30769080_sPergolas create highly aesthetic, airy, and inviting outdoor spaces to cook, dine, or just relax in. Warm evenings in the pergola are especially lovely when soft lighting is available. This creates a wonderful ambiance to enhance every mood. Specially selected lighting also adds to the beauty of the pergola. There are numerous pergola lighting ideas to suit every taste. Here is a pick of the top five:

Hanging Lights

These can be either simple or elaborate light fixtures. The hanging lights can be large, and hang over an outdoor dining table in the pergola. Smaller light fixtures may be used alone or as part of an array, to keep the lighting softer for a more relaxed ambiance. There are numerous light fixtures to go with this design. However, areas with windy conditions may not be suitable for pendant chandeliers which may swing too much.

Mounted Lighting

These are mounted on the posts of the pergola. They help outline its structure while providing soft lighting. Mounted lights can be designed for a contemporary or retro look. Different lantern designs are available for every fashion. Mounted lights require elaborate wiring, which is best done during the erection of the pergola.

String Lights

These are similar to the small and bright outdoor lights commonly used on trees and buildings during festivals or parties. They are easy to install especially on freestanding pergolas, but require nearby electrical outlets. You may use solar powered hanging lights too. Stringing lights are installed around the beams or even posts of the pergola. Different colors or twinkling lights can also be combined to create a party or flowery effect. Stringing lights can be used without the need for wiring. This is great for retrofitting pergolas.

Built-in Lights

Built in lights are affixed to the beams to create soft ambient lighting. The wires are laid along the top of the beams, so that they are invisible from below. The wiring required is best suited to pergolas that are next to buildings, for easier installation. Built in lights are usually small bulbs fixed along the underside of the beams. The size, design, and brightness of these lights can be varied to suit every atmosphere.


These are lights built into the flooring around the posts of the pergola. Up lights are usually dim and soft, and can also be installed in the ground around the structure. They are ideal for background lighting, which creates a relaxed atmosphere for laid back evenings.

Whichever of these pergola lighting ideas you choose, it is important to do it during construction of the pergola. This makes it easier to do the wiring, and match the lighting design to your pergola.