Outdoor lighting for gazebos

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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Introduction
  • Introduction

    Outdoor lighting for gazebos

    Gazebos are partially enclosed outdoor structures. Sometimes a gazebo will have a full roof and an enclosed porch-like design; other types of gazebos feature exposed beams that are open to the elements. This type of gazebo provides minimal shade, and the structure is used to create a sense of destination in the garden. Lighting both types of gazebos is based on the type of experience you want to create at the gazebo in the evening.

    A roofed gazebo that is enclosed by railings and decorative trims. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

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    Hardwiring

    Most full-roof gazebos are good candidates for hard-wired electrical exterior light fixtures. An electrician buries a pipe-encased electrical wire several feet deep in the yard, bringing electricity to the structure. Speciality outlets and piping are used to bring wiring into the ceiling for a chandelier-type light fixture centred at the peak of the gazebo roof. Both chandeliers and ceiling fans are common and favoured choices for overhead lighting to create a romantic and comfortable setting.

    A gazebo at night with a hard-wired chandelier-type centre fixture. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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    Sconces

    Once the gazebo is hard-wired, the lighting design can include many kinds of exterior lights, such as sconce lighting. Sconces can be positioned high on each post and controlled with a dimmer switch, which allows the ceiling of the gazebo to be maintained without wiring. Most exterior sconces are designed to be watertight so the gazebo doesn't need to have a roof for sconce placement. Other types of light, such as rope lights, small Christmas lights and other ambience-producing lighting can also be placed and attached to outlets.

    Sconce light fixtures than can be mounted to gazebo posts. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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    Solar Lights

    A lighting source that is becoming more common is solar. Two basic types of solar lighting are used: The first comprises fixed landscape and structure lights that are hard-wired to a solar collection panel located on the roof or nearby; the second are nonfixed individual lights that are placed in the sunlight during the day to provide lighting in the evening. Speciality solar lights are available in many styles and can be hung directly from ceiling beams or posts to create illumination. Hard-wired fixtures should be installed by an electrician to be certain the collection panel operates correctly and no electrical wires are exposed.

    Lantern style solar lights can be used in pergola style gazebos with open roofs to catch the sunlight. (Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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    Individual Solar Lights

    Individual solar lights are designed for immediate garden applications. A wide variety of this type of fixture is available in styles to fit most homes. The light is designed as an individual waterproof unit that is placed in direct sunlight during the day to take on the electrical charge. The unit lights up after dark for up to 10 hours of illumination. These lights can be suspended in clusters from the roof of a gazebo to provide a nice dining experience. Lantern-style solar lights can also be hung from hanging planter hooks around the perimeter or posts of a gazebo.

    Solar lights that can be strung from the beams of a gazebo to provide night lighting. (Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

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