
You can find professionals who work with pergolas through Service Seeking. They will guide you and provide relevant information.