Awning Lights: Uses and StylesContributed By: BAG Editors
More and more, homeowners are choosing to install awnings in their backyards to cover a patio, deck or porch. These awnings provide overhead protection from the sun by day and also provide a barrier between any precipitation that falls and the people and belongings below. At night, one accessory that can really add to the functionality and decorative element of an outdoor awning is to add a set of awning lights. By adding lights to the edges of the awning, you can make your outdoor space brighter and more festive or can even create a more intimate and romantic feel.
Most styles of awning lights primarily come in either string light styles or rope light styles. Awning string lights are similar to patio string lights in that they contain a wire or “string” that has a variety of lights hanging from it and the string can be hung up around the edges of the awning to provide ambient light as well as decoration. The string light fixtures can be clear or colored glass bulbs, small delicate lanterns or can be festive and fun, as in the case of themed string lighting for luaus, fiestas, and so forth.
Awning rope lights are similar to string lights except instead of there being a wire that connects a set of small lighting fixtures, rope lighting contains the lights right within the rope itself. This is a great way to simply light up the edges of porch awnings without having any hanging lights dangling from the edges. Awning rope lights are more functional than decorative in nature, and are often used as RV awning lights or camper awning lights, providing an easy way to light up the area outside of a recreational vehicle, camper or trailer when parked at a campsite overnight.
Both string lights and rope lights are a breeze to put up – all you need is a set of awning light clips to attach the outdoor awning lights along the edges of the awning and you’re ready to go. Some light sets will come with the clips, or you can purchase a set of clips for a nominal fee separately. Once the string or rope lights are in position, the plug at the end of the light set just needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet. If you don’t have an outlet nearby or are looking to be more environmentally friendly, you can get a set of solar awning lights that don’t require anything other than being hung where you want them. Just be sure to place the solar panel in a location that gets enough sun during daytime hours and is not shaded by the awning itself.
Another type of awning light that is popular is a single fixture light that descends from the center of the awning, just as a fixture would be hung from a ceiling. This is usually an option reserved more for permanent awnings, such as those that sit over patios, decks or porches, rather than awnings that are retractable or that are periodically taken down, such as those attached to recreational vehicles. A single hanging fixture light such as this would not make a good RV awning light, for example, but would be better suited as one or a series of patio awning lights that remained in place all year round. These lights can resemble small outdoor chandeliers, lantern lights or simply hanging globe lights.
Awning lighting can have both a functional and decorative purpose. For many, it is a great way to simply add some light to their patio, deck or porch awnings so that the space can be enjoyed even after dark. For those that use the lighting to brighten up awnings attached to recreational vehicles, it is an easy way to create a defined space outside of the vehicle that can be enjoyed at night, while listening to the sounds of nature and soaking in the fresh air. But awning lights can also add a decorative flair to an outdoor space in much the same way as other outside lighting or landscape lighting does.
No matter what you choose, awning lights can go a long way in setting the mood for your covered outdoor area when the sun goes down, and can make the space more usable and functional as well.