20 Best Lighting Ideas for a Cozy Outdoor Party

Disclosure: This post on lighting ideas for a cozy outdoor party contains Amazon Affiliate links. It means that I may receive a commission if you click an Amazon link and purchase a product. It won’t cost you any extra money. Read the full disclosure here.

20 best lighting ideas for a cozy outdoor party.

Outdoor lighting is essential for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere for your next outdoor party. Whether you’re having a backyard barbecue or a romantic dinner for two, the right lighting can make all the difference.

Outdoor parties are a hit during summer and other warm evenings. Celebrating special occasions al fresco has a certain charm that just makes everything a little better.

But when the sun sets, you have to ensure that there is proper lighting for your outdoor area whether you are dealing with a garden, a backyard, or a cemented outdoor space. The proper lighting ensures a welcoming and cozy atmosphere that will get the party going even after the sun sets.

There are thousands of options when it comes to outdoor party lighting. Here, we have gathered 20 lighting ideas for outdoor parties that you should check out.

1. Make certain areas stand out with a fairy light curtain

Make certain parts of your outdoor area more special by placing a fairy light curtain around them – This works well for pergolas and gazebos. You can use this idea for the DJ booth if you are hiring one or for the place where all the food or drinks are.

2. Pendant lighting over the dance floor

Encourage people to dance by placing some impressive pendant outdoor lighting over the dance floor. People will definitely want to take pictures under these Chinese lanterns. The fact that they come in different sizes is a nice touch too. Your guests will have a magical time dancing the night away under these lights.

Pendant lighting over the dance floor
Image from: Pinterest

3. Be more festive with tiki torches

Tiki torches are a sure way to boost the festive vibe of any outdoor party. Just make sure you practice safety measures if you are using real flaming torches. They must be planted properly into the ground so that they do not topple over. And make sure they are planted in areas where the flickering flames will not cause any fire.

Be more festive with tiki torches
Image from: Carla Bast Design

4. Enjoy candlelight safely with flameless candles

Candlelight is always a romantic and well-loved option when it comes to outdoor lighting. But if you have kids and pets around, it can be unsafe since they can easily get knocked over. With safety in mind, you can still enjoy the intimate and cozy lighting of a candle and stay safe with these flameless candles.

The dancing flame is actually caused by LED light and it is battery-operated.

5. Decorate with hula hoop lights

If you are looking for something more on the decorative side than functional, you can set up these hula hoop lights all over the place. This is a DIY project made from black hula hoops and string lights. All you have to do is wind the battery-operated string lights around the hula hoop and you are done. You can hang them on trees or on the walls or plant them on the ground to help illuminate a path.

Decorate with hula hoop lights
Image from: Homes to Love

6. Keep the bugs away with luminaries

One thing that can ruin an outdoor lighting party is the presence of bugs. If there is a tendency for bugs to swarm in your area, make these DIY bug-repelling luminaries. They do not only look pretty but they emit a scent that keeps the bugs away. Your guests will have a more comfortable time without the bugs around and the party will go on longer.

Keep the bugs away with luminaries
Image from: American Lifestyle

7. Add light patterns with Moroccan lanterns

Moroccan lanterns come with an intricately designed frame that emits light in a pattern against surfaces whether it be the wall or the floor. Here, the lanterns are used to light up a pathway. Your guests will definitely feel like they are entering a great party if you greet them this way.

8. Have an intimate gathering with cozy fire pits

Having a fire pit does not only mean you can have bonfires all year round to keep warm – but it also means you have a nice place to have everyone gather around and have conversations and snacks. It is also a nice romantic spot to cuddle up close to a loved one. And it is a great source of light, making it an additional lighting layer for your outdoor party.

Have an intimate gathering with cozy fire pits
Image from: Taste of Home

9. Dine under a string light canopy

An outdoor dinner party can look more dreamy and special when you create a string lighting canopy over your dining table. It definitely will add a whimsical and intimate touch to your dinner. Dining in a dreamy atmosphere will make your guests have fun chatting away over a good meal.

Dine under a string light canopy
Image from: Wedding Chicks

10. Make use of the pool for lighting

If your outdoor party venue has a pool, you should make use of it. Light up the pool by creating floaters that can carry candles and lanterns. Throw in some flowers too if you want. This will transform the pool into a magical pond during the party. Of course, this idea is best if it is the type of party where nobody would end up swimming.

Make use of the pool for lighting
Image from: Set My Wed

11. Light up hedges with net lights

If your outdoor lighting party is in a garden and your garden has hedges, make them stand out in the dark with the help of net lights. Sometimes it’s hard to see hedges in the dark and your guests can easily run into them and tear their clothes or get cuts. Make sure your hedges are well-trimmed before you place the net lights.

12. Guide the way with orbs

These solar orbs look like stones during the day and when the sun goes down, they glow! This light up the path toward your home or gardens effortlessly. They look so good that you would want to use them every day – not just for parties.

Guide the way with orbs
Image from: Stone Globe Lights\

13. Plant firework lights

Make your venue light up with these firework-inspired solar lights. You can place these lights into your large potted plants, to act as a perimeter for your flower beds, or to light up the pathway.

14. Use solar Chinese lanterns

Chinese lanterns with LED bulbs are very low maintenance and easy to set up at your party. They also are a great way to grab attention compared to ordinary string lights. Scatter a couple of lanterns all over the area to give it a more festive setting.

15. Drape string lights on a tree

Another sure way to make your outdoor party lively is to drape several string lights on the trees. You can choose to do this for every tree in the area for a brighter effect or focus on just one majestic-looking tree, making it a focal point for the party.

Illuminate your backyard by festooning your trees with outdoor lighting.
Image from: Shija via Youtube

16. Create a light tunnel for a grand entrance

A light tunnel does not only give your guests a splashy entrance, but it doubles as a photo booth too. Your tunnel does not have to be long; more than three hoops can do. And they are very easy to set up and take apart so you can have them as temporary outdoor lighting for your party or choose to have them permanently.

Create a light tunnel for a grand entrance a splashy entrance to your outdoor lighting party.
Image from: Anthony Dominggo

17. Be closer to the stars with star-shaped string lights

String light comes in many colors and shapes. With these star-shaped string lights, you and your guests will be closer to the stars at your outdoor party. You can string them overhead your dining or lounge area or put them up against the walls. Either way, it will definitely add a magical touch to your party.

18. Hang lanterns on trees

A fairy-tale-like lighting effect is to hang several lanterns from a tree. Make sure you use stable wires to hang them so that they do not easily fall off when the wind blows. Lanterns on trees give the effect of giant fireflies hanging around the branches. It’s a magical sight that your guests would appreciate.

Elevate your outdoor lighting space with lantern hang from trees.
Image from: The Book Of Secrets

19. Set the mood with neon signs

Set the mood of the party by putting up neon signs. These signs are not just for dark bars, but you can use them outdoors too. They also make good backdrops for pictures. Make sure you check if the sign is weatherproof so you know whether you should set it up where there is a shade over it or not.

Set the mood of your outdoor lighting with neon signs.
Image from: Etsy

20. Layer your lighting

Do not just stick to one kind of lighting for your outdoor party. It helps to layer your lighting. Just take a look at this setup. You have string lights on the trees and the table has candles and lanterns so everybody can clearly see what they are doing whether they are eating or chatting.

Layer your outdoor lighting for a warm and inviting atmosphere with string lights, landscape lights, and a table lamp.
Image from: Maison of Pax

Last Thoughts

Your house may have a great outdoor setting during the day, but if you do not have the right lights, captured memories will not be as Instagram-worthy as you’d like.

Whether you are having something formal like a garden wedding or something just casual like a barbecue night with friends, having the right outdoor lighting can turn it into something more special.

The proper outdoor lighting can transform your outdoor party into a magical place and make your party an unforgettable experience for your guests.

Has this post helped you? Take a second to PIN it!

Light up your outdoor lighting party with these 20 brilliant ideas! From string lights to lanterns to fire pits, we have everything for your outdoor party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *