Pergola Lighting Ideas to Make Your Backyard Shine

Pergola with lights

Pergolas are a wonderful addition to your outdoor space, highlighting a defined area to gather, relax or enjoy an alfresco meal. You’ve spent the time decorating and building the structure, it’s time to enhance the space further. Lighting is everything. Simple solutions such as string lights, candles or lanterns create a welcoming ambiance and set the mood for your pergola space. Here are a few of our favourite pergola lighting ideas to consider when the sun goes down.


a lantern on a table

Add a little atmospheric lighting with outdoor lanterns. This low-maintenance, yet stylish option, adds a subtle glow to your outdoor space. Without the need for an outlet, some lanterns are portable and can be dotted around your area for an intimate gathering, ideally for a romantic date night. Set them on tabletops, dark corners, or walkways. You can also add hanging lanterns to your pergola and strategically place them above common areas.


outdoor chandelier

These aren’t just meant for your grand entryway or formal dining area, but these can make a remarkable statement to your outdoor space too. With chandeliers designed for outdoor use, these will withstand the elements while impressing your guests. Available in many styles and sizes, you’ll want to assess your area and overall design and choose a chandelier that will match your space.

String Lights

string lights underneath pergola

A quick and cost-effective way to brighten your pergola is trendy string lights. Hanging strands from above on your pergola creates a cozy atmosphere. Intertwine them through the rafters or string them along the perimeter of your structure. Another popular option is to zig-zag them across the top. Look for outdoor-rated bulbs, and be mindful of the placement of the cord since they need to be plugged into an outlet or extension cord.


Looking for a dreamy, romantic lighting idea? Candles create an ambiance with perfectly dim lighting. Decorate with tea candles sprinkled around the space or create a lighted path towards the pergola. However, if you’re looking for something more robust, safe and can withstand a windy evening, flameless candles are what you’re looking for. Large, electric candles encased in a beautiful lantern create an effortless look when staggered together. Mix and match different styles with no fear of a potential fire hazard.

Fire Torches

first tiki torch

If the atmosphere you are going for is a fun, festive, vacation feeling, fire torches can add the entertaining glow you are looking for. When used with citronella, these fuel-lit torches also help fend off nighttime insects such as pesky mosquitos. These affordable lighting options are great to liven up a backyard barbeque party. When installing these, make sure they are at least 6-8 feet away from each other and structures for safety.

Curtain lights

Add walls of lighting with curtain lights. These attach to the outer beams of your structure and have strings of LED lights hanging down, creating a curtain effect. This fun concept of lighting looks great along an accent pergola wall or behind your main seating area.


Illuminate your pergola posts with sconces. These brighten the perimeter of your pergola with safety in mind. You can choose to add powered lighting for daily use or try sconces that use candles for a different ambiance. 

Landscape Pergola Lighting

Highlighting your common outdoor area creates a visual interest, while promoting an inviting space. Instead of directly highlighting your pergola, try brightening up the areas surrounding the structure, such as a nearby garden space. You could also try uplighting nearby bushes, flowers, and/or trees.

With many lighting ideas, there is a style that will work best for your space, depending on how you plan to use it. Don’t forget to take advantage of solar-powered or remote-control lighting to save energy and effort.

Which lighting idea will you try? Comment below and let us know.

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