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The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Beautiful Patio String Lights: Bistro Lighting Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining

String lights are a popular solution for patio lighting dilemmas. Cafe bistro lights offer functional light well suited for outdoor entertaining. This combination of functional light and fun atmosphere is why exactly why people want to hang them above their patio. 


Outdoor Entertaining

They go by many names: bistro lights, string lights, cafe bistros, and cafe lights are just a few examples of what you might hear. Even though there are variations in style and look (and even names), they are all similar in purpose and function. 

Cool summer evenings are meant to be enjoyed out on the patio, not in the living room. Patio string lighting has become a popular way to extend patio usage into the night. 

Outdoor dining in the summer, celebrating an event, or simply wanting to enjoy being outside in the evening are all great reasons to consider hanging string lights. 

Spending the evening out on the patio with friends and family is a long standing tradition for many. String lights simply help elevate these times and help make them more enjoyable. 


Patterns and Arrangements

There are endless ways string lights can be arranged and spaced to create different patterns/looks. The only limit is really your imagination and what can be created around your outdoor space. 


The patio is obviously a great area for entertaining and the perfect location to suspend string lights. But it's important to also consider your other outdoor spaces. 

Your String Lights don't have to be limited to the patio area. Consider the other outdoor areas you'd like to extend your night time enjoyment to. Do you have a pool deck that could use some functional lighting to complete the summer pool party? Do you have an outdoor kitchen or bar top that could use some functional light?

Some of the most creative outdoor lighting designs are created around a space rather than just strictly within it. 

Illuminating the landscape around your patio, for example, can compliment your string lights by creating a beautiful backdrop. Landscape lighting not only provides beauty, it also lends a sense of security by allowing you to have more visual control over your surroundings.  


Dimmer Switch

The ability to dim your lights can be helpful when you're looking to create a certain type of atmosphere.

For example, dimming your lights down to a lower volume accommodates a more intimate setting. Turning the lights down allows you to create a quieter paced evening for personal enjoyment, or a tranquil night with family and friends. 

If you're entertaining, you still have the ability to also turn the volume back up.


Color Temperature

Selecting the right color temperature can also help with setting the mood.

By color temperature, we are referring to the character a light gives off: how warm or cool the light feels.

Your light's color is measured in degrees kelvin. For example, a light that is 5,000 degrees kelvin would written 5000K. The higher the kelvin temperature, the cooler the feel. This means that lower kelvin temperatures have a warmer feel. A recommended kelvin temp for outdoor lighting might be 2700K or 3000K. 

Edison Bulb

Are you a fan of the Edison bulbs that have become so popular? With a dimmer switch and the correct color temperature, you can recreate the same look and feel incandescent Edison bulbs have with your LED bistro lights.

  • First, be selective with your Kelvin temp. Select a light bulb with an extremely warm Kelvin temp. 2200K  is ideal because it's on the warmer end of the kelvin spectrum where the light first starts to teeter on the edge of reddish/yellow light. 
  • Second, use your dimmer switch to keep your lights at a lower volume level. 30-50% power is a good range to recreate the look and lower output of an Edison bulb. 

Between the warm feel of a 2200K bulb and turning down the volume on your lights, you'd be amazed how well this combination can mimic the soft glow of an Edison bulb long delicate filament. 


Getting Ideas

From the way the strands are arranged to selecting right Kelvin temperature, there are so many ways string lights can be manipulated depending on the desired effect you're looking for. 


This is why consulting with your outdoor lighting designer about your landscape lighting project can be such a benefit. Recreating the look of an Edison style bulb isn't the only thing they'll know how to do. They can help you cultivate ideas and recommend ways to refine what you see in your minds eye to make it an even better reality. With years of experience dedicated to nothing else but outdoor lighting, a lighting designer can be a great asset. 


Landscape Lighting Makes All The Difference

At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, the art of outdoor illumination is a real passion we work to perfect. Designing elegantly bespoke landscape lighting systems is simply all we do. For over 15 years, our award winning team of designers and craftsmen have striven to bring the best outdoor lighting experience possible to people's homes and businesses across the Wasatch Front and beyond. 

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

If you have an upcoming project you'd like help with, call (801)440-7647 for more information, schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form on our website, www.utahlights.com

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