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January 09, 2024Now Trending

frame tent over patio with lighting

Transform your event space into an unforgettable experience with our collection of 31 tent lighting ideas. 

In the cozy shelter of your tent, the right lighting can work wonders, highlighting every detail and bringing warmth into every corner. It's all about creating a glow that spotlights the unique elements of your event, ensuring that every special touch is illuminated.

From enchanting weddings and vibrant festivals to professional corporate gatherings, our range of lighting ideas is designed to complement any event type. Join us as we explore a world of lighting possibilities, each ready to add a spark of magic to your occasion. 

Whether you're aiming for subtle elegance, colorful fun, or sophisticated charm, our ideas are here to inspire and transform your tented event into an unforgettable experience.

But before we get to the 23 tent lighting ideas, check out these 5 things to consider first:

5 Vital Tips When Lighting Your Tent

Before diving into the realm of tent lighting possibilities, some key preparatory steps are crucial to ensure a smooth and safe experience. Keep these five essential tips in mind for a well-lit and trouble-free event:

  • First and foremost, figure out your power source. If your outdoor venue lacks electricity, consider using generators or alternative power sources like battery powered light sources or solar panels. This ensures you have a reliable and sufficient power supply for your lighting needs.
  • Be cautious not to overload electrical circuits. An excess of lighting elements plugged into a single circuit can lead to power failures or safety hazards. Spread out the power load evenly and use multiple circuits if available.
  • For hanging heavier lighting fixtures, always opt for steel fittings over aluminum tent poles. Steel provides stronger support and stability, ensuring that your lighting elements stay securely in place throughout the event.
  • Sketch out your lighting plan in advance. Mapping out where and how each bright light will be placed. Refer to your tent's layout diagram to effectively organize the lighting arrangement, ensuring both aesthetic appeal and functional coverage.
  • Safety is top priority when installing lighting. Ensure that all lighting elements are securely fastened to prevent any accidents. Additionally, proper installation tools and equipment, such as stable ladders, should be used instead of makeshift solutions like chairs, to prevent falls.

Now, let’s get to our list of 23 best tent lighting ideas…

1. Solar Powered Lights

solar powered string lighting

Use the sun to your advantage for outdoor venues lacking electrical access. Solar powered lights are not just about convenience; they're a nod to eco-friendliness, casting your event with a sustainable glow. Consider setting up solar panels around your venue, or choosing lights with built-in solar panels, and watch as they collect sunlight by day to illuminate your evening.

2. Battery Powered Lighting

When electricity and sunlight are scarce, battery-powered lights are the solution for your event lighting. The beauty of battery-operated options lies in their versatility – no cords, no plugs, just convenient, portable lighting. This freedom allows you to light up any part of your event space, no matter how remote, ensuring that every corner is warmly lit and welcoming.

3. String Lights

pole tent decorated for wedding

String lights are the top event lighting choice, offering an inviting feel. Draped gracefully from the tent's framework, they transform the space into a picture-perfect event setting. Whether you opt for solar string lights, battery-operated, or traditional plug-in varieties, string lights add a delightful sparkle, creating an atmosphere of festivity and enchantment.

4. Rope Lights

Rope lights, with their continuous stream of small bulbs encased in durable tubing, offer a more streamlined and weather-resistant option compared to string lights. Ideal for outlining pathways, highlighting tent peaks, or adding ambient light, they provide a steady, uniform glow. Their versatility and resilience make them a practical yet stylish choice for any outdoor celebration.

5. Lantern

lantern tent lighting

Lanterns, a timeless classic in outdoor event lighting, offer both elegance and practicality. While candles exude a traditional charm, opting for solar lantern or a battery-operated lantern ensures safety without compromising on aesthetics. These lanterns can serve as beautiful centerpieces, guideposts, or ambient light sources, enhancing the overall experience for guests navigating the venue.

6. Hanging Light Bulbs

hanging light bulbs in clear tent

Hanging light bulbs are more than just a light source; they're a statement piece. These chic, eye-catching bulbs can be suspended to illuminate and beautify your event space. Opting for plastic bulbs over glass not only minimizes safety concerns but also maintains their stylish appeal. As a focal point of your event, hanging bulbs create a captivating, vibrant atmosphere.

7. Tea Lights

tent with tea lights

Tea lights, though small, can have a significant impact. These tiny illuminations create pockets of warmth throughout your event. To avoid a fire hazard while maintaining their delightful glow, consider flameless, battery powered tea lights. They're perfect for adding a subtle light to tables, corners, or walkways, contributing to the magic of your event’s ambiance.

8. Christmas Lights

frame tent with string lighting

Why wait for the holidays to enjoy your Christmas lights? 

Repurpose them as a lighting solution for your outdoor tented events. Not only does this offer an eco-friendly option by maximizing their use throughout the year, but also a budget friendly option. From the classic allure of holiday string lights to the enchanting effect of a Christmas light projector, these lights can transform your space into a twinkling wonderland, perfect for any celebration.

9. Motion Sensor Lighting

For a smart and energy-efficient approach, consider motion sensor lights. Ideal for areas that aren't continuously occupied, they illuminate spaces only when needed. Picture them lighting up the pathway as guests make grand entrances and exits, or providing convenient, automatic lighting near restrooms. This not only conserves energy but also adds a layer of sophistication and safety to your event setup.

10. Glow Sticks

Introduce a playful element to your event with multi-colored glow sticks. These vibrant, wearable accessories are not just a light source; they're a party favor that guests will love. Imagine everyone lighting up the dance floor, literally, with these luminous sticks in hand. They're perfect for creating an upbeat, energetic atmosphere, and are especially popular in evening or night-time events where their colors truly stand out.

Reach Out to Us for Your Next Event Tent

Let our team guide you every step of the way, ensuring your backyard wedding is a success. Contact us today to secure your top-of-the-line backyard wedding tent, complete with comprehensive post-sale support for hassle-free installation. We’d love to help!

11. LED Lights

LED lights are a game-changer in event lighting, offering unmatched flexibility and control. With a remote, you can effortlessly adjust their light modes like brightness, color, and pattern, tailoring the ambiance to your event's mood. What's more, their adhesive backing makes installation a breeze. Just stick these vibrant LED strip lights onto your tent or any area needing a touch of brilliance, and watch your space come alive with color and light.

12. Fairy Lights

Fairy lights add a layer of romantic enchantment to your tented events. These delicate string lights, with their tiny, sparkling bulbs, serve more as a decorative element than a primary light source. Ideal for creating a dreamy photo backdrop or infusing a garden party with a touch of whimsy, fairy lights bring the magic.

13. Twinkle Lights

clear tent with twinkle lights

Twinkle lights are a delightful spin on fairy lights, with multiple strands bunched together to create a mesmerizing, star-like effect. Suspended overhead, they not only illuminate but also draw guests' eyes upwards, creating a canopy of twinkling stars that transforms your event space into an enchanting experience.

14.  Candles: Fire or Flameless?

Candles have always been a popular choice at events. Whether used as captivating table centerpieces or ambient room lighting, they bring a warm, inviting glow to the party. To marry beauty with safety, consider flameless candles as a worry-free alternative. These battery-powered options provide the same alluring light without the risk of an open flame.

15. Illuminated Signs

Illuminated signs blend practicality with personality. They light up essential areas like the gift or dessert tables and bar area, guiding guests while enhancing your event's theme. From functional directional signs to playful marquee letters, these illuminated elements add a unique, personalized touch to your event.

16. Chandeliers

wedding tent chandelier

Chandeliers are not just lighting fixtures; they are statement pieces that add a sparkle to your event. Choose a chandelier that complements your theme, be it classic crystal elegance or modern sophistication. For secure installation in frame tents, we recommend attaching them to steel fittings rather than aluminum poles, ensuring they remain a stunning, safe centerpiece throughout your event.

17. Lamps 

Lamps bring a classic touch of illumination to any event. The versatility of lamps, from tall floor models casting light in each corner to small table lamps doubling as centerpieces, offers endless possibilities. They're a nod to traditional lighting while being adaptable enough to fit any event style or theme.

18. Spotlight Moments and/or People

concert tent with spotlight

Spotlights are your event's highlighter, illuminating key moments and features. Perfect for a variety of settings from outdoor concerts to conferences, the bright light commands attention, ensuring that important moments are not missed. Whether it's a worship service or a graduation ceremony, spotlights ensure that no part of your event is overlooked.

Need a Customized Outdoor Tent? Chat with Us

Looking to enhance your event with an elegant tent? Your search ends here! Call us today and let our team of experts guide you to find the perfect tent that will transform your special day into an unforgettable celebration. 

Discover the many options we offer by calling us: 920-431-0938

19. Disco Ball

A disco ball is not just a lighting fixture; it's a statement. Hung from the peak of your tent, this accessory scatters playful beams of light across your space, creating a lively, festive ambiance. It's an invitation to dance, making everyone want to step onto the floor and enjoy the shimmering spectacle. Perfect for parties and receptions where fun is the main agenda.

20. DJ Booth Lights

concert tents with guests dancing

Energize your event with vibrant, multicolored DJ booth lights. These dynamic lights not only spotlight your music but also set the tone for a fun, lively atmosphere. Ideal for events like family reunions and school dances, they effortlessly draw guests to the dance floor, turning it into the soul of the celebration.

21. Uplighting

Uplighting adds elegance and depth to your event space. These lights, typically arranged around the perimeter of the tent, cast events in upward streams of light, accentuating every detail. They're excellent for defining the event area and adding a touch of dramatic flair to any occasion.

22. Black Lights

For a truly unique and captivating experience, consider black lights for your event. They add an extremely bright light, perfect for dance floors, Halloween-themed events, or any party that seeks to stand out. Black lights particularly excel in highlighting the white features of a tent, creating a stunning visual contrast.

23. Clear Tent

clear top tent

For those who cherish natural lighting, a clear top tent is the answer. It offers the best of both worlds: unobstructed views of your stunning surroundings during the day and a romantic, starlit sky by night. Ideal for daytime events where you want to bask in natural light without sacrificing the comfort of shade.

FAQs to Answer All Your Tent Lighting Questions

Q: How Can I Effectively Hang Lights in My Tent?

A: Maximize the use of your tent poles by draping string lights around them for a charming effect. For heavier lighting fixtures, it's safer and more stable to hang them from the steel fittings of your tent rather than directly on the poles. This ensures both aesthetic appeal and structural integrity.

Q: What Options Do I Have if My Venue Lacks Electricity?

A: Lack of electricity at your venue isn't a setback but an opportunity to get creative. Consider solar-powered or battery-operated lighting solutions for a hassle-free setup. Alternatively, opting for a clear tent can be a beautiful way to utilize natural daylight and create a bright, airy ambiance.

Q: Which Tent Lights are Most Popular?

A: When it comes to tent lighting, string lights are a favorite due to their versatility and ease of use. Depending on your event's theme and the mood you want to create, you can choose from an array of string light styles like cozy bistro lights, seamless rope lights, or enchanting twinkle lights. Each type offers a unique way to illuminate and enhance your tented space.

Lighting the Way to Unforgettable Events

clear tent with natural lighting

No matter the type of event you're planning, the right lighting can elevate your tent from a shelter to the centerpiece of a memorable celebration. Let the lights cast their glow, spotlighting the beauty and care you've put into every detail of your party.

We're committed to more than just manufacturing tents; we're about crafting experiences. As a dedicated Midwest-based tent manufacturer, our expertise lies in creating tents that are not only functional but also capable of crafting unforgettable moments.

Dreaming of a truly unique event? Dive into our world of custom manufacturing options

We offer everything from distinctive fabric colors and custom-sized frame tents to eye-catching printed graphics. Stand out and make a statement with a tent that reflects your event's unique character.

Remember, tent lighting is more than an accessory; it's the element that ties your event together, creating an ambiance that resonates with every guest. And don’t overlook the essentials for a seamless experience – explore our range of tent installation accessories

Enjoy easy setup and takedown with our frame jacks and stake pullers, and keep your investment pristine with protective drop cloths and specialized tent cleaners.

Ready to make your next event shine? 

Our knowledgeable team is here to guide you every step of the way. Reach out to us for tailored advice and solutions that lights the path to an extraordinary event experience.



Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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