Louvre next to pool with LED lights around home

Outdoor Lighting for the Garden and Entertainment Areas

Posted on Posted in Tips for Outdoor Living Spaces

Artificial lighting is a critical component when utilising garden space in the evenings. The question is, how to get the lighting right?

There are many options when choosing the ideal lighting for your garden, so it can be hard to determine what is right for you. This article will go over each type of light and what they are best for. The focus will be on six types of lights: hanging pendant lights, beam lights, string lights, ground lights, installed LED lights and spike lights.

The first step in lighting design is deciding what you’d like to focus on in your garden; there is an array of choices. Whether it is focusing on entertainment areas, marking specific pathways, steps, or driveways to provide more functionality to the lighting design, or highlighting key features, like trees, existing structures, or water features to add depth and silhouettes from the darkness.

IQ Outdoor living offer several different lighting options that can be installed in our Awning and Louvre roofing structures. These are designed to meet the specific needs of the individual garden, the team at IQ are on hand to help you create the most aesthetically pleasing light design as possible.


Hanging Pendant Lights

Patio awning over a dining area

Hanging pendant lights are perfect for outdoor entertainment areas and outdoor kitchens; they create a comprehensive light field that is very useful for food preparation and consumption.

Although they do create comprehensive illumination, many offer the option of being dimmable, so they are perfect for creating different atmospheres depending on the current function of the area.

These lights are often used as statement lights because of their large design and positioning (usually hanging directly above the entertainment areas). These must be wired in and need an existing structure to be installed, so are they are a permanent fixture in the garden lighting design.


Beam Lights

Beam lights are a fantastic choice for outdoor dining areas or kitchens; they can span the length of the table or worktop, flooding the necessary areas with light. This contemporary design contains several bulbs built into the beam meaning the illumination available is very even.

Some beam designs even include both a dimmable option and a heat lamp option, so even if the evening has taken a chilly turn, the outdoor area maintains a comfortable temperature. They also require installation and will be a permanent fixture in the lighting design.


LED Lights

LED strip light retractable awning above a seating area

LED lights and LED stripping can exist embedded into a structure or freely around all areas of the garden. The IQ Outdoor living Retractable Awning and the Louvre are roof structures that can include LED lights and stripping in their designs. The LED lights and stripping have the option of being installed around the perimeter of both frames.

The awning also has the option for the stripping to be installed across the fabric of the retractable section. If the roof is installed over a kitchen or entertainment area, this type of lighting will effectively and evenly illuminate a large area. The stripping also has colour change options, spanning from white, red, green, to blue. Another feature of the LED lights is that they are dimmable, so can be used to change the atmosphere.


String Lights

freestanding aluminium louvre roof in a luxury garden for a modern outdoor seating area

String lights, also known as fairy lights, produce different levels of illumination, depending on the design chosen.  They are commonly installed to either run across or around an entertainment area or run across and hang down the fencing around the garden’s boundaries, creating a curtain effect for the lights.


The string lights design has many variations; some lights are coloured, some can have plastic casings like flowers or miniature jars, and some are even wrapped around wire shapes into words.

Their versatility means that they are very suitable for use all around the garden. They are generally small electric lights that can be either wall or battery-powered, meaning they can easily be transferred to other areas of the garden.


Ground Lights

Ground lights are installed into the floor of the garden space and are wired in, so are a permanent lighting fixture. These have various options, from entirely flat LED style lights to 3D shapes that protrude from ground level. This design is excellent for creating a subtle glow, producing a more intimate lighting style.


Spike Lights

Ground lights around the pool

If the permanence of installed ground lights is unappealing, spike lights can be used. The Spike lights are a more temporary option that will work in any garden with a few inches of soil or gravel; they can be pushed into the soil and remain upright, although they cannot be walked on like some flat LED ground lights. They can be solar powered so, they do not require any wiring and can be moved around whenever necessary.

Both ground lights and the spike lights illuminate from below, so they are best for pathways, stairs, flower beds, or to reveal water features. As they create a more subtle glow, this type of light is not the most suitable for outdoor kitchens or dining areas where people will want visibility to cook and consume food. If the area is used for entertainment and drinking, then this type of light will be sufficient.


This article has primarily focused on controlling the lighting in the evening, but natural light can also be controlled by utilising outdoor shading solutions such as our louvre and awning roof systems. The Retractable awning roof and louvre roof provide the user with the ability to control the light during the daytime.

outdoor living pod with glass walls for weather protection and clear views

Both systems are fully automated and have options for weather sensors that will automatically close when it rains, for example. If the roofing is not enough, there is the option to integrate blinds, vertical louvres, and glass doors with the IQ Outdoor Living Systems.

Glass doors can be designed with specialized coatings such as solar control or electrochromic. These can block certain amounts of natural light for a unique shading option.


Outdoor lighting is a crucial part of utilizing garden space, this article was designed to illuminate your pathway to the perfect garden lighting design. If you are interested in the roofing systems mentioned, then contact the team at IQ Outdoor Living.

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