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How to Use Bistro Lights and LED Cafe Lights for Outdoor Dining Areas

The ambiance of an outdoor dining area is how it makes someone feel; and when people feel good, they enjoy themselves, want to stay, and want to return. That’s great news whether you’re a restaurant manager or just someone who likes having summer barbecues with the neighbors. The better people feel in the environment you create for them, the more they’ll want to come back again. There are lots of ways to create ambiance; for outdoor dining areas, lighting is a big factor. Let’s take a look at how bistro lights and LED cafe lights can enhance and illuminate outdoor dining areas, and dazzle your guests. 

Bistro lights for atmosphere

Bistro lights are a type of string light that have become quite popular. They produce a very strong, immediate association with cozy cafés, Paris streets at night, and elegant but welcoming atmospheres. Their instant recognizability makes people feel at home. But what’s amazing about bistro lights is how well they fit with so many different atmospheres. They can enhance the mood at an upscale, trendy new restaurant or a down-home, laid-back buffet. With this kind of versatility, it’s easy to see why so many homeowners and restaurant owners want bistro lights for their outdoor dining spaces. 

Attachment points for bistro lights

Since bistro lights are string lights, the first consideration is what they’ll be attached to. Our team can install tree-safe hangers in nearby trees as an attachment point. If there’s a structure nearby, then attaching the lights to the side or corner of the building may work. When there’s no attachment point in the right place, we use custom-cut poles: we measure them to the perfect height, have the poles cut, and install them on-site for an  attachment point that’s free-standing. This approach allows us to focus on the more important aspect of bistro lights: where they will hang. For example, stringing bistro lights around the edges of an outdoor dining area looks cool. But it’s even more dazzling to string them across the entire dining area, so when guests glance up they see that familiar yet elegant glow. A few other ideas:

  • Create a zig-zag pattern with bistro lights across an open-air dining space, which adds visual interest and creates a sense of structure and fun. 
  • Install bistro lights over a corner or recessed area for a cozy, romantic spot. 
  • Hang bistro lights under a gazebo or awning. 
  • Add bistro lights to the outdoor patio for an eye-catching appeal that makes people want to stop and come in. 
  • Expand the outdoor dining area by using walkway lights and bistro lights to create a perimeter. 

LED Cafe lights in the right places

Bistro lights create great ambiance, but you’ll want other light fixtures around. This is where other LED cafe lights are a great choice. With LED bulbs in high-grade fixtures, you can adjust the lights so you get just the right mix. You don’t want to entice guests with subtle and warm bistro lights, then blast them with bare bulbs on ceiling fixtures, rusty old wall sconces, or lights with a jarring color temperature that doesn’t blend. We work with the best type of outdoor lighting fixtures, which all use LED bulbs for greater efficiency and adjustability. We can help you envision how the different fixtures will interact, ensure the right spacing, and play around with intensity and spread so that you have the right lighting for the perfect ambiance. Get in touch today so we can talk about your vision–and then we’ll set up a time to do a live demo so you can see exactly how it will look. 

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