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There’s nothing that can dull the anticipation of that first summer dinner alfresco…except the realization you’ll be eating in the dark. Good patio lighting ideas are understandably in high demand this time of year. Lucky for you, we’ve got plenty, and they all offer solutions to specific design challenges. Concerned about your furniture overshadowing your fixtures or unsure how to choose lighting that flows with your outdoor space’s overall aesthetic? Get inspired by these five stellar spots.

Choose a Shade That Pops

Designer Consuelo Pierrepont Spitler’s minimalist Austin backyard is already visually stunning, but the copper farmhouse wall sconce is what keeps the modern black facade from skewing too dark and serious (something no one wants in a gathering space).   

Show Off Your Style

The terrace in songwriter and DJ Mia Moretti’s Los Angeles home is a bohemian-chic haven with greenery galore—standard string lights wouldn’t do. Here, a single lantern encased in aged metal remains true to her aesthetic. Plus the long, narrow silhouette makes it stand out among all the muted tones.

Keep Your Walkway Clear

These black up-down wall sconces leave plenty of space for patio furniture while effortlessly illuminating high-traffic areas (no worries about a lamp base getting in the way) at this Dallas Maestri Studio-designed house. Another thing we love about them? They cast light upward and downward so it bounces off nearby surfaces and creates the illusion of more space, so you can easily get away with installing a pair of them in a more spacious passage (extra wiggle room in the budget!).

Treat the Tree Canopy Like a Ceiling

The plug-in pendant lights on boutique hotel Short Stories’s patio artfully (and carefully) dangle from the tree branches thanks to the ingenuity of project designer Kevin Klein of Kevin Klein Design. His team bundled the wires in groups, then ran them down the trunk as a single unit.

Bring the Indoors Out

Want to draw eyes and guests to your table? Take a cue from celebrity fashion stylist Dani Michelle’s Los Angeles patio and go big, just as you would in an indoor dining room. This oversize globe pendant light effortlessly commands the surrounding space, plus its grid pattern creates a nice contrast against the white walls.