14 Best Pergola Lighting Ideas

These lighting ideas for your pergola or other outdoor living space will allow you to either entertain guests or simply relax.

Your patio will look more put-together with the addition of a pergola, which may also prove to be the most beneficial improvement you can make to your outdoor living space. Having the right lighting for the occasion is essential, regardless of whether you plan on hosting guests or simply unwinding with your family.

pergola night

In this article, we will discuss fourteen different ways in which you can quickly transform your pergola from drab to dazzling.

Paper Lanterns

A pergola with round lanterns hung from the ceiling

When lighting your pergola try paper lanterns are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes. These lanterns are created by covering a wire skeleton with a thin piece of paper. They emit a warm glow all around them because they are illuminated from the inside. When using paper lanterns, it is recommended that you use LED lights rather than incandescent bulbs because LEDs do not release heat like incandescent bulbs do.

paper lanterns

Lights for the Sides of your pergola

The effect of these tiny hanging LED lights on your pergola will provide a lovely ambiance to your entertainment area. Sometimes referred to as fairy lights they have become very popular in recent years. These lights consist of individual strands of LED lights which are spaced about a 30cm apart from each other and hang all the way down to the ground.

curtain lights

Pillar Candles

Whether you place them on top of the table or use lanterns to cluster them in the corners of the room, pillar candles create a sensual atmosphere that can only be achieved with the help of a flame. In addition, because of their size, pillar candles will continue to burn even as you unwind and enjoy the night.

working surfaces for patio cooking

Hanging Lanterns

Another great idea when lighting your pergola area is, Lanterns that hang from the ceiling are available in every conceivable size and design. Candles, light bulbs powered by electricity or solar energy, or even all three can provide their illumination. Glass lanterns in vibrant colors that have a Moroccan design are an especially eye-catching addition to any space.

hanging lantern lights


A chandelier in an industrial style hanging from a pergola.
Designed by Tribe Design Group and featured here is Ryann Ford.
Hanging a chandelier from the rafters of your pergola is a daring move that will make a strong statement. Fixtures in an industrial style create a more relaxed atmosphere, in contrast to the glitzy and formal air that crystal chandeliers give off. A chandelier hung over the table in your pergola provides the perfect ambient lighting for a meal or an evening of card or board games, regardless of whether it is lit by electricity or candles.

Sconces That Are Mounted On Posts

Installing sconces on the outside of the posts of your pergola will allow you to illuminate its perimeter in a stylish way while also keeping your safety in mind. Sconces can be found in a wide variety of designs, ranging from the classic to the contemporary, early American to mid-century. If you want something that will last, go with lighting that is powered by electricity. Choose candle sconces if you only need them occasionally or if you want the ambiance that a flame provides.

sconce lighting

String Lights in the Style of Edison

Edison bulbs hung from the rafters of a backyard pergola.
Matthew Niemann and Haven Design & Construction kindly provided these images.
Edison-style string lights are never going to let you down, regardless of whether you’re going for a retro look or just want some straightforward but attractive lighting. Create a map of the route that the string should take, taking care to avoid any fans or other types of light fixtures. After that, determine how many linear feet of material you’ll need, and then go out and buy the appropriate number of strands to cover that distance. Use a staple gun to secure the wire to the beams, taking care not to pierce the wire with the staples.

fire pit in a garden

Lights strung along fairy trees

An incomparably dreamy and romantic ambiance is produced by the use of fairy string lights. These miniature LED lights, which are sometimes referred to as rice lights, are best added to the pergola by winding them around the beams that run overhead. Divide the total length of the beam in inches by the distance between the wraps to get an estimate of the number of strands that are required (e.g., three inches apart). To calculate the total number of inches of light strands required, simply multiply the result of that calculation by the beam’s circumference.

fairy lights<br />

Table Lamps with Decorative LED Lights

Not all of the lighting for the pergola needs to hang from the ceiling. Consider using decorative LED table lamps for seating arrangements that encourage conversation. They are available in a wide variety of designs and styles and can be powered by solar energy, batteries, or electricity.

table lamps for patios

Lighting for the Staircase

Consider installing lighting on the steps leading up to your elevated pergola if it has such features. Whether you choose lights that are powered by solar energy or electricity, they will serve the dual purpose of creating an ambiance for the evening and reducing the risk of tripping over something.


With a firepit, you can do more than just provide lighting. The flames not only warm and illuminate the area, but the smoke also drives away any insects that may be present. When the weather is chilly, get together with friends and family to tell stories, sing songs, or just pass the time by huddling around the fire.

Lighting for the landscape

You can illuminate your pergola in a more subtle manner by installing landscape lighting in the surrounding garden area. Providing some light for safety’s sake and accentuating the beauty of your natural surroundings can be accomplished in a subtly beautiful way by uplighting small trees or shrubs.

Intelligent lighting

No matter which lighting option you go with for your pergola, technology is on your side. Bluetooth-enabled smart plugs allow you to synchronize your lighting with your WiFi network, making it possible to control your lights from your smartphone. Controls based on motion, occupancy, and timers, as well as controls based on photosensors and voice activation, are additional automating options.

intelligent lioghting patio

If you are permanently wiring your pergola lights, make them easier to control by installing switches either on the pergola itself or in close proximity to it, as well as inside your home. Also, if you want the most flexibility possible, think about installing dimmer switches (and if you’re going to use LED bulbs, make sure they can be dimmed). The illumination of your pergola, whether it be through direct or indirect lighting, electric, fire, or solar power, creates the atmosphere for an evening of relaxing, dancing, or simply having fun.