17+ Outdoor Lighting Ideas for the Garden

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It’s warming up outside and it’s time to head outside to enjoy the warm weather!  Outdoor lighting is one of the best ways to brighten up your outdoor space and make it usable at night.

I’m sharing these gorgeous and easy to duplicate outdoor lighting ideas with you today.  I know you can find the perfect backyard lighting for your space.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas

17+ Gorgeous Outdoor Lighting Ideas for the Garden

Did I mention my mother’s day gift this year was yard work?

I will admit, I definitely got my “money’s worth” out of that gift. It took my hubby a couple of weekends to finish the makeover on our little side garden. I pitched in a little when we were shoveling and spreading the rock and choosing plants, but that is about all I did.

Now that it’s done we’ve really been enjoying the new garden in the mornings.  We jokingly call it the bird sanctuary as it is “bird-a-palooza” out there all day long!

backyard lighting ideas

Light up those warm summer Nights

It would be amazing if we could spend more time out there in the late evening after the day cools off, but right now it is just pitch black out there.  (Which is nice if you are stargazing, but not so much if you are trying to hang out and have a conversation.) So it is definitely time we come up with a few outdoor lighting ideas to brighten up the backyard in the evening.

We have all sorts of wildlife out here.  Our little DIY Bubble Fountain really brings them in.  Hubby snapped this picture through our bedroom window one morning, earlier this summer.  Isn’t it pretty?

I’ve spent some time lately browsing and collecting Outdoor Lighting Ideas on Pinterest, Houzz, and Google Images to get inspiration for the hubby’s next project.  I’ve come across a few images and project ideas that are just perfect for our garden and am excited to share these backyard lighting ideas with you!

Our neighborhood has a dark sky light regulation, so make sure to check if you have a similar rule before committing to your lighting fixtures.

Frequently asked Outdoor Lighting Questions:

What are Dark Sky Lights

Dark Sky lights are designed to aim your lighting towards the ground and not up into the sky where it adds to noise pollution and blocks the view of the night sky and stars.

Should I choose solar or low voltage lighting?

The answer to this question is based on your budget and access to a power source. In our case, we used low voltage up against the house and solar path lights on the paths that are too far away. Of course, if your budget is unlimited you can have low voltage lighting where ever you like.

What kind of lights do you recommend for instant impact?

Are you looking for a lighting idea that will give instant results? Then I will recommend string lights every time. You can plug them in almost everywhere and look amazing in practically every setting!

Outdoor Lighting Ideas for the Garden

1. Mason Jars from a Sheppard’s hook.

I love these little mason jars hanging from mini-shepherd’s hook.  You can get the tutorial and make some for yourself at Finding Home.  I can totally picture this lighting in a couple of spots around the perimeter and by the stone bench.

garden lighting

2. Premade Mason Jar Lights

Of course, if you are not a DIY-er or just don’t want to make your own outdoor mason jar light, you could always buy premade mason jar lights like these gorgeous ones from Sweet Tea Clothing Co. on Etsy.

hanging outdoor garden lights

3. Hanging Mason Jars with Fairy Lights

Or check out these darling hanging mason jars. You can find solar-powered hanging mason jars on Amazon or use your own mason jars and just add battery-powered fairy lights.

4. Hanging Tree Lanterns

If you have a lot of trees in your garden, you can find a ton of hanging lantern ideas.  These hanging outdoor garden lanterns are beautiful.  I think I have seen very similar lanterns at Hobby Lobby and here on amazon.

hanging outdoor lanterns
outdoor lighting ideas

5. Hanging Votives

Another hanging mason jar idea, although I recommend using battery-powered tea lights over an open flame.

outdoor lighting ideas

6. Tin Can Lanterns

If glass votives or mason jars aren’t your thing, you could always follow this Tin Can Lantern Tutorial from Grow Creative.

tin can lanterns

7. Sun Jars

These little sun jars from Fox and Feather would be perfect soft lighting on my outdoor coffee table.

diy lights from mason jars

8. Outdoor Chandelier

This is a great idea for a DIY chandelier.  Something like this would be perfect over our door dining set.

outdoor chandelier

9 String Light Wrapped trees

We have a ton of trees, it would be so gorgeous to wrap a few of them in white rope lights and create a little sitting area.

10. Trellis wrapped in Lights

How pretty would a lighted trellis be over our stone bench.  See how to make this one over at Kojo Designs.

garden lighting ideas

11. Tiki Torches

Don’t forget about tiki torches. They are inexpensive and look amazing for any outdoor gathering. The best part is you can purchase fuel that is designed to keep mosquitos away!

outdoor lighting ideas

12. Yard Lanterns

I love the idea of large lanterns strategically placed around the yard. I have several that are very similar to these lanterns that I got from QVC. They have lasted 3+ years and are still going strong.) Amazon has some good-looking solar lanterns as well.

13. Diy Lampshade String Lights

These cupcake liner lights are so darling and creative and would look adorable hanging from the ceiling of the porch!

wedding lighting ideas

14. Japanese Lanterns

Or it could be something as simple as Japanese lanterns with battery-powered luminaries hung from the trees or just a string! (Just be sure to take them down when it rains, lol.)

15. Globe String Lights

We definitely wanted to hang some of the round bulb string lights over the top of the garden.  Similar to the photos below.  Finally found the perfect outdoor string lights here on Amazon!   

16. Paper Bag Lights

These paper bag lights look easy and fun to do:

outdoor lighting ideas for a wedding

17. Pathway lights

I love these pathway lights!  They are the perfect size for our rock stepping stones.

garden pathway lighting ideas

Of course, if you have a wider pathway, you could go with a larger path light.

pathway lighting

18. Solar Pathway Lights

Of course, you can’t go wrong with solar pathway lights, these can be found at just about all of the large hardware stores. My current pathway light of choice are these square/modernish-looking pathway lights from Lowes.

19. Rope lights

How cool is this DIY Rope Light Design found over at A Beautiful Mess?

backyard lighting ideas

We used these rope lights from Lowes to add lighting to our outdoor patio.

20. Upcycled Globe lights

Here is a great DIY idea to up-cycle your old-style light fixtures:

diy outdoor lighting

Outdoor Plans

How about you?  Do you have any big plans in the works to spruce up your outdoor space?  I’d love to hear from you about your plans!

If you are looking for a few more semi-easy outdoor projects you can do yourself, be sure to check these out as well:

How to Make a Bubble Fountain in a Pot

Make a Wood and Rope Tree Swing

No Sew Outdoor Patio Curtains (from drop cloths)

DIY Outdoor Firepit

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  1. Emma Wilson says:

    I love that these ideas are both creative and practical! I’m excited to add a DIY chandelier in my outdoor space. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sarah Hoctor says:

    The little pathway lights…what are they? Seriously cute!

  3. Abigail Holden says:

    I love all of these decorative lights! It definitely adds some sparkle and romance to any yard or party!

  4. Joy Butler says:

    I am so thankful for what you have shared about these outdoor lighting ideas for the garden. The images you have featured here are beautiful and stunning! If you were to ask me, any of those will make my garden so attractive.

  5. wow! wonderful post. their images is very nice. Great ideas , Thanks for your post. I’ve been thinking about writing a very comparable post over the last couple of weeks, I’ll probably keep it short and sweet and link to this instead if thats cool. Thanks for Extraordinary post.

  6. Http://whatmeeganmakes.com says:

    Absolutely fabulous! Thanks for sharing these ideas Jamie xoxo Pinned.

  7. I just received an email from Pinterest stating that they deleted this pin from my board at the request of the content owner. Coming back to your page, I see that you reference the site in your writing, have links to your boards, and the photo that I pinned appears to be formatted for Pinterest. This makes me think that you don't have a problem with your photos being on Pinterest. I wanted to let you know in case someone else was claiming your content. Love your site, by the way.

    1. Thanks Julie!  One of the Etsy shop owners objected to me sharing their photo and shop link. She complained to pinterest that I was stealing her content and pinterest deleted the pin.  I removed her photo and shop link from my post and it should be ok now, in fact I have already re-pinned it.
      Sorry for any confusion and I appreciate the comment…

    2. oop, sorry Felicia, I didn't mean to delete that (I should probably turn on the light in my office)… here is her comment:

      its sometimes challenging to sell hand made things online and shop owner definitely doesn't want anyone encouraging others to diy it

  8. Finding Home says:

    Thanks for sharing our mason jar lights! Wishing you a great week! Take care, Laura

  9. Hoyby Crafts says:

    These are fantastic! I can't wait to spruce up my backyard with some of these ideas! Thanks so much for sharing! Stopping by from Hoyby Crafts.

  10. I loved so many of these great ideas! Can't wait till October when we can again be enjoying the great outdoors on our patio!

  11. These are all such adorable ideas, and I'm especially partial to anything in mason jars! Happy to be visiting from Making the World Cuter Monday 🙂

  12. Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon says:

    This is such a great round-up of lighting ideas. I seriously love them all and your family of deer! Thanks for sharing with us this week at Monday Funday!

    Take care,