Let There Be Light: Pergola Lighting and Design Ideas

During the day, pergolas are beautiful and bold structures. When the dusk settles, additional pergola lighting creates an enchanted ambience perfect for relaxing or entertaining. Aside from creating a striking focal point, pergola lighting prolongs the usage of your outdoor living area and serves as a reliable safety feature for guests moving to and from the space.

There are a variety of different styles when it comes to pergola lighting. Of course, your choice of lighting will also depend on your budget. For example, installing built-in lighting is more expensive than stringing lights.

For the best results, consider all your lighting options during the planning phase to ensure wiring will be discreet and electrical outlets are available.

Let’s go over some of your options:

South Coast Architects

Call me romantic, but I love the idea of a chandelier in a pergola. This option not only illuminates the space but also creates a cozy, romantic atmosphere. From simple to elaborate or classic to contemporary, a chandelier designed for outdoor use offers a fabulous focal element and instant sophistication. A pergola roof solution may cause problems, but if your pergola has a topside retractable canopy, hanging a chandelier won’t be an issue.

Dayna Katlin Interiors
Dayna Katlin Interiors

Lanterns are a popular choice for pergolas and are available in a wide range of sizes and styles. These can be hung in the middle of a pergola centered over a dining or seating area for extra pizazz. Or if you place the lanterns around the pergola’s perimeter it will help define the space while adding beauty and character.

Built in or Mounted Lights
C.O.S Designs
C.O.S Designs

If your pergola is attached to your home, you may want to add built-in lights. This can include fixtures with small bulbs at intervals across each beam or at the corners of the pergola. Wiring is discreetly run along the tops of beams. Light fixtures, much like those at a front door, can also be mounted on posts that support the structure. A variety of styles and fixtures are available to match any decor.

String Lights
Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens
Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens

String lights can be wrapped around the posts or hung on the beams to create an enchanting starry night effect. Easy to install, these lights are simply plugged into electrical outlets for an instant festive vibe for evening parties or a romantic dinner for two.

Switzer's Nursery & Landscaping Inc.
Switzer’s Nursery & Landscaping Inc.

Typically, spotlights are used to accentuate architectural and landscape features, pergolas are no exception. When positioned on the ground, a spotlight ‘uplights’ the pergola’s perimeter. Not only does this define the space but it also enhances the beauty of the structure and any personal touches you’ve added. When spotlights are mounted to the pergola’s beams or the top of columns they can function as task lighting in grill or food preparation areas.

Whether you choose built-in lighting, a chandelier, lanterns, string lights, or a combination of these, properly lighting a pergola will create a stunning space and prolong the enjoyment of your outdoor space under the stars.