9 Brilliant Backyard Lighting Ideas to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space

Whether you’re looking for simple string lights or a more permanent installation, these outdoor lighting ideas will make your garden more functional.

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Creating a functional (and beautiful!) garden space is all about versatility. After all, you want to make sure that whatever outdoor space you have, whether it’s a small terrace or a sprawling area – can be enjoyed anytime. A big outdoor space combines moments of pleasure with moments of relaxation. It is the ideal place to enjoy the sun in summer and relax in winter. And, perhaps most of all, it’s a fun place to hang out 24 hours a day, day or night.

A variety of garden lighting ideas can help illuminate your gathering area and add a magical element to your space. Achieving a shiny, shiny look is also easier than you might think. From a charming string of well-placed bistro lights to professional landscaping solutions, these garden lighting ideas will make your outdoor space the perfect place to hang out and enjoy the company of your loved ones.

:10 landscape ideas to improve your garden

Highlight architectural elements

<p>Courtesy of Toll Brothers</p>
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Courtesy of Toll Brothers

Draw attention to your home’s exterior in all the right ways with strategic lighting placement that showcases all of the most stunning aspects of your abode’s architecture. Here, Toll Brothers the builders used the lighting to highlight specific landscaping elements, like the planters surrounding the patio, as well as practical lighting choices, like those integrated into the staircase and pool steps, to a safe, well-lit rear space that shines like the jewel that it is.

Glittering Bistro Fairy Lights

<p>Courtesy of Cider Press Lane and Saleina Marie Photography</p>
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Courtesy of Cider Press Lane and Saleina Marie Photography

A surefire way to create a fairytale atmosphere in your garden? Outdoor string lights! The inexpensive addition never fails to increase a space’s charm, allowing you to transform what was once a ho-hum backyard into a talked-about outdoor dining experience, like the one shown here by the creators behind cider alley.

Hang an arrangement of paper lanterns

<p>Courtesy of Nesting with Grace</p>
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Courtesy of Nesting with Grace

For the feeling of a permanent fixture – and a stunning display over a dining table or living room – hang a collection of wispy paper lanterns together, as Brooke Christen of Nest with grace. Not only will the look add a focal point to your outer zone, but it will provide a soft glow above that will essentially act as an Instagram IRL filter.

Take a Clue from Inside Your Home

<p>Courtesy of Bay-Bee Renovation</p>
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Courtesy of Bay-Bee Renovation

When it comes to creating the same warm outdoor atmosphere as indoors, look for mirrored elements that work inside your home. Here, Steph Moore, the designer behind Bay-Bee Renovation turned to a duo of (outdoor-grade!) floor lamps to add a soft glow to her outdoor seating area. The result is a casual lounging area similar to an indoor living room.

Create a “room” with fairy lights

<p>Courtesy of Jenna Sue Design</p>
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Courtesy of Jenna Sue Design

If you’re looking to increase privacy in a large garden space, look no further than this brilliant garden idea. Design by Jenna Sue. During her garden makeover, she gave a cozy seating area with a fireplace some much-needed prominence by creating a barrier of string lights around the corner. The area is “walled in” with tall cedar posts, which are then strung with outdoor light bulbs around the perimeter to mimic the ambiance of a room, allowing you to create a vacation destination worthy of your very own backyard.

Tote Around Table Lamp

<p>Courtesy of Crack the Shutters</p>
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Courtesy of Crack the Shutters

For maximum flexibility and a garden lighting idea that will charm any guest, try a rechargeable lamp or battery-powered LED lamplike the vintage-inspired style seen in Jen Rothbury’s backyard Break the shutters, above. Not only will it add a soft, romantic glow to any space, but it’s a great option if you find yourself regularly moving through multiple areas of your garden at night.

Add remarkable luster

<p>Courtesy of Hinkley Lighting</p>
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Courtesy of Hinkley Lighting

There’s no better way to truly capture the essence of indoor/outdoor living than by hanging a traditionally exclusive indoor fixture outdoors. This standout chandelier from Hinkley Lighting adds rustic charm to the covered outdoor living room of this backyard, and it would look equally stunning on an outdoor dining table.

Fan some flames

<p>Courtesy of Today’s Creative</p>
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Courtesy of Today’s Creation

It’s no secret that outdoor fireplaces are a great way to increase home comfort, but in our opinion, they can too be a great way to add some (unconventional) garden lighting to the equation too! Take this stunning stone fireplace by Kim Demmon from The creative life of today for example. When combined with a few sets of outdoor string lights and coaxed to its full, fiery potential, this scene is a great way to ensure your entire backyard is bathed in a welcoming glow whenever company pass.

Describe your terrace

<p>Courtesy of Christine Schuchman</p>
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Courtesy of Christine Schuchman

Pay homage to your outdoor living space and protect visitors by lining the perimeter of your deck or patio with small lanterns or lamp posts. To this Arrowhead Lake A Frame Housethe glow of interior lights (visible through floor-to-ceiling windows) combine with deck lighting to create a one-of-a-kind outdoor atmosphere.

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