Let us illuminate you with 30 of our favourite garden lighting ideas, from backyard garden lighting ideas to garden fence lighting ideas and so many more. You just might be about to have a lightbulb moment, figuring out exactly how you want your garden to look.
Before we get into the specifics, let’s shine a light on a few of most-asked questions around garden lighting.
What lighting is best for the garden?
This really depends on the style of garden you have, the look you’re going for, or the area you’re hoping to light. Take a look through our list of garden lighting ideas below and you’ll soon find the best light for your garden.
What colour light is best for outdoors?
Lighting tends to come in either “warm tones,” such as orange or yellow lights, or “cool tones,” such as white or blue lights. Most people prefer warm tones in their garden as this promotes a relaxing, comforting space, similar to that of a campfire.
How bright should outdoor lights be?
This is up to you, but be weary of adding too many lights to your garden. Not only will this potentially annoy the neighbours if you’re entertaining late into the evening, but you’ll also lose the sense of atmosphere that you were hoping to achieve, instead feeling like you’re under interrogation.
Aim to highlight certain areas with warm lighting, rather than adding garden lighting in every space you have available.
Are LED lights suitable for outdoor use?
Yes, LED lights are suitable for outdoor use. In fact, most lights used in a garden are LED as they are practical, efficient, and durable against the elements.
Although indoor LED lights can be brought outside for cost-efficient garden lighting, we’d recommend choosing outdoor-specific LED lights as they are more resilient.
30 of the best outdoor garden lighting ideas:
1. Hang string lights in your trees.
For a soft glow that disappears into your foliage, making it appear as if your garden goes on for miles, hang string lights in the trees that border your garden.
2. Criss-cross lighting under a canopy.
By criss-crossing lights underneath a canopy, you can create a space that feels especially elegant, as perfect for drinks with friends at the weekend as celebrating something special, like an anniversary date in the garden.
3. Multi-level hanging lights.
Hanging similar lights at different levels can create an eye-catching effect, especially when they’re surrounded by creeping vines. Where possible, keep these away from high-traffic areas to avoid any garden light headbutting!
4. Choose LED lighting in unique shapes.
Choosing uniquely shaped LED lights, such as these pinecone-shaped lights, can really show your personality in your garden lighting. In the case of this example, it’s like your garden foliage is coming to life around you.
5. Keep it simple: Place a candle in a lantern.
Although candles are always going to be slightly more high maintenance than LED lights, they add a charming, rustic atmosphere to a garden. Placing a few lanterns in the centre of a large table or along your garden path will instantly make your garden feel cosy, especially in the autumn – although we’d recommend keeping these away from anything flammable, like dry leaves.
6. Create a border of lightbulbs.
Creating a border of lightbulbs around a feature in your garden—such as a canopy, marquee, arch, or tent—can really elevate this area of your garden, drawing the eye and making you want to spend your more time relaxing there with a drink and good book.
7. Asian-inspired lanterns.
For a touch of something different that will transport your garden to Asia, try LED lighting inside a red paper lantern. Add a couple of these around your favourite spot in the garden, sip on a cup of matcha (or sake, if it’s the weekend!), and let your mind wander.
8. Fill a stylish lantern with fairy lights.
For that same lantern lighting with less hassle than traditional candles, fill a lantern with fairy lights. They’ll last longer, shine brighter, and still look just as good.
9. Modern garden lighting ideas: A sleek lantern.
If you love the idea of a lantern, but you’re not keen on the traditional style, search for a modern lantern that’s all clean lines and glass. It’ll work just as well with candles or fairy lights and you won’t feel like you’re in the Victorian era.
10. Choose paper lanterns of different shapes and sizes.
Love paper lanterns, but don’t have that Asian wanderlust? Paper lanterns come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, meaning you can find a lantern that will suit the style and colour of your garden, no matter what it is.
11. Create your own starry night.
Choose a simple set of lights, such as small fairy lights, and cover the roof of your canopy, shed, or anything with a roof, really. Turn off all the other lights and take in your self-made starry night.
12. Patterned candle holders or lanterns.
If your style is a bit cuter and more whimsical, you might like candle or oil-wick holders with a pattern. In this example, there’s a mix of owls, hearts, and stars, but you can probably find almost any design you’d like.
13. Lattice paper lanterns.
There’s nothing more inviting than a latticed paper lantern design, reminiscent of traditional Japanese inns. Dot them around your garden path, leading to a seating area, and follow their warm glow to an evening in the garden.
Warning: You may need to bring these inside if the weather isn’t looking good or opt for a more resilient material.
13. Hang a gas-powered lantern nearby.
For a traditional, warm glow that will make you feel like you’re exploring the town in an old Western, bring a gas-powered lantern along. You can carry it from your back door to your seating area, and then either place it in the centre of the table or hang it nearby.
14. Unique LED lights add wonder to your garden.
As you can see from this image, there are all kinds of LED lights available these days, just waiting to be dotted around your garden. Choose a shape that catches your eye and hang or place them on tree branches, in bushes, or within garden foliage.
15. Surround yourself with fairy lights.
If you’re only after outdoor garden lighting ideas for a single memorable night, you could simply dig out your outdoor-safe Christmas lights and place them around you on a blanket.
As charming as this option is, make sure you’re being safe and that your lights are suitable for outside and there’s no rain in sight.
Still want a few more backyard garden lighting ideas?
16. Simple centre pieces:
Candles, an exposed bulb lamp, whatever you want!
Hide some gentle spotlights behind foliage for luxurious lighting.
Used sparingly, downlights can be stylish and useful, especially near your house or shed wall.
19. Smart lights:
Lights you can set on a timer or even control via an app.
20. Solar-powered walkway:
Soft lighting that leads the way to your favourite seat in the garden, all without the need for batteries or mains power.
21. Modern garden lighting:
Think angles and straight lines – rectangular floor lamps, for example.
22. Lights near a water feature:
Show off a focal point of your garden!
23. Pond lighting:
Find some water-safe, buoyant lights for your pond - they’re like modern lily pads.
24. Add fairy lights to a trellis:
Snake some fairy lights up a trellis for a beautiful backdrop.
25. An eye-catching moon lamp:
Put simply, this is a lamp shaped like a moon, making sure it’s always a full moon in your garden.
26. Flower-shaped lighting:
These can be nestled in with your real flowers and make your garden pop, 24/7.
27. Underside garden step lighting:
This stylish lighting makes your garden look contemporary while also helping guests see your garden steps.
28. Garden shed lighting:
Make sure you can always find your tools with LED light strips.
29. Garden fence lighting idea:
String some warm fairy lights or LED bulbs along your garden fence, highlighting your border foliage.
10. Make your garden lighting go further:
Use a mirror to reflect lighting further around your garden, making it appear bigger.
Keep your garden well-lit with a home backup generator.
Got friends round for a long summer evening of catching up over drinks and the power cuts out? Make sure you have a trusty home backup generator ready to go. That way, you’re never going to be plunged into darkness when the night is just getting going.