20 Outdoor Lighting Ideas That Will Make Your Backyard Shine

The backyard is the sanctuary where you can finally wind up your day, sipping your cup of coffee and relaxing. It’s a part of your home where you can make a lot of memories with friends and family. You can host a picnic, garden, make a fire pit, or invite friends for a barbecue on the weekend, have an outdoor movie night, or camp with kids,… I could keep going on and on. Backyards present the first impression of your home, and designing them should never be an afterthought.

So max up your backyard and make it lit!

Your backyard is the stage, and you can add drama to it with appropriate lighting. You have to carefully choose the right backyard light idea to bring alive your dream garden.

The right backyard light idea makes the difference as night draws in. The architectural marvel you envision, in conjunction with proper backyard lighting, will help in creating a functional and beautiful space.

Why is Backyard Lighting So Important?

Why is Backyard Lighting So Important?

1. Safety and Security

Lumos maxima for maximum security.

Ample lighting ensures safety at home, which should be prioritized while considering backyard light ideas. It is proven that well-lit homes will deter criminal activities when your home is in the spotlight.

For added security, add lights near all the doors, windows, and your garage. Light your pathways and steps for safety and wayfinding. There are these lights that come with features like motion sensors, timers, etc. which will help secure your home while adding beauty to your backyard.

2. Aesthetics

They make your home welcoming for guests and create a stellar first impression. Great backyard lighting will make it appealing and will urge you to spend quality time outdoors. Creating an ambiance you want will inspire you to dwell there longer and bask in the vibe.

3. Property Value

Good exterior lighting will highlight the best attributes of a house and add dynamics. Enhanced curb appeal attracts potential buyers, making it more desirable. Incorporating high-demand features like backyard lighting will increase the value of the house and make it sell for good money when the time comes.

So, let there be light!

20 Inspiring Backyard Light Ideas to Make Your Landscape Stand-Out

1. String lighting

String lighting

This is an ingenious way to make your backyard dreamy without putting a dent in your pockets. On the patio, string lights or fairy lights set the mood for a serene evening. They do the trick for a romantic evening swim near the pool. You can choose the color of light based on that of your house.

One set of string lights could get the job done anywhere and everywhere.

2. Create a Fire Pit

Create a Fire Pit

Imagine spending the night with your loved one on your porch, curled up in front of a fire.

Perfect for when the winter sets in to dramatize your evenings. Storytelling nights with your kids and evening coffee/hot chocolate with your friends can be leveled up with a fire pit. This is a multifunctional backyard light idea. If you are already considering candles, why not go all in and choose fire?

3. Light up The Trees

Light up The Trees

Don’t have poles to hang your string lights on? Make use of natural support. Wrap them around the trunk or take them around the branches to make your backyard magical.

Go wild. Use lanterns, bulbs, or fairy lights, and be versatile with the huge tree in your backyard, making it the feature piece. In case you are wondering how the tree lighting will look, take a look at the picture above.

Pro-tip: Use solar-powered or battery-powered lights as you do not have to take your cable a long distance to charge.

4. Bring Tangled Magic with Paper Lanterns

Bring Tangled Magic with Paper Lanterns

If you want permanent accent fixtures, lanterns are the best bet. However, you can add the element of magic with paper lanterns, which are affordable for all.

For your whimsical lawn or outdoor seating area, opt for paper lanterns. This backyard lighting will make it totally Instagramable.

5. Chandelier – The Patio Centerpiece

Chandelier - The Patio Centerpiece

A spectacular décor that makes a statement while illuminating your porch. Chandeliers are elaborate and ornate. Go big and make an entrance with chandeliers, which would make a great backyard lighting idea.

From rustic to edgy, there are various options these days to match the style of your house. If you want to stay unique, transform your outdoor space with this unmissable décor.

6. Enlighten One Step at a Time

Enlighten One Step at a Time

Step lights are not only great illuminators but also act as way finders. Whether you have steps going to the pool or entering the home, step lights will add character to the area. But, for more drama, you can use the motion sensor lights too.

So when you have steps, these kind of become mandatory backyard lighting ideas. However, you can play with how you want to light up the steps.

7. Use Strips All the Way

Use Strips All the Way

The LED strip light is a great backyard light idea. You can use them as path lights all around your backyard and on the steps. The best part is that they are super customizable, as they can be cut to the desired length and used wherever.

The fact that they are relatively inexpensive is a bonus.

8. Patio lighting

Patio lighting

Ground fixtures in your patio and near the pool area will make a great cohesive backyard light idea, especially for contemporary homes. They come in modern shapes and designs.

9. Take Inspiration from The Indoors

Take Inspiration from The Indoors

A blend of indoor and outdoor gathering areas is a perfect atmosphere for weekends with family. With increased lighting and furniture pertaining indoors, plants, stone ways, and an open environment add the vibe of the outdoors. You can add drama to this set-up with sophisticated warm lighting.

10. Don’t Underestimate Wall Lights

Don’t Underestimate Wall Lights

They make a great addition near doors and windows and act as safety lights giving you visibility outside from indoors. Wall lights are now available in beautiful designs, and you don’t have to compromise on the aesthetics. Plus, these are more durable options, considering the outdoors is exposed to various weather, making this the most efficient backyard light idea. These will also easily enlighten the imperfections on the walls, calling for prompt maintenance.

11. Recessed Lighting

Recessed Lighting

Cover up the trace with recessed lights to get warm backyard lighting. Most practical with wooden walkways, they light up the path without messing up the design.

Recessed lights can also be used on the ceiling of your porch. A wrap-around of the porch with these lights should do its job. They are sleek and contemporary, and appealing at first sight.

12. Light a Torch Up

Light a Torch Up

Torches are a cool way of lighting up your backyard. The best part is that they are also DIY. You can make them out of beautiful wine bottles, jars, etc. But fixing them might need help.

Anyway, on a less windy evening, the lit torches would be a vision not to miss.

13. Stump lights

Stump lights

The cracked logs light range is my personal favorite. They would make an amazing piece of décor for the gardens and patio. They have an outdoor nature vibe and are simply very beautiful.

14. Candlelight for The Romantic Evenings

Candlelight for The Romantic Evenings

There is something about candlelight that makes it so romantic. They add a personal touch. The experience of having dinner with your loved one in the backyard lit by candles is unparalleled. The trick is to use faux candles to avoid it being blown out by the breeze, or you can use a blend of both.

15. Highlight Your Home’s Architecture

Highlight Your Home’s Architecture

For modern homes, it is ideal to keep the lighting sleek and clean. We have to ensure the lighting is adequate to bring out the architecture. Using lights near pools, steps, and the path will help in achieving this. At the same time, using minimalistic designs for lighting will help to appreciate the house better.

16. Garden Globes

Garden Globes

Yet another simple and effective backyard light idea. These glowing globes are actually so cool and can be used in all forms of landscapes. Oh, they are not very expensive either.

17. Dine Under the Canopy

Dine Under the Canopy

If your garden boasts elegant walkways, set up a dinner table right there. Spend a romantic evening dining under the canopy formed by fairy lights or string lights. Get lost in a fairy tale.

18. Combine with Fans

Combine with Fans

You know your porch needs fans and lights. Well, just join them. Use light-incorporated fans to do their jobs, sit back, and relax.

19. Lighted Water Features

Lighted Water Features

If the pool is too conventional for your backyard, why not consider a pond, a water fountain, or a waterfall? How beautiful will they look on a full moon night? And then give it the perennial shine by lighting.

20. Make a spotlight

Make a spotlight

Make your backyard theatrical. Show off a statement piece in your backyard. Be it a fountain, your central garden, your favorite plants, and bushes, or a statue. Add a spotlight to that feature. Bring it to life and make it impossible to take the eyes off it.

Tips for Choosing the Best Backyard Lighting for Your Home

Of course, everyone has different space and needs. From tiny patios to sprawling backyards, your outdoor space will have its unique requirements. Take your time. Research to find out the backyard lighting your house needs and the one you want to achieve the balance of practical living.

Tips for Choosing the Best Backyard Lighting for Your Home

1. Determine Your Backyard Lighting Budget

Your budget will basically steer your backyard light ideas. With the endless options available, it’s easy to derail from the budget and splurge on your backyard project. To refrain from regrets, plan well in advance.

Calculate how much lighting will be required for your space, figure out the price of the various types of lights, the number of lights needed in each type, and the pricing for the fixtures.

Your budget will highly impact the power source for your backyard. If you have a stringent budget, solar lighting could be ideal. However, it is the least desirable and often does not last the entire night. They are weather dependent. But, they are an eco-friendly option.

If you have a moderate to an unlimited budget, you can stick to low-power LED lights that could illuminate your backyard beautifully and will need a low-voltage transformer. Make your plan based on a realistic budget to have no regrets later.

2. Design for The Size and Space of Your Backyard

Ample lighting is essential to make the place lively. For smaller spaces, backyard lighting makes a bigger difference. It will expand your view with simple fixtures.

For larger backyard light ideas, layering of lights will do the trick. Achieve ambient lighting through hanging lights, post lights, and wall lights. Task lights like pathway lights and security lights will help with the functionality. Get accent backyard lighting with landscape lights and spotlights.

3. Choose the Right Fixtures

It is critical to understand the fixtures. Based on their location, if they are susceptible to rain, make sure you get wet fixtures. At the same time, damp fixtures can be used in covered areas.

Measure your space so that you don’t end up choosing fixtures that are too large scale. It helps to select the backyard lighting fixture size that blends well with the other elements. Another way to get it right is by getting lights that will illuminate the planned area sufficiently but not excessively.

Check the quality and opt for weather-resistant materials for durability.

4. Get a System

If you don’t have the time to plan your backyard lighting or the budget to hire a decorator, setting up a landscape lighting system would be a great backyard lighting idea for sprawling gardens. It will ensure that all the effort you put into your gardening does not vanish with the sun.

These systems provide you with enough lights to cover your backyard, and they are easy to install yourself. You can have control over the lighting with the help of a remote anytime and anywhere. You can also use a timer for regular use.

5. Decide Where and What You Want to Illuminate

When it comes to backyard lighting installations, assess and play with the location. Dry, damp, and wet locations will influence where and what types of lights will go. You will even need to consider the climate for the same reason.

Start planning your backyard light ideas by choosing where you want the lighting. For social areas like a porch or lawn where you gather together, more lighting will keep the party going longer. Use lights that can be dimmed to fancy your moods. Brighter lights can help while you cook, and toned-down lights can help while you eat, chat and relax. The beauty of lighting is that it can totally change the tone and vibe of a space.

For areas that are farther away and dark, increased lighting adds security. Floodlights can help here.

For your gardens, spread around smaller lights like stake lights, path lights and step lights, spotlights, and landscape lights, that apply to different spaces in your backyard.

6. Match Your Style

Admittedly, your exterior should reflect your style and personality, much like the interior of your house. A modern-looking bollard light sitting in front of a medieval-style home will look bizarre. Ensure the style and colors blend well with the overall theme of the house.

Accomplish this by observing the hues of your home. If they have a warm tone, use yellow and golden lights. If it has a cool tone with blue shades, black fixtures go well with it.

Go minimalistic to go timeless.

7. Use LEDs

LEDs use far less energy than any other lights and are low maintenance, that don’t require changing. Do not waste your time with any other option. However, some fixtures come with their bulbs saving you time.

8. Determine Your Finishes

Well, every light can have a different finish. But planning them will allow you to picture your dream backyard and calculate your budget.

Oil-rubbed bronze, aged brass, polished brass, nickel, copper, matte black, etc., are the types of finishes available for you to choose from. But remember that you can not get every fixture you love in the finish you desire. You need to make choices like fixtures and finishes and sometimes between them, and then work on it.

9. Get the Lights to Illuminate Your Backyard

After intense planning and consideration, I am sure you might be ready to get your lights. But with the endless products flooding the markets, know the types of lights available and where they will go to complete your planning.

Path, driveway, and stairway lights, wall-mounted lights, free-standing lights, recessed deck lights, hanging lights, etc., are available out there for you to consider for your backyard light idea. Make use of these in silos or by layering based on their versatility.