10 Beautiful Pergola Lighting Ideas

If you love classic style that marries charm and simplicity, then you know why a pergola is a perfect choice for your outdoor space. Choosing the right lighting for your outdoor living space is just as important so you can enjoy our area no matter what time of day! I’m sharing 10 of the best pergola lighting ideas for you today!

white pergola with hanging baskets and string lights

When we moved into this home the pergola over our backyard patio was one of the huge selling points for me.

It isn’t too difficult to add on a pergola if you don’t have one, but the fact that our stamped patio already had one in place was a major bonus.

Pergolas are classic and look great on any style of home.

Ours is a crisp white color that stands out against the green that our yard boasts during the growing season.

The first thing we did was add on outdoor string lights so we could sit and enjoy ourselves even after the sun goes down.

It was such a good choice for our backyard.

white pergola with hanging baskets and string lights in a backyard

What is the best way to light a pergola?

A pergola is a structure that comes off of your home and creates a rafter structure over your outdoor space.

The beams form a criss-cross pattern and create a great “ceiling” to hang your lighting of choice from.

While a pergola doesn’t help much with preventing sun exposure, unless you attach an awning to the structure, it does offer you a place to attach lighting options to for evening and nighttime enjoyment.

There are so many great options for lighting your pergola, so let’s cover some of the best pergola lighting ideas that create warmth and charm.

girls smelling flowers next to a pergola

1.String Outdoor Pergola Lights

Hanging strands of outdoor pergola lights creates a dramatic effect while offering you flexibility with the intensity of the lighting.

If you are wanting more of a warm glow, you can remove every other light bulb to create more of an ambient lighting situation.

There is also the option of choosing your type of lighting or light bulb so you can get the look you want.

A simple way to change the ambiance is by switching out light bulbs so you have a warmer or cooler glow.

String lights are great for an outdoor area because you can hang them in whatever way you need to give light to your outdoor seating area.

For example, you can hang them around the perimeter of your pergola or hang them in a zig-zag pattern across your structure.

Another thing to remember with string lighting is that it is a great option for outdoor areas that don’t have an electrical outlet close by.

Connecting them with an extension cord and running it to an outlet is an easy fix.

2.Outdoor Chandelier

If you are wanting drama for your outdoor dining area, consider a crystal chandelier or another hanging chandelier that will give you a focal point for your patio.

You might now have a power source already in place where you want your fixture to be, so keep this important consideration in mind when choosing your different kinds of lighting.

Many home improvement stores offer larger fixtures for a large pergola and smaller fixtures for areas that need an accent, but not tons of light.

There are also electric lights on the market that work great and you can turn them on with a remote control.

girl eating ice cream by a white pergola

3.Paper Lanterns

A great way to give a soft glow to your backyard is with paper lanterns.

Not only can you find these in different colors, but you can also hang them at different heights.

They offer a unique style to any space and give some charm even in the daytime.

Many paper lanterns can be found as solar lanterns so you don’t have to worry about the electricity.

4.Drum Lights

Drum lights are a perfect way to add a modern look to an outdoor space.

You can get them in a variety of styles and shapes and they are a surefire way to create instant style.

Paying attention to lighting design is the easiest way to elevate a space, even if it’s outside.

white pergola with hanging baskets and string lights

5.Fairy Lights

Fairy lights are an economical way to add some dim lighting and wonderful ambiance to an outdoor structure.

While fairy string lights don’t put much light, they are an elegant option for a wooden pergola.

You can run them as perimeter lights around the outside of your structure and even choose different colors to switch things up for the holiday season.

6.Pillar Candles

I hosted my sister’s wedding reception in our back yard and I had pillar candles covering the center of each table.

If you have a patio dining table, getting huge hurricane jars and adding pillar candles in various sizes would bring so much style without the commitment that comes with other types of lighting fixtures.

It was an excellent way to add drama without installing a semi-permanent feature to the pergola.

7.Mason Jar Lights

Grab some glass mason jars and fill them with bright white lights that run on a battery or strings of solar lights.

Let the lights swirl around the inside of the jar light tiny fireflies and set them around your outdoor area.

If you need ground lights to illuminate your outdoor feature they could be set on ground level.

During the winter, add in some Christmas lights to make your backyard area jolly.

Sometimes, you don’t need bright light. A little glow is all that is required.

white pergola with hanging baskets and string lights over a back patio

8.Fire Pits

Fire pits are great for giving some light, warmth, and an opportunity to roast s’mores.

You can get fire pits that are different shapes and sizes.

There are pits that are built into your outdoor area and are permanent.

Or you can choose one that can be moved as needed.

We have our fire pit out for three seasons and tuck it away for the winter.

Having one that can be moved is a great idea in case you ever decide to change up the arrangement of your patio.

9.Curtain Lights

Curtain lights hang down to the ground and cover an entire area much like a window curtain would.

It is great when you have a wall that the pergola is attached to hang them on so they don’t get fussed with or in the way of people moving about the outdoor area.

If you haven’t seen curtain lights, they are essentially icicle lights that go from the rafter to the ground.

I prefer to keep lighting white and warm, but curtain lights do come in different colors so it’s a great way to use a bit of creativity in your backyard area.

Kids, especially, love to add color to their home and this is an easy way to do that!

10.Pendant Lights

While pendant lights won’t work for every situation, they do work well for outdoor kitchens.

Consider indoor islands and how many have pendants hanging over the island.

These do the same and are typically used for areas that are permanent, such as a kitchen or grilling space.

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