Are you dreaming of spending those balmy summer evenings in a lantern-lit backyard?
We can see it now. You’re lazing in a vintage deck chair, sipping a perfectly chilled glass of white wine. Or maybe a subtly sweetened peach iced tea.
But wait... Don’t you only have a tiny balcony?
Don’t despair! There are endless balcony lighting ideas that you can use to achieve a romantic atmosphere or make the most of that pretty city view in even the most compact of alfresco spaces.
Outdoor lighting is easy to install, affordable, and comes in a wide array of designs, colors, shapes, and styles.
1. Look at Garden and Restaurant Patio Lighting
From the famous night fountains show at the Palace of Versaille to the cute solar lanterns adoring your neighbor’s wooded lot, the inspiration for balcony lighting can be found all around you.
Restaurants and cafes need to create an atmosphere with their patio lighting to attract customers. Take note of the lighting when dining alfresco at your favorite spots. What style of outdoor balcony lights do they use? Are they bright or subdued? In-your-face or unobtrusive?
Bistro lights, for example, are on trend for 2020 outdoor dining design. Perhaps they’d suit your balcony, too?
Do you have a big balcony? Craft a look-alike fire pit in the center using logs with balcony string lights draped over them. All the atmosphere without the choking smoke!
And for the ultimate in relaxation, complement your backyard lighting with furniture items that conjure up feelings of summer. Think breezy hammocks, striped beach chairs, and rustic log stools.
Want to get up close and personal with lighting for garden design? Take a trip to an event like the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. Be sure to visit in the evening to get the full effect of the lighting displays.
2. Holiday-Themed Balcony Lighting Ideas
There’s nothing that inspires holiday cheer more than seasonal lighting.
If you’re looking to add a touch of festive fun for Halloween or Christmas, a string of suitably colored bulbs along your balcony railing might be the thing for you.
Perhaps you’re more of an extrovert? Then the sky’s the limit! Celebrate summer by adorning the back wall with a colorful coconut palm. Fix pretty pink hearts to the railing for Valentine’s Day. Thrill the kids at Christmas with candy cane rope lighting.
Be sure to keep your neighbors in mind and keep flashing balcony lights to a minimum. Or turn the lights off after 10 PM.
3. Keep Lighting Safe for Kids and Pets
If you have curious kids or cats that love to jump up and grab things, LED strip lighting might be the balcony lighting solution you’re looking for.
LED strip lighting is a great choice in spaces that kids and pets spend time. Bulbs are encased in a plastic cover. There’s no chance of breakages in the case of a little roughhousing.
They stay cool to touch. No risk of burns! And you can reduce electrical dangers in outdoor spaces by purchasing water-resistant lighting.
Best of all, strip lighting comes in a wide range of colors. Create a bright, fun outdoor playroom with rainbow balcony lights or a calming alfresco reading nook with white or blue tones.
Something more permanent can also be an option when it comes to safe outdoor lighting. Wall-mounted light fixtures like cast-iron carriage lanterns and frosted glass sconces will last a lifetime.
4. Build a Recess of Romance on Your Balcony
Looking to turn your apartment balcony into a snuggly nest for you and your loved one?
When it comes to illuminating an outdoor space for romance, low light is key. Think flickering candle bulbs, delicate curtain lights, and balcony lights controlled with a dimmer switch.
Pair your balcony lighting ideas with shaggy rugs, cozy patio furniture, and a spot for that cup of hot chocolate to create an idyllic urban getaway without having to leave home. Make it private by hanging curtains or blinds. Fix them to the roof of your balcony with curtain rods.
Keep a blanket or two outside for snuggling up under that “starry light sky” you’ve created.
5. Go for Green With Your Balcony Lighting Ideas
If you’re an Earth-conscious being, you might be looking to ensure your balcony design is in harmony with nature.
Consider low-energy LED bulbs to save on electricity. Does your balcony get a lot of sunlight? Try solar-powered lighting.
According to the International Dark Sky Association, blue light harms wildlife and should be kept to a minimum. And opt for light bulbs that are as low wattage as possible to reduce light pollution.
What light covers are made of can also make a difference to your environmental impact. Natural materials like wicker or rattan can be added to your compost. Non-polluting materials like recycled plastic and glass and handmade ceramics are another option.
6. Embrace Your Inner DIYer
Creating your own lighting solutions can save money, teach you new skills, and help the planet. It’s time to get crafty!
Upcycle found materials to create unique light fixtures.
Have an old ladder? Mount it to your patio ceiling and drape it in balcony string lights.
Decorate simple bulbs with homemade shades. Carefully drill holes in old glass jars or bottles. Keep safety in mind when doing this. Get your hands on the right tools, and put on protective eyewear and gloves.
Pack an old birdcage with bistro lights and hang it in one corner.
Look online for endless upcycling tips and inspiration.
Not sure where to find items to upcycle. Scour yard sales and thrift stores in your area. Look on Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Keep an eye out at markets for unique textiles and woven baskets when you travel.
7. Turn Your Balcony Into a Jungle
Camouflage is important when lighting a balcony garden. You want the plants to take center stage.
Use lights crafted from natural materials so that they blend in with the bushes. Select lighting styles that can be hidden behind some ferns or woven into a rambling vine of ivy.
Don’t get much sunlight? Install some grow lights. They mimic the light from the sun and will let you grow everything from herbs and lettuces to tomatoes and cucumbers.
For those that don’t have a green thumb, don’t be ashamed to fill your balcony with faux flowers. There are some very realistic options available today. Sooth your conscience by buying ones made from recycled plastic.
Infuse Your Design With Personality
Whatever style you decide to follow, make sure your personality is expressed in your design. Prefer a shabby chic aesthetic? Go the upcycled route. Want something sophisticated. Use home bar lighting and minimalist decor.
Chat with the experts at Birddog Lighting to work out the best balcony lighting ideas for your home.