Outdoor hanging lights can provide ample illumination to your patio, porch, or backyard, allowing your guests to see your beautiful landscape and your home’s architectural design & features. Aside from that, it can also make your outdoor space more appealing, especially if its design blends well with your other decor and furniture.
Unfortunately, there are various types of hanging fixtures available in the market, and picking one that will complement your patio or porch can be a daunting task. The good news is that we can help you find the right hanging fixture. To give you a better view, here are the various types of outdoor hanging lights.
In This Article
Pendants are light fixtures that hang on the ceiling from a rod, chain, or cord. They are the most popular type of outdoor hanging lights because of their many uses.
A pendant is a versatile hanging fixture. Aside from providing a large amount of light, it also comes in various styles. As such, you can pick a pendant that will match the design of your patio or porch. Additionally, a pendant can also be used indoors. For example, you can also hang it in your garage, workshops, and dining area. Plus, you can easily install this type of hanging fixture. Best of all, pendant lights are reasonably priced, so you will surely find a design that will match your budget.
Despite its many uses, a pendant light may not offer the best lighting, especially if you’re going to use it outdoors. In most cases, you will need to hang several pendants to brighten up a huge patio or porch. Additionally, you also need to buy specialty bulbs, which are a bit expensive.
As mentioned, pendants come in various designs. Some of the most popular types include the following:
A. Drum Pendant
As its name implies, a drum pendant looks like a drum. It has a cylindrical-shaped fixture that is covered by a stretching cloth.
For its purpose, you can use this type of pendant for ambient or task lighting, depending on the bottom part of the shade. If the shade is covered or has a darker cloth, the fixture can only provide less light. Still, it can be a great option for subtle accent lighting that adds a little personality to the room.
B. Globe Pendant
A globe pendant has a spherical or round shade that is either fully diffused or clear. The clear variety is a great choice if you want to achieve an even distribution of light. You can also use this type of pendant lighting if your want to give your patio or porch a classic look.
Aside from being a great outdoor hanging light, a globe pendant can also be used for indoor purposes. It will look great in your hallway or even your kitchen. You can also hang a group of globe pendants for a dramatic effect and to make a bold statement.
C. Exposed Bulb Pendant
An exposed bulb pendant is a simple outdoor hanging light because it only has a bulb and the fixture. As such, it can be a great option for patios with a minimalist or rustic design. Because of its simple style, this hanging fixture can be easily made, making it a good DIY project for homeowners who wants to save some money. Lastly, it can deliver sufficient light because it doesn’t have a shade. For this reason, you can use it for both task and ambient lighting.
D. Multiple Light Pendant
As its name implies, a multiple light pendant has multiple lights, which are attached to the core of the fixture. Because of this feature, this type of pendant is great for illuminating large porches or patios, especially if you opt for bulbs that don’t have a cover or shade.
E. Inverted Pendant
An inverted pendant has a bowl-shaped center attached to a chain or rod. Because of this feature, the light doesn’t go directly to the room. As such, this type of pendant can create a cozy atmosphere because of its subtle lighting, making it the perfect hanging fixture if bright light is too harsh for you.
F. Abstract Pendant
An abstract pendant has a bulb that is housed in a frame with an abstract design. Depending on the frame, the bulb may or may not provide sufficient illumination.
Typically, shaded frames can only provide minimal light. As such, they are only meant for decorative purposes. For shadeless fixtures, you can place them on your patio or porch because they can certainly brighten a large space.
Because chandeliers hang from a chain or rod, they can be considered pendants. However, we will place them into another category because a chandelier is also different from a pendant. To be specific, the difference between the two hanging fixtures is the number of bulbs. As you know, a pendant only contains one bulb, while a chandelier can have multiple bulbs.
Traditionally, chandeliers are installed indoors to make a room look elegant and stylish. Nowadays, you can purchase outdoor chandeliers that you can hang in your gazebos, patio, and decks. Because this type of outdoor hanging light has multiple bulbs, it can definitely provide ample illumination. As such, you only need one chandelier to brighten a huge deck or patio.
When buying outdoor chandeliers, you must opt for those made with sturdy materials. Plus, it should be able to withstand fluctuating temperatures and inclement weather conditions.
Chandeliers can definitely make your patio or deck look luxurious and elegant. However, it has several disadvantages. For one, you need an electrician to install this type of outdoor hanging light because additional electrical lines may be needed, depending on where you’re going to hang it. Aside from that, chandeliers are more expensive than pendants. Plus, they are also harder to clean and maintain.
Like pendants, chandeliers come in a wide range of designs, which include the following:
A. Traditional Chandelier
The traditional chandelier is the simplest type of chandelier, and its light is arranged on one level. Still, it has ornate details that make it look elegant. Because of its traditional design, it can blend well in any room, including your patio or porch.
B. Candle Chandelier
A candle chandelier doesn’t have real candles. Instead, it has flickering lights shaped like real candles. As a result, this type of chandelier can mimic the light produced by real candles without the mess and risks of burning candles.
A candle chandelier has a simple yet elegant appearance that can bring a touch of personality and charm to a room. Plus, it can provide illumination, making it a great outdoor hanging light for large porches or patios.
C. Glass Chandelier
Glass chandeliers have light bulbs that are covered with glass shades. Typically, the glass shades are either smoked or colored. As such, you can pick a color that will match the theme of your porch or patio. However, if you’re going to choose colored or smoked glass, you need to remember that that won’t be able to provide ample illumination. Even so, they can add a touch of warmth and coziness to your room, thanks to its subtle lighting.
Aside from smoked and colored glass, there are also glass chandeliers with clear glass covers. You can opt for this type of chandelier if you want bright lighting.
D. Tiered Chandelier
If you’re looking for a gorgeous looking chandelier that can add elegance to your patio or porch, you can opt for a tiered chandelier. This type of hanging fixture has multiple layers and additional arms, making it look taller than its counterparts.
A tiered chandelier will not only make your room more appealing. It can also provide excellent illumination. Unfortunately, this type of chandelier is only designed for large areas. If you have a lot of space, it can be a great piece for your entryways, patios, and porches.
E. Drum Chandelier
A drum chandelier is a shaded chandelier wherein the bulbs have a drum-shaped cover that is made with fabric. Because the bulbs are covered, this type of outdoor hanging light can only provide subtle lighting. Even so, it can give off a romantic glow, which is perfect if you want to create a cozy atmosphere. Plus, most drum chandeliers have fixtures made of silver, nickel, and chrome. These materials are not only durable but appealing as well. As such, they can add a touch of elegance to your outdoor space.
F. Bowl Chandelier
The bowl chandelier is one of the simplest types of chandeliers. Like the bowl pendant, a bowl chandelier has a bowl-shaped center. As such, most of the light emitted by the bulb is directed at the ceiling. The result is a subtle light with a tasteful glow.
Ideally, a bowl chandelier is best for people who don’t like too much light. Aside from that, it can also fit in any room, especially those with a minimalist design. Because of its subtle lighting, it can also make your patio or porch feel comfortable and inviting.
G. Beaded Chandelier
A beaded chandelier has beads all over the fixture. Because of this feature, it can make your home look more exotic. Aside from that, making this type of chandelier requires a lot of effort. For this reason, most beaded chandeliers are reasonably sized. As such, it is a great addition to any room, whether it’s small or large. However, keep in mind that its design may or may not match your room’s design. So, you need to consider the style of your patio or porch before purchasing a beaded chandelier.
H. Transitional Chandelier
A transitional chandelier combines the crispness of a contemporary chandelier with the rustic elegance of a traditional model. The result is a unique-looking chandelier that will fit nicely in your porch, patio, and entryways.
I. Caged Chandelier
A caged chandelier has an intricate design wherein the bulbs are placed at the center of an embellished cage. Typically, this type of chandelier is visually appealing. Plus, it would fit any room without due to its average size.
Because caged chandeliers have a stunning design, they can be placed in an open space, like above the door. It can also be placed in your living room, dining area, and other rooms that have a modern or retro vibe.
3. String Lights
String lights are multiple lights attached to a single wire or cable. This type of outdoor hanging light is great for creating a festive and cozy atmosphere. As such, people often used them for decorative purposes, especially during Christmas and Easter.
When used in your patio or backyard, string lights can provide ambient lighting, which creates a relaxing environment for your family and friends. Because of today’s technology, string lights are available in various designs and colors. As such, you can pick a style that will match your preferences.
Another great benefit of string lights is that they are easy to use. Once you’ve hanged them around your patio or backyard, you just have to plug them on an electrical source to work. You can also purchase battery-operated string lights or solar-powered string lights, so you don’t have to use electrical cords.
String lights can illuminate any outdoor space; however, they are not bright compared to other types of outdoor hanging lights. Their main purpose is to provide accent lighting. Even so, strings light can brighten up your porch or backyard for an affordable price.
There are various types of string lights, including the following:
A. Globe String Lights
Globe string lights are the most popular type of string lights because they are affordable and well-made. Plus, they are available in various string lengths. For its appearance, it has a bulb that resembles a globe. Typically, this type of string light is available in white color, but you can also purchase it in a multicolored version.
All in all, globe string lights have a minimalist design. Still, they can add elegance to any outdoor area. Plus, they can illuminate a large space because of their white glow.
B. Colored String Lights
Most of you are probably familiar with colored string lights because they are often used as a decoration during Christmas or Easter. However, you can also hang them on your patio or backyard. Their colorful lights will give your outdoor space some joyful and playful ambiance, making it inviting for guests.
C. Vintage String Lights
If you’re searching for a string light that can deliver a retro spin to your outdoor space, you can opt for vintage string lights. They may have a simple appearance, but they can produce a warm golden light that is pleasing to the eyes. Plus, they can make your porch or patio feel cozy because of their warm glow. Best of all, this type of string light is durable because it doesn’t produce a bright light. You can also opt for models with LED bulbs for long-lasting light.
D. Rope Lights
Rope lights have bulbs enclosed in a PVC jacket, making them weather-resistant. As such, this string light is ideal not only for indoor use but outdoor use as well.
Rope lights come in two varieties. The first variety used LED lights, and they are available in colored and cold white versions. A great advantage of this type of rope light is that it doesn’t consume a lot of energy. However, LED lights are quite expensive. Nevertheless, you’ll get all your money’s worth because they are reliable and durable.
The second type of rope light uses incandescent lights. Compared to LED lights, this bulb is more affordable. The downside is that it consumes a ton of energy.
E. Lantern String Lights
If you are fascinated with the Eastern culture, you can opt for lantern string lights. As its name implies, this type of string light has bulbs covered by lanterns. As such, it can only provide subtle lighting. Even so, they can surely add a touch of charm and personality to your porch, patio, or backyard.
Lantern string lights have a similar appearance to paper lanterns. The difference is that they are made with tarpaulin, which is a durable type of fabric. For this reason, this type of string light is ideal for outdoor use because it can hold up to the rain or snow.
F. Fairy String Lights
Fair string lights are the perfect type of outdoor hanging light if you want to create a magical atmosphere in your porch, patio, or backyard. The reason is that they provide a light that resembles hundreds of fireflies, especially when hanged on a tree. Aside from that, you can also place them in your terrace, porch, or patio and set them up like a starry sky. The result is a romantic ambiance that feels warm and inviting.
4. Track Lighting
Track lighting can make your outdoor space look modern, thanks to its simple yet sophisticated design. Aside from that, this fixture has individual lights hanging from a track. As such, it is great for task or accent lighting.
For installation, you can either suspend a track lighting from the ceiling or mount the track on the ceiling, depending on the height and effect that you want. Some models will also allow you to adjust the direction of the light.
A track lighting is simple yet elegant, and it can be great outdoor lighting for modern houses. However, this fixture is not meant for patios with a low ceiling. Remember, track lighting has cables, rails, or tracks that can hang down into the room. Someone might accidentally bump his head while walking. Aside from that, this type of outdoor hanging light has specific lighting options. As such, you won’t be able to mix fixtures if you’re going to opt for track lighting.
A track light comes in various types, including the following:
A. Linear Track
A linear track has a straight strip of a track with several track heads or light fixtures. This type of track lighting is easy to install because you only need to mount it on the ceiling. Plus, you can adjust the track heads along the track if desired.
B. Fixed Track
A fixed track has a similar appearance to a linear track. The difference is that you can hand the track from a ceiling. Aside from that, you can’t slide the light fixtures of a fixed track, but you can adjust them to your preferred angle. Through this, you can direct the light to the area you want to illuminate. Lastly, this type of track lighting is also available in a curved shape.
C. Monorail Track
A monorail track can be hanged from a ceiling like a fixed track. The difference is that its track is flexible. Meaning, you can bend the track and shape it according to your preferences. Also, you can slide the light fixtures along the track.
Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Lights
If you want to keep your patio or porch ventilated and illuminated at the same time, you can opt for an outdoor ceiling fan with lights. However, you have to opt for a ceiling fan design for outdoor use.
An outdoor ceiling fan with lights has two categories, which are damp ceiling fans and wet ceiling fans. The damp ceiling fan can withstand moisture and humidity. However, it is not designed for wet locations. Still, you can place it on your porch or patio as long as it is covered. A wet ceiling fan, on the other hand, can hold up to snow or rain. As such, you can place it on exposed areas, such as gazebos, porches, and patios.
An outdoor ceiling fan can certainly provide a lot of ventilation; however, it doesn’t produce a sufficient amount of light. For this reason, you may need to install other types of outdoor hanging light to brighten your patio or porch. Aside from that, ceiling fans can be noisy. Plus, they are hard to clean and maintain.