20 Garden Lighting Ideas for a Beautiful Outdoor Space

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garden lighting ideas

Garden lighting can set the mood, create drama, and improve the ambiance in your outdoor area when the sun sets. Your garden is a beautiful place, and you should be able to enjoy it even when it gets dark outside.

When it comes to choosing garden lighting it is always best to have all three basic types: accent, ambient, and task.

Accent lighting is mostly spotlights and landscape kits. Ambient lighting is wall lights, hanging lights, and post lights. Task lighting includes pathway lights, security lights, and desk lights.

With so many garden lighting options to choose from, it can be tough to choose one that is just right for your space. So, we put together this article to help you narrow down your options.

Discover creative garden lighting ideas to enhance your outdoor space and envision yourself relaxing at your outdoor bar with these inspiring concepts.

Let’s get on with it!

1. Hang lanterns on trees.

If you want your garden to transform into a magical setting at night, then you should hang multiple lanterns on the trees.

This is great for outdoor parties and barbecues as well. It will create a magical glow in your garden and the foliage in the trees can create dynamic and unique shadows.

garden lighting - Hang lanterns on trees
Image from: House Digest

2. Festoon lighting

Festoon lighting is becoming as popular as fairy lights for the garden recently. This is because they are versatile, stylish, durable, long-lasting, and energy-efficient.

If you want to have a hassle-free installation, go for solar LED variants – this way, you won’t have to deal with complicated wiring.

garden lighting - festoon lights
Image from Festoon House

3. Make flower beds glow.

A garden full of flowers is lovely to look at during the day but they are hard to see when the sun sets. You should also be able to appreciate your flowers at night.

For this, you can place spotlights on the flower bed to highlight their foliage. Don’t just put a lighting fixture on opposite ends – make sure the light is spread evenly across the bed.

garden lighting - make flower beds glow
Image from Foliage Friend

4. Solar planters

Another way to make your garden light up is to use solar-illuminated planters. These planters are white in color during daylight but once it is darker, they light up into different colors.

The color-changing mode feature is great if you want a festive mood and if you have a gathering in the garden. But if you want something neat and clean, go for one color.

5. Step lights

If the pathway in your garden has stairs, it is best to illuminate the steps for safety purposes. Steps are very dangerous parts of the landscape after dark – anyone can trip and fall.

You can place lights under the steps, on the steps, or on the wall of the steps for lighting and safety.

6. Solar firefly lights

Turn your garden into a magical place worthy of fairytales at night with these solar firefly lights. They do not only make you feel like you are surrounded by fireflies, but they also sway with the wind when a breeze comes by. They make great pictures too when you have them in the background!

7. Wrap short trees in string lights.

Trees are a great way to add some architectural structure to the garden but they easily get lost in the dark. If you have short trees with branches that tall people should look out for, it is a great lighting idea to wrap them with string lights.

This will not only make people see the tree, but it will also make the tree look taller. Simply entwine the string light around the trunk and the larger branches. If you are using solar lights, make sure that most of them get sunlight, otherwise, they won’t glow up at night.

garden lighting - Wrap short trees in string lights
Image from: Love Our Real Life

8. Lamp post planters

If you are looking for an elegant way to add lights to your garden, you can always go for lamp post lights that come with planters. They are usually solar powered so you can position them anywhere and not have to worry about wiring or installation.

Just remember that they work best in pairs so you should position them on both sides whether it be on the gate, patio, steps, or your outdoor lounge area.

9. Illuminate arborvitae trees.

Arborvitae trees are popular in gardens because they act as an additional layer of privacy. But in the dark, they also can be good hiding places for thieves.

Hence, for security purposes, it is best to illuminate your arborvitae trees. Lighting them up will also give your garden a bright and attractive border. Plus, the lights highlight their shapes, so that’s an additional beauty to your garden!

garden lighting - Illuminate arborvitae trees
Image from:Lawn Site

10. Canopy of string lights

You can have a sparkling canopy of lights over your head by placing rows of string lights over your outdoor lounge area or dining table. It produces a classic and charming look that one would mostly expect in outdoor lighting.

garden lighting - Canopy of string lights
Image from: Honey Comb Home

11. Pathway garden lights

You can avoid any tripping hazards or people accidentally walking on your flower beds or grass with pathway garden lights. They not only make your path light up they also are an added layer of safety.

This particular pathway light comes with a design that shines a bright pattern on the ground, adding a decorative element to your garden.

12. Retaining wall lights

Retaining walls in the garden are created mainly to prevent erosion. At the same time, it also gives homeowners the chance to have a multi-tiered garden.

Place lighting fixtures on these walls and you will have a lighting option that also acts as a pathway guide. The trick is to make sure that the lights are distributed in the walls evenly.

13. String lights between trees

If your garden has a cluster of trees close to each other, one great way to illuminate the area is to place outdoor string lights between the trees. They will not only illuminate your garden well but they also look festive and fun!

This idea is great when you host outdoor parties often in your garden.

garden lighting - String lights between trees
Image from: Christmas Lights Etc.

14. Globe lights

Globe-shaped lights are a great way to add some glow to your garden. It is a great alternative to the usual stake lighting that we see in most homes because it adds some visual interest, making your garden stand out.

This works great when you use gravel in your garden.

garden lighting - Globe lights
Image from: Stone Globe Lights

15. Pendant lights over the table

If you have an outdoor dining table set up in your garden, then you should make sure that the table is well-lit so that everyone can see what they are eating.

A stylish pendant light hanging over the table can do the job while adding an elegant feel to your outdoor area.

garden lighting - pendant lights over the table
Image from: My Domaine

16. LED mosaic stake light

Give your garden some decorative color with this solar LED mosaic glass ball. It’s a stake-light product so all you have to do is stick them to the ground or on a big planter.

17. String lights on the ceiling of your pergola

A pergola is a popular wooden garden feature that usually provides some shade. It is also great for vine plants to grow on.

Pergola lighting has become popular recently because it sets a cozy atmosphere at night. One way to light up your pergola is to tie string lights along the wooden structure.

String lights on the ceiling of your pergola
Image from: Guy About Home

18. Portable lanterns

If you do not really hang out much in your gardens or outdoor lounge all the time, but want decent lighting when you do, portable lanterns are your best bet.

Portable lanterns are very versatile – you can place them on top of tables, set them down on the ground, and hang them. No matter what kind of lighting situation you need, a portable lantern will work!

19. Place a mirror in the garden.

The mirror is the most used lighting trick to make a dark room look brighter. But did you know that you can use the same trick outdoors too?

During the day, the mirror can encourage light into dark areas. At night, the mirror can increase the brightness of the lights. So, if you have extra space, have one in your garden.

Place a mirror in the garden
Image from: Pinterest

20. Fire pit

A fire pit is a great focal point for your garden. It is also a lighting option that is functional.

A fire pit can be used year-round for gatherings, parties, romantic evenings with your partner, or as a way to help everyone stay warm during winter.

Ready to light up your garden and make it shine at night?

Lighting plays an important role when it comes to creating a cozy and relaxing ambiance outdoors. There are so many lighting possibilities to choose from for your garden.

These garden lighting ideas, when applied, will definitely encourage you to spend long evenings in your outdoor space whether you have a huge garden, a small backyard, or just a balcony area or patio that needs some brightening up!

So do experiment with different lights in different areas. And remember, when it comes to lighting, layers work perfectly.

Looking for more lighting ideas for your home? Check these out!

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