Urban lifestyles are pretty hectic. So while you may have a nice house with a sizeable garden, you may not have much time to enjoy it. At least not during the day. Meaning garden lighting ideas are a large part of contemporary living regardless of yard size. So let’s explore some!
Garden Lighting Ideas
1. Recessed Runways
Footpaths are a helpful prop for garden lighting ideas. In this case, a paved runway flows through the garden and leads to a platform that could serve as a performance stage or a barbeque station. The pathway (and the platform floor) are fitted with weatherproof recessed can lights. Add a few strategic globe lights among the grass and inside the flowerbed.
2. Windows and Wonder
They say eyes are the window to your soul … so maybe your windows are the eyes of your house? During the day, they let natural light in. But at night, you can still use the reflective properties of your windows to good effect. Install knee-high pedestal uplights below the windows. That way, the light bounces off the glass and lights up larger sections of the garden.
3. Let ‘Er Rope
You’ve heard of string lights, but have you tried rope lights? The simplest way to do this is rope off your garden with periodic posts to hold it up, then twist a string light or string light around the rope line. But if you’re more craft-oriented, curl that strip light into a hope and coil sisal twine or old rags around it. Then suspend your rope chandelier off a tree or post.
4. Blue Edges
According to science, blue light prevents sleep. But it’s also a good mood enhancer. So for your garden nightlights, buy a string of blue LEDs and line them along your garden edging. Many of these lights have self-adhesive strips so you can easily attach them to the plastic edging frame or wood and stone paving. Just be sure the lights are safe for outdoor use.
5. Juicy Junkyard
If you enjoy antiques, it’s tough to resist vintage kettles at garage sales and scrap yards. Grab a couple of tinny ones – they’re easier to work with. Bore holes throughout the kettle and mount a weatherproof bulb inside it. Use the kettle handle to hang your teapot light on a tree branch, fence post, or any strategic position on the yard. Insulate the extensions cables too.
6. Out Spout
Here’s another set of garden light ideas if you can’t bear to poke holes in your antique teapot. Hang the kettle by its handle in a pouring position. Then arrange several string lights to ‘spill’ out of the spout and into the garden. You can do the same with a watering can.
7. Garden Cones
Forget garden gnomes … but not completely. If you enjoy the conical shape of their hats, you’ll love these glow-in-the-dark ice lollies. Their conical bulbs emit a gorgeous glow and you can dot them around your garden just like gnomes. Their forked feet are cute too.
8. Solar Rainbows
You probably think solar panels are massive and unsightly. But these solar garden lights are adorably small. They glow in different colours, have textured glass lampshades and are shaped like vintage lanterns. The top of the lamp absorbs solar radiation all day and at dusk, the lamp automatically switches on in a tone, hue, and colour temperature of your choice.
9. Glowing Orbs
Solar lights don’t need to be fancy or bejewelled. If you’d prefer something subtle and simple, consider these globe lights. They stand on unadorned pedestals and seem to float on the grass if you view them from a distance. Both the lampshade and its stand are plastic and the material is rated IP44 so it’s heatproof, splash-proof, weatherproof, and pest-proof.
10. Stake of Light
Here’s a garden lighting idea than anyone can do and everyone will love. These stencilled solar lights have abstract slits on the outer housing. The patterns create gorgeous shadows and light shows all around your garden. To ‘plant’ the light, push the spike ground and press down. The lights auto-charges all day lights up at dusk and illuminates for 8 to 12 hours.
11. Reed Light Special
If your garden has water features (or even just sprinklers whose drops glitter in the dark), reed lights are a suitable solution. These spikes of lights stand at different heights and seem to flow into the dark as they reach for the sky. They’re a good compliment to creepers and reedy garden screens. Plus they’re LEDs so even large clumps of reed lights conserve energy.
12. Full Moon
Forget crystal balls – it’s time to let in the moonlight! We’re used to spherical garden lights on sticks. But these king-sized glowing orbs sit at ground level. Some ave cracks and crevices traced along their surface to mimic the shapes on the moon. You can install a single moon lamp as an accent light to a special spot in the garden. Or you can spread them around the yard.
13. Tree Lights
You don’t have to wrap your garden lights around the tree trunk or fence post. Sometimes, a simpler approach is best. If your garden has a significant canopy, work out the electricals and suspend a series of pendant lamps off the branches. They can match the style of your indoor lampshades but make sure the garden lights are certified for outdoor. This avoids accidents.
14. All Torches No Pitchforks
Traditional design was driven by function. But as we look back, we are drawn more to its aesthetic aspects. Indigenous torches doused rags in flammable oil. These contemporary garden equivalents have a spiked foot that digs into position. The lamp is solar and has artificial dancing flames that throw pretty orange flashes through its stencilled metal shade.
15. Magic Log Lights
The best garden lighting ideas seem built-in. They’re lamps that blend into your landscaping, brightening unexpected spots. These log lights are the perfect demonstration. They seem like abandoned trunks littering the yard. But after dark, rays of false sunlight seep through cracks in the wood. The lamps are made from real logs the designer reclaimed and repurposed.
16. Rock Lights
If you thought moon lights were cool, wait until you see these lit up stones! They look harmless enough – dull, rounded, river rocks scattered among the grass. But at night, the bulb goes on and rock lights glow. You have to buy the bulbs separately though, they don’t ship with the rocks. You can also buy a crystal prism variant made of natural quartz.
17. Candles in the Rock
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. These rocks are hollowed out and used as candle holders. The cavern can be filled with water, letting a small decorative candle float in the rock. Or you could light the candle directly on the rock and the wax drip into the hollow. These garden lighting ideas should never be left unattended – candles and gardens often result in flames.
18. Bring On Electrock
You may be really attached to the idea of lit up rocks. But you don’t want them littering the ground and stubbing people’s toes. So opt for this row of rock edging. Most of the rocks are … organic … while others have recessed lights hollowed into them. Angle the light rocks to point in the direction you prefer (uplit, downlit, accent lit, against a reflective surface etc.).
19. Night of the Moonflowers
Are globe lights too mainstream for you? Consider getting lit-up flower pots. Moon-like spherical vases are the most common, but you can also find squares and cylinders. Check the IP rating of your pot light. If it’s waterproof, you can plant your … plants in actual soil. But if it’s a decorative vase, use it for flower arrangements and regularly change your blossoms.
20. Tiki Tower Flower
For special occasions – preferably events with no kids or pets involved – this tiki flower arrangement is pure magic. Take a regular potted bouquet. A large one, ideally in a terracotta pot. Place your flowers or even your growing plant in it the spike a few tiki torch solar lights between the flowers. It makes an amazing centrepiece, offering both ambience and visibility.
21. Sticks and Lights
Lighting up your garden doesn’t just mean the grass and plants in the ground. You can get creative with ‘imported’ plant matter. This garden lighting idea uses see-through tubs. They could be old Rubbermaids or abandoned cooler boxes. They could even be boxes from the attic. Line the box with Christmas lights or fairy lights then stack it with sticks. Easy peasy!
22. Trunk to Tip
In the previous garden lighting idea, we sparked up the bottom and/or rim of the box. This created diffuse rays that swirled around the sticks and dried grass. In this example, the garden lights are more accented. Rather than filling the sides of the box, the lights cluster around the tree trunk. That way, you get an accent light effect that centres your trees.
23. Fencing Lights
Vertical surfaces and ground levels aren’t the only places you can mount garden lights. In this yard, the fence is styled like a paddock with horizontal wooden plans and large gaps. Winding Christmas lights or fairy lights along the length of the fence. It’s a one-step way to brighten up the whole garden. Check that the lights are safe for outdoor installation though.
24. Rock Along the Rim
Here’s another low-fuss way to use LED strips as garden lighting ideas. If your edging is a row of blocks, cobbles, or even a formal kerb, there’s already a pathway to follow. Slip your string lights right at the corner between the edging and the ground. It creates an additional layer of ‘light edging’ and works especially well when paired with sand or sparkly gravel.
25. Overhead Lighting
Yes, you’re enjoying your garden after sunset. But that doesn’t mean you’re sitting on the grass. Maybe you have lawn furniture on the balcony overlooking the back yard. Or maybe you have a reading nook under that special tree. Overhead floor lamps are perfect for these scenarios. This set has gorgeous angles and unusual shapes that keep pulling your eye.
26. Hang and Move
Cri Cri lights are both cute and surprising. They’re designed as desk lamps, but they’re safe for use outdoors. And they’re portable. The lamp can fold flat or stretch out like an accordion. They give off bright white glows but the top comes in multiple colours. This retractable lamp is the queen of garden lighting ideas. Plus it’s wireless and rechargeable too.
27. Pergolit Perfection
Arbours, pergolas, and trellises are a good way to introduce style and privacy to your garden. These wood or metal frames are often covered with vines and flowers to make them feel solid without lowering air circulation. You can use this technique for lighting as well. Wrap fairy lights around the frames. You can then intertwine creepers over the lit-up structure. Or not.
28. Jars of Lights
Mason jars are the duct tape of DIY. They can do anything! In this case, mason jars with waterproof lids are filled with small strips of solar bulbs. Just enough that the glass doesn’t feel crowded. The lights can be white or coloured. Tie the lit jars to a string, arrange them on top of a wall, or attach wire handles and hang them off tree branches and fence hooks.
29. Cantilever Lovely
The positioning of your bulbs can create dramatic garden lighting ideas. If you place a large light behind an open staircase, it lights up a larger space with less energy. But for garden staircases that are larger and have shorter steps, position the bulb directly under each step. This forms a cantilever slab illusion. The steps seem to float on a bed of light. So pretty.
30. Pits of Fire and Light
This is the perfect present for any old-school Star Wars fan. It’s a fire pit shaped like the Death Star. And when you mount it in your garden you get heat, light, and a whole lot of cool. You can buy it with or without a protective screen, and you can choose the gas or firewood option. Locate it carefully to avoid typical garden fire hazards and flaming accidents.
31. Arches and Pathways
Good garden lighting ideas need time, space, and planning. So if you have all three, consider designing an arched entryway from your gate to your front door. Lay wire arches across the path and string them with fairy lights. Then plant climbers all along the pathway so the leaves mingle with the light bulbs. Pick a plant that’s low-maintenance and mostly pest-free.