18 Fantastic Outdoor Lighting Ideas
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18 Fantastic Outdoor Lighting Ideas

Using outdoor lighting is a great way to create the perfect atmosphere. The right lighting can transform your backyard when dusk hits, and you need a signature touch to create the ambiance you're looking for. This guide will go through outdoor lighting ideas to help you find just the right thing. 

With so many possibilities to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Whether it’s what to highlight most in your backyard or what to brighten a darker area, it’s difficult to pick the right combination. We’ve chosen 18 of the top backyard lighting ideas to help you in your purchase of the right lights. 


1. String Lights

These lights tend to be the most popular for outdoor lighting ideas and have so many uses. You can hang them up above in rows for a starry night look. You can also wrap them around things such as tree trunks, railings, and trellises. If you want to go for a more vintage look, you can also look into more bulbous lights such as Edison lights or Mercury Bulb lights. The nice thing about using string lights is that you don’t need a permanent structure to create the effect you’re looking for. 


2. Outdoor Wall Lights

Outdoor lights tend to be a necessity when dusk hits so why not go to the next level and make it stylish as well. You can go anywhere from your typical wall light to a lantern to a sconce. The possibilities are endless. Take our Haylen Light for example. This modern wall light can bring a subtle modern look to your home. Whether it’s the typical LED light or the RGB light to add a splash of color, the Haylen can give your home that edgy look. 


3. Hanging Lanterns

Outdoor lanterns can create an elegant look for outdoor lighting ideas. Whether hanging or post light, you can have a versatile selection. Hanging lanterns from shepherds hooks, trees, or gazebos can have a versatile effect. You can use larger light fixtures to create a focal point, or you can have a more intimate look by grouping several smaller lanterns together. They can even be used to mark pathways. 


4. Lighting Your Landscape

When lighting your landscape, you can use a variety of lights to show off the hard work you’ve done growing trees, bushes, and flowers. You can use smaller path lights to show off your flower beds. Whether LED lights or solar lights to conserve energy, these lights create the perfect glow. 


5. Layering Lights

It can be off-putting to place lights at eye level. This is why it’s better to hang lights or lights down by the walkway. Layering lights at different levels can create a magical effect for your outdoor lighting ideas and create the perfect glow for your landscape. 


6. Using Water As A Light Source

A special outdoor lighting idea is when you place lights near water, it can create a soft glowing ambiance. Especially if you have a garden pond, placing lights to reflect off the water can create a magical look. An alternative option is placing lights underneath the water to create a glow from within the water. 


7. Fire Pits

Fire pits create a cozy atmosphere. The glow of the fire with chairs around the fire pit makes a great entertainment point. Whether it’s a wood fire pit or a propane fire pit, you can find the right fit for you. Bring on the marshmallows as you make memories. 


8. Candles, Torches and other Soft Lights

Another way besides fire pits to make a soft glow is to use candles or torches. These options provide an accent light to specific areas. With the dramatic effect of a flickering flame, these make a different lighting option. Torches can be used to light pathways, but make sure to have them in open areas so they aren’t under trees or overhanging plants. 


9. Canopies

Another outdoor lighting idea you can try is to create a twinkling effect with a canopy by using string lights. Layering these lights can create an even more of a starry effect. Place seating underneath with comfy cushions or even a fire pit to create the perfect effect. 


10. Whimsical Look

If you’re planning a big event like a wedding, using tea lights can create a perfect whimsical look. Add flowers to an overhanging look and it becomes even more magical. Placing these hanging lights above tables or adding them to the center of your table by themselves for the perfect accent. Tea lights can also float in vases of water to create a special magical centerpiece for your event. 


11. Taking Indoor Lights Outside 

Floor lamps can be used outside. This may sound like an odd concept, but it creates a cozy feeling in your outdoor areas. You can use floor lamps around furniture to create a homey and cozy look. Using Pendants outside can also take those indoor lights to a new level. If you use a solar powered or battery option, you won’t even have to connect it to a main power source.


12. Lights in the furniture

While it’s not very common, you can entwine your lights into your furniture. This creates a nighttime focal point. It makes an inviting set up and can even be the center for a romantic night. This is best used on permanent pieces such as benches or sofas. It creates instant charm to your yard and a focal point for a romantic feel. 


13. Patio Heating 

Whether it’s summer nights or brisk autumn days, sometimes a heating source is needed. These are especially good if you spend lots of time on your outdoor patio. The best patio heaters are the ones that create a heat source as well as emit a soft glow. These can be tall heaters with lights that create a statement or smaller heaters that are easily concealed around furniture that just make a warm feeling for you and your guests. Whether it’s corded to save energy or a propane heater that can go anywhere, it’s easy to heat your patio space. 


14. How bright should your lights be

The lighting of your outdoor lights is really based on personal choice. However it can be influenced by whether you want the lights for functionality, decoration or simply for security. 

Security lights tend to be very bright and harsh. Whereas decoration can create a soft glow that makes for a perfect atmosphere. Decoration can be somewhere in between whether you want to use the lights to create a light source at night or a soft glow to accent your other decorations

Pathway lights should have more atmospheric lighting. These should be subtle to avoid the blaring lights in your guests face. While if you want security with pathway lights they should be much brighter. 


15. Should Exterior Lights Match

While your style should be cohesive, you do not need your lights to match exactly. A good way to match your lights is to select colors and textures that go together to create that feeling of unity. You can also use similar colors and textures in your furniture you use around your yard. 


16. Front Porch Lighting

Having a well-lit front porch is great for safety reasons, but it can also be a great way to welcome people into your home. Using lights on either side of the door can be a great way to light up your porch when you get home, or to greet your guests at night. You definitely want to light the area, but you need to make sure your lighting isn’t overwhelming as well. Striking that balance is important. To complement that balance, you also want to make sure that the lights you pick create a homey environment.


17. Outdoor Dining Area

Dining lights can be a  great way to light your back patio. Dining outdoors is definitely a delight, but if you plan to do so at night, picking the right outdoor lighting is important. Using hanging light fixtures can create a cozy feel as you dine with your guests. You will definitely want to choose lights that are intended for the outdoors or are rated for damp or wet conditions so you can use them time and time again. 


18. Fence Lighting

A great way to light up those dark areas of your yard is to use fence lighting. Spacing LED lights at intervals along your fence can create the perfect light source that illuminates the fence and the garden below. You can also use similar lights around your garden areas to create a cohesive feel. Another fence lighting idea using mounted lights to create downward illumination. This results in a more cozy feel. 


Now that we’ve taken a look at ideas for your outdoor lighting, you can find the perfect look to create an ambiance that works for you. Layering lights to match furniture and outdoor greenery are great outdoor lighting ideas. Whether it’s overhanging lights or lights on the floor, you can create a combination that is perfect for the yard of your dreams. 

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