15 Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Enchanting Summer Evenings
Design editor Lauren Petroff shares her top picks for outdoor lighting this season.
The most glorious thing about summer, hands down, is outdoor living. And while weekends let us enjoy seemingly endless hours of sunshine, weekdays are a different story. There are nights when I leave the office, look up at the darkening sky, and wish I could go back to a time when I’d linger on dusky residential streets until bedtime, soaking up every last ray of sun. Thankfully, there’s an easy decorating solution that helps me make the most of warm evenings after work: hanging pretty outdoor lighting. There are countless options on the market right now that will lend a dreamy ambience to a balcony, patio or yard, from hardwired options to seasonal accents. Here are just a few of my favorites…
String lights have been popular for a few years now, and I don’t see them going away anytime soon! In addition to strings of simple, round bulbs, there are lots of modern, unusual and stylish options to choose from. These clean-lined Bullet Lamp lights from CB2 really stand out to me.
Colorful, pineapple-shaped string lights will bring a bit of whimsy to your yard.
The grey-tinted shades on these string lights from Pottery Barn will diffuse light beautifully.
Under-the-umbrella lights are great for creating a soft glow over an outdoor dining table. For an understated look, hang these bare LED bulbs from Crate & Barrel.
…or go for something more dramatic, like a marquee-style fixture.
Though they’re a decidedly more permanent option, you won’t regret installing outdoor sconces. They’re useful all year round, and add instant polish to an outdoor space. This lantern-style fixture from Union Lighting and Furnishings is especially handsome.
I think sconces look beautiful flanking a doorway, or installed on the posts of a permanent structure like a pergola. A pair of these Baxter sconces from The Urban Electric Co. would make a particularly elegant statement.
RH Restoration Hardware’s French farmhouse-inspired sconces have charm to spare.
These antique brass-finished sconces from Sescolite are perfect for traditionalists.
Pottery Barn’s ornate, bronzed-steel Bolton lantern is sure to take outdoor dinners up a notch.
For a romantic effect, I’d suspend a few of these shapely Canadian Tire pendants at varying heights.
Flush-mount fixtures are another option for flooding dining areas with light. This aluminum and seeded-glass design from Sescolite has a fresh, nautical flavor.
Lanterns — whether solar-powered, candlelit or battery-operated — are a great option for illuminating dark corners and small outdoor spaces. The Lexington outdoor lantern from Canadian Tire even comes with its own flameless candle.
One of my top picks, Design Within Reach’s Luau lamp glows for up to 10 hours between charges. It’s also dimmable, thanks to a simple dial built into its base.
This lantern from Bed, Bath & Beyond is solar-powered and super economical.