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Creating a Festive Setting With These Party Lighting Ideas

Getting the right lights for a party can really help set the mood. Depending on the party space you can either go with simple party lighting ideas or go a step further and rent one or two light fixtures. There are also a few outdoor lighting ideas for a party. Here are a range of different ideas: Creating an Enchanting Party Setting With String/Fairy Lights. Outdoor string lights are so freaking versatile. They instantly create a fanciful setting. They can be used in a number of ways. Hang a number of them side by side on a wall to create a curtain of lights. They can be strung across the ceiling to mimic a starry night. They can be lined across counters and on the floor. Have a look here at our photo guide for more ideas on using string lights for cheap party lighting ideas.

Using string lights for party lighting ideas

Using Battery Powered LED Lights to Create Balloon Lighting Here is a unique lighting idea, one that can be store bought or even done DIY. All you need are single LED light bulbs that come with a battery. There is usually a little tab that you pull off to switch the light on. These lights can be turned on and then put inside a balloon. You can have the balloon blown up normally with air and have them lay around on the floor, or they can float in the air if they are blown up with helium. Have a look at our article here on balloon LED lights, for information on ready made balloon lighting and tips on using helium. Decorating Drinks With Ice Cube Lights Want a way to include the drink into the party decorations? Why not add light up ice cubes. These are little LED lights incased within a clear plastic that can be put in the freezer to keep the drinks cool. A great idea would be to tailor the color of the lights to the party: having a Christmas party, then use green and red lights, St. Paddys day – Green, having a ladies night – red and pink.

Need some dramatic lighting to fill a large space? Then a few simple rental lights can make a big difference: Uplighting For Parties Uplighting will create a formal and grand setting. These are lights that you put at the base of a wall, columns, etc, and they make a space feel larger – just like in the pictures below. Customizing a Party Venue with Gobo Lighting If you are looking to add a special touch to your party then have a look into gobo lighting. This is when you have a stencil made that fits over a can light. The stencils can be of anything – have star shapes lighting up ceilings, or floral designs lighting a wall, or if you are having an engagement party you can have a monogram of the names of the bride and groom. These stencils will be fitted over can lights, which are common lights that you’ll see on a theater stage or a concert. They can be easily hired at lighting rental companies. Creating a gobo stencil doesn’t have to be a complicated task. It can be done at home with a sheet of tin and a steady hand, or they can be custom ordered from lighting companies. Have a look at our article on creating custom gobo lightingfor instructions on making it yourself or getting them made.

Gobo lighting on a ceiling

Looking to have an outdoor party? Here are a few outdoor party lighting ideas.

Tiki torches are perfect for outdoor parties

Using Tiki Torches for a Festive Outdoor Party Tiki torches are a great way of creating a festive atmosphere for an outdoor party. They are easy to pick up at hardware or even large department stores. You’ll want to place the torches 15 feet apart and 3-4 feet away from table or chairs. Citronella oil can be used to fuel the torches, which will produce less smoke and will act as a natural and organic insect repellent. Light Up Pools or Ponds With Floating Solar Lights If you have any water features in your outdoor space, a swimming pool, fountain or a pond, these can be lit up with lights. The lights will wash over the calm water, creating relaxing and enchanting ambient lighting. General floating solar lightscan be used – they can continue to light up the water even after the party. Another option is to use the balloon lights mentioned above as these will float. We hope you have fun decorating your space with these party lighting ideas. Let us know if you have any unique ideas that we can add to the list.

image credits: phoenixlily stitchlily Josh Bancroft Nicobobinus Impact Sounds Katherine Martinelli On Stage Lighting


Design Guide: A Range of Pergola Lighting Ideas

During the day, pergolas provide an open structure that allows for a breeze and streaks of sunlight. At night they can provide an intimate setting to relax in, but lighting needs to be added to make it comfortable. Outdoor pergola lighting ideas range from flexible, easy to install lights such as string lights, tiki torches and table lighting, to solar powered, and then to more permanent low voltage lights. Some of the ideas require construction work, and are ideal for people who are in the process of planning their pergola build or those who don’t mind doing some remodeling work. Other design ideas can be easily added onto existing pergolas.

pergola lights

The open structure of a pergola, with their columns and cross beams, allows for a number of lighting ideas to be integrated within it. Outdoor string lights are probably the most versatile and easiest lights to use. These can hang down from the cross beams side by side to create a curtain of light or strung across the top to create a ceiling of light (mimicking a starry night). They can also be wrapped around the columns, or intertwined with any climbing plants around the pergola (grape lights can be used to add a decorative flair). These string lights can be solar powered which will be a lot easier to install, or they can be electrical and plugged in. An alternative would be to use globe string lights, which use normal sized light bulbs and provide brighter lighting. They have a more sophisticated look – much like lighting in French cafes.


Rope lights are another option for pergola lighting. These are LED lights that are incased within a plastic tube to create a rope of lights.

String lights hung side by side creating a curtain of lighting

They can also be wrapped around the posts of the pergola

Tiki torches would be simple to install around the pergola. They can be planted into the soil or placed within buckets of sand to be held upright. You can find citronella tiki torches which use citronella oil as the fuel which will act as a natural insect repellent.  Or there are more permanent options, made from copper or steel, which will require underground gas piping.

The Posts of the Pergola: The posts can be used for a number of lighting ideas and solutions. Solar light fixtures could be screwed onto any wooden posts. If the pillars, the bases of the posts, are built in concrete or stone, you can have lights installed in them during the building process. Uplights or downlights fitted to the beams will add lighting to the pergola. Solar lights could work as up lights, but electrical light fixtures would be brighter and more reliable.

Thispergola uses tabletop lighting and lights attached to the posts

How To Light A Pergola With Outdoor Hanging Lights: There are a number of outdoor pergola lighting options that can hang down from the cross beams. A fan with a light fixture could be hung from the ceiling. There are also a range of outdoor pendant lighting fixtures that can hang down from the pergola – these include lanterns, mini chandeliers, or semi flush mount light kits (check out the photos below). Outdoor, waterproof paper lanterns could also be hung from under the cross beams.

Some DIY pergola lighting options include hanging hooks to the cross beams that can hold up glass jars with candles. These can be taken down and put back up when you need to light and extinguish the candles. Solar powered lights can be hung in the same way.

A ceiling light fixed to the a pergola

A hanging lantern

If you are in the planning or building process, recessed lights can be installed into the flooring of the pergola.

If the pergola is attached to the house in any way, wall lights fixed onto the house wall will provide lighting.

Wall lights attached to the house can provide pergola lighting

There are also lights that can be used on tables within the pergola. Some tabletop lights include, tabletop tiki torches, fire bowls, or a Sun Jar.

Table lanterns can also be used for lighting a pergola

Lighting a pergola can also be done with fire pits that burn wooden logs, oil or use a propane tank.

Find more pergola lighting pictures below for additional design ideas:

Another pergola using hanging lanterns for lighting

A firepit was built withint this pergola

A modern styled pergola using a range of different light fixtures: sconce lighting and post lights

Another example of a pergola using string lighting


L&L LOOK BOOK: Beautiful Uses Of Outdoor String Lights [Lighting Ideas Photo Gallery]

String lights are inexpensive and and highly versatile light fixtures. With a little creativity outdoor string lights can turn a room or an object into a beautiful sight, as you will see below. From weddings, DIY projects to building facades, from sculptures to creating canopy ceilings – there are so many different outdoor string lighting ideas and ways they can be used.



Around The Home

DIY Project: Wine Bottle Light by Wit & Whistle

A DIY lamp piece using a wine bottle and string lights

Normal string lights used with decorative flower strings lights to create a ceiling centerpiece

 DIY Project: Canvas string lights, instructions at Apartment Therapy

canvas light painting

A canvas light painting using string lights

An enchanting bedroom using soft glowing string lights

The string that connects the lights together come in other colors than green. Traditionally used on Christmas trees, the green wires blended into the tree. Here white is used and blends in with the decorations:

White decorative tree branches used with white colored string lights

DIY Project: Paper Cube String Lights by Wit & Whistle

Decorating ordinary outdoor string lights with origami shades

Buy these paper flower lights ready made from Diy or Dont at Etsy

paper flower string lights

Paper craft tissues can be used to create soft flowers and fixed onto string lights

DIY Project: Ruffled Chiffon by Heart Handmade UK

diy string lights

DIY Ruffled Chiffon Fairy Light Box

You can find these paper cut string light lanterns here

paper cut lights

Paper cut lighting by Hannah Nunn

DIY Project: Dixie Cup Light Garland by DIY or Dont

paper cup string lights

Simple DIY paper cup string lighting

Outdoor Lighting Ideas

DIY Project: Coffee Can Lantern by Maggie Makes. (The DIY project uses votive candles to light the lanterns, but these can be replaced with solar powered string lights stuffed into the can.)

DIY coffee can lantern

A DIY coffee can lantern

DIY Project: Outdoor Pendant Light by From The Blue Shed

fairy light outdoor pendant light

DIY fairy light outdoor pendant lighting

String lights can be hung outdoors to provide pathway lighting:

string lights

String lights hanging from a tree lighting a path

Some other outdoor lighting ideas using string lights:

String lights hung side by side outside creating a curtain of lighting

deck lights umbrella

Solar powered string lights lighting up an umbrella on a deck

deck lighting

Mini globe string lights lighting a deck railing


Because of their fanciful look, string lights or “fairy lights”, are popular wedding lights.

They can be placed behind fabric to create a more diffused and softer glow of light. LED string lights would work best as they give off less heat.

Here we can see fairy lights being used again for wedding tent lighting, lining the canopy along with with drapery:

An intimate wedding setting

A romantic wedding backdrop

Building and Street Lighting

Hanging string lights side by side to create a curtain of lighting

Hung from the rooftops to mimic a starry night

Hanging across a street in Nice, France

Spread across a larger street

String lights lighting up tress on a river bank


String lights can also be useful for restaurant lighting – creating soft glowing and intimate lighting for romantic indoor or outdoor restaurant areas.

String lights hung to a point in the ceiling can create a canopy of lights.

String lights decorating trees and banisters in a restaurant

Intertwined with strands of a tree

outdoor grape lighting

Grape string lights decorating a Greek restaurant

Events and Christmas Lighting

Color coordinating: Traditional string lights are green and red, but as you can see from the photos above there are a whole range of other colors the lights come in. For any events, you can color coordinate the string lights to the theme – Christmas: Red and Green, Weddings: White, Saint Patrick’s Day: Green.

party lighting

Using string lights for party lighting ideas

A wicker reindeer sculpture lighted with string lights

Another christmas structure decorated with string lights

Traditional string lights decorating a Christmas tree

image credits


Related Posts:

10 Simple Wireless Deck Lighting Ideas

Exterior Lighting: A Guide To Landscape Lighting 

A Homeowners Guide To Driveway Lighting: The 3 Areas To Light and Choosing Between Low Voltage or Solar Lighting