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Balcony Lights Ideas: Bringing Warmth to Your Outdoor Space

By: Joanne Derrick |

A balcony is the epitome of luxury if you live in the city and are lucky enough to have precious outdoor space. So you’ll want to make the most of your balcony throughout the day and going into the evening.

The kind of lighting you’ll need will depend on how you use the balcony. Softer lighting is appropriate for dining, brighter lights are better for close work or reading. 

The lighting and balcony decor should continue the theme of your interior design. So if you like boho style, you’d expect to find texture and pattern, and therefore a variety of different lights. Minimalist styling however is likely to be cooler and austere with simple light fittings. 

You’ll certainly find some inspiration for your balcony with the range of options available.

Simple Balcony Lighting

 Simple Balcony Lighting scaled

For effortless yet effective balcony lights, you can plug in outdoor festoon lights or fairy lights, or choose a battery powered or solar option. Battery or rechargeable lights often come with a remote control so you may select a timer, or dim the light as you want, for example.

Winding the lights gently round a railing, leaving a casual yet professional effect, will give you points in the hip department. Perfect for a trendy urban apartment where you can create a touch of glamor.

Festoon Festival Lights

 Festoon Festival Lights scaled

Festoon lights are versatile and can be strung above the balcony to provide good light from above. They’re also associated with parties and fun, so are great if you like to entertain and have friends come round.

Whether you loosely drape several rows of lights, or fix them around the top of the exterior wall, this is an easy option that doesn’t need an expert. Be sure to use the correct fixings and technique, and check that the lights are suitable for outdoor use. 

Modern Lighting Touch

For a cool, sleek look then black spotlights and a simple lamp are ideal for a minimal designer look. You’ll want to keep all of your decor pared back with statement furniture and art pieces for impact.

Matching the finish of your lighting with your furniture and detailing is important. Also, you may find for a minimal look that a crisp, white light works best for this taste of precision.

Pillar Lights for Your Balcony

As well as strings of festoon lights, you might like to install permanent lighting in a different style that could also double up as security lights. 

You can fix lantern style lights on the corners of your balcony. If installed on a post, your lighting will look like it has been fitted bespoke and is an inexpensive way of adding luxury. 

Fantasy Balcony Lighting

For those who are perfectly happy to have their heads in the clouds, then a dreamy, abundant lighting scheme is just right for lazy evenings enjoying the balcony. 

To match in with boho fabrics and textures, you can also layer your lights. From a ceiling filled with fairy lights, to candles and lanterns beneath, this is a wonderful choice for maximalists.

Chinese Lanterns

For a softer look than festoon lighting, and one which adds some character, then small paper lampshades are just the ticket.

While Chinese lanterns are typically larger, you can also buy strings of electric or battery lights which also come in many colors. 

Paper lights are inexpensive and have been in fashion in recent times. If you like the idea of the Far East in your home, this could be a good choice for you.

Moroccan Delight

Traveling the world for lighting ideas, we can stop at Morocco and covet its gorgeous geometric designs. Moroccan style has been on trend recently for tile patterns, vivid colors and metal fretwork.

This idea can be continued in gorgeous rusted lanterns which can be hung from your balcony. A perfect rustic look straight out of Marrakech. Pair with beautiful silks and embroidered fabrics, as well as trailing plants.

Eclectic Electric

If you can’t choose which your favorite kind of balcony lighting is, then why not choose several types!

You can layer your lights as you would plants and fabrics. So don’t be scared about mixing festoon or fairy lights with lanterns, and even some candles dotted about, for a truly romantic balcony look. 

Balcony Light Curtain

A fairy light curtain is a simple fix for maximum impact on one or two walls of your balcony. You will get a soft, sparkly light which looks incredible when it’s very dark.

Choose from electric or solar and battery versions. Dressed with an exotic plant and some simple furniture, your attention will focus on the twinkly fairy light glow.

On the Spot

Wall lights can be used creatively to give an unusual look on your balcony. You can vary the positioning of your lights so that they shine their light to create a pattern on the wall.

Installing them over or under plants will also create some interesting light shapes on the wall. Spotlights are a more complex choice so installation is best left to a professional electrician.

Balcony By Candlelight

A balcony will look cozy and romantic if candles are lit. Choose different colors and sizes and arrange in groups. Threes always work well in design, as do varying heights.

You can match your candles with other kinds of artificial light. Ensure you keep naked flames away from fabrics and anything loose. This is the perfect setting for an evening drink with your partner.

Rattan Heaven

If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating a gorgeous rustic retro balcony, then the only lighting you could ask for is electric lights with rattan shades. Rattan is very ‘now’ and can easily be picked up in your local store.

This look will be conducive to layering with lamps and lanterns. For an indoor feel in the outdoors, this is very seductive. 

Balcony Candelabra

If you have a very large, grand balcony then a period candelabra will look simply stunning. An antique style is most appropriate and will add glamor and decadence to your outdoor space.

Keep other styling simple for a European look, perhaps a metal table and chairs or a modest sofa. Ornate finishes should be complemented by plain walls and simple planting.

In Summary

The style of lighting you choose to install will be influenced by your home and balcony design. If you like minimalism then sleek metal lights are likely to be your preferred choice.

If you do a lot of entertaining then you might want to drape strings of festoon lights. And you can add interest as well with additional lights in the form of lanterns, candles and lamps.

Consider both your budget and the degree of light you need in opting either for electric or battery and solar powered options. Just make sure that any artificial lights are suitable for outdoor use. Raise a glass to enjoying evenings out on your balcony.