Outdoor Lighting Tips to Get You Through Fall

Happy first day of fall! It's that magical time of the year where the days are getting shorter, but the temperatures are still comfortable enough to enjoy the outdoors well after the sun has gone down.

One of the keys to enjoying your yard or porch during fall is to have appropriate lighting to suit the mood or activity. Here are some tips on how to design the perfect lighting setup for your outdoor space.

Mulched Backyard With String Lights

Mulched Backyard With String Lights

Warm outdoor lighting brightens this mulched backyard. Wooden benches circle up around a barrel for a rustic outdoor sitting area.

Photo by: Barron Custom Design, LLC

Barron Custom Design, LLC

Cafe string lights are an easy way to add some serious ambiance to an outdoor space, and this ranch home gathering space by Austin, Texas designer Felicia Foster is one of my favorite spots with cafe lighting. These lights come at a variety of price points: you can find affordable strings at big-box stores or get heavy-duty (but more expensive) strings from specialty lighting companies.

Outdoor Room: French-Inspired Home in Dallas, Texas

Outdoor Room: French-Inspired Home in Dallas, Texas

French doors off the great room open onto the scenic backyard with two outdoor living areas. This covered space boasts tile flooring, a large stone fireplace, ceiling fans and curtains on two sides.

Photo by: Ebby Halliday, a member of Luxury Portfolio International®

Ebby Halliday, a member of Luxury Portfolio International®

Adjustable lighting transitions well through each season. These industrial-style lights can be twisted to project light softly against the pergola ceiling for ambient light or turned straight down for sharper, more direct lighting in the seating area for darker nights.

Luxurious Outdoor Kitchen and Bar With a View

Luxurious Outdoor Kitchen and Bar With a View

This outdoor kitchen and bar has a Mediterranean design with sweeping views.

From: Mark Scott Associates

Photo by: Mark Scott; Photo by Will Hare Photography ©Will Hare Photography

Mark Scott; Photo by Will Hare Photography, Will Hare Photography

Just as it's needed in an indoor kitchen, task lighting is very important in outdoor kitchens and entertaining spaces. In this outdoor kitchen designed by California landscape architect Mark  Scott ,  recessed lighting and a ceiling fan light help illuminate the grill and countertop. As a bonus, lighting tucked into the ceiling's recesses creates extra ambiance.

Modern Venetian Isle Residence

Modern Venetian Isle Residence

The back of this modern home includes a tropical setting, luxury swimming pool and an outdoor bar that's perfect for entertaining.

Photo by: Choeff Levy Fischman

Choeff Levy Fischman

When selecting outdoor lighting, think of how each piece of the lighting puzzle works together for your comprehensive design. Miami architect Ralph Choeff designed this modern home so that indoor lighting projects and illuminates the outside spaces. That means, outdoor lighting can be limited to details, such as the step lights and wall sconces in the outdoor kitchen.

Check out the HGTV Photo Library for more design inspiration.

More Outdoor Lighting Tips to Try

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Try DIY Pendant Shades

Electric or battery-powered hanging bulbs can be a starting point for an original outdoor shade. Designer Jamie Durie cut the bottoms from candle holders and fitted them around basic pendant lights to create a dabbled light effect in this outdoor dining room.

Go Stainless

Can't figure out where to start? You can't go wrong with a stainless steel pendant: It will not only blend seamlessly with most of the outdoor furniture on the market, it will also solidify an industrial-chic look. Image courtesy Knight Moves

Bring the Indoors Out

Emily Henderson used a thrift store light fixture as a focal point for this Japanese-inspired dining area. A glass and metal light like this one will be fine outdoors in the summer months, and you can store it indoors for the winter. Get more of Emily's tips to help you create your own alfresco dining room.

Give an Old Light Fixture New Life

In pergolas or freestanding structures where electricity may not be available, candles are your best solution. But don't just throw them on the table: With a few tweaks, turn a discarded chandelier into one powered by battery-operated candles. Image courtesy In My Own Style

Repurpose a Pot Rack

For a more casual, organic look, try traditional candles nestled inside Mason jars mixed with succulents or other plants. Erin from Erin Ever After used a hanging pot rack to suspend her arrangement over the table.

Hang a Candle Chandelier

The wire-and-glass chandelier featured in this Mediterranean living space is designed to be lit with candles at night, but it's pretty enough that it's a focal point during the day, too.

Try Moroccan Style

For an eclectic look, try a Moroccan lantern. These pieces can vary widely in price, so it's easy to find one in your budget. For a quick and inexpensive solution, find a thrift store lantern and use candles as your light source. Image courtesy John Coulter Designs

Light the Way

Don't forget to light the pathway to your outdoor room. Create this look like Karen of The Art of Doing Stuff did using only a ubiquitous globe fixture and a strand of white lights. Presto: chic, cheap outdoor lighting.

Use Holiday Lights Year Round

While it is typically frowned upon to have your Christmas lights up after the holidays, the strands of white bulbs can provide you with another amazing source of light for your outdoor room. String them across your patio like Emily Henderson did here, or use them to line a path, wrap around a tree or highlight a plant. Get more of Emily's tips to create an inviting outdoor room.

Bring In a Feminine Touch

With steel furniture, concrete, brick and stone, it's no wonder most outdoor spaces tend to lean toward a masculine look. Add a touch of whimsy and a more feminine vibe with a capiz chandelier, like the one featured on this bright and colorful patio (find the DIY project here). Image courtesy ModaChrome Home

Light Up Your Party

Even if you typically don't have an outdoor structure, events are a wonderful excuse to warm up your yard for guests. Paper lanterns are inexpensive and colorful and come in a rainbow of colors and a range of sizes.

Photo By: Via Food Network

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