A Buyer’s Guide to the Different Types of Outdoor Hanging Light Fixtures

So, you’ve decided to liven up your outdoor space and are now deciding which lighting fixture to buy. Before heading to your nearest lighting shop, you should already have figured out the particular lighting style and type you want, unless you want to spend hours checking out dozens upon dozens of options to choose from. 

You will find a variety of light fixture types and functions available, and among the best for outdoor spaces are outdoor hanging light fixtures. If you’re in the market for lighting solutions to illuminate your patio area or backyard, this guide is for you. 

Finding the Right Outdoor Hanging Lights 

To find the right light fixtures, you must decide which variety will look best for your outdoor space. Next, you have to choose the particular sub-type of the fixture. It’s also important to choose the aesthetic style (including colour, material, and finish) that not only looks great on your fixture but also complements the rest of your landscaping. 

You also have to consider fixture size and placement and overall lighting layout. Finally, determine what type of power source and controls you’ll use for the light fixtures to power on. 
 
To help you choose, let’s go over the different hanging light types, styles, and design options. 

4 Types of Hanging Lights 

At this point, it’s important that you carefully consider the type of hanging light to buy. That’s because the type you choose influences the rest of your outdoor lighting’s overall design. You have 4 main options to choose from: chandeliers, lanterns, pendants, and track lighting. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at each one of them. 

Pendant Lights 

The most common type of hanging fixtures for both indoor and outdoor use are pendant lights. They are suspended from a chain or rod that’s secured to the ceiling. Pendant lights consist of the fixture itself and often comes in a bowl-shaped shade. 

These lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but some are much more common than others, including drum pendants, bell pendants, and mini pendants. Drum pendants consist of a downward-facing bowl-shaped shade often made from fabric. As the name suggests, bell pendants feature a bell-shaped glass shade. Mini pendants are small drum or bell pendants that consist of multiple shades hanging from a single fixture. 

Chandeliers 

A chandelier is technically a form of pendant lighting since it also hangs from a rod or chain. What sets it apart is the number of bulbs. Pendant fixtures tend to contain just one bulb, while chandeliers often have multiple bulbs on a single fixture. 

Lanterns 

These are the most unique types of hanging lights. Lanterns also come in different varieties. The first of them is pendant lanterns, which are similar to pendant fixtures hanging from a rod or chain mounted to the ceiling. There are also wall-mounted varieties that hang from a short length of chain mounted to a holder that sticks from a wall, not hanging to the ceiling. 

Whether it be the wall-mounted or pendant variety, lanterns make a great visual component of your landscape. You can use it to mark your gates, entryways, paths, and other walkways. 

Track Lighting 

Track lighting fixtures are a great way to illuminate an outdoor dining area or covered cooking space. While track lighting is not technically a hanging light fixture, it’s close enough in design to fall into the same category as pendant lights and lanterns. But then again, track lighting isn’t as popular outdoors as it is indoors because of how the track must be mounted. 

Different Styles to Choose From 

Now that you know the most common types of outdoor hanging light fixtures, it’s time to think about the style that works best for your overall landscaping design. 

The following are the most common styles of outdoor hanging lights: 

Traditional 

This is the most common style that works well with the widest variety of outdoor décour and furniture types. Outdoor hanging lanterns are often made in the traditional style and tend to utilise a lot of details and materials like glass or bronze. They bring a classic and vintage feel to your outdoor area. 

Contemporary 

When shopping for outdoor hanging lights, you might want to go for contemporary ones instead of traditional ones. Contemporary hanging light fixtures also work well with the outdoor architecture and most décours. These fixtures utilise clean lines and a simple design. 

Most outdoor pendant lights are created in this style. If you want a cleaner and more updated look while bringing an elegant feel to your outdoor space, go for contemporary-style light fixtures. 

Rustic 

If the minimalism of contemporary or modern lighting doesn’t suit your taste, perhaps you’d find rustic fixtures worth checking out. They look great in most garden spaces and are naturally stylish. They look the most authentic and can bring a relaxed atmosphere to your outdoor area. 

Although many rustic fixtures look weathered or worn out, they still have an air of elegance to them. 

Industrial 

Industrial-style hanging fixtures have become increasingly popular among homeowners in recent years, even though they look like something you’d find in a commercial space. They may look utilitarian in nature but they blend metal with exposed elements for that design that is both beautiful and functional. 

Other Considerations 

Once you’ve decided which hanging light type and design style to go for, don’t forget about other design options. 

Bulb Type 

The type of bulb you choose also influences the functionality and style of your outdoor hanging lights. Of the many bulb types, the most common are LED bulbs (long-lasting and energy-efficient), incandescent bulbs (traditional and cheap but use more energy), and CFL bulbs (more energy-efficient than incandescent ones). 

Size and Colour 

You also have to consider the size and colour. Fixtures that hang too low can get in the way. You have to ensure that that the fixtures don’t bump the heads of people in your outdoor space. 

Hanging lights often come in different finishes such as antique brown, black, brass, pewter, polished copper, and Verdigris. Whichever colour and finish you choose, make sure it complements your landscape. 

For outdoor hanging light fixtures, check out our collection here at Galaxy Lighting. We have different hanging light fixtures that are guaranteed to illuminate and bring out the beauty of your outdoor area.

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