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7 Cozy Pergola Lighting Ideas

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Adding a pergola to your backyard is an easy way to add style and pizzazz with little effort. But why leave it blank when you can spruce it up with some lighting? Light can take your pergola from trendy to trendsetter in a flash. The key is to find the right pergola lighting for your pergola; there are plenty of options!

If you’re ready to give your pergola some light therapy, you need to know your options. There are so many top-notch lighting solutions for a pergola, but not every lighting idea is right for everyone. Good thing there are plenty to choose from! Keep reading to see and discover the different ways to light up your pergola.

pergola light ideas

String Lights

Let’s start with the clear and most obvious choice: string lights. String lights are a great way to light up a pergola, whether you opt for simple string lights or choose a wondrous fairy light design. You can even add a splash of color with these brilliant bright string lights

String lights are ridiculously popular with pergolas for the simple fact that they work beautifully in the provided space. With so many pillars designed into the pergola, it’s a cinch to loop string lights across the backyard unit and light it up instantly. You can even use string lights in your backyard even if you don’t have trees

Aside from the variety of styles and colors, string lights can also be installed in different ways. Keep it in a simple straight pattern, or add some flare with zig-zag. 

Hanging Lights

Another great option for lighting up a pergola is to use hanging lights. Now, with hanging lights, you have a vast selection to choose between. Here are some of the favorites among pergola lovers.



Lanterns such as these are an excellent option for pergolas. Lanterns give the space old school charm that is intriguing to the eye yet welcoming. If you’re looking for a style that is elegant with inspiration from the 1800s, a lantern may be a first-class way to go. 

Paper Lanterns

paper lanterns

Who said a lantern had to be so sophisticated? If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to spruce up your pergola, you can also go the paper lantern route. There are plenty of options for classic white paper lanterns, which always look fascinating.

However, don’t feel afraid to break the color barrier when it comes to your paper lanterns. Adding colorful lanterns will automatically liven up your space and make it the focal point of the backyard. 

Mason Jars

mason jars

Do you want a bit more of a rugged and utilitarian look? Mason jars are the only way to go. Mason jars have a classic yet robust style that will change the way your pergola looks for good. The best part is, you can create DIY mason jars if you’re a crafting wizard.

Don’t want to make your mason jars? Don’t worry. Finding mason jars is easy, especially since they are so popular. What’s becoming even more impressive in the pergola lighting world are mason jars filled with fairy lights. These add a more whimsical appeal to the traditionally practical and straightforward mason jar. 



A chandelier is an excellent option for those who want to turn their pergola into an exquisite backyard staple. You can go as basic or elaborate as you prefer. No matter which chandelier ends up gracing your pergola, it’s sure to add a hefty dose of fancy that will leave your neighbors jealous. 

Wall Lights

wall lights

While string lights and hanging lights are the obvious choices, there is one more ultra-popular pick for pergolas: wall lights. Wall lights are easy because you can attach them to the walls and never think twice. They won’t take up any space yet will provide you with ample lighting to keep you and your guests satisfied.

When it comes to wall lights, there is an excellent selection. None are incredibly over-the-top or unconventional, but that’s exactly what plenty of pergola owners are looking for. Consider these great options:

  • Vintage-inspired. If you’re looking for vintage, something like this works beautifully. They have an old-world design that can pair well with a refined pergola space.
  • Contemporary. Take your pergola right into the year 2050 with a contemporary outdoor wall light like this. The look is sleek and polished, making it an excellent addition to a pergola that looks as though it’s straight from a magazine.
  • Farmhouse. Farmhouse is becoming steadily more popular when it comes to designing. If you’re a lover of all-things farm-y, then opt for a farmhouse-inspired wall light such as this

LED Rope Lights

No color? Yawn. If your pergola is begging for a pop of funky colors, then consider adding LED rope lights to your space. Why? Because it’s super quirky and fun. Imagine transforming your outdoor staple into a brilliant combination of neon hues? It’s sure to be the talk of the town. 


Are you looking for something a little less traditional and more modern? Then you might want to consider using an uplight or a downlight

  • Uplights are installed at the base of the pergola posts. They will cascade a fair amount of light in an upward motion. This gives the pergola a more sensual and inviting appearance that errs on the side of romantic and charming.
  • Downlights are installed at the top of pergola posts. With a downlight, you can experience lighting that brightens up the space without being overly bright. It is a very stylish choice that will give your pergola a contemporary feel. 

Curtain Lights

curtain lights

Why go simple when your pergola can make a light statement? Curtain lights are the best way to give your pergola a serious burst of colors. Not to mention it’s super whimsical and fun to prance through dangling strings of lights. Just beware: curtain lights are guaranteed to brighten up the majority of your backyard!

Fire Pit/Fireplace

When it comes to style and design, it’s always recommended to step outside of the box. So, while any of these pergola lighting ideas are top-notch solutions to brighten up the backyard staple, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to use them.

If you want to do something that makes a statement without using traditional lighting, opt for a fire pit or fireplace instead. The benefit of using a fire pit is that it’s modern and cool, yet it also works to keep you and your guests warm. And when it’s the middle of winter, and you want to use your pergola, you’re going to be glad you went the fire pit route.

When it comes to fire pits and fireplaces, there are plenty of options so you can find the ideal match for your pergola. For example, here is a fun fire pit that utilizes a satisfying natural stone pattern. There are also fire pits that represent the early 1900s and up-to-date modern delights.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to your pergola lighting, you have plenty of options. String lights are always popular. There are many lighting styles and designs to choose from to make it your “own”. However, you also can go for other popular methods such as hanging lights and wall lights.

Want to step outside of the box? LED rope lights add a fresh burst of colors while uplights and downlights are pleasant and posh. You also have the option of adding pizzazz with curtain lights or ditching traditional lighting altogether with a fireplace.

In the end, it all comes down to the style of your pergola. Try and find lighting that suits your needs and your design. Don’t forget to checkout our list of the best outdoor Christmas lights for your yard for this holiday season!

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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