In the right light: 7 ideas for atmospheric lighting on the balcony

Ulrich Safferling

A balcony is like a stage because it can often be seen from many places. That’s why bright spotlights and projectors are unsuitable if you don’t want to be in the limelight. We have seven ideas of how to create an atmospheric balcony with appropriate lighting.

A family enjoys their evening meal together on a balcony with atmospheric lighting in the background.
© Getty Images

In this article

1. Lanterns – romantic all-rounders

Table lanterns, which are available in all possible shapes and sizes, are a classic balcony feature. A standard household or stove candle is placed inside, which can’t be blown out by the wind. The gently flickering candle behind clear or colored glass creates a beautiful atmosphere that prolongs the sunset. To arm yourself against annoying mosquitoes and flies in the evening, you can also set up lanterns with lemon or lavender scent. If the luminosity of a single candle is not enough for you, you can simply make yourself comfortable with a few more lanterns.

A white candle in a light wood container stands on a tree stump surrounded by rustic decoration.

Candles provide natural warm light on the balcony. They are protected from the wind in a container, which means they aren’t easily blown out.

2. Garden lanterns – generous elegance

Garden lanterns work in a similar way to lanterns, but are much larger. For a height of 50 cm and above, a normal household candle is therefore usually no longer sufficient. Instead, you can take a thick altar or pillar candle, for example, which will burn for longer. Large lanterns give out a lot of light and can be placed directly on the floor or a small pedestal. They provide stylish indirect ambient lighting on the balcony and transform it into a romantic oasis of well-being. These lamps also represent a decorative furnishing element. It is not without reason that you can choose from many different models – to suit your personal preferences and your lifestyle. Alternatives range from elegant stainless-steel frames and bamboo lamps in boho style to lanterns in rustic country house chic.

3. Rechargeable table lamps – the safe choice

Electricity can be a tricky business if the balcony is not rainproof. In this case, power sockets and cables must be in a special protection class. Modern, weatherproof LED table lamps with rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, are straightforward to use. Dimmable lamps are particularly recommended, as they can either provide you with sufficient light for reading or give your balcony a cozy atmosphere. Battery lamps can easily be recharged using sockets indoors. Smaller plug-in lights with solar cells are suitable for balcony flower boxes. The internal battery charges during the day and makes the small lamps shine like fireflies in the evening.

An electric lamp with a battery stands on a dark table. The balcony is overgrown with plants.

If replacing a candle is too inconvienent for you, why not just use an electric lamp with a rechargeable battery? It can also provide attractive lighting.

4. A light cube – for the perfect lounge atmosphere

Lights known as light cubes, which serve not only as illumination but also as decoration, work with electricity. Depending on their size, they can be placed anywhere on the balcony and represent a real eye-catcher. Since the cube body is usually made of milky plastic, the light is very dimmed and not too bright. Thanks to a dimmer switch, the level of brightness can be infinitely adjusted according to your needs and mood. They are the ideal way to create a relaxed lounge atmosphere on your balcony.

5. Fairy lights – always ready to party

Admittedly, no balcony can be illuminated with fairy lights alone. Other light sources are needed as well. But as long as drinks and aperitifs are still visible, a colorful chain of lights always creates a summer atmosphere, if not a party feel. Whether you choose to attach the garland to the open side of the balcony or protect it from the wind on the house wall, these colorful lamps will give every balcony evening a festive flair. The versions with standard light bulbs instead of small LEDs look particularly stylish.

A string of lights with warm white LEDs hangs over a balcony.

Fairy lights don’t always have to be colored. White lamps also provide romantic warm light for relaxing evenings on the balcony.

6. Wall and floor lamps – for gentle lighting effects

Wind and rain are no blessing for balcony lights. Unless the lighting is permanently mounted on the wall. The advantages are obvious: the lamps are in a safe place, the electricity can be transferred from indoors, and when leaving the balcony nothing has to be put away – the last person can just turn off the light. Beautiful wall lighting also provides gentle indirect light because the cone of light is reflected by the wall. Particularly glamorous lighting effects are created when the lamps are fitted very close to the ground and a long cone of light shines upwards onto the facade.

7. Floor lamps – for a cozy outdoor living room

Floor lamps were originally used solely as living room lamps. They are now also available for outdoor use. There is of course a huge selection – and if you like, you can make yourself comfortable on the balcony with a chandelier as a lampshade. However, as the lamps are not stormproof due to their design, they need extra protection or must be put away carefully at the end of the day. They provide ideal lighting in specific locations, don’t take up any space on the table and create a cozy living room atmosphere.

Conclusion: put your balcony in the right light!

The design possibilities offered by light are virtually unlimited. As every evening is also a little different, it’s advisable to simply run through a few lighting alternatives: if there are two of you, you can chat comfortably by candlelight; if you’re inviting friends over, you can socialize in lounge light, while stylish lanterns are good sources of indirect lighting at a small reception. We’re sure that everyone will see the light thanks to our selection.

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