Backyard Lighting Ideas For A Dreamy Outdoor Haven
Summertime is, by all accounts (and in our opinion) the best time.
Let yourself dream for just a moment or two. Envision the longer days, the stunning sunsets, and the nights spent in your backyard with friends and family enjoying a few drinks, maybe a fire pit, and each other’s company. One of the hottest trends in backyard design – and surefire way to add some style to your own yard – is with lights, and we have some great backyard lighting ideas for you.
Whether you’re lighting the entire backyard or just focusing on a specific area, there are countless ways to add a personal touch and a stunning aesthetic to your space. You can pick an out-of-the-box option right off a shelf, or do a bit of research and planning to create something truly unique – and we’re all about customizing things to be a perfect fit.
So, while you’re hanging out and pushing through the final days of spring, why not get the creative juices flowing? When the time comes for outdoor gatherings and late-night hangs (and trust us, those days are not far off), you’ll be able to look out your back door and marvel at what you’ve done – instead of spending way too much time wondering what it could be.
Rather than make dreams into a reality, we want to make your big ideas become possible. And with these DIY backyard lighting ideas, your outdoor space will be transformed in a way you won’t believe until you see it.
Backyard Lighting Ideas To Revamp Your Outdoor Space
Shine a light on focal points
Maybe you have a table in one area of the backyard. Or, a sculpture or notable structure somewhere else. By using lighting to accentuate their presence, you can subtly draw attention to the focal points in your backyard with simple and effective backyard lighting.
Who doesn’t love a good lit pathway? Whether you’re carrying plates or dishes back into the kitchen or grabbing a couple of drinks to bring outside, using lighting to showcase your walkways to and from the house (or to other areas of the backyard) is both sensible and creative. No one likes those 90s flood lights on the back of the house, anyway.
This is a creative way to light not just walls in your backyard, but also dividing structures like fencing – whether it’s a pool fence or simply yard fencing. Not only does backyard lighting on walls and fences serve as space distinction, but it can provide light when you’re hanging out in a certain area or highlight a specific section of the yard.
There are so many different things you can do with pool lighting. A few of our favorite ideas: guiding lights around the perimeter of the pool (which are particularly useful if you’re swimming at night), in-pool lighting to give the water a beautiful hue in the evening, and torch lights placed around the exterior of the pool deck.
Al fresco dining lighting
This is another opportunity to get creative (and festive!) with backyard lighting. Summertime is the best time to take your meals outside, and if you have a space in your backyard dedicated to outdoor dining, you can pick your favorite option to make it your own. Whether it’s standing lights around the table or string lights to set a more relaxed or informal mood, feel free to change up the lighting depending on the meal! Dinner parties can feature more formal styles of lighting while a small gathering of close friends calls for cafe lights, string lights or anything else that strikes your fancy.
Do you have an important or notable structure in the backyard, like a pool pump, outdoor kitchen, pergola or something similar? Let people know where it is with proper backyard lighting. Not only is this a good measure for safety reasons, but it will help you (or others) find what you need if the sun is going down (or if your pool pump happens to malfunction late at night…let’s just say we’ve been there before).
Hot tub or spa lighting
There’s nothing more relaxing than your hot tub. Sit back, maybe pour a glass of wine, and embrace the zen after a long day. It doesn’t get much better than that. Using lighting around the hot tub (or on the platform that supports it) not only helps with safety, but it can add a bit of style to the whole experience. For an extra special touch, you can choose dimmable lights to set the mood.
Your deck is a multipurpose part of the backyard. It’s for hanging out, grilling, showing off your green thumb, and really anything else you can think of – especially during summer. It’s a gathering place. The fun doesn’t have to stop once the sun goes down, either; adding lights to the deck improves visibility and navigation, but also illuminates the space while you’re having dinner or drinks outside.
We love the versatility of lanterns. Nowadays, you can find them in a more traditional form (with inserts for candles) or in an electric version. The choice is yours! Whether on corners of the deck, around the pool, hanging from trees, or anywhere else you see fit, lanterns are fun and portable.
If the thought of multiple lighting fixtures and a higher electric bill doesn’t sound appetizing, there are solar options to reduce your carbon footprint and save some money. Most home improvement stores now sell solar lights that are all-weather and can be used outdoors!
Cafe lights are beautiful additions to your backyard and will take your DIY backyard lighting to the next level. For dining, special events (like a backyard wedding), or parties where you will be accommodating a large number of people, cafe lights add style and your guests will absolutely love them.
Color-changing party lights
Now we’re talking. Why not get a little crazy and use some color-changing lights to recreate your younger days (or your current days)? These are available in a variety of colors and options, too, if you’re looking for strobe lights or a disco ball theme…you can find it online fairly easily.
Have you ever wanted to make a grand entrance? Or create a unique and eye-catching way to separate your indoor and outdoor space? Curtain lights are so much fun, and we recommend them for the entrance part of a backyard wedding.
Lights for zoning
Do you have different areas of the backyard that you want to theme differently, or simply separate? Zoning lights are great for this. You can choose any type of lighting you want, but the purpose of the light is to keep parts of the backyard separate and give them their own space.
Outdoor space, indoor vibe
We’ve seen a lot of people take this different and fun route with their backyard lighting. The types of lighting you see indoors can be brought outdoors, to make your space feel as authentic as possible! Dimmables, kitchen-style lights, and lamps…they’re all great fits for the outdoors and can help make your outdoor space feel like home.
For all you folks out there who have a miniature forest in your backyard…this is the DIY backyard lighting solution you’ve been looking for. String lights are great for tree lighting, which makes your backyard super festive and well-lit at the same time.
Another way to save money on your electric bill is by using LED lighting in your backyard. These lights are now widely available and can be found at your local home improvement store, or even more readily when you shop online.
Layering lighting in your backyard gives it depth, character, and different levels of light. As an example, you can use one set of lights on your pool deck, then a different style of lighting (lanterns or torches) around the perimeter along with the lights in the pool itself.
Nighttime lighting for the pool
This one is completely up to you — especially because many people will choose to have lighting in the pool. When the sun goes down, you’ll want to have backyard lighting that illuminates the pool area for navigation and safety, but you can amp it up a notch with other creative lights that accentuate the pool.
Things to consider when choosing the right backyard lighting
Know where your outlets are
The last thing you want is to pick out a bunch of different backyard lighting, unbox it at home, then attempt installation only to find out you don’t have enough outlets. Trust us, we’ve seen this before. Prior to actually purchasing your backyard lighting, it’s important to carefully examine the logistics in your yard. Will you need extension cords? If so, make sure they’re waterproof. Should any of your lighting be battery-powered, solar, or LED to conserve electricity and take into account where the outlets are located?
This is a key part of the plan that should be completed before doing the fun stuff. This is somewhat tedious work, but it’s vital to make sure your backyard lighting project goes off without a hitch.
While this is a fun and exciting project for your backyard, it can also be expensive – especially if you have multiple areas you want to light, or if your yard is simply a big yard. Before you lay out your plans and make creative decisions, you want to sit down and make a plan for how much you want to spend and then consider what can also impact the cost.
More lights equal more electricity, which means a higher electricity bill. More wattage means more electricity, and so on and so forth. With a budget in mind, you’ll be in a better position to select the lighting fixtures that are the right fit and that you can afford.
Choose the right colors and styles
If lighting is the most recent component of your backyard DIY project, odds are you’ve already chosen a theme or color scheme for the space. Color and style can set the mood and make your backyard feel more inviting, which means that your lighting fixtures should only help in that regard.
Durable lighting is important
Because we’re talking about outfitting an outdoor space, there are variables that come into play. With your backyard furniture and lighting, it’s not like you can simply close the windows if a storm pops up. We need to make sure that everything is durable and can withstand the surprises we often face during spring and summer.
LEDs are energy efficient (as mentioned above) and can help lower the cost of your electricity bill, but did you know they’re also extremely durable? On top of that, LED lights are efficient and will give you consistent, high-quality lighting. You’ll achieve the desired look for your space, save a little money, and have a backyard lighting solution that can, quite literally, weather the storm.
Backyard lighting is yet another way you can be creative and expressive when designing your dream outdoor space.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and go buy lights – but having the proper plan in place is so important. We can’t stress that enough. From the layout of the backyard to the budget you’re working with, everything must be aligned so you can nail the project down to the last detail.
But remember, this is supposed to be fun! Making your backyard into a space you, your family and friends can enjoy for years to come is the ultimate goal. Good luck!