Transform your garden into a relaxing evening oasis by adding lights in strategic spots. Here are a few outdoor garden lighting ideas to get your imagination going.
Imagine accentuating the beauty of your trees and plants with discreet up-lights or creating a mesmerizing play of shadows that give your garden a touch of architectural elegance. Or, how about spotlighting your garden art of garden sculptures?
Add recessed lighting if you’d like to bring an indoor ambiance to your outdoor space that provides a cozy spot and inviting atmosphere when entertaining your friends.
You can give your home a unique look to your yard while improving safety at the same time. Adding lights where there may be trip hazards keeps your friends and loved ones safe. There are solar LED garden lights, firefly garden lights, lanterns, and string lights.
Let’s look at a few popular outdoor lighting ideas you may want to consider:
- some are intended to draw the eye to a plant you are particularly proud of
- others provide a background that frames or shades your flowers and shrubs
We will look at a wide range of models and features so you can choose some that are perfect for your unique situation.
Outdoor Garden Lighting Ideas
1. Solar walkway lights
Add a few solar lights along your walkway to make it safer at night, and enjoy the garden’s beauty even after nightfall.
2. Small table light
Sometimes all you need is a small, soft glow table light to create a cozy evening spot for you and a loved one or for a spot to unwind from the day’s work.
3. Homey garden corner
I love the simplicity of this homey garden corner, lit by both bulb string lights and soft candles.
4. Pond spotlight
Here’s a soft yellow warm glow light spotlighting a tiny pond amongst tall grasses.
5. Lit-up backyard fence
A set of string lights adds a touch of glow to a simple wooden backyard privacy fence.
6. Spotlight on a tree
A bright light is hidden behind a bush, shining the spotlight on a beautiful tree.
7. Sheltered relaxing space in the backyard
Many people love their outdoor living spaces. Here’s an outdoor oasis, a homey spot in the backyard, set up within a sheltered area with a pretty outdoor rug, a few sitting areas, a blanket, and lots of ambient light.
8. A simple backyard gathering place
A simple backyard gathering place with two wicker chairs and a small round table with a few lights above.
9. Modern square light
This is a modern-looking square light fixture lighting the front of the house.
10. Mushroom lights
How cute! Set these up by a backyard tree, or line them up in front of the house for an excellent conversation starter and a happy smile as you come home every night.
11. Lighted tree
String white lights in a tree for a beautiful fairy atmosphere. This lit tree covered in snow by the glass shed creates a magic winter scene.
12. String lights for soft illumination
Add string lights wherever you want an area engulfed in a soft, discreet light:
- they work great lining the tops of wooden planters
- you can run them up the sides of trees and bushes
- wrap them around your porch, or an outdoor sitting area
You can get long outdoor string lights (or string rope) without spending much money, and that’s always nice. The bulbs are small and don’t put out much light individually. Strung together, they illuminate well without overpowering an area.
Plenty of other garden lighting ideas make perfect sense for string lights. You can run them along all your walkways. This makes even the most boring and plain walkways safe and elegant looking.
You can move them whenever you like, since they are not stationary. Some have black wires, some are dark green and there are other colors. This allows you to choose the right color for your particular situation. There aren’t too many outdoor garden lighting problems that string lights can’t fix.
13. Outdoor lanterns can add interest to the evening garden
Lanterns have been used to light the way for thousands of years. As a form of garden lighting, lanterns have a lot of applications. Some models hang, and some are stationary and sit at the top of a tall pole. You can find some lanterns that are understated and also some visually stimulating models.
Use them to add a splash of color to an otherwise dull outdoor area. Place colored lanterns near green shrubs and bushes to add light to the subject while blending in at the same time. You may place a few portable lanterns in your outdoor entertainment area. You can move them as needed, and your guests can use them to light the way as they walk.
Lanterns are popular in gazebos or pergolas. You can hang them from tree limbs and just about anywhere. Large lanterns strategically placed can light up a big area.
14. Use solar-powered garden lights
One popular garden lighting practice is to let the sun do all the work. A solar powered garden light spends its day absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The heat and light the sun generates are collected by small photovoltaic cells. The energy is stored for later use. When a sensor notices it is beginning to get dark outside, the stored energy is released. It powers one or more light bulbs that switch on automatically.
The sun provides the power, and your light bill doesn’t go up.
There are a few places a solar powered garden light makes sense. They are often used to line walkways. The most common variety is stuck into the ground. Since there are no wires to run, you can place these lights anywhere. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to manufacture solar power garden lights. This means you can get several for very little money, and put them wherever your heart desires.
Feel free to experiment placing a few solar powered garden light fixtures where you think they will look good. Then wait for night to fall and check out your handiwork. If you don’t like what you see, it is super simple to place the lights somewhere else and try again. Garden lighting doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to install. Solar powered garden lighting is neither of those things.
15. Certain areas need light fixtures
String lights, lanterns, and solar powered lights are portable. These garden lighting ideas can be attractive financially as well. But sometimes, you might want a fixed solution. There are probably places on your property, in your garden and around your home that could benefit from a permanent light. That’s when you need to consider which garden light fixtures you are going to use.
Most fixtures are not going anywhere after you install them. They are intended to stick around for a while. You place them where you need a good amount of light. They may be mounted on tall poles or on the side of your home.
These garden light fixtures are sometimes flexible. In other words, you can change the direction in which they shine whenever you like. There are a wide variety of bulb types, features, prices and finishes to choose from. Just remember that this garden lighting option usually has to tie into your electrical supply.
Designers Fountain 1161-BK Value Collection Wall Lanterns, BlackGlobe Electric 44165 Sebastien Outdoor Wall Sconce, Black Finish, 2-Pack,One-Light Outdoor Wall Fixture, Textured Black and Barnwood Finish with Clear Glass
16. Try LED lights
LED stands for light emitting diode; most LED bulbs are solar-powered. These lights are a fun way to add some magic to your yard.
Set them in a straight line along a walkway, fence, or patio.
Find some colored lights for a beautiful light garden. The set below is perfect for Christmas lights.
Add a bunch in a few different spots for a “bouquet” of light.
Or, choose a fun design that will add character and decorative features to your walkway. What a conversation starter!
More backyard lighting ideas
Hopefully, you got some exterior lighting ideas above, but many more choices exist. Here are just a few more:
- flood lights
- blue light (or any other color you like)
- accent lighting
- underwater lights (if you have a pool or pond on your property)
- deck lights
- directional lights
- colorful festoon lights
- an outdoor floor lamp
Popular landscape lights
Landscape lights are popular garden lighting choices. They usually have a spike base that sticks in the ground and a light at the top of the base. They often have moving heads. This allows you to change the focus of the light from time to time. There are low-voltage and high-voltage models. Generally speaking, landscape lights are used as spotlights or to illuminate pathways.
Spotlights allow you to highlight a specific area of your garden or yard. Garden path lights are decorative safety measures. Whatever type of landscape lights you get, you must choose between a solar-powered garden light and traditional electric power. Solar lighting makes sense if you don’t feel like running wires. However, landscape lights that are powered by your home’s electrical supply are usually better quality.
They are intended to last for years and years. Usually a lot sturdier and more well-built than less expensive, solar powered options, these are just a few garden lighting ideas that can help you beautify your home. Outdoor garden lighting also adds safety and class; you can usually do so without breaking the bank.
Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check your her books below: