Whether your patio is a relaxing getaway, a hip and happening party spot or a busy family area, it could benefit from customized patio lighting. Fortunately, your options for patio lighting, in both styles and prices, are vast, so you can invest as much (or as little) effort and money as you'd like in creating the perfect mood on your patio.
Lanterns are an easy, often inexpensive, way to add light and ambience to your deck. A versatile form of outdoor patio lighting, lanterns come in many styles, from old-fashioned streetlights to sleek, modern lights that hug the architecture to tropical tiki torches and many more. Your lanterns can sit on tabletops or be freestanding; they can hang by a string or attach to your woodwork. Decide which style would best fit the mood you want to set on your patio.
Lanterns run on a variety of fuels, as well. Propane and oil lamps are easily adjustable to make the light stronger or dimmer. Some lanterns run on citronella oil, providing the added bonus of repelling bugs. Solar powered lamps are perfect for dry areas or apartment patios, where open flames are discouraged. Electric lanterns can be hooked up to a switch or timer, allowing you to easily control when they shine.
Patio lights can also be strung, creating a much more casual atmosphere for your space. Strings of small lights give off a soft glow; they come in almost every color and can be wrapped around or hung from pretty much anything, so you can easily customize your design.
Chinese lanterns (large, translucent fabric orbs stuffed with lights) are always a popular option. They are soft enough to promote a romantic atmosphere, but colorful enough to brighten up any patio party.
Opting for rope lights (a thin, flexible, clear tube with tiny lights inside) promotes a more hip, slightly futuristic look. Their flexibility allows you to use them in many creative, nontraditional ways, such as wrapping them around posts and railings, or tucking them under an awning.
Of course, the most traditional outdoor string lights are Christmas lights. Many variations on these lights exist, and with a wide variety of bulb sizes and colors, they can easily be used for occasions other than Christmas.