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patio lighting

Patio Lighting Ideas to Improve your Outdoor Entertainment Space

Outdoor patio lighting refers to artificial illumination in areas that are not roofed. Illuminating these areas improves visual performances for the persons working in them. Visual performance is the speed and accuracy in which a visual task is executed. Outdoor patio lighting ideas differ with preferences. The various outdoor patio lights are used for:
Generally, a small patio requires 600 to 700 lumens to look well illuminated, while a considerably large patio requires 1200 to 1600 lumens. Lighting is divided into three categories, i.e.:
  1. Overall; it illuminates the whole space
  2. Task; illuminating a specific place, e.g., a pathway
  3. Accent; illuminating to draw attention, e.g., by using spotlights or floodlights
Various types of bulbs are used in outdoor lighting. They include:
With the above considerations, you can now illuminate your outdoor much straightforwardly. Outdoor lighting is equally important, just like indoor lighting. It should functionally provide a safe, relaxing atmosphere while impacting the look of your patio. This article discusses the various patio lighting ideas you can use to improve your outdoor entertainment space.

Outdoor Patio Lighting Ideas for Improving Entertainment Spaces

Enhancing beauty is one of the most typical purposes of adding outdoor patio lights to your space. If your space has a dining table, then outdoor pendants will be an excellent choice for you. If you have a spacious outdoor seating area, you might also want to check out the table and floor lamps.

The key to using outdoor patio lights for beauty is adding just enough lighting without overdoing it. Generally, outdoor entertainment spaces require less energy than indoors. Too much light will detriment your outdoor space enjoyment. Typically, the eyes will dilate to allow more light in after you move to a darker space. Similarly, a bright glare will make seeing in a nighttime environment harder. When creating an outdoor patio lighting plan for enhancing beauty, glare should be your primary concern.

The best way to do outdoor patio lighting is to direct the light just where it is needed. Overhead lighting, e.g., outdoor pendants or string lights, is an excellent option for ambient lighting. A sturdy string light zig-zagged over an entertaining space brings about a tremendously soft, overall light and creating an ideal entertainment atmosphere.

If you need a fan, there are plenty of fans for outdoor activities, and they offer light. This lighting fixture is ideal for environments that have high temperatures, even at night. However, the fans may not provide attractive light options. If the entertainment space is covered, you can choose outdoor pendants, flush mount ceiling lighting fixtures, or recessed lighting.

Sometimes, the entertainment spaces are used for playing games or even reading. These activities require more direct and bright lighting. Ensure you use overhead lights that have enough output for these activities to be carried out. You may also use the portable table or floor lamps instead of overhead lighting. There is a wide range of rechargeable table lamps that will last longer before exhausting energy. Plug-in floor lamps are also becoming popular in outdoor lighting since they provide a polished high-end impression. If your entertainment space has activities like grilling, check out for targeted options like barbeque lights to give the ideal light needed.

Always remember accent lighting to complete the entertainment outdoor space lighting layer. Low-level accent lights can be used to define areas and highlight spots where missteps are likely to happen. Step and small deck lights can highlight stairs or defining a boundary. Spot and floodlights will create a visual entertainment space and also expand your patio to a landscape.
More lighting ideas include:


Popularly known as spotlighting, it is a standard-voltage landscaping lighting used to illuminate high-intensity beams upward. They are installed ideally above the ground level, just below the trees, making them look more statuesque. Bullet-shaped lights are best for places with tall trees, while short vegetation like shrubs requires well-lights to give the entertainment space an impressive look.


Lanterns produce soft low-voltage accent lighting in small areas in outdoor walls or decors. Most lanterns are made of glass and metal and are installed atop windows or arches. They are ideal when playing board games or when having snacks and beverages. Unlike clear lanterns, translucent lanterns will create a diffused glare-free lighting without distracting other backyard lighting fixtures.

Path Lighting

Some entertainment spaces may have several paths. Paths should be well illuminated to avoid simple injuries. The illumination fixture used in the space might be inadequate to light up these paths, and path lighting will be necessary. Path lighting fixtures are usually installed on the ground on both sides of the pathway.

There exist many path lighting options, including solar LED options. However, solar-powered path lighting fixtures are not recommendable since they have low light output and low lifespans.

Kitchen Lighting

Kitchen lighting fixtures are used when you are preparing your dinner outside the house. With proper lighting, your family and guests will be able to see what they are eating. Barbecue lights are also an excellent option for grilling activities.

Fire Pits

Fire pits look great in entertainment spaces in cold environments. They tend to cast a decent light amount on everything around them. However, they are likely to cast a lot of shadows and darken some places. It would be better if you are cautious when sitting around the fire pits so that you do not trip over other people’s feet.

You can place under cap lights around the fire pit to illuminate the foot traffic area. This way, you will illuminate the over-shadowed places to avoid mere injuries.

Security Lighting

Apart from choosing a lighting fixture solely for enhancing beauty, the fixture should also provide security to you and your guests. Since the night is young and full of terror, your guests are likely to feel much safer when there is just enough light to assist the see around. Security lights will scare off intruders and destructive animals, thus providing you with safe entertainment.

Outdoor Wall Lighting

Outdoor wall lighting is a safe and accent lighting fixture used to illuminate small recessed areas on shadow-lurking yards. They can be mounted on vertical surfaces like above stairways or around sunken seating areas.

An excellent example of outdoor wall lighting fixtures is wall scones. Wall scones are great options for enhancing the ambiance of your entertainment space. The perfect wall scones for an entertainment space should puddle the light on the ground and not aim it out into space. However, wall scones are generally designed to be used in spaces with limited depths. You might want to incorporate other outdoor patio lighting fixtures to spread light evenly if your patio is deep despite using wall scones.

Beam Lighting

Designing impressive beams over the dining area will also add to the beauty of your entertainment space. This outdoor patio lighting idea is used to create a sophisticated vibe. It can be used alongside an intelligent table and chic chairs to add to the ambiance.


Utilizing the above outdoor patio lighting ideas guarantees an impressive look on your entertainment space. Most of these ideas are DIYs, but you might also hire an expert if you feel you cannot deliver what is required. If you are a Santa Cruz resident, check out The Home Lighter for outdoor landscape lighting in Santa Cruz CA.

Creating The Magic

A well-lit room provides more than light to perform your everyday tasks. It is, therefore, necessary for the light source to be functional and well-balanced. Using a mix of task, accent and ambient residential lighting solutions can help you transform a dull room into a vibrant one. Our home lighting showroom in Santa Cruz CA offers conventional as well as custom fine lighting for your residence and office buildings.

Ambient Lighting

Lighting accessories that shed light to create ambiance in a given space make it easy to move around. While natural light can be the source of ambient lighting during the day, this task is fulfilled by pendants, cables, tracks, recessed cans, and lamp lights at night. Suspended from fixtures, pendants and chandeliers provide both ambient and task lighting in a room whereas wall-mounted ambient lights are meant to illuminate the surrounding surface. Ambient lighting can be created in any room with the right light source.

Task Lighting

As the name suggests, task lighting’s main purpose is to illuminate a particular work area. Whether you are working at your home office or in the kitchen, around the work table, countertop or sink, task lighting plays an important role to get the job done. A task lighting source that is placed too close to the workspace can be more efficient than when it is hanging from the ceiling.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting brings accent to a specific area that it illuminates. It is used to focus on a particular object, such as collectibles, paintings, artwork, or a decorative element. In some instances, it is used to wash a wall with soft or colored light. Track lights and sconces are all a great way to use as an accent lighting source in a given space.

Shopping For Light Fixtures

The best way of illuminating a space is to lay out a lighting plan where there are flexibility and room for accommodating various light sources. It’s also a good idea to use dimmers, energy-efficient lights, or remote controls to switch to a variety of light sources to suit different moods, as well as facilitate energy savings. Now that the functionality of various lighting has been discussed, let us look at the different lighting systems offered by our home lighting showroom in Santa Cruz Ca for your residential lighting solutions.

Track, Cable and Recessed Lighting

Track and recessed lighting has become a trend in many modern or contemporary residential buildings. Track lighting fixtures come in various shapes and sizes, and they are a great way to illuminate areas where accent or brightness is absolutely needed, such as the kitchen and home office. They are sold in low voltage and high voltage systems along with adjustable spots. The spots can be adjusted individually and work as both accent and ambient lights. Cable systems, on the other hand, run on thin with adjustable fixtures throughout the line. They can be positioned as required and placed in any room to achieve the desired look. Recessed lighting being the standard for kitchens for decades are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes as well. Some of these residential lighting solutions vary in terms of the color, bulb, and baffle.

Pendants and Chandeliers

Ambient and task lighting is made possible with pendants and chandeliers hung from the ceiling, in kitchens, staircases, and wherever high ceiling exists. They offer an element of style while illuminating the room at the same time. Pendants and chandeliers are a great choice for areas around the dining table. Choosing a fixture that is easy to clean and maintain is the smartest way to accommodate these types of lighting in your home. Height is another important consideration here. As a rule, hanging the fixture around 4 feet or more above the dining table is considered safe. Transparent shades provide enough light around the area as well as allow the light to reach the ceiling. If you need the light directed downward, then by all means go for an opaque shade.

LED Lighting

LED lighting bulbs and fixtures are no longer a new concept in today’s households. They have become a standard in most contemporary style homes and offices. These residential lighting solutions can serve various purposes in every nook and corner of the house you can think of. The LED light bulbs come in various shapes and sizes and fit well in different fixtures. Standard bulbs can be used to replace incandescent bulbs found in old chandeliers and pendants. Likewise, halogens in recessed lights are being replaced by LED lights in modern homes. They are easily compatible with wall sconces and other types of decorative fixtures. They can be utilized in myriad ways and are far more energy-efficient than most light sources.

Skylights Sources

A home’s natural light source isn’t limited to doors and windows. Transparent ceiling glasses and panes can be used to make the skylight effectively flood your room with sunlight. They also let you have a view of the sky and vegetation around the property while offering the needed privacy. And the most useful thing of all, they drastically reduce your energy bills. The key is to have the right balance of both skylight and other sources of light. Supplemented with pendant lights and recessed lights, they are worth the cost of installation in the long run.

Other Aspects of Residential Lighting Solutions

Your lighting needs are likely to be fulfilled from more than one source. And you can even mix and match various fixtures in a single room to create a different visibility effect. What type of fixture you purchase for your residential lighting solutions will also be influenced by the following aspects as well.

Personal Style

By now, you might have learned what lighting fixture is best suited for a specific area of your house. But a room isn’t complete unless you give a personal touch to it, or coordinate the fixture with the rest of the elements in it. There are countless ways to achieve this task, both in costly and inexpensive ways. Displaying artwork, collectibles and paintings are some of the ways to add a personal touch and enhance the functionality of your lighting source. Some personal touch or coordination will need to be thought through at the start of the renovation or remodeling. For instance, skylights and pendants for high-ceiling are easier to install during the construction or remodeling of the house. Other types of light fixtures can be put in position at any time.

Efficiency At Its Best

When purchasing a light fixture or deciding its placement, efficiency should be one of the priorities. Because some light fixtures can be the most power-consuming of all your appliances, deciding which one to buy and where it will go is an important – and ultimately energy-saving – decision. For starters, consider fixtures that are dimmers and compatible with energy-efficient bulbs. Placement of appliances, workspaces, and other items in the room should also be a matter of consideration here. As a rule, think about placing your appliances in the kitchen within easy reach and under a well-lit area. In other words, you shouldn’t have to adjust the recessed lighting fixture’s position to see what is inside the oven or to walk around the countertop.

Freestanding Vs Built-in

Whether you want a freestanding floor lamp or built-in accent light is left to you. Like anything else, there are reasons to have different fixtures for different rooms and tasks. And there are pros and cons to each one of these fixtures. While freestanding lamps are less expensive and easier to change if need be, built-ins require meticulous planning and are difficult to replace once installed. For more information on various lighting bulbs and fixtures for your residential lighting solutions, contact The Home Lighter, Inc. in Pacific Grove.