When the warmer seasons come around, many of us like to spend some evenings (or most!) lounging in our yards and gardens. Having good backyard lighting can make your outdoor space a usable and enjoyable spot to visit with loved ones, have a late snack, or sip a good glass of red.

You can learn how to light your yard and garden yourself! Try these creative outdoor lighting ideas and tutorials to get your yard in shape for when the sun goes down!

Backyard lighting adds another room onto your home, and who doesn’t need a little more space for living and having some fun?



Outdoor Lighting How-Tos

Backyard or outdoor lighting can really add the magic to any patio, deck, or outdoor space. It’s easy, it’s inexpensive, and it changes everything. Whether you want to add patio string lights, hanging lanterns, or light up your deck, fence, or pool, you have options. We found an awesome primer on outdoor lighting over at ‘Hunker.’ Use this resource to help you design your backyard lighting, then use the tutorials below to actually execute it.

One idea? Use uplighting to brighten dark corners or to light focal plantings at night. If you don’t have electricity available, there are plenty of solar flood light options at the local home improvement store. Photo by Laura Joliet for ‘The NY Times‘.



Patio String Light Ideas

This gorgeous backyard globe light set up is by ‘Willow Jade Floral‘ in L.A. If I could have my whole backyard lighting set up look just like this! Can you see how much string lighting adds to a patio or outdoor room? Your guests will feel like they are in a special place, and you will want to use your yard every nice evening! Romantic dinner, al fresco?



Love the idea of string lights, but want to make it really amazing? Use this photo to inspire you, and the tutorials below to help guide you! If you can hang Christmas lights, you can use these backyard lighting ideas. These are curtain string lights hanging from the tree. Always use LED lights rated for outdoor use. Photo source unknown.



How to Hang Outdoor String Lights

Rachel at ‘Maison de Pax‘ has a complete tutorial on how to hang outdoor string lights. She took a simple corner of her yard, and made it like a freaking fairy tale. No expensive patio or deck here. Just a charming place to sit and eat, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors! She has great suggestions on how to choose string lights that will last in the backyard. This outdoor lighting idea is easy. Don’t have trees? No worries! Move on to our next project for more ideas!


Taryn Whiteaker‘ has a secret for hanging outdoor string lights without having to cement posts in the ground. This is a great solution for renters, too! They still look sleek, elegant, and trendy, without major construction. Once again, plain patio, and just add lights.


Not only does this patio string light idea from ‘The Creativity Exchange‘ look way simple and gorgeous, it’s cheap too! And they have tons of great tips on how to choose lights, how to hang them easily, what hardware to use, and even guidelines on how to drape them so they look awesome!


Outdoor Pendant Lighting

Want a project for your backyard lighting that is so easy, even a grade schooler could do it? This outdoor pendant lighting is from Ananda over at ‘A Piece of Rainbow‘, and it’s simply stunning, especially en masse. A glass jar, some wire, a candle. Done! You can do this last minute for an outdoor BBQ, or go all out for a backyard wedding and create a whole family of mason jar lights!


This scrap wood outdoor lighting idea from ‘Woodshop Diaries‘ is perfect for those of us on a tight budget. These literally cost almost nothing a piece to make, and they look like Pottery Barn dupes! You can hang these as outdoor pendant lighting, or use them as lanterns around your deck or patio.


These outdoor pendants lights were a DIY from ‘Unexpected Elegance‘. She used Home Goods baskets and simple light kits from Ikea to create one of a kind hanging lamps for her patio. Love them in a grouping!


Want to make an outdoor chandelier that looks like it costs hundreds of dollars, but didn’t? Oh, and would the fact that it also requires no wiring or power tools help you make your decision? This tutorial from ‘ Kaleidoscope Living‘ is all that, and more! They have a “magic” light trick that will make this so much easier!


Backyard Fence Lighting Ideas

The deck and patio aren’t the only parts of the yard you might want to try outdoor lighting on…Want some backyard fence lighting ideas? No problem. Let’s start with this rope lighting tutorial from ‘The Handyman’s Daughter‘. All the tip sand tricks you need to hang these LED rope lights on your fence, deck, or pergola.


Rope lights not your thing? Try jumping on over to ‘Jessica Wellington Interiors‘ and find out how to hang outdoor lights anywhere in your backyard, including the fence. There is a lot of info here, it’s a really complete guide!


Solar Pathway Lights You Can DIY

Have you ever been to one of those high end resorts, and you drooled over their custom path lights? Believe it or not ‘Build Basic‘ has free plans for a solar pathway lights you can make from just two cedar boards and any ol’ solar light. (Yep, even dollar store!) These look expensive, but are not. And they only require beginning woodworking skills to make. Plus, they are cedar, so they will last! Did we mention, these are solar? No wiring, no electricity bills.

Backyard Lighting – Log Lamps

Ok, these are just cool. These are cracked log lamps made by artist Duncan Meerding, via ‘Recycled Interiors‘. You have to go check out how he makes these! I would love these all through a woodland garden. Fairy garden!



Outdoor Orb Lights

Finally we have these moonlight globes from ‘Home Infatuation‘… These. Are. Cool. Not cheap, but amazingly cool! They can float, or be mounted, and can be recharged over and over. Think of using these in a pond as well!

We loved sharing these creative backyard lighting ideas with you! We think you will also enjoy our posts on DIY Backyard Fire Pits,  How to Add Whimsy to Your Garden and How to Install Low Voltage Lighting in Your Garden! Also, you might like our post on How To Install LED Strip Lights on our sister site TBD!

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  1. Jennifer October 23, 2020 at 1:28 am

    Wow! Amazing ideas! I love the tree with the bulbs

  2. Lisa Sun March 13, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Great!! that lighting makes the backyard so,,,beautifu!!!

  3. Rhianna Hawk November 29, 2018 at 10:47 am

    I love your ideas on here for backyard lighting, especially the geometric light columns that you have posted from Martha. Those would look gorgeous alongside the pool that I have, and it’s rather classy in the style of it. I agree that the way the water reflects the light is perfect for extra decoration, and I’ll have to look into what those other balls in the water are.

  4. Gretchen April 15, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Our old house in the country/restoration project came with everything we need for the mason jar outdoor lighting project! And we have all the trees, land, stumps & logs to give it the ole’ college try with the cracked log lighting idea. All 12 of those were all really cool ideas !

  5. Matthew Brandt March 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Amazing ideas Kathy! I love the mason jar candle lanterns, and will definitely be trying out the DIY outdoor chandelier made from grapevine balls this summer. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Robbie Nevens May 19, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Great post Kathy. These lamps on the second picture, do the wires go through ground?

  7. Petunia Evans March 14, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    I have never seen “geometric light columns” before, but I really like them! I also like the “outdoor lighted cube table” just as much. I think that these lighting ideas will make my next house party a real hit! Thanks for this inspiration!

  8. Ian Mcgregor November 21, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Superb ideas. Moonlight globes and Cracked log lamps are so unique. Thanks for such a nice post.

  9. Tante Mali June 27, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Amazing ideas!!! Love the wood block!!! Looks absolutely adorable.
    Thank you for sharing


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