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Lighting is an essential part of restaurant design, and nothing brings out the beauty of your restaurant as much as outdoor landscape lighting. Exterior lighting fixtures not only enhance the curb appeal of your restaurant but also serve as an additional layer of security.

Many outdoor lighting fixtures come in groups (or families) so you can choose one type of style for your whole outdoor setup to make it aesthetically beautiful. Blending different styles and finishes will give you more of an eclectic look.

Now, let’s discover what restaurant exterior lighting ideas that could be right for you! From the different types of lighting to the latest technology in smart lighting, there’s a lot to take into account, this is why we divided this article into several sections:

Type Needs Illumination
General Lighting Front Door, Stairs, Walkways, Walls
Porch / Patio Lighting Ceiling, Walls, Small Tables
Landscape / Garden Lighting Trees, Plants, Walkways
Safety and Security Lighting All Entrances (back door with motion sensor), Stairs, Walkways, Driveways

General Restaurant Outdoor Lighting 

There are so many exterior lighting fixtures you can consider and so little time… What will make your restaurant stand out from millions of others, besides awesome cuisine, of course? Try amazing exterior restaurant lighting design and fabulous outdoor atmosphere that no one can match!

Illuminated front door (Welcome to your Kingdom!)

Front door lights have to be inviting and beautiful in order for your client to consider spending their precious time in your restaurant.

You can either hang a light above in the form of an outdoor pendant or a small chandelier, put two wall sconces on each side of the door. If you can’t decide what to use, put them all, the more, the merrier!

Not to mention that wall fixtures will offset shadows that overhead light will cast. Don’t forget, these lighting features not only serve as decorative elements but they also illuminate your space for safety purposes.

Illuminated stairs (if I see it, I can’t fall…)

You can use LED strips to create a gentle glow at the base of your steps and use pier mount lights on top of the staircase for the most visible effect.

Stairs are a very “delicate area” that cannot be overlooked, as they can easily do great harm for somebody if they fall and it is better to be lit properly.

Illuminated walkway (and I will Light the Path…)

Make your customers feel enchanted by creating a “magical” walk towards your restaurant as you light their way like in a fairy tale.

Path lighting fixtures will help you create a more “welcome home” atmosphere by illuminating a path to take your customers directly to your restaurant.

Path lighting comes in a solar version as well and is hassle-free. Use a combination of pathway lighting to ensure the safety of your visitors.

You can also use LED strips to highlight certain path areas and create a beautiful mysterious experience for your clients that they will never forget.

Illuminated walls

You can either create a dramatic look for your walls by using Subtle uplighting or place wall scones where you want the most illumination.

This is also a good safety/security feature. For back areas that you don’t want to be illuminated all the time, use a motion sensor.

Restaurant Patio Lighting 

There are so many options available you may consider illuminating your patio. You can create a space that is warm and charming for your customers with the right selection of lights.

The power to make the time spent in your restaurant truly unforgettable is in your hands! So what kind of fixtures we can consider for restaurant patio lighting design?

Here is a list of some common and uncommon ideas for restaurant patio lighting:

A touch of elegance

Create a soft ambiance with an outdoor chandelier or pendant for your guests as they enjoy their romantic or family dinner on your patio. You will you’re your ceiling to be high enough to accommodate this.

The dimming option is always useful to have as you may want to dim your space a little more for couples and a little less for families with kids.

Comfort all the way!

This is especially useful if your restaurant is where the weather is hot and humid.

An outdoor ceiling fan with light can do an awesome job of keeping your clients cool during hot summer nights and giving your dining space a feel of the fresh evening breeze.

The fan you select must be specifically created for outdoor purposes and be rust or damp resistant.

Are we indoors or outdoors?

Believe it or not, some lamps are designed specifically for the outdoors! These beautiful lamps are waterproof and their electrical parts are well insulated.

What a nice thing to place on your outdoor side table!

Love at first sight

Lanterns will bring a romantic and cozy feel to any area. The use of lanterns for patio or porch is very common, as they can be easily moved around and don’t take too much space.

Lanterns illuminate just enough light to give a soft glow to people’s faces, but not enough to brighten up the place as in the daytime.

You can use as many or as few lanterns as you want to create a desired effect or atmosphere.

It comes in LED or candle version as well.

You…, wild thing!

I am talking about an illuminated planter! This is an amazing creation that could end up being totally unexpected for your guests.

Just like with spheres, the atmosphere of the futuristic parallel dimension will fill the air. They come in a range of sizes (including extremely large) and colors.

Glowing furniture

This unusual type of lighting can be a lot of fun. Use it in poorly lit areas where people can sit together and chat.

Just try not to “over glow” the area as people may be in need of some rest as they come to your restaurant.

Restaurant Landscape Lighting 

You can strategically place different lights to enhance the beauty and the glow of your restaurant landscape or garden.

Show off! 

If you are trying to give your landscape a dramatic effect, then place lights at the base of trees and plants, facing up.

This type of subtle uplighting will add a note of surrealism to your landscape design and will make your clients feel astonished and amazed.

Space Quest

Give your landscape a touch of mystical surrealism with hanging light spheres and orbs. This type of setup will give your client a feel of “another dimension” right here on Earth.

Romantic walkway

Give a pathway around your landscape or garden a romantic glow, so couples can walk around hand-in-hand sharing this precious moment on the grounds of your restaurant.

Pathway or in-ground lights could be used for that purpose.

It’s party time!

You can significantly improve the ambiance of your restaurant outdoors by using String lights (also called “party lights”) throughout different areas.

Somewhat similar to Christmas lights, these “magical” lights are bigger and fairly inexpensive.

They come in an LED version as well. String lights will enhance your patio, deck, and landscape appearance in an exciting festive way.

Safety and security lighting 

Security and safety are essential aspects that should be taken into consideration for your outdoor restaurant lighting design.

Illuminated entrances

Aside from welcoming ambiance, these lights are important for safety and security purposes.

You can use outdoor chandeliers, pendants, and wall sconces (or porch lights) for the front door, and smaller wall mounts for the side door and rear entrance.

Illuminated stairs

Avoid slips and falls by placing a reasonable amount of light on your stairs.

You can use LED strips for illuminating individual steps and stair railing since this is a primary area where most accidents take place.

Illuminated pathways

Well-illuminated pathways are important to keep your clients safe from the mischievous behavior of other people.

Provide safe navigation for your pathways by using path lights along the edges. Best to be placed inside the curve of the path.

Illuminated driveways

Get rid of dark shadows with outdoor wall lights (scones or porch lights) or tall street-style post lamps (comes with a solar option or long-lasting LED bulbs).

You can also light up a path using outdoor in-ground lights and pathway lights that you can place close to the driveway.

LED curb lights and strips are also available for your driveway illumination.

Security in general (motion sensors)

You may decide to go with motion sensor outdoor lights which turn on at dusk and go off at dawn – this saves you time and energy and also diminishes the chance of break-ins and vandalism from intruders.

Security in general (smart lighting)

You can use a timer that is provided with different smart lighting apps to turn the lighting of your restaurant on. This avoids the headache of turning them on manually.

Security in general (exit signs)

Ensure safety and peace of mind to your visitors by spotlighting exit signs and other important safety measures.



Attention! This article is for informational purposes ONLY and is NOT a replacement for a professional advice! All statements, prices, contact information, recommendations, and reviews contained herein are based on the information we believe to be reliable, but the accuracy or completeness thereof is not guaranteed. You will need to visit company's website for details and updates, as well as consult your local specialist for appropriate solution to your problem..


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