The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

Our 4 Favorite Patio, Pergola and Deck Lighting Design Tips

Patio and pergola and outdoor kitchen landscape lightingWhen it comes to deck or patio lighting, I always like to start by asking the homeowner a simple, one-word question: “Why?”

It sometimes throws them off, because they’re not expecting me — the outdoor lighting guy — to ask such a basic question. “Why is he asking me that? I thought he was the expert.”

The reason I ask is a pretty straightforward one: Your answer helps me figure out how deck lighting can really give this space a sense of purpose. Do you use your space for outdoor dining? An alternative entrance to your home? Or is it just a place to enjoy a glass of your favorite red after a long work day?

Patio Or Deck: What’s The Difference?

Before we shed a little light on your deck lighting options, I wanted to clear up a some confusion with the terms patio and deck. Many people use them interchangeably, but there is a difference.

A patio is an outdoor living space at ground level with a concrete or paver-based floor. Decks are elevated outdoor living spaces typically made of wood or a composite wood alternative equipped with steps and enclosed by railings.

With that sorted out, here are a handful of patio and deck lighting options that will help you make the most of this popular outdoor living space.

Task Lighting For Outdoor Kitchens

There are few things finer than revving up the grill and dining al fresco when the weather is just right. For outdoor kitchens and grills, outdoor task lighting can play an extremely helpful role in meal prep.

As its name implies, bright task lighting will make chopping, grilling and serving easier — and easier to see. For example, a light placed above your grill or flexible lighting added next to it can be independently turned on or off whenever it’s needed, and only when it’s needed.

Pergolas: Perfect For Downlighting

Our 4 Favorite Patio, Pergola and Deck Lighting Design TipsToday many homeowners are turning to pergolas to shade their patios and decks from the hot afternoon sun. At night, it’s quite the opposite.

The pillars and cross-beams of your pergola provide a great platform for a variety of deck lighting applications. For starters, one of my favorite design tips is downlighting from a tall structure, which creates a soft, natural full-moonlighting effect.

Bistro lighting — string lighting — is another popular and festive lighting choice for decks and patios with pergolas. Keep in mind, the bistro lighting Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah uses is not the string lighting you might find at your local big box store. Our bistro lights include LED bulbs, UV coated and protected cords. They’re going to last 10 to 20 years.

Dimmable Deck Lighting Creates Ambience

Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah’s bistro lighting also comes with an automated, fully dimmable option that can be controlled with your preferred smart device — no plugs to worry about. From bistro lighting to downlighting, you can dim your lights as much or as little as you need to create the perfect amount of ambience for your deck setting.

Dimmability will keep you from feeling like you’re dining under a spotlight. It will allow your deck lighting to complement candles and outdoor fireplaces.

Tread Lighting Adds Safety Underfoot

Last but not least, safety lighting for decks is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. After all, decks have stairs and poorly lit stairs at night can do more harm than good. Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah recommends reducing trip hazards with tread lighting. Tread lights fit right into the stair and focus light downward onto the step immediately below it.

Do Your Evenings Need A Little Deck Lighting?

If so, call (801) 440-7647 to schedule your free deck or patio lighting consultation, or fill out our simple contact form.

Located in Sandy, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah serves customers throughout Utah’s residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper and Holladay. Our outdoor lighting portfolio includes projects from Salt Lake County and Utah County, to Davis County and Summit County — and beyond.


If you want to turn your outdoor space into the best “take out” option for dinner, check out our patio, pergola and deck lighting photo gallery for even more inspiration.



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