Pendant lights are emerging as the surprise garden lighting trend of 2024 – 6 of the best to add to your patio now

Outdoor pendant lights are everywhere this year – and these are our favourite picks

Garden Trading Harbour outdoor pendant light
(Image credit: Industville/Joanna Kossak)

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to quickly update your garden dining area, and this summer the emerging trend is all about the outdoor pendant light. 

The indoor outdoor lines are once again getting blurred with this sophisticated garden lighting idea, while it might be unexpected there's no denying it looks great. This garden trend is great at elevating outdoor spaces, making a patio look more expensive when dangled from a pergola or hung above a dining table.

So if you’re up for giving your space a lighting upgrade and creating an ambiance for those evenings spent outside, then these are 6 of the best outdoor pendant lights we’ve come across. 

Pooky Cromer Hanging Lantern in Bronze

(Image credit: Pooky)

Best outdoor pendant lights

Along with outdoor wireless lamps, pendant lights are the most popular garden lighting styles of the year. But there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for yours.

‘Choosing the right patio or garden pendant lights hinges on three factors: functionality, style and durability,’ says Matthew Currington, technical director at The Lighting Superstore. ‘To avoid disappointment, start by filtering your search by Ingress Protection (IP) ratings to ensure the light will endure the outdoor conditions and age well. This will prevent you from falling in love with a style that isn’t suited to outdoor spaces. Anything with an IP rating of 44 and above is a wise choice.’

Julian Page, head of design at BHS, agrees, ‘Opt for weather-resistant materials like metal, polycarbonate, or durable plastics and choose a design that provides adequate illumination without overwhelming the area.’

So with that in mind, these are our top picks.

Why should you buy an outdoor pendant light?

Garden Trading Harbour outdoor pendant light

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Pendant lights can enhance the ambience of any outdoor space, but they work best in sheltered spaces where you want to create a focal point or add task lighting. They're ideal for illuminating dining areas, seating areas, porches, or pathways, providing both functional and decorative lighting,’ Julian explains.

So in many ways, they work similarly to pendant lights in interiors and fit into similar spaces.

‘Pendant lights are great space savers,’ Matthew says. ‘Their ability to create a spotlight over a dining area adds to the ambience of the space and creates scenic drama, particularly when dining outdoors in the darkness.’

Arteriors Shani Outdoor Pendant

(Image credit: Arteriors)


How big should an outdoor pendant light be?

When it comes to the ideal size of your outdoor pendant light, it largely depends on how big of a space you’re working with. Are you after some small garden ideas? Then a large pendant light might just overwhelm the space and vice versa.

‘The size of an outdoor pendant light depends on the scale of your space and the desired lighting effect. As a general guideline, consider the proportions of your outdoor area and choose a pendant light that's large enough to make a statement without overwhelming the surroundings,’ Julian says.

Matthew continues with an example, ‘Having a large linear pendant light over a small round side table will look out of proportion. Large linear pendant lights tend to look best above an outdoor kitchen island or table of a similar scale. Getting proportions of the lighting features right will make a dramatic impact in the space.’

Pooky pentabulous chandelier

(Image credit: Pooky)

What is the disadvantage of an outdoor pendant light?

As much as we love outdoor pendant lights, nothing comes without its downsides. Outside, pendant lights face the danger of the wind which could cause damage.

‘Low-hanging pendant lights, especially the bulb-styles, can be tricky to have outside as any severely windy weather could cause them to swing about causing damage to other objects or the light itself,’ Matthew says.

The initial installation might also be quite complex and require an electrician to do it. Unless you opt for a battery-operated model.

‘Installing pendant lights requires electrical wiring and the correct tools to mount them in the ceiling correctly, especially if it is a heavier piece. This is best for an electrician to do rather than trying it out yourself,’ Matthew advises.

Will you be adding a pendant light or a few to your patio this year?

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.