It’s closing in on summer and assuring that your patio is decorated and in good working order, not just for your enjoyment but so you can entertain and enjoy the outdoor space with friends and family.
Having a good outdoor pendant light fixture can really add style and character to your outdoor space, allowing you to stay out after dark and still be able to step out and see the stars without too much interference.
But knowing how to pick the best outdoor pendant light for your needs can be a struggle and having enough information to make your decision wisely is crucial to choosing the right one. Take a look at the information below, including a roundup of some of the best outdoor pendant light options available on the market, to get started.
What to Look for in an Outdoor Pendant Light
With outdoor pendant lights, it’s important to know the ceiling clearance prior to ordering a fixture. If the roof is too low, and the picture hangs down too far, you may end up hitting your head over and over again. This is especially important if your fixture is hanging near or in front of a doorway. You don’t want she hit the fixture with the door every time you open or close it. Another concern is outdoor rating. You want to assure that any fixture you purchase and install is rated to withstand the weather you expect in your area. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a damaged pendant light.
Other concerns include how the fixture is to be powered. If it must be hardwired, you need to know that you have the access to do so. Or, if your outdoor pendant lamp is a plug-in, you want to assure that you have a weather rated extension cord if necessary and somewhere reasonable to plug it in.
Types of Outdoor Lighting
Choosing the right type of outdoor lighting requires an analysis of the options you have available. With further ado, let’s look at the most common types of outdoor lights:
- Pendants lights are extremely common, whether they are used inside or outside. They have a fixture that hangs from the ceiling with the help of a rod, and are available in drum pendants, bell pendant, and mini-pendant forms.
- Chandeliers are a specific type of pendants but they are categorized separately because of their bulbs (pendants come with a single bulb while chandeliers have multiple bulbs).
- Lanterns have a more unique design and they can be either hanging or wall-mounted fixtures.
- Track lighting isn’t necessarily a type of hanging light, but it does deserve to be mentioned here.
How to Choose
Never bought outdoor lights before? You aren’t sure what are the features to pay attention to? Then the following list is something you definitely want to read:
- When you’re looking to buy a light fixture, check it’s UL rating. This will tell you whether or not the lights are suitable for outdoor use. Fixtures marked with UL damp will need some sort of coverage, while UL wet fixtures can be exposed to rain.
- Dark sky is another feature specific to outdoor lights. This will tell you if the light is directed downwards in order to avoid disturbing the surroundings. These fixtures eliminate light leakage and they are required by some communities.
- Some lights might have photo-cell technology, meaning that the lights are automatically turned on at dusk and will turn themselves off at dawn.
- Other fixtures are connected to solar panels and do not require a connection to your home’s electricity system. They draw power from the sun and use it to illuminate the surroundings of your home.
- There are light fixtures that are equipped with motion sensors. That means that they consume less energy because they will only activate when they detect movement within the sensor’s range. It is also a security measure that typically helps scare potential intruders off the premises.
How do I choose an exterior light?
Choosing an outdoor exterior light will strongly depend on what you want to achieve. For instance, some people want outdoor lights for safety reasons and to scare intruders, in which case lights with motion sensors are ideal. Others want fixtures that can illuminate an elegant patio setup, so chandeliers might work best for them.
What type of outdoor lighting is best?
The best outdoor lighting is the one that suits your needs. If you’re looking to be cost-efficient, invest in solar lights. If you want to place fixtures without any roof on top, consider waterproof fixtures. It all comes down to prioritizing what it is that you need from your outdoor lights.
Where should I place my outdoor lights?
This really depends on where you’re going to place the fixture and what type of lights you’re thinking of buying. For example, front door wall lights should be centered about six inches above the door, just like front porch ceiling lights. Patio dining chandeliers should be centered above the table, while driveway and garden lamp posts need to be at least one foot away from the driveway/street or 5.5 to 6.5 feet available from the bottom of the fixture to the ground.
The Wyckoff blackened oil rubbed bronze 15-inch plug-in outdoor pendant light is rated for wet locations, meaning it can have direct water exposure. This is excellent for a fixture intended for installation outdoors. This lamp is perfect as a front porch light, under a covered patio in the back, or beneath of veranda to offer a warm glow over a dinner under the stars. The openwork shade is artful, crafted with weather resistant metal, which can handle UV lighting as well as rain and other inclement weather.
The light within the fixture is contained within a clear, glass globe, which adds ambiance to this light. This is a plug-in, so you may need to run an extension cord from the fixture to your plug area. Make sure all supplies are weather rated. The fixture has an adjustable hanging length, though the minimum height is 16 in for clearance. Make sure this is not a problem in front of doorways.
The Flavien brown 5 bulb outdoor chandelier is a modern black warm finish using kiln-dried weathered oak and softer interior lights for a subtle glow. The hardware looks antique, having been forged in iron in order to give a textured dark cross over traditional design elements with the modern appearance. This particular fixture is hardwired, so you may need some electrical expertise in order to fit it to your space. However, this resolve any issues with exposed wiring that could be damned in inclement weather conditions. The bulb shades are glass, and the bulb base is a candelabra. By contrast, the wooden sphere shape is unique and works as a talking piece when you have guests, friends or family.
With the proper bulbs, and a dimmer switch, the fixture is fully dimmable, but it does not come with these parts the chain length is up to 60 in, which means if you have a high Portico ceiling over your patio, it will still function Beauty. Make sure you have clearance if mounting above a door, as well as room to move under it without hitting your head. This pendant is rated for damp. Therefore, it can be outdoor but should not be exposed to direct rainfall. The fixture is covered by a one-year warranty for your peace of mind against manufacturer defects.
The Mount Vernon bronze 8 bulb outdoor chandelier takes a farmhouse aesthetic and incorporates modern elements for a beautiful blend that is chic and will work in any outdoor space. In fact, this may also be a classic edition to your kitchen lighting. The design is durable, which means you don’t have to worry about damage from being outdoors. It is rated for use in damp locations, so be sure it is not exposed to direct rainfall. The Bronze finish gives it a classic, appearance, and coupled with the glass shades over the eight lights, you get a beautiful glow day or night.
The chain hung fixture does offer dimming capability with the appropriate bulbs and dimmer switch. You would need to provide these yourself. You can use standard 60-watt bulbs for prime performance without dimming. This fixture needs almost 28 in of clearance but can be mounted at a maximum height of over 12 feet. Rest assured in your purchase decision with the one-year limited warranty offered. This outdoor fixture is also fire rated and Title 24 compliant.
The Payeur 1 bulb outdoor hanging Lantern is excellent for use on porch or patio, above doors to illuminate your way as you leave the house at night, or for an outdoor dinner. While it is not rated for direct rainfall, it is damp rated which means it is appropriate outdoors undercover. The weather resistant metal from which it is crafted has some resistance to UV light as well as dampness from rain. The lantern style and appearance are quite traditional, offering a great amount of charm while highlighting the textured glass shades that surrounds the single light inside. This outdoor fixture is not dimmable.
However, mounting height is adjustable with a chain length of 48 inches and a wire length for hardwiring of 12 feet. The pendant lamp is extremely lightweight, at around 3.5 pounds. The manufacturer recommends using a 100-watt bulb for maximum performance. To clean, use a moist cloth but no soap, as only water is recommended on this product. Some assembly is required, as with most fixtures. Feel confident with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer.
The Jacinta 4 outdoor light turn takes the traditional Lantern appearance, including Lantern bulbs, and retrofits it with more modern appeal. Rated for wet locations, this particular pendant light can be hung in places that are not covered and withstand the rain. It is made from aluminum with a powder coated finish 4 weather resistant against rust and sun damage, with glass shade material to protect the bulbs. It has a candelabra base, which allows for multiple bulbs with an even shine.
This outdoor pendant light isn’t dimmable, and it is hardwired so requires the ability to directly connect to your electrical wiring. You’ll need at least 21 inches of clearance for this particular lantern fixture, whether above a door or in the center of a covered patio. As most outdoor fixtures, this comes with a 1-year warranty for your convenience and peace of mind.
The Divita 3 Bulb Outdoor Chandelier offers a contemporary take on a classic design so you can retrofit it into any décor as a cohesive design element. This outdoor pendant light consists of three independent globes of cream-colored woven fabric set in abstract scribble shade holders for a maximum artistic appeal. This works to diffuse light softly for a beautiful ambient appeal, whether for a late-night dinner or a gathering with friends. The fixture is a plug-in for ease of installation, but you’ll need to be sure your cords are covered or rated for outdoors, and your power source is readily available.
However, you can leave the fixture plugged in and turn on and off with the pull chain for convenience. The pendant light is not dimmable, but it is rated for damp areas, so you can rest assured you’ll get performance from the lamp as long as it’s in a covered space and not exposed to direct rainfall. You’ll need 22 inches or more of clearance, with a max mounting height of almost 12 feet. The Divita chandelier comes with a 1-year warranty.
The Proto Weathered Zinc 3 Bulb Outdoor Pendant Light has a futuristic style and great appeal, whether you use it indoors for a conversation piece or outside to catch the attention of neighbors and passers-by. While the metal that has a weathered zinc finish creates images of molecular structures and other abstract pieces, the cylindrical glass lamp shades inside are traditional in style and keep the fixture from being too out of place in today’s world.
The durable craftsmanship means that, with the wet location rating, you can place this pendant light anywhere, including in direct weather conditions, such as rainfall and direct sunlight. As opposed to a chain, the Proto pendant is hung on a rod, so it doesn’t swing like many fixtures in the breeze. When fitted with the correct bulbs and a dimmer switch, this pendant light can become dimmable for mood lighting, making it great for brighter light while entertaining or a dimmer glow during a romantic dinner or while trying to stargaze without backlighting interrupting the view.
The Durrant 1 Light Outdoor Pendant Light is a simple overhead fixture for outdoor use that wraps into the additional décor on your patio with a woven design and a traditional appearance. You can install these alone or in lines or clusters to outfit your covered patio or porch with the appropriate lighting as needed for your application, including entertaining or simply enjoying your outdoor space at night. The pendant light is rated for damp environments, which means you shouldn’t use this in an area that isn’t covered, as it can’t be exposed to direct rainfall. However, the dampness from the weather will not damage this fixture.
The old bronze finish makes it classic and helps it blend in with any design or theme. It’s also great for use with CFL bulbs of 13 – 15 watts, helping you to save energy throughout the year while still getting great, long lasting use. The glass and synthetic wicker make for a beautiful aesthetic that is highly durable. The 1-year warranty gives you the opportunity to protect yourself should there be any manufacturer defects that cause some sort of failure.
The Knarr 1 Bulb LED Outdoor Pendant is one of the most simplistic designs that still offers a contemporary and luxurious aesthetics for an outdoor fixture. In addition, it gives you peace of mind in terms of energy efficiency, using an LED bulb that helps conserve energy and save you the cost of a bulb that requires greater wattage. The design of the cylindrical down facing pendant lamp is the Craftsman style, and this is combined with the integral LED light to create the perfect ambiance without breaking the bank.
The fixture base is metal, and the entire thing is wet rated, so it can be exposed to direct rainfall without damage. The aluminum construction also protects all parts of the fixture from any sort of rust or corrosion. The pendant must be powered through hardwiring, so you may need some electrical assistance to install. You’ll need a little over two feet of clearance if you plan to hang this over your door, due to the length of the fixture itself.
The Carson 1 Light Outdoor Pendant Fixture is a globe design that incorporates high style combined with sturdiness and beauty. The modern design is in direct conflict with the vintage iron finish on the rounded fixture, and yet, it works beautifully together and can be a great addition to any space. The seedy glass shade over the single bulb adds more texture to the piece, giving the entire pendant fixture an overall transitional design element.
The fixture is stem hung rather than chain hung, so it’s a fixed length, though the fixture itself is available in multiple sizes so you can choose the one that works best for your space. The materials are applicable in a damp location, so it’s best used in a covered patio or porch, or other covered area rather than in the path of direct rainfall. The manufacturer recommends the use of a 100-watt bulb for best performance.
The Aria 1 Light Outdoor Pendant is a simple, conical design with a bronze finish that works in any space, blending into the environment so it’s not obvious but can still be a notable conversation piece. Rated for damp locations, the piece can be installed in any covered outdoor space that isn’t directly hit by rainfall, as this could damage the pendant light. The fixture can use typical incandescent bulbs, and the manufacturer recommends 100-watt bulbs for best performance.
However, it’s also rated for LED bulbs, and the recommendation is a 5-watt LED. Only a single bulb is required for operation, so it’s very inexpensive to keep furnished and, if you use LED, it will cost almost nothing to run. Some assembly will be required, as with most outdoor pendant lights, but the fixture is lightweight and easy to handle.
The Kinsler 1 Bulb Integrated LED Outdoor Pendant light fixture is definitely unique in design, with a silver finish and an exquisite, opulent design that people will notice instantly. With a built in LED light, you don’t have to worry about getting a bulb, and it’ll run inexpensively throughout the year. It’s also rated for wet locations so can withstand direct exposure to rainfall and other precipitation. Best of all, this particular fixture has the option of powering with a plug-in cord or running on batteries, so you can mount it anywhere, whether close to an outlet or not.
The Turkish inspired design is created of stamped iron metal, with a silver finish for a royal appearance. It has a remote to power it on and off, so you can even hang these pendants in trees in the yard for a magical wonderland appearance at night. You even get timed on and off, flicker capability, and dimming.
The Elisabetta 2 Bulb Outdoor Pendant light is a two-tone black and whiskey design that could add a luxurious feel to a saloon or lighten up the most opulent and regal entryway. The curb appeal of this fixture comes from the lantern style architecture that has gone into the crafting, as well as the warm glow from the two-bulb candelabra inside the metal and glass. The fixture is dimmable for mood lighting, so you don’t have to worry if you want to spend time stargazing from your patio that the brightness will dampen the effect in the sky.
In addition, the pendant light is rated for damp locations. While that means you can’t mount it in direct rainfall, it can withstand the elements beneath a covering. You’ll want plenty of clearance for this beauty, since the fixture itself is almost two feet long, and you’ll still need to add in some chain length.
The Lois 2 Bulb Outdoor Hanging Lantern maintains the appearance of a classic gas lantern from the sixties while running on all electric power and giving a bit of a modern spin to the design. The yoke mount lantern is designed from hand riveted copper and brass so that no two lamps are exactly the same. You can choose aged copper or industrial bronze finishes to match the rest of your patio or porch décor, as long as you’re able to hardwire it into your electrical system for use.
If paired with a dimmer switch and two proper bulbs, the lantern is capable of dimming function, so you can adjust your lighting according to your needs. It’s rated for damp locations, so make sure it’s under an overhang or some kind of patio covering to avoid direct exposure to rain and snow. You’ll need about 29 inches of clearance to hang, between fixture and chain length, so be sure to measure the space above a door prior to mounting there.
The Bergland 4 Light Outdoor Hanging Lantern is perhaps one of the most luxurious products you could include in your outdoor lighting design. This outdoor pendant light is a very traditional lantern style, reminiscent of oil lamp days, with an old bronze finish and seeded glass for texture that gives the entire pendant an aged and antique appearance. However, the illumination is provided through 4 60-watt incandescent candelabra bulbs.
The fixture is not compatible with dimming bulbs or switches, but it offers soft ambient lighting that is ideal for lighting the way outside or providing the right mood for an outdoor dinner. It’s rated for damp locations and should be mounted under some sort of cover to avoid direct rain or snow. You’ll need over 26 inches of clearance to mount, so higher ceilings are necessary when mounting over doors. The Bergland outdoor pendant fixture comes with a 1-year warranty.