Your patio is for living and you need to make the most of it.
When the weather’s fine and balmy, there’s no better feeling than kicking back with a nice frosty beverage and watching the sunset behind the trees. It wouldn’t be an Aussie summer without a few drinks and a couple of tunes on your deck, patio or verandah.
There would be something missing from the warmer months if we didn’t invite the family around for a weekend barbecue but many homeowners find themselves packing up after dark and heading indoors in search of better lighting.
The party doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down.
You can get so much more time and value from your patio with some easy-to-install, cost-effective outdoor lighting.
If you choose the correct lighting and placement for your outdoor entertaining area – you can transform an average patio into an after-dark wonderland designed to keep the good times rolling well into the night.
You can upgrade your patio set-up over the next weekend with our three simple DIY patio lighting ideas.
#1 Install some downlights with dimmer switches
If your patio has the space to cater for a couple of quiet twilight drinks as well as a full-blown family barbecue with all the trimmings – you’ll want to add some customisable lighting to help you set the vibe for all kinds of occasions.
Look no further than a couple of simple downlights with dimmer switches.
LED downlights look simple, neat and sleek tucked into the beams of a patio cover plus provide ample lighting for outdoor projects, reading, get-togethers with friends and relaxing on the deck long into the night.
The dimmer switch function also allows you to adjust the lighting perfectly to suit the mood. Cooking on the barbecue? Bump up the lights to full capacity for more detail.
Having a late-night chat on the patio? Turn the lights down low for a more personal, neighbour-friendly atmosphere.
Better yet, downlights are quick to install. A qualified electrician will have you sorted out in an hour or two.
Best to stick with a pro unless you have electrical experience – lighting installation can be a dangerous game and it’s not worth risking your safety for a cheap and quick job.
#2 Bathe your yard in a glow with spotlights or wall lights
Create ambient lighting with strategically placed wall lights.
Spotlights – also called up/down-lights for their adjustability – allow light to spill in from an angle or from above depending on where you place them.
Lighting specialists, DM Lighting recommend placing wall lights roughly 1.6 to 1.7m above the ground. If you need a more customised placement, use a rule of thumb of around eye level for your new wall lights. You need to make sure the light doesn’t shine into your eyes when you’re sitting on the patio.
Make sure you attach your spotlights to walls or patio columns and angle them down to your liking.
There’s no wrong answer when it comes to placement – as long as you’re happy with the result (and nobody needs a set of sunglasses to deal with the direct glare)!
For a more creative, exotic touch, try adding lanterns to your outdoor setup. This alternative creates an air of sophistication to your outdoor entertaining area. If you like to use your patio to chat over a few drinks (rather than during cooking or sitting down to a meal), lanterns will add an extra dimension to your decor and produce a lovely, soft and ambient glow.
Bunnings has a range of affordable, high-quality lanterns you hang on your exterior walls.
#3 String lights
Gentle, single coloured string lights are all the rage right now.
String lights are affordable, simple to install and create a magical feel against the backdrop of your backyard or garden. The small light bulbs create a romantic, stylish vibe – perfect for entertaining, parties or chilled get-togethers.
Weave and drape your string lights through your patio cover beams or wrap them around any columns or eaves you might have. Placement is entirely up to you, and as long as you string your lights evenly to create that special glow – almost any configuration will add a little magic to your outdoor entertaining. Be creative!
The string lights option has some significant benefits:
- They’re cheap
- They’re easy to set up and install
- They’re often electricity-free
Most outdoor string lights are also solar-powered, so once they’re set-up, you can leave them outdoors and let the sun do all the work.
You can jazz up your patio with cheap and easy-to-install outdoor lighting this weekend
Each of these three options takes less than a day to install and cost you no more than a few hours, a trip to the hardware store, and a qualified person to install them.
Get started this weekend and you can extend your outdoor entertaining well into the night.
Well placed, high-quality lighting adds a beautiful, relaxing mood to your outdoor set-up. The patio party can continue all night long and once your new lights are installed, you’ll wonder what you ever did without patio lighting in the first place.
Next step is a patio upgrade. Sometimes lighting is not quite enough to spruce up your space into the type of living area you need. Check out our Eclipse Flat Louvre Opening Roof complete with Eclipse linear control for futuristic control over sunlight shining into your patio – you may get inspired to revamp your outdoor setup!
If you’re due for a little patio renovation, or if you’re looking to set up a patio from scratch, check out our article on getting council approval for a patio, pergola or deck.