Adding a modern patio lighting system can bring new life to any outdoor space — at home, at the cottage, or anywhere the night is young. Whether your clients want to brighten up the night sky or just add some decorative interest, there’s an outdoor patio lighting fixture to suit every taste and style!
Today, we’ll explore the endless possibilities for patio lighting fixtures and designs to help you give your future clients the very best in lighting design. We'll discuss three types of modern outdoor patio lighting and a number of different fixtures, then finally provide some modern patio or paver light inspiration!
Without further delay, here are some of our top tips and ideas to add personality to your next patio lighting project!
3 Main Types of Outdoor Patio Lighting
Patio lighting can be permanent, semi-permanent, or temporary. In order to get the best results, you must first determine what type of lighting your client needs.
a) Permanent Patio Lighting
Permanent patio lights are installed directly into a patio or the hardscape surrounding it: in pavers or patio stones, under patio steps, or on retaining walls or fences. Low voltage 12-volt patio and paver lights by in-lite fall into the latter category!
Permanent lighting is usually the most expensive option (and also the most difficult one to install) but it has the best durability and quality by far. If your clients are looking for long-lasting results, and lights they won’t have to bring in during the colder months, then this is the way to go.
Permanent paver lights and other patio light fixtures also have the advantage of using the home's electrical supply, either directly to line voltage or via a low voltage transformer. That means no batteries to replace.
b) Semi-Permanent Patio Lighting
Patio lighting that is semi-permanent is not integrated into the patio or hardscape. It may be plugged into a power outlet, like many string lights, or it may be battery-powered, like solar lights.
As the name suggests, semi-permanent lighting is intended for temporary use. Semi-permanent lighting can be a good choice for clients who use their patio only a few days a year, such as in the summer or for special occasions.
Even when they are designed for outdoor use, semi-permanent lights do not withstand the elements as well as permanent lights. If they're going to last more than a season, they'll need to be brought in for the winter. Semi-permanent patio landscape light fixtures can also be blown around by strong winds — and fixtures don't stand up as well under those conditions as patio furniture.
c) Temporary Patio Lighting
Portable lanterns, candles, and fire pits are all examples of temporary lighting. Naturally, they’re not meant to compete with either permanent or semi-permanent lighting options, but we had to mention them for completeness' sake!
When you're talking to your clients about patio landscape lighting ideas, it's important to explain the advantages of permanent outdoor lighting, like 12-volt patio lights by in-lite, over semi-permanent. Understanding what the client expects maintenance-wise on lighting is a great way to start the conversation on which product would be best for their outdoor patio area.
Want to count on a lighting system to work every time without a hitch? Install permanent lighting. Want something more affordable, and don't mind replacing batteries and bringing the lights inside every winter? Semi-permanent lighting could be a good option.
Other benefits of permanent lighting include:
- Better visibility: Permanent outdoor lighting provides better visibility by illuminating a greater area more consistently than temporary or semi-permanent lights.
- Improved safety: Enhanced visibility enhances safety. Lighting products designed specifically for transition points, such as stairs, are available.
- Long-term use: A high-quality patio light or paver light will last for years and provide safety and ambiance, making your customers happier.
Of course, it’s always possible to combine the two. A string of festive fairy lights could be hung above pavers with recessed patio lights. The centerpiece of a patio table could be a battery-operated lantern, with a hanging light above for more practical lighting. Be both practical and creative, and your client will thank you!
Essential Patio Landscape Lighting Fixtures
a) Patio stair lighting
The purpose of patio step lights is to illuminate the steps so that people can easily see where they are walking. They provide light for those who need it and reduce accidents by providing more visibility, as well as a sense of safety and security at night.
All in-lite outdoor stair lights are rugged, weather resistant, and backed by a 5-year warranty!
b) Under cap lighting
Undercap lighting, like the EVO HYDE, is ideal for patios with bench seating or counter tops. These subtle fixtures cast light downward under the lip of a flat surface, such as the edge of a bench. If you have grills or cooking areas outside, you may want to consider adding undercap lighting underneath workspaces so everyone can see what's going on!
c) Recessed Patio Lighting
Recessed lights (also known as paver lights) are an excellent option for patios without a place to hang lights! You can also use recessed paver lighting to create a starry night effect or to brighten the perimeter of the patio.
d) Spot Lights
When your clients are relaxing on the patio, they will be admiring the landscape around it, so do not leave it dark and drab! Add landscape spot lighting around the base of your deck, walkways, gardens, or other areas of the yard to create a dramatic effect.
Spot lights are perfect for illuminating a specific part of the yard or garden. They’re a great way to highlight plants, trees, and other features that you want to feature at night. Spot lights can also help define pathways through your yard or garden!
7 Tips and Inspiration for Patio Lighting
1. Define Dimensions
Use lights of different sizes, heights, and intensities to create depth and dimension in your lighting designs. This poolside patio design uses landscape spotlights to up light the fence and trees, as well as ACE downlights to illuminate plants alongside the fire pit area.
2. Create Balance
While the angle of this photo isn’t an angle most visitors will see, this phenomenal design shows the power of a symmetrical design. Recessed patio lights and undercap lights frame this firepit beautifully!
3. Step Outside the Box
With the above in mind, don't feel like symmetry is the only way to go! Creative patterns like the starry night effect you see here can really make a patio pop. This particular design mimics real constellations!
4. Put Safety First
Make sure that the patio steps are well lit to ensure that people can navigate the space safely. Step lighting can combine form and function, as seen in this design.
5. Mix and Match
Don’t fixate on the patio alone. Patio lighting can bring the entire yard together! Lighting doesn’t have to go on the patio itself, but in the spaces outside and between it. Combine patio fixtures with other types of landscape lighting for a cohesive effect.
Speaking of inspiring landscape lighting designs…patio landscape lighting is similar in many ways to deck lighting. To spark more inspiration and help your clients achieve their dream outdoor lighting scene, check out our recent post on deck lighting tips and ideas!
Take Your Patio Lighting to the Next Level
There is a lot of choice for outdoor patio lighting, so be sure to keep an open line with your clients about what they want. You don't want a customer unhappy with the product they picked because they didn't have the right information!