Pergolas are beautiful additions to any home. They help to create a distinguished outdoor living space that is both beautiful and dramatic. Adding lighting options to the structure enhances these effects one step further, offering both residents and guests with the perfect place to spend evenings together. Pergola lighting should be an important consideration when creating your perfect outdoor oasis. Listed below are five pergola lighting ideas to brighten up your pergola and enhance evening use of your outdoor space.
1. Stringing Lights
During the holidays, it is very common to string bright white lights around outdoor trees, front step railings and pretty much anywhere else. Taking this idea and stringing pretty white lights throughout the beams of a pergola creates a dreamy and cozy atmosphere. This is the perfect idea for free-standing pergolas close to electrical outlets or have built in outlets attached to the structure. Stringing lights is one of the top ways that designers add lighting to a pergola.
2. Built-in Lights
Another way to light a pergola is to add small built-in lights that provide background lighting to the structure. It provides a soft glow without diminishing the ambiance. 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. Wiring is run along the tops of the beams where it is not as visible. Built-in lights work best with pergolas that are attached to a home, allowing for discreet, easier wiring.
3. Mounted Light Fixtures
Mounted fixtures tend to function more as guiding lights to the pergola, but can also provide dim lighting around the pergola. Light fixtures, much like those at a front door, can be mounted on posts that support the structure. There is a variety of styles and fixtures that can match and blend the design of the home with your pergola and outdoor space. Whether your taste is contemporary, traditional or eclectic, there is a lantern suited just for you. The important thing to remember about this type of lighting solution is that it takes a bit more effort to wire after the pergola is built, taking precautionary measures at the beginning of installation can save you from these kind of setbacks.
4. Hanging Lights
Hanging lights provide a unique style to pergola design. Whether the structure is large or small, hanging lights provide illumination while still looking stylish, refined and finished. With smaller fixtures, installing them in clusters keeps lighting soft and creates a wonderful ambiance while larger fixtures are ideal for hanging over outdoor dining areas. Like built-in lighting, hanging light fixtures work best on a pergola that has easy access to electricity where the wiring can be more discreet.
Up-lighting is just what it sounds like – lights can be attached to the bottom of pergola posts, installed in either the flooring of the pergola or the ground under the structure. In most instances, upward lighting is usually dim, soft and naturally appealing. Up-lighting takes some effort to install (professionally is best) but creates a beautiful aesthetic in a relaxing atmosphere designed to extend the time spent in the pergola after the sun sets.
Several Pergola Lighting Ideas to Consider
When it comes to lighting a pergola, there are several ideas to consider. The best way to decide upon a style right for you is to consider the functionality of the pergola. Will you be using it to entertain or will you be using it to unwind with a significant other? Choosing the type of ambiance you wish to evoke may be difficult, but do not limit yourself, perhaps a combination of two or three lighting solutions will give you the flexibility you desire. Just remember, avoid making lighting an afterthought and make it a part of the design process to ensure endless, stress free evenings.