10 Best Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Your Home

Whether you want to entertain guests, want to stay secure, or want to make your garden look beautiful, there are many reasons why you may need some outdoor lighting ideas. If you take pride in your outdoor area, the lighting methods below can help create a beautiful or magical feel that will stun your guests.

There are also various ideas, some of which are useful on a smaller budget, while some projects may take more time and money to install. With ten of the best outdoor lighting ideas, we are certain you will find the perfect one or find some inspiration for your next lighting project.

1. Tree And Stake Lights

One brilliant way to start your outdoor lighting adventure is by hanging some lights in the trees. There are many different options for this type of lighting, and you can use fairy lights or other lights that use bigger light bulbs.

Not only are tree lights an excellent way to create and enhance the ambiance of your yard, but it also illuminates some of the areas around it. However, this lighting effect is not overbearing and allows you to create a magical impact instead of your yard being as well-lit as it is in the day.

In addition to hanging lights from your trees, you can use stake lights if you prefer lighting closer to the ground. Adding stake lights in potted plants guarantees enough light to illuminate the area while allowing for that magical feeling.

2. Hanging Wall Lights

Another great way to use fairy lights is by hanging them on the walls of the area you want to light up. Again, you can also do this with string lights that use bigger light bulbs, but the smaller bulb sizes generally enhance the ambiance of hanging wall lights.

fairy lights hanging on a wall

Using this lighting system is a great way to light up an area where you or your guests can relax, and it can also be romantic if you want to create some atmosphere. If you are hosting a gathering, you can use multi-color fairy lights or festoon lights to create a “party” or “festival” atmosphere by hanging these lights around the walls where you will host.

3. Lighting Up Your Walkways

Whether you have a big or small yard, if you want to spruce it up for the night, a great way to do that is by adding walkway lighting. Though it may seem like you have few options for lighting up your walkways, it all depends on your budget.

If you want to keep the walkway lit while keeping the process simple and more cost-effective, stake lights are great. Placing stake lights along your walkway on either side every so often allows you to illuminate your walkways quickly and effectively.

garden walkway with lanterns

In addition to using stake lights, you can also use lanterns or streetlamp-styled lights for the same purpose, though these will cost a bit more. Using lights shaped like the old London-street lamps or lanterns can be a great way to light up your walkways while creating a great ambiance.

There are also ways in which you can use string lights to light up your walkways. You can also light up the walkway by hanging these lights from trees around it while not focusing too much on it.

4. Create A Light Ceiling

Though it can be tricky if your outdoor area does not have a roof or gazebo, there are some brilliant ways to make a ceiling out of lights. This method allows you to have some light in the area and make a roof look like a starry night or add some more stars to the open air.

There are a few ways to hang these lights; one of the most popular ways is to use walls as anchor points. By using the walls around the area, you can use festoon lights, which are more likely to create a good amount of light and add to the atmosphere of your yard.

However, you can also use fairy lights, and this may be a better option if you want to create a “starry night” feeling since these lights give off a little less light. If you want to create a lovely area where you can relax at night, buying dimmer fairy lights may be a good course of action if you can hang them above the area you want to use.

If the outdoor area you want to illuminate has a roof or a gazebo, you can use its structure to hang any lights you wish. These arrangements are also more likely to support festoon lights since they may need more support.

5. Create A Floating Lantern Effect

If you’ve ever watched Harry Potter, you’ll be familiar with the floating candles in the dining hall. This method of outdoor lighting allows you to create a similar effect to that, though we prefer electric lanterns over candles for safety reasons.

There are a few things you need for this process, some lightweight lanterns, some thin but strong string, you can also use fishing line, and some LED tealight candles. Once you have everything ready, you can put the tealight candles in the lanterns and attach them to trees, roofs, or other fixtures using the thin string.

floating lanterns at night

We recommend using a fishing line to hang the lanterns since it can be pretty durable but is thin enough to be hard to see at night. If you attach these lanterns in the right places, you can create the illusion of floating lanterns, a magical way to light up your outdoor areas.

There may also be similar options with less DIY work at hobby shops or places near you, which may be more durable in bad weather. It is best to consider your options before buying anything you won’t use or need.

6. Enhance The Lighting Of Specific Areas

If you want to light up specific areas of your yard where you will be spending a reasonable amount of time or where you want to entertain guests, it may be a good idea to light up all the activity hubs. For example, if you invite friends over for a barbeque, it would be good to light up the cooking, eating, and relaxing areas.

There are plenty of ways to illuminate the areas that will be hosting activity, including all the methods mentioned above. Using trees to carry lights is a great way to enhance the natural elements of an activity hub. And if you have walkways between the different areas, it can also be helpful to light those using the techniques mentioned above.

7. Light Up Your Water Features

Water features during the day can be a great source of pride for anyone who enjoys making their outdoor areas look good. However, if you do not light up these features at night, it can become a dark corner of your garden.

There are some exciting ways to light up your water features to make them look even better than they do in the day. One of the best methods to do this is by placing string lights in the water or areas where water moves around, like a small waterfall. However, it is essential to ensure the lights are waterproof.

koi pond with waterproof lights

There are other brilliant ways to bring some life to your water features at night. Some of the different methods you can use include adding lights that look like stones, using color-changing LED waterproof lights, or even using stake lights or string lights to light up the area around the feature.

8. Make Use Of Your Firepit

Another great way to enhance your outdoor lighting is to use the features that your outdoor area already has. One of these features is, of course, your firepit. By adding some extra lighting around the location of your firepit, you can create a beautiful garden area with a combination of natural and artificial lighting.

There are many options to do this, and some of these options can be as simple as using candles to add more natural light, though you should be careful of these. You can also use any of the lighting methods discussed above to add some extra lights, and if you wish, there are also some heaters and interior lamps that you can use occasionally.

Since your firepit is likely already giving a good amount of light, the rest of the lighting can have a lesser effect. For example, using teatime candles like the ones mentioned in the lantern section can be a great way to add a small amount of extra light that works well with a firepit.

9. Use Permanent Fixed Lights

If you have lights around your house, especially ones that are nice to look at, you can also use these to add some light to your outdoor area. Some homes use “ball lamps,” a light bulb in what looks like giant bubbles; these can help create an atmosphere.

Wall lights or other outside lights can also get shaped to look good while still being practical. Some of these look similar to the old street lamps mentioned earlier. Using the lamps around your home is a great way to save on lighting costs if they are close enough to the areas you want to illuminate.

permanent light fixtures around the house

You can also consider installing some if your house doesn’t have these fixed lights. Even if you are not outside, these lights can be great for extra security, and since they are permanent, there is no need to take them down.

10. Add Security Lighting

Though it may not be a nice thought, we all need to be secure in our homes, and having light outside can be a great way to ensure we are safe. In the section before, we mentioned using fixed wall lights to help with security, but there is also a lot more you can do if this is the reason you want outdoor lighting.

Various types of flood lights or motion-detecting lights can help you illuminate your yard and keep you secure. Some of these lights work similarly to stake lights in that you push them into the soil though these are triggered when they detect movement.

You can also connect various lights to your house power supply that you can switch on or off or illuminate an area when they detect movement. Though these lights may get their primary use for security purposes, you can also use these lights to liven up your garden if you want to entertain, though these lights may be a bit bright if you are too close.