Outdoor Restaurant Lighting Ideas to Create the Perfect Ambience

Lighting is a big factor for a restaurant. When you talk about an outdoor restaurant, it’s far more important to build the ambiance.

I use to travel a lot. Whenever I go to any big or small city, I search for restaurants with outdoor sitting facilities.

While sitting there I often notice the lighting. Some restaurants neglect their outdoor lighting and I must say that is a huge mistake they make.

Besides serving good food, lighting is considered to be a major factor for a restaurant. Proper decoration of lights is a must-have feature for a restaurant that dines outside.

Owners often make it clumsy and over or less lighting in the lawns. It’s important to install them in the right way.

Let’s try to find out the importance of outdoor restaurant lighting and some right ways to do it.

Benefits of Using Lights in Outdoor Restaurants

Most people who choose an outdoor restaurant for dine-in; have a different and classy choice. They also want a soothing atmosphere with good food.

The environment of an outdoor restaurant mostly depends on its lighting. A shattered lighting arrangement will never serve the purpose of this type of restaurant.

The safety of the guests is another reason why lighting is important. Lighting plays a major role to increase the potential customer for an outdoor restaurant.

Similarly, a bad ambiance with bad and shadowy lighting can keep customers away. The management will also find it difficult to maintain their service as well.

6 Lighting Ideas for Outdoor Restaurants

While you are planning an outdoor or patio restaurant, make sure you arrange enough light for everyone. People will be able to see each other and their food also.

These days, people love to take snaps at restaurants. You need to keep that in mind while planning the light arrangements.

Here I will give you some tips about patio lighting. I have experienced these in some of the best and coziest outdoor restaurants in several cities of the world.

Let’s move forward

1) Set the lights in layers

Setting or arranging the lights in many layers will increase the look of the restaurant. Rather than arranging them in single lines, you can choose this option.

It will look even more beautiful if you apply this to several string lights. Just hang one string lower than another. Repeat the process and a beautiful layered look will create.

2) Hanging a chandelier would be great

candle light dinner in backyard

You have a tree in your backyard or lawn restaurant and are you worried about decorating it? A chandelier can be a great solution to your problem.

Just set a table under the tree and hang a chandelier from the tree. Trust me; this table will become one of the hotcakes for your guests. It will make the environment more formal and classy.

3) Make a light frame with the table

This is becoming a popular idea for outdoor restaurants and backyards. Set some string lights with an over-the-table rod and decorate the rod with some flowers.

This will add a special tone to the ambiance. Romantic dinners or family dinners can be held on these tables.

You can use plug-in lights or battery-powered lights for the frame.

4) Paper or bamboo lanterns

paper lantern

Outdoor restaurants or lawns are just perfect for arranging BBQ parties. To add an extra ambiance to the environment, you can always use some paper or bamboo lanterns.

If you are just decorating for one party, a paper lantern is a good option. Bamboo lanterns are suitable for permanent lighting decorations.

You can also go for battery-operated lanterns instead of lights inside the lanterns.

5) Wall mounts lights for arched structures

Wall mounts lights

Pergola or arched structures can add versatility to your patio restaurant. You can use more of your space.

Wall-mounted lights are the best answer for arched shades or porches. These spaces get dark pretty soon. Installing wall mount lights can lighten up the space quickly.

6) You can use dark sensor lights there.

Decorate trees or architectural structures with string lights. If your backyard is framed or surrounded by trees or architectural structures like columns, bless yourself, my friend! This is a great advantage for storing lights on them.

All you need to do is set some string lights around them. String lights create a nice welcoming environment. Your string lights will be more attractive for a longer time if you clean regular basis.

You can add some battery-powered artificial candles to add some extra vibe. You can also add some decorative lights instead of candles. Make sure you don’t put them on the walkway.

Things You Should Consider

Safety first

Safety is the main purpose of installing lights. That’s also true for an outdoor restaurant.

Don’t forget to highlight the steps, ramps, and curbs with some indicator lights. To solve this issue, you can use wall scones, post-top lights, or rope lights under the steps.

You can use rope lights to mark the pathway and state the landscape. People can find their way through these lights.

You can plant some small trees beside every table and decorate them with rope lights to indicate the tables and increase visibility.

Install warm color lights

Nowadays LED lights are available in various colors. Whatever type of light you are using, try using a warm color of that one.

Warm lights make the foods look so delicious and appealing. Warm colors make people feel they are sitting beside a fireplace.

Make sure you don’t use any blue, red, or chaotic colors. People and foods will look weird in them.

A firepit will give a natural vibe

This can be a great idea if you can execute it. You can install a firepit on the porch. A luxurious sitting arrangement can be done around it. This can be your most expensive reservation.


It will spread some warmth in your outdoor dining in cool seasons. People feel relaxed and safe beside a fireplace and they enjoy their food a lot there. This is completely a psychological issue.

Mix shapes and colors

When planning for the lights for an outdoor dining restaurant, go for lights with different shapes and colors. It will create an aesthetic impression over the place.

Did you see a flowerbed with different colored flowers? You can count on me; to hang the different colored lights at different heights. Some of them can be round, triangle, rectangle, or cylinder shaped.

You can apply this idea from the entrance to the middle of the lawn where your tables are.

Show your taste and personality

Lights and their decorations will reflect your taste and personality. It has a great impact on your guests.

Don’t do anything foolish like setting disco lights in a formal cozy outdoor restaurant. Similarly, don’t make it too dark so that level of visibility decreases.


An outdoor restaurant is a great idea. People love eating and spending their time at restaurants like these.

Light is the main way to express the ambiance of an outdoor restaurant. You have to put similar effort into it that you put into decorating your indoors.

Lights will set the mood of each person. If you cannot decide what way you should go, ask for help from the professionals and share your ideas with them.

About The Author

Photo of author
Written by Shimul
Hi, I'm Shimul, the founder of Trendy Outdoor. I'm excited about sharing the latest outdoor living trends with you. My goal is to provide you with up-to-date information that will help make your outdoor space stylish and enjoyable. Read About Me More । Follow on Facebook

Leave a Comment