Gazebos are a great way to get more from your outdoor space, and with many of us spending more time than usual in our gardens there are lots of choices. There’s nothing better than enjoying a weekend or day off, chilling in the garden. As nice as the sun is, the shade offered by a gazebo can be ideal to cool down. As dusk comes around, why stop enjoying the outdoors, just switch on your gazebo lights and make the most of the time with family and friends.
Over the past decade, solar technology has come on so far as to offer a genuine solution if you don’t want to extend the main electricity to your back yard. This makes good gazebo lights even more affordable. Harness the power of the sun or rely on your home electricity. Which is the better option for you?
So, if you’ve got the gazebo lighting bug, let’s look at how to do it in style!
The color and temperature of your outdoor lighting can make or break your gazebo. Warm colors are the most popular, as they really do make people believe they’re warmer than they are. This becomes even more important in climates that get a little chilly at night.
Cooler temperature lights are gaining popularity, especially in warm climates where the sharp light gives off an almost architectural vibe. You’ll frequently find cool LED lights used to frame villas, swimming pools, and of course gazebos in the South of France or Southern Spain.
Solar or mains power
The power difference between solar and mains aren’t nearly as pronounced as they were 10 years ago. It’s more than possible to create a well light and beautiful lighting arrangement in your gazebo – powered entirely by sunlight.
The main thing to consider with solar power is where you house the battery and solar panel. Ideally, your solar panel should be placed in full sun, with the battery pack placed somewhere shaded and dry.
Mains power has its advantages too. There’s less to go wrong with mains powered lights, plus there’s the bonus of being able to run waterproof outdoor plugs to your gazebo at the same time.
Of course, if you do plan on extending your homes electrical wiring, we recommend you choose a qualified and experienced electrician to complete the work.
How do electrics stay waterproof?
Water and electricity don’t mix, it’s the life lesson we were all taught as children. So how do you keep dangerous electrics safe when being used in your gazebo?
The simple answer is a safety rating called IP44 or IP65. These ratings basically mean that every part of your outside lighting system has been built to stop water from getting into the dangerous bits.
- IP44 Is for parts that are showerproof.
- IP65 Is for parts that can be submerged in water.
Both IP44 and IP65 electrical lights can be used outside. Ensure than any electrics are housed where they won’t be submerged by rainwater, this really is important.
The Best Outdoor Lights for Gazebos
MAINS POWERED: Consider a product such as Curtain Lights, a popular side being 3m x 3m
If you’re looking for a fairy tale or hipster look, then these lights are perfect. We’ve found they work at their best when installed on a warm colored back wall or across a wooden ceiling.
There are usually around 306 separate LED bulbs in this light, more than enough to create a bright and light atmosphere. They’re also extremely well made and long-lasting, our sub-editor still has these installed in a conservatory – 5 years and still working perfectly.
- They’re low voltage, so safe for semi-outdoor locations.
- Ideal for creating a warm atmosphere.
- Long-lasting and well made.
- Can become tangled.
- May not look so good in a modern aesthetic. These lights are at their best in a rustic setting.
MAINS POWERED: A popular second option is the 9.5m LED Ball Fairy String Lights if you don’t like certain lights.
These lights feature a globe pendant and work at their best when stretched across a gazebo ceiling. If these lights remind you of Summers spent on holiday, there’s a good reason. Beloved by small outdoor restaurants in Southern climes, you can bring that laid-back vibe to your garden too.
These lights are built to IP44 standard, making them capable of full outdoor use.
- Low voltage.
- Easy to install.
- Includes remote control and timer setting.
- Modern settings may not suit this lighting style.
SOLAR POWERED: Solar 7m LED Garden String Lights
This solar-powered light set comes with 50 separate LED pendants, one solar panel, and a small battery pack. The battery should power the LED lights for 6-8 hours and the entire system should last up to 10 years.
Most solar powered string lights are shorter than their main powered counterparts. For this reason, they’re best suited for highlighting areas of a gazebo, such as an entrance or balcony. They’re also IP65 rated, so will last outside in all conditions.
- Solar power means easy installation.
- IP65 rated
- The solar panel needs to be placed in full sun to get the best from this system.
Solar powered lights are extremely easy to install and will give many years of trouble-free usage. They’re perfect for the smaller gazebo where fewer lights are required.
Having said that, larger gazebos may still need the extra power than mains electricity gives. What’s important to know, is that solar power now gives you a good choice of lighting options.
If you’re looking for a simple setup to frame a balcony rail or wall, then probably the light string is perfect. They’re easy to set up and once you get the solar panel placement right, they’re almost fit and forget – perfect for everyday garden lighting.
Our last piece of advice: Is to always get the help of a qualified electrician if you’re planning on working with home electrics. But whichever style you choose, you’ll enjoy your evenings sitting in the garden, we’re sure of that.