Summer is almost here, which makes it the perfect time to start building your outdoor living space! Whether you have a porch, patio, or an empty lawn, we’ll show you the best lighting to transform your space.
Before You Get Started
Check your specs! Outdoor lighting and fans should be listed as damp location when used in an enclosed space, such as a covered porch or verandah, and wet location in an uncovered area, like a deck or gazebo. Double check the specifications of your fixture to ensure that you are making a safe and suitable choice.
Outdoor lighting standards vary by community. Before adding new lighting to your outdoor space, it is wise to check your local building code. The International Dark-Skies Association, or IDA, provides standards designed to decrease light pollution. Some fixtures are IDA certified; however, it is not usually necessary to use IDA certified lighting for your outdoor living space. A good rule of thumb when choosing outdoor lighting is to use well-shielded, low wattage fixtures. These fixtures will produce just the right amount of light and keep it contained in your designated space. Be careful not to overlight, the goal of outdoor lighting design is to provide contrast between dark and light spaces.
String lighting is an easy, inexpensive, and attractive option to light your outdoor space. You will need to have an accessible outlet and structures to attach the lights. Other than that, you are only limited by your imagination. Think this is the option for you? Check out our How-to-Guide for hanging string lights!
Outdoor Ceiling Fans
Outdoor ceiling fans are a great way to provide ambiance and comfort to your home’s exterior. While may want a certified electrician to install your new fan, you don’t need an expert to pick one out.
To pick the best fan for your space, just follow a few simple guidelines.
- Room Size: up to 75 ft2 | Fan Diameter: 36″ or smaller
- Room size: 75-144 ft2 | Fan Diameter: 36″-42″
- Room Size: 144-224 ft2 | Fan Diameter: 50″-54″
- Room Size: 224 ft2 + | Fan Diameter: up to 72″
- Fans should be placed in the center of a room to provide best air flow.
- Fan blades should be no closer than 18″ to a wall, structural support, another fan, or fixture.
- Fans should be suspended at least 8.5″ from the ceiling.
- Fans blades should sit no lower than 7′ above the ground.
Best Selling Outdoor Fans
Hanging a pendant or chandelier will transform your outdoor living space into a chic backyard escape. Bringing elements of interior design to the outdoors will create an intentional space for entertaining and relaxing that you and your family will enjoy all summer long. As with interior fixtures, you may want to have your outdoor hanging lights professionally installed and they may require additional wiring depending on your set-up.
A few helpful guidelines:
- Leave Head-Room: Hang chandeliers and pendants so the bottom point is at least 7′ from the ground.
- Light Living Areas: Hang chandeliers and pendants centered over your outdoor dining or coffee table.
- Check Specifications: Only use wet or damp rated fixtures for outdoor spaces.
Stylish Outdoor Lighting
Portable Outdoor Lighting
Table and floor lamps are made for the outdoors too! Wet rated lamps and lanterns can be used on outdoor coffee and side tables to provide a cozy, homey feeling. Here are a few fun options that will add style to your outdoor space. Avoid placing breakable table lamps on a pool deck or in especially windy areas.