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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Cafe Bistro Lights: Patio String Lighting


When we go out to enjoy an evening with friends and family, it's not surprising how often we see bistro lighting. We see bistro lighting, also known as patio string lighting in many different settings: restaurants have bistros placed over their patio dining areas, shopping centers have bistros draped above their walkways, reception and event venues have bistro lights arranged all over. They swag hither and fro where ever we go. But why? What is the allure of bistro lights?

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Why Bistro Lights? What is the Allure?

Bistro lights, as we've just pointed out, are used in different places and settings. Yet, despite being used in different arrangements, in all of these examples Bistro lights are used to do the same thing: create atmosphere. 

During any social event, be it dining out, shopping, or attending a wedding, bistro lights create a fun atmosphere. Festivity is the key word to keep in mind when thinking about Bistro lights. They are used to help create an atmosphere of jubilation. Bistro lights strung up around a courtyard or a pool, for example, will instantly set the tone that fun is to be had even before the party has arrived. 

The functionality of Bistro lighting is what also makes them ideal for outdoor use also. Festivities and fun can be toned back and give way to simple use and enjoyment. Bistro lights set up over an outdoor kitchen, grill, back patio, etc. will provide functional light during the down time between festivities. 

Don't be misled into thinking that a patio flood light can be used to accomplish the same thing as a few strands of strategically placed bistro lights. Will a flood light provide light? Yes, Will a flood light provide atmosphere and set the mood? The answer is always no. Flood lights do provide light, yes, but what they take away in atmosphere and aesthetics is so much more than what they provide functionally. 

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What is the difference between a Bistro light strand and a Single Pendant Bistro?

A Bistro light strand is a strand of lights that are suspended in the air. Each light is spaced about a foot and a half apart. Don't think that the cheap string lights at the big-box store are the same as Bistro lights. Professional Bistro lighting isn't like the cheap string light imitations. High-grade outdoor Bistro lights have UV coating to protect the cords from sun damage. Commercial grade Bistro lights with LED lamps are designed to last ten to twenty years. You'd be lucky if the cheap string lights from the big-box store lasted for more than one year. 

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Single Pendant Bistro lights are different in a couple of ways. While the lamps and sockets are more or less the same, the cord itself is different. Rather than several sockets and lamps being strung and spaced on the same cord, like with regular Bistro lights, Single Pendant Bistro lights only have one socket and lamp suspended at the very end of the cord. This kind of bistro light can be used creatively in clusters to create the illusion of a chandelier, or spaced apart from one another at different heights to create an interesting mystique. 

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How can I use them at my own home?

Whether you want to light your backyard fire pit, pool, patio or pergola, bistro lighting can provide a creative lighting solution. When it comes to using bistros for you own home, your imagination is your only limitation. Consulting with your lighting professional can greatly contribute to the success of your lighting project. 

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If you would like to learn more about how to light your outdoor living space, give us a call at (801) 440-7647 to schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form here on our website www.utahlights.com

Located in Midvale, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves throughout Utah's residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper, Davis and Utah Counties.

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