15 Gorgeous Deck Lighting Ideas to Enjoy All Season Long

deck lighting ideas

Design: Jackie of Finding Lovely; Photo: Ruth Eileen Photography

You don't need us to tell you lighting is the most important element in home décor. Think about it: you can obsess over the tiniest of details and spend your last dime on curating your dream space, but if you don't have the lighting to showcase your décor, it may as well not even be there—and the same goes for your exterior design.

Adding lighting to your deck will instantly make this outdoor space feel more inviting and ready for hosting. Ahead are 15 ways to light up your deck on every budget. 

01 of 15

Hang a Pendant Light Over Your Outdoor Dining Area

outdoor lighting

Design: Desiree Burns Interiors; Photo: Tamara Flanagan

Just like you'd hang a special lighting fixture over your formal dining room table inside your home, you can do the same to create an equally formal and carefully decorated space on your back porch.

An oversized pendant light hung over your exterior dining space makes it feel inviting, unique, and oh-so Instagrammable. Hang your statement lights from your porch, pergola, or even an overhead tree branch and position it over the center of your outdoor table. 

02 of 15

Consider a Cluster of Pendant Lights

outdoor lighting

SG STYLE BLOG

One pendant light is good, but four is even better. Add plenty of light to your space, while inadvertently creating somewhat of an art installation overhead. A cluster of rattan lampshades suspended from your porch is always a stunning addition to any space.

03 of 15

String Market Lights Over Your Gathering Space

deck lighting ideas

Design: Jackie of Finding Lovely; Photo: Ruth Eileen Photography

Overhead string lights are the go-to lighting option for most dwellers because it complements most design styles, it's easy to install, and is suitable for owners and renters alike. You can further curate a look that works for your space by choosing from bulb sizes and shapes and deciding how many or little strands you'll add to your backyard.

Deciding on a style ultimately comes down to what suits the size of your space and how high you choose to hang them. Finally, you can even choose between electric and solar options to illuminate your next outdoor dinner or backyard get-together. 

04 of 15

Try Portable Lighting

outdoor lighting

Design: Latham Interiors; Photo: Josh Wells

Lighting solutions don't have to be permanent. Perfect for renters and entertaining spaces, solar lights with handles make it easy to move around without fumbling with cords or heavy fixtures. These lanterns look chic on any deck and are always there when you need them.

05 of 15

Install Outdoor Sconces

outdoor lighting

CALIMIA HOME

We love—like, really love—a good set of sconces, so forgive us if we want them installed inside our home as well as out. An outdoor sconce provides the light you need and also ups the sophistication of your deck. We also love how minimal this space feels with the light fixture installed neatly on the wall.

06 of 15

Use Lanterns That Double as Décor

outdoor lighting

JULIAN PORCINO

Is it just us, or can lighting fixtures feel sort of out of place during the day? When you're not using them to light up your space, few serve much of a purpose to your outdoor décor. These rattan lanterns, paired with a rattan hanging chair, make this backyard deck feel like a five-star resort.

If you do a lot of daytime entertaining, you can opt for beautiful lanterns that look decorative even when the lights aren't in use.

07 of 15

Don't Forget Fire

outdoor lighting

MICHELLE BOUDREAU DESIGN

Sometimes huddling around a crackling fire under the stars is all the lighting your deck needs. A fire pit and some chairs are the perfect backyard additions for warm summer evenings.

08 of 15

Bring the Inside Out

outdoor lighting

MAITE GRANDA

The goal of an outdoor deck is to make it an inviting extension of the inside of your home—bringing elements from your interior is just the way to achieve that harmony. Floor lamps, for example, add a homey touch that's sure to get you lounging outdoors all year round.

09 of 15

Take an Outdoor Fan for a Spin

outdoor lighting

CALIMIA HOME

If you're considering adding overhead lighting to your outdoor space, keep in mind that exterior fans are also an option. Not only do you get plenty of lighting after sunset, the fan gives you a comfortable breeze on even the hottest of days. 

10 of 15

Make a Statement With Alternative Lighting

outdoor lighting

ROOM FOR TUESDAY

The obvious choices for outdoor lighting include market lights and overhead pendants, but there's always room for creativity when designing your deck lighting. This gorgeous setup uses a composition of paper lanterns to double as a light source and an overhead design element.

11 of 15

DIY a Candle Chandelier

outdoor lighting

EMILY HENDERSON DESIGN

If you love hosting outdoor dinner parties as much as we do, lighting over the dining room table is crucial. It sets the tone and allows your alfresco get-togethers to go on way past sunset.

This candle chandelier is one you can DIY yourself with some thrifted pieces or wooden elements you have lying around. Add some candles, and you have yourself a modern candelabra with old-world charm.

12 of 15

Show Off an Impressive Collection

outdoor lighting

STUDIO JOHN SHARP

Who said there's such a thing as too much light? If you have a collection of pendant lamps, like these rattan shades in various shapes and sizes, hang them all up in the same space to create a space that feels elevated and totally Instagrammable. You'll feel like you're lounging in a resort cabana each time you step out on your deck. 

13 of 15

Experiment with Micro Pendants

outdoor lighting

MICHELLE BOUDREAU DESIGN

When it comes to pendant lights, the assumption is that bigger is always better. However, this pool deck proves the contrary. A cluster of micro-sized pendants hanging overhead, perhaps above an outdoor bar, feels modern and fresh. We also love how the natural textures—like the marble bar, wooden slats, and concrete pendants—all mesh so well together.

14 of 15

Go All Out With an Outdoor Chandelier

outdoor lighting

ROBBIE MAYNARD INTERIORS

Chandeliers are most often seen inside the home, but this outdoor living space includes one so effortlessly. If you're looking to add a touch of glam—and light—to your deck idea, consider this a bright idea.

15 of 15

Fire Up Some Candles

outdoor lighting

BRANDON ARCHITECTS

There's no better way to set the mood than breaking out all those tealight candles. You'll have plenty of light for gatherings—and might we add, date nights—but not so much that it feels stark.

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