There are two basic choices for cooling a patio or other outdoor space: misting fans or a standard high pressure misting system with lines of misting nozzles.
If you have an outdoor space with a patio cover, gazebo, or similar structure, mist lines are a great way to go. This is really the best application for patio misting systems. Typically you would attach misting lines around the perimeter of the shade cover on any open sides (If any sides of the structure are against a house or building, you would not want the misting lines there.) The idea is to create a curtain of mist around that space within, so that every bit of air that enters the space is pre-cooled as it enters. And the evaporation of the mist itself creates the best cooling of all.
If you have a very large patio area to cool, or if you have no patio cover at all, misting fans make a nice choice, too. The breeze of the fans is used to carry the mist and cool, “evaporated mist” air over a larger distance. Of course the breeze of the fans cools you nicely as well! The misting nozzles are placed directly on the face of the fans, and the mist is launched into the breeze of those fans and out across your patio area.
Other options include misting risers coming up out of adjacent planter areas, or a line of misting along the top of a wall against your building or even along the top of a fence. For restaurants and some patios we have even strung a tight cable across the space and hung the misting lines from that.
There are many options, the bottom line is if you can’t do the ideal “curtain of mist” around a patio cover, you just need to evaporate water into the air within that outdoor space, and distribute it as evenly as possible.