We believe home design should be stylish and distinctive. When it comes to livable outdoor design, lighting is essential to curating an elegant space you can enjoy from morning to night. At Lulu and Georgia, our thoughtfully-curated collection of outdoor lights has pieces perfect for your fresh-air escape.
As more people transform their backyards and patios from rustic afterthoughts to more fully developed lounges and dining areas with a defined aesthetic, we’re seeing tons of new trends in indoor-outdoor styles. In addition to elevated outdoor lounge furniture and luxurious touches like outdoor rugs, an ever-growing selection of modern outdoor lighting elements is helping people curate open-air spaces that are a reflection of their personal style and a natural extension of their interior decor.
Not sure what style or design best fits your space when shopping for outdoor lights? Don't worry; we have got you covered. Check out the tips below for ideas and inspiration as you select the best lighting elements to buy for your project.
Elevating Your Outdoor Wall Lighting
In many outdoor settings, wall lights may be your only option as a primary light source—but that doesn't mean you're limited in style. Our collection has a wide selection of outdoor sconce lights to help you make your patio or terrace your own. Lighting is, above all, a practical feature, and even if you're only using wall elements, you still want to layer light as the space calls for.
Start by picturing how you use the space as you shop. A good design should include bright task lighting where necessary, near an outdoor bar or grill, for instance; thoughtful accent light, such as uplight or downlight sconces to create depth and drama by highlighting architectural features; and plenty of ambient light so you can seamlessly transition from afternoon to evening to late night hangouts. Many modern outdoor lighting designs even include features like dimmable technology, letting you create more dynamic outdoor areas. The perfect purchase is the one that is perfect for your space, don’t forget to shop the specifications as you explore.
Many wall lights play an essential role as functional lighting outside your home, such as your outdoor entrance lighting. But, again, functional doesn't have to mean bland or basic. A pair of stylish sconces flanking your front door—like this Tosca Indoor / Outdoor Sconce with its modern take on the classic lantern design—can light your entryway with a stately poise. If you have a garage or detached studio, a barn light like the Caprina Outdoor Sconce can be mounted over the door for safety and convenience while offering a touch of farmhouse style. With any outdoor wall fixture, we want to look for ways to incorporate signature touches and personal style into a practical lighting design.
Making a Statement with Outdoor Overhead Lighting
Overhead lighting is where you can really make a statement with outdoor illumination. When picturing indoor/outdoor lighting, many of us may imagine those rugged utilitarian designs created to withstand the elements rather than add to the attractiveness of your home. But from a sleek grouping of pendants to the unexpected glamor of a gazebo chandelier, there are tons of ways to use overhead lighting to set the tone for luxury and comfort outdoors.
We already mentioned using sconces for your outdoor entrance lighting. If you have a covered porch or portico, however, a hanging lantern or sculptural pendant is a great way to establish your aesthetic before a guest even steps into your home. If you enjoy hosting summer evening dinner parties, pendant lighting or a chandelier can transform an al fresco table, adding warmth and ambiance overhead.
Don't forget your creature comforts. Even the most temperate climates could use a little help when it comes to making an outdoor space more livable. An outdoor ceiling fan can help move air around, keeping you cool on hotter days or helping circulate air if you have a heating element in a semi-enclosed area. An added advantage of an outdoor fan is that the wind can help keep mosquitoes and pests away. These practical touches can make all the difference—indoors or out, the goal should always be livable style.
Understanding Wet-Rated versus Damp-Rated Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
One of the main features to look for when shopping for indoor/outdoor fixtures is whether they are rated as waterproof lighting. This is called the UL location listing and will be marked under the specifications or details—outdoor lights must be damp-rated or wet-rated. Damp-rated fixtures that have been designed for indoor/outdoor lighting need to be installed under covered areas to avoid exposure to rain or splashes of water.
Wet-rated designs offer a more robust waterproof lighting solution for uncovered or exposed patios, terraces, and entryways. These fixtures hold up to the elements well but aren't necessarily designed to withstand direct jets of water from strong hoses or power washers, so always mind them when cleaning the exterior of your home.
Outdoor wall lighting can be found in damp-rated and wet-rated designs, so it's always important to ensure the style works for your project. Most outdoor pendant lights and ceiling fans are only damp-rated as they are installed under covering by design. Still, there are some wet-rated designs, such as this Cinetta Indoor / Outdoor Pendant Light, which may be necessary depending on the exposure of the space. Always consult with an expert before installing any outdoor lighting fixtures.
Portable Outdoor Lighting and Other Installations
When styling outdoor lighting, you want to keep the space as a whole in mind. How are these elements layering together? How does the space transition from evening to night—lazy afternoon to special occasion? If you entertain regularly, you may want to put in semi-permanent garden party lights to create warm ambient lighting that delights guests. Or maybe you simply want to create a more dynamic space with portable lighting. We love the rustic charm of this portable Muse Table Lamp by Tala—its lantern-inspired design can transform a simple evening in the backyard into an enchanting excursion.
However you style it, outdoor lighting allows you the flexibility to showcase the nuances of your design aesthetic. Loved ones and visitors can immediately get a sense of who you are by seeing how you have utilized this essential feature to refine the look and feel of the areas outside your home.
When you shop lighting online at Lulu and Georgia, you'll find pieces that complement the style of your home but also make it feel more elevated. You can choose from our wide selection of modern outdoor lighting to find the perfect purchase for your next project. Check out our outdoor inspiration page for more ideas on creating livable outdoor designs.Show Less