When the days become longer and start to warm up, it’s time to consider revamping your backyard living areas for the summer. An easy way to make your yard more inviting is to add lighting so that you can eat, relax, and reconnect with family and friends long after the sun goes down.
40+ Awesome Lighting Ideas to Beautify Your Backyard
Backyard lighting ideas run the gamut from simple candle holders or battery operated fairy lights to high-powered spot lighting which can add a touch of grandeur to an elegant garden. The style of lighting you pick will largely depend on the size of your outdoor space and whether or not you’ll have access to power. Smaller yards or intimate seating areas located well away from power outlets can make use of simple solutions such as solar lights or small home made torches which do not require electricity. Outdoor living areas that are adjacent to your house such as porches, patios, and pergolas can incorporate more powerful lighting options like electric powered string lights and lanterns.
No matter what size outdoor space you have, the strategic addition of lighting can turn your backyard into a cozy outdoor sanctuary with minimal effort and cost. The ideas below will provide examples of simple DIY options which can allow you to enjoy your backyard more fully this summer.
1. Stunning Solar Bright Red Backyard Chandelier
Why not kill two birds with one stone? You can add some essential lighting to your backyard oasis while punching the kick of color up a notch too with this stunning solar chandelier in bright red. Hang it over your favorite picnic table or suspend it from a tree to add this vibrant red light where you need it most. Coordinate your al fresco dining with a tablecloth print that features this rich red to make your outdoor dining experience a more regal one.
2. Repurposed Planters Reimagined Solar Pendant Lights
Tired of those unused and unwanted moss-planters? Give them a new life by converting them into some spectacular solar pendant lights that are perfect for your back patio. Group them on the corner posts of your pergola to emphasize the conversation center that comes alive after the sun goes down. This backyard gathering go-to will be the place-to-be with lights that guide your conversations through the night.
3. Sparkling and Pretty Fairy Light Filled Jar
Adding a jar filled with fairy lights is a quick and easy way to illuminate that dark corner of your backyard wonderland. Place one on a corner table or line a trio down the center of the dining table to light up your sunset supper. You’ll enjoy the gentle glow of these dainty lights that can easily be moved around to add more light to areas as needed. They make fantastic gift ideas too.
4. Sleek and Modern Silver Lantern Patio Light
Your backyard continues the look and feel of your modern home with this sleek and silver contemporary lantern. Framing your sliding doors, this lantern set will light the way to the wonders of the nighttime sky. Continue the look by using the same lantern style on your front porch and garage to tie it all together. The sheen of the silver along with the Edison style bulb adds character and charm to your contemporary design.
5. Great Grapevine Balls Filled with Lights
Create an enchanted forest in the comfort of your backyard with these grapevine balls filled with fairy lights. The twinkle and glow shining from within these gorgeous grapevine balls are the perfect touch for adding ambiance and charm to your backyard. String them throughout a large tree or hang them around your pergola or gazebo to make special spots in your secluded oasis.
6. Retro Outdoor Edison Bulb Light Strands
Everyone loves the look of these retro light strands that feature Edison style bulbs. It gives your outdoor space a modern and pulled-together look for hosting your backyard barbecues and friendly dinner parties. Light up the night for some fun salsa dancing and easy conversation by stringing these strands overhead from your backdoor to give a lot of light that shines just as much character.
7. Vintage Ladder Hanging Light Bulb Strand
Reimagine an old ladder as the ideal outdoor lighting fixture. It is just the right size to fit between a couple of branches in your favorite backyard tree and it has just the right design to comfortably hold a strand or two of your outdoor lights. Choose a vintage look and feel bulb strand to add more character into your outdoor design. Use this lighted ladder to designate a conversation corner for party guests to get to know each other a little better.
8. Gorgeous Watering Can Flowing with Lights Decoration
Here is a conversation piece that is certain to set the backyard atmosphere and guests a buzz with it’s unique and character-filled design. Within your flower bed, this lovely tin watering can is hanging and ready to overflow its bounty on the petals below. The cascading water has been crafted from twinkle lights to create a cozy and cute glow for your after-hours hosting event.
9. Gorgeous and Glowing Garden Trellis with Lights
Looking for a garden goodie that looks amazing both day and night? Search no more because this charming trellis tower is bursting to life during the day with creeping and crawling leaves and flowers. After the sun goes down, the glow of the lights illuminate the surroundings to continue its gorgeous and charming appeal. Get the best of both worlds with this tower trellis garden light.
10. Simple Outdoor Light Strand Patio Upgrade
Small spaces will delight in even the smallest upgrade to give them some night time life. Hang a single strand to extend the life of your outdoor enjoyment on your back patio. Simple and easy to install, this set of lights is just what you need to enjoy a refreshing drink at the end of a long summer day without leaving the comfort of your home.
11. White and Wooden Spindle Outdoor Candle Stand
Arrange a duet or trio of these outdoor candle stands in various heights to make a dramatic impact on your outdoor decor. The slender spindles provide an eye-catching base that easily fits nearly anywhere your outdoor space could use a candle. No matter if you need a citronella to keep pesky bugs at bay or just wish to add a gentle, warm glow to your evening outdoors, you can’t go wrong with these simple and chic spindle candle stands.
12. Matte Charcoal Black Low Profile Candle Basins
Line the path from your door to the backyard with these gorgeous and modern charcoal black candle basins. Their stout and low profiles make them sturdy enough to sit on the ground without toppling over and their clean and crisp design gives them a modern vibe. They offer a stylish path to light the way when guests need to make a bathroom run into your home after dark.
13. Mason Jar Back Porch Tiki Torch
Continue that modern farmhouse vibe even when you’re enjoying a backyard barbecue that’s bug-free! These charming and adorable mason jars are filled and ready to go so your outdoor party will be lit in all the right ways! The clear glass showcases the pretty colored fuel that is sure to add some homemade comfort for all of your back porch guests.
14. Eclectic Multi-Colored Glass Votive Candle Jars
Here is a terrific way to transform your backyard from daytime to nighttime. You can line a path through your garden, channel guests to a firepit for roasting s’mores, or gently nudge them to mingle within a pre-lit section by placing these darling glass jars with votive candles wherever your heart desires. They are a cheap and cute way to add some much-needed light and warmth for an enjoyable summer evening in the comfort of your own backyard.
15. Long and Lean Glass Fluted Patio Torches
Infuse some elegance into your backyard flower bed with these tall and lean glass fluted torches. They give just enough light and bug-repelling power without taking up much space at all. Their slender and sleek design makes them perfect for more formal after-hours events as well, like a wedding or reception. Line these down the aisle and surround them around the wedding arch to guide the bride down the path to her loving groom.
16. Painted Black Classic Candle Chandelier for Outdoors
Your backyard just got a whole lot cozier with the addition of this classic candle chandelier. Painted in a rich and neutral black finish, this outdoor chandelier proudly holds five cute and chunky candles to light up your late night rendezvous. You can set the mood of your cozy conversation space by hanging it overhead in your pergola, large tree, or back porch.
17. Light Your Way with Staked Solar Lights
Grab a set of these solar lights and stake them in the ground to guide everyone around your home after the sun sets. Their easy installation adds to their appeal. Use them in the front, back, and side yard to maximize their potential. The gentle glow near your feet keeps the romance alive as the dim night time atmosphere is subdued while the walkway remains clear.
18. Tropical Trees Trimmed with Twinkling Lights
Light up the night sky even when you’re not at the beach. Simply wrap your favorite trees, tropical or native, from the bottom of the trunk to the beginning of the branches with delicate white lights. The overall look will knock you off your feet with its overwhelming beauty making it a true work of art in your own backyard.
19. Dazzling Decorative Green Glass Fortune Ball
Liven up your pool scene with this decorative glass ball that’s ready to forecast many friend-filled nights of fun! The beauty of the green glass crafted in such smooth and pristine textures makes this garden ornament a top choice. Its grace and elegance will add some elite beauty into your patio space and become the perfect compliment to your refreshing swimming pool.
20. Golden and Glowing Backyard Bees Abuzz
Brighten up your flowers after the sun sets with these adorable bumble bee lights. Shining in a rich amber glow, these bee lights are sure to let the beauty of your flowers extend into the afterhours. Position them within the center of these petaled friends just as a real authentic bee would be resting to enjoy a slurp of fresh nectar. These golden and glowing backyard bees are ripe for the picking and would make a stunning centerpiece display on your picnic table.
21. Intricate and Ornate Outdoor Chinese Lantern
Another way to add some additional lighting in your outdoor space is with lanterns. Hang or set these intricate beauties wherever you feel a little extra light or warmth is needed. The detailed opening on this Chinese style outdoor lantern provides gorgeous windows to illuminate the space around it in many faceted ways.
22. Glowing and Green Twinkle Lights Lantern
Set this gorgeous glowing green lantern on your outdoor table to add the extra light you’ll need after the sun goes down. As you wind your way around your backyard, you can take this twinkling lantern along and even hang it on a tree branch if needed. In the bottom, the unique glass rocks in multiple shades of green look amazingly beautiful as the delicate glow of the fairy lights fill up the inside of the jar.
23. Light Up the Night with Solar Roses
Simply gorgeous is how to describe these solar rose lights that are the most stunning way to light up your garden bed. They perfectly blend in to your flower bed and really come alive after dark. As the lights glow, the pretty pink petals illuminate your backyard creating that lovely and romantic ambiance you seek. They are simply stunning and a great alternative when choosing flowers as a gift.
24. Tall Cube Mosaic Pattern Outdoor Solar Lights
Sleek and chic combine into these amazing mosaic patterned solar lights. They are the best choice in lining the sidewalk of your modern contemporary home. From their warm amber hued glow to the distinct and delicate pattern from which the light emerges, these tall cubes are a twist on your traditional staked solar lights. They make a wonderful house warming gift, especially to that person who has it all.
25. Creative Copper Wire Swirl Outdoor Candle Holder
Feast your eyes upon this copper wire masterpiece! It features a small glass jar that’s just the right size to hold your candle and help keep your backyard party alive into the night time hours. As it hangs from your tree, it is even a beautiful addition during the daytime with its metallic copper sheen and ruby stones that are secured by the ornate scroll designs. Repurpose and reimagine some wire and create a work of art all of your own.
26. Single Stem Rose Light Unique Wind Chime
Channel all the colors of the rainbow right into the comfort of your backyard with this amazing single stem rose light wind chime. The glass bottles awaken the night as each contains a different colored single rose that’s aglow. Collectively, the colors create a breathtaking show from your back door.
27. Wagon Wheel Mason Jar and Crystal Chandelier
Host a modern hoe down with this wagon wheel and mason jar crystal chandelier as the star of the show! It’s a fabulous choice for incorporating into a rustic and shabby chic outdoor wedding or reception site. Draping the crystals throughout the chandelier creates the wow factor everyone wants at their wedding. Reuse this item in your backyard oasis after the nuptials and let its beauty live forever.
28. Natural Illuminated Log Pathway Lights
Illuminated logs — we’re in love with the way the light shines through the cracks. These natural logs will be the highlight of your backyard scene. During the day, they simply look like garden stools, but at dusk the glow of golden light makes your garden path a fairyland filled with radiating light. Because they’re natural logs, each one is unique.
29. Outdoor Hanging Tealight Candle Chandelier
The perfect chandelier for the garden is this simple creation suspended by chains from an overhanging bough. Because it requires no wiring, you can place it anywhere. Small glass jars with a layer of sand hold tea lights that burn just long enough to light up the evening for a romantic interlude with a couple of glasses of wine.
30. Moroccan Inspired Lantern Step Lighting
If you dream of faraway places and exotic lifestyles, you can bring them home to your own back yard in an instant by filling the stairs of your deck with grillework lanterns in various sizes and colors. Inspired by the mysteries of Morocco, these lights will inspire you to spend your leisure time outdoors with family and friends.
31. Outdoor Seating Under Tree String Lights
A variety of outdoor seating spaces encourages different activities. Serve a meal at the picnic table; talk with friends in a quiet corner. Lounge with a good book in a swinging chair filled with cushions. When the sun sets, light up the scene with string lighting in the trees. You have created an outdoor living room that you’ll love.
32. Battery Powered Fairy Lights in Glass Lanterns
Suspend battery-powered fairy lights in glass orbs for an effect that’s as simple as it is magical. Requiring no wiring, these lights can be suspended from tree branches or hung under the eaves of your house. They’re lightweight, whimsical, captivating and as easy as can be to install.
33. Backyard Lantern Post Candle Holders
Lantern posts are traditional, elegant and functional. What’s not traditional is that the lantern holds a candle, and the post is simply decorative. But this is a wonderful solution to getting light to the right part of the garden. Paint or stain the post to complement your home and garden, top it with a metal cap, and add a tall pillar candle to the decorative metal lantern.
34. Simple Fenceline Christmas Light Illumination
Oh, we love this idea. We can almost hear the sounds of caroling and sleigh bells, but if you leave these Christmas lights atop your fence year-round, they’ll light up a pair of upholstered benches in great style! They’re so easy, we don’t understand why everyone isn’t doing it!
35. Magical Glowing Flower Garden Planters
What — are they lights or planters? Or were they brought by alien visitors? These glowing pots are among the most unique choices we’ve found for back yard lighting. And it’s hard to imagine anything prettier! Mix them with pots of other materials for a stunning effect. They’re beautiful even in daylight, but they add extra drama to the garden at night.
36. Rustic Hanging Mason Jar Candle Holders
Mason jars couldn’t be more versatile, around the home or in the garden. Here, tied with simple string, they become rustic hanging candle holders along a wooden fence line. They’re so easy to make that you’ll want to keep a bunch on hand for those back yard gatherings throughout the season.
37. Recycled DIY Glass Bottle Torches
Unique and serviceable torches made of recycled wine bottles are a DIY project that may require a bit more time than some of the other lighting options. But the dramatic effect is well worth the effort! A few inexpensive fittings, a properly-sized wick and some lamp oil are all that’s necessary. Use a single kind of bottle or collect a variety — it’s your choice.
38. Elegant Well-Lit Backyard Dinner Party Pergola
A party pergola is special on its own. But any garden structure becomes more attractive — and more useful when you add lighting. This one is gorgeous, with string lighting overhead, a circlet of lights suspended over the table, pendants in each corner, and path lighting to direct the way to the party. It’s picture perfect and party ready.
39. Simple Mason Jar Backyard Lighting Ideas
Mason jars again: Craft these votive holders easily from wire hangers for sturdy lights that can be suspended from tree branches or almost anything else: a covered patio, a fence, a post located near the barbecue or metal brackets attached to your home’s siding. You’ll find dozens of ways to use them.
40. Charmingly Rustic Minimalistic String Lights
Less is often more, and a minimalist single string of open bulbs centered over a picnic table is a charmingly rustic solution to lighting up an outdoor dinner. Here the lights are quickly and easily strung between two slim tree trucks anchored in solid non-tip bases at each end of the table. It’s functional and funky.
41. Pretty Purple Hanging Moroccan Lanterns
At the other end of the decor spectrum, this fully-furnished outdoor room uses color and high style to great effect. Elegant purple glass Moroccan lanterns hang from the beams, reflecting the color of accent cushions on the upholstered seating. Privacy drapes that echo the same color can be pulled as needed, and more creature comfort comes from the rug underfoot. Only the massed green plants make it obvious that this “room” is indeed out of doors.
42. Rope Light Gravel Pathway Illumination
Snake an oversize rope light along a curving pathway to light the way! It’s dazzling in its simplicity, but extraordinary in its effect. Actually, it’s one of our favorite ideas for all-purpose, all-weather lighting in the backyard. How many ways can you think of to use this rope lighting?
43. Upscale Outdoor Seating Bench Lit by Candles
Patio seating takes a lot of different forms. Here a built-in bench provides upscale seating right next to a gorgeous planting area. Add soft cushions, cozy throws and a line of convenient candle holders along the back to extend its usefulness. With the adjacent dining table and chairs, you can invite crowds and still have comfortable space for all.
44. Simple Solar Brick Pathway Lights
Solar is the way to go in the garden. Plant a double line of solar lights along a brick pathway and you’ll add both safety and beauty to your backyard. There are so many kinds of solar lights available, you’re sure to find options that suit your style and your budget. Because they operate on renewable energy, they’re good for the environment too.
45. Whimsical Garden Grotto with String Lights
Have we conveyed the idea that we love string lights? Is it obvious that creativity and originality find ample expression in the garden? We hope so! Here, the homeowner uses several different kinds of lighting in tandem with string lights nestled among the vines and overhead beams. This is a case when more is more. Hanging candles in mason jars, bottle lights and tabletop candles are all perfectly wonderful in this garden grotto.
46. DIY Solar Powered Chandelier Lights
Why not hang a chandelier outside? Especially when it’s powered by the sun! This substantial multi-arm solar chandelier deserves a place of honor outdoors, and instructions for making it are easy to follow. With a round table and chairs large enough for a family dinner, it becomes a dramatic focal point, as eco-friendly and efficient as it is dramatic.
47. Flameless Fire Pit Fairy Lights
Sometimes, simulating firelight is better than having a real fire pit. Fairy lights create a flameless centerpiece when nestled among real wood logs. This simulated fire pit is a dramatic centerpiece of a nighttime patio seating area. It’s a safe, ingenious way to enjoy the ambience of a glowing fire. Unfortunately, you can’t make s’mores!
48. Easy DIY Mason Jar Lanterns
Easily create long-burning Mason jar lanterns in lieu of canning jar candleholders. It’s another DIY project that requires minimal effort and materials, but yields big decorative effect. They do, however, produce an open flame, so use them with caution, and always turn them off when no adult is present.
49. Backlit Garden Planter Beds and Spotlights
Not all garden lighting should be visible. Uplighting showcases a fence or wall as well as the greenery. It is especially effective when nestled among shrubbery or at the rear of a planting area. The effect is dramatic: Think about installing a dimmer, or be careful that you don’t overly light up the night sky. You wouldn’t want to block out the view of starry skies above, and some areas have restrictions on uplighting and spot lights.
50. Fun and Simple Hanging Chinese Lanterns
Another tradition; another culture. Hang Chinese lanterns in your backyard to lend a festive atmosphere to the outdoor scene, and add color and design interest at the same time. It’s hard not to smile at the playful look of these glowing geometric shapes hanging above the outdoor seating area. Leave them up for the season, or bring them out only for special occasions. Use them any way that works for your setting.
51. Tree Trunks Wrapped in String Lights
Wrapping selected tree trunks in miniature white string lights is a wonderfully decorative way to illuminate your back yard. Placing light at or slightly below eye level magnifies the effect, and creates a kind of protected bower feeling. For special holidays like the Fourth of July or Halloween, add a string or two of colored lights!
52. Year-Round Backyard Deck String Lights
Define the boundaries of your outdoor room by draping string lights from poles stationed at the perimeter of a deck or patio. It’s a minimalist approach to outdoor lighting that is quite effective. The casual loops keep the feeling light and informal.
53. Rustic Grapevine and Chinese Lantern Garland
As illustrated in previous photos, there’s no reason you have to confine your outdoor lighting choices to one, or even two. Here Chinese lanterns blend beautiful with simple string lighting woven into and around rustic grapevines. The effect is simple, but stunning. What other ideas might you think of to add light to your outdoor scene?