How To Add Backyard Lighting (Expert Advice)

The backyard is the perfect place to entertain, but it can be tough to use it at night. The best way to turn your outdoor space into an entertaining area is with some well-placed lighting. 

Lighting options are a lot more diverse than you might realize, so we’ve rounded up our favorites for everything from lanterns and string lights to spotlights and solar garden lamps. 

You’ll want to make sure that any lights you choose will stand up against rain or wind some may not be made for those extreme conditions.

How to Install Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Tips to improve your backyard with lighting
Adding lights can enhance safety and security
Select lighting fixtures that work with your backyard layout
Create a lighting plan that accommodates your needs
Choose energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting options
Backyard lighting can add value to your property

Party Lights

If you’re looking for a way to add some extra ambiance and festive touches to your backyard, party lights are a great option. 

You can hang them from trees and use them as a border around the perimeter of your yard, or use them as patio lights on your deck or patio. 

Party lights come in many different styles and colors so there’s sure to be one that works with your existing decor.

If your grass is suffering from water damage and unsightly pee spots, learn how to get rid of pee spots on grass with proper lawn care techniques. Consider aerating your lawn, neutralizing the pH with baking soda, or using specialized pet products to prevent damage.

String Lighting

If you want to be able to control the lights from inside, look for battery-powered versions. If you’re going to have them on at night and don’t want the hassle of changing batteries every few days or weeks, consider using lights that are on a timer. 

You can also opt for solar powered options if you don’t want to deal with wires or batteries at all!

If you live in an area where there’s snow or rain, weatherproofing is a must,especially if your backyard lighting is installed outdoors. 

Try looking for lights made from durable materials like plastic instead of glass so they’re less likely to get damaged by falling branches or other natural elements during storms (though these types are usually more expensive). 

Look for water resistant features too; this means any part of your light fixture should not leak water when exposed directly toward it under pressure conditions such as rainstorms.”

Twinkle Lights

Twinkle lights are a great way to add ambiance to your backyard. They give off the feeling of a cozy, warm space that will make friends and family want to spend more time in your backyard. 

However, twinkle lights can be confusing because they’re commonly referred to as “twinkling lights” or “fairy lights” as well.

Let’s get straight up: there is no such thing as “fairy lights.” These are just regular twinkle lights! You might also see them called “lighted strand” or “string light,” which is just another name for the same thing. 

If you want something that adds that special touch but isn’t necessarily on the Christmas list (or if you’re looking for non-holiday decor), then go with the term “twinkling light.”

It sounds like a myth, but actually possible that you can blow up a lawn mower due to lack of basic maintenance, such as neglecting to change the oil or air filter, or overfilling the gas tank. To avoid causing damage to yourself or the mower, learn about how to care for your lawnmower by referring to our guide.


Spotlights are a great way to add light to a specific area. They can be used to highlight a garden feature or sculpture, illuminate a wall or fence, and even fill an indoor room with indirect light.

Spotlights are available in both incandescent and LED versions though the latter has become the preferred choice due to their energy efficiency and longevity. 

If you choose incandescents, make sure they have a reflector that directs all the light forward so it doesn’t go up into your neighbor’s yard (which could cause conflict).


Sconces are a great way to add light to your yard, whether you place them in the garden or on the wall of your home. Sconces come in a variety of styles and can be used indoors as well as outdoors.

If you want to add lighting without having to run wires or hardwire lights into existing fixtures, sconces are a good choice for adding light where there isn’t any yet. 

You can also use them in conjunction with other kinds of lighting if your yard doesn’t get enough natural sunlight for your plants or trees sconces will provide some extra illumination at night so that everything gets enough light during those hours when it might otherwise be too dark out there for anything except spiders!

Sconce locations may vary from one homeowner’s needs versus another person’s requirements but most homeowners who use this type of outdoor illumination tend to place them near pathways leading up towards their front doors because they don’t want people tripping over themselves while walking up onto their property lines (especially during high-traffic times such as rush hour traffic).

Brown patches on your lawn can be caused by a variety of factors, including over- or under-watering, lack of sunlight, or fungal diseases. Learn about the various solutions you can use to repair brown patches by referring to this guide on what to use for brown patches on your lawn.

Candle Lanterns

If you want to add a romantic glow to your backyard, candle lanterns are the way to go. They’re easy to make and can be used in so many different ways! 

You can use them for something as simple as lighting up a table for dinner or as elaborate as illuminating an entire garden path.

Candle lanterns come in all shapes and sizes. They’re made from all kinds of materials, from metal and glass to paper or plastic cups and even bamboo soda bottles! 

It’s just up to you how big or small you want your lanterns (and what kind of fuel they will hold).

Solar Garden Lamps

Solar garden lamps are a great way to add lighting to your yard. They’re easy to install, maintain and environmentally friendly. 

Solar garden lights are not only powered by the sun but they also use LEDs which last longer than traditional bulbs, saving energy and money on electricity costs. The best part? They’re safe!

Proper drainage is essential for the health of your backyard, especially to prevent water buildup, which can lead to mold, mildew, mosquitoes, and other problems. If you need some expert advice, check out our guide on how to add backyard drainage for easy fix solutions.


What are they? Floodlights are large, directional lights used to illuminate large areas. They’re usually placed on the ground or on a wall and pointed down at an angle.

How do I install them? You can either hire a professional to do this or buy a kit that comes with all the parts needed for installation (including mounting hardware).

How do I maintain them? If you’ve purchased a new fixture, it should come with instructions on how to care for it. 

If not, follow these tips: clean your fixture regularly (every few months), replace any burned out bulbs as soon as possible, and always turn off your floodlights when no one is using them.

How do I use them? Floodlights provide great coverage in backyards and patios but shouldn’t be left on constantly they’ll suck up energy from your electric bill! 

Instead, aim them down onto specific areas where you’ll want extra light: walkways leading into your house; areas around trees where people could trip over roots; or around fountains so they don’t look dark compared with everything else in the yard

Mason Jar Lights

Mason jar lights are a quick and easy way to add some ambiance to your backyard. Here’s how you can make these DIY projects:

Materials Needed:

  • 5 mason jars (or more if you want more light)
  • 2 cans of spray paint in the color of your choice (you may want multiple colors for this project)

1 package of string lights or fairy lights. If using fairy lights, make sure they are battery powered and not corded, so that you can easily take them down when not in use or when it rains. 

You will also need to buy a battery pack if the string doesn’t already come with one built into it, which allows you to hide those unsightly wires behind pots and other items around your backyard.

If you’re dealing with standing water in your backyard, whether due to poor drainage or a heavy rainfall, there are several effective and eco-friendly methods to absorb standing water in your yard. Consider adding green infrastructure, installing permeable paving or stones, or using other creative solutions to prevent standing water.

Lanterns + Candle Holders

To create a romantic vibe, you can use a lantern with a candle holder. The lanterns should be metal or glass; plastic will not give off the same look. In pairs, they’ll make a statement on their own and immediately add to the ambiance of your backyard. 

If you want to go for something more elaborate: place three of them in order (like left-right-center) and surround them with flowers or greenery from your garden. 

That way, when lit up at night, it looks like one large centerpiece! Or try five lanterns in a group for an even bigger impact; this also works well if you have an outdoor dining area where guests can enjoy dinner by candlelight.

Lighting On Demand

You can also use lighting on demand. This means you have control over turning the lights on and off when needed, as well as what times of day they are used. 

You can even set them to come on at dusk, or some other time that suits your needs.

The first option is using timers to turn the lights off after a certain amount of time (usually you’ll want this to be longer than your garden hose watering cycle). 

The second option is using a motion sensor that will trigger the light when someone walks past it, and then turn off again once they’re gone. 

Whichever option you choose will depend on how much work you want to put into setting up the system and how much flexibility in terms of scheduling and auto-detection (knowing if it’s night or day) matters for your needs.

Lighting On Demand

Key Points
Lighting on demand allows you to have control over when lights are turned on and off.
With this feature, you can choose to use lights when needed or programmed for specific times of the day.
Lighting on demand can be controlled through smart technology, such as an app on your phone or voice devices, like Alexa or Google Assistant.
This feature is energy-efficient and can help reduce energy waste and utility bills.
Lighting on demand is ideal for both commercial and residential settings.
It is easy to install and can save you time and hassle in the long run.

Colored Floodlights And Spotlights

Lighting is an important part of any space. It’s the first thing you see when entering a room and can change the mood, ambience, and overall feel of your home.

But did you know that there are different colors of light? Some colors will brighten up a room while others will make it feel smaller. 

We’ve rounded up some different types of lights for your backyard so you can learn about what each one does best!

The first type is called RGB (red green blue). This type of lighting changes based on what color it’s set at it ranges from pure white to reds and blues depending on how many watts per square meter are used by the bulb. 

Festoon Lights

Festoon lights are a type of string light that consists of small bulbs hung from a line. They can be used to decorate porches, decks, and patios for parties or other events. This type of lighting is ideal for creating a festive atmosphere.

Festoon Lights

Key Points
Festoon lights are a type of string lights consisting of small bulbs hung from a line.
They are ideal for outdoor use on porches, decks, and patios to create a festive atmosphere.
Festoon lights come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors to suit different aesthetic preferences.
They can be used for both commercial and residential settings.
Festoon lights are energy-efficient and can be powered by solar or battery power.
These lights can be customized to fit your preferred length and spacing.

Swing Lights

Swing lights are great for illuminating pathways, but they can also be used for other purposes. Because swing lights use an AC power source, you don’t have to worry about them losing their charge during a storm like you would solar lights. 

In addition, swing lights are more affordable than solar lights and they’re safer too because they don’t require wiring in order to work properly.

Most importantly though, you should consider using swing lights because they make excellent year-round decorations!


As you can see, there are many different ways to add backyard lighting to your home. Whether you’re looking for a simple way to brighten up the walkway or something more elaborate that adds a bit of ambiance, these options will work great! 

The key is to think about what would look good in your yard and how much time and money you want spend on this project before deciding on one of these options.

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about backyard lighting or get inspiration for your next backyard lighting project, check out these helpful resources:

How to Plan and Install Garden Lighting: This comprehensive guide from Homes & Gardens provides expert advice on everything from selecting the right lighting fixtures to creating a lighting plan that suits your backyard.

15 Outdoor String Lights That Will Brighten Up Your Backyard: If you’re looking for some stylish and affordable ways to add backyard lighting, check out this list from Country Living that features 15 of the best backyard string lights.

How to Install Outdoor Backyard Lighting: This helpful guide from My 100 Year Old Home explains how to install backyard lighting step-by-step with photos and expert tips.


What are the benefits of backyard lighting?

Adding lighting to your backyard can provide a number of benefits, including increased safety and security, improved aesthetics, extended use of outdoor living spaces, and enhanced property value.

What types of backyard lighting are available?

There are a variety of backyard lighting options available, including path lights, spotlights, well lights, step lights, string lights, and solar lights. The type of lighting you choose will depend on your personal style, backyard layout, and lighting needs.

How do I plan my backyard lighting design?

To plan your backyard lighting design, start by assessing your backyard space, identifying areas in need of lighting, and setting a budget. Then, determine which lighting fixtures will achieve your desired lighting effect and create a lighting plan that works for your backyard.

Can I install backyard lighting myself?

Yes, some backyard lighting installations can be done by homeowners themselves. However, it’s important to ensure that you have the necessary tools, skillset, and safety precautions before embarking on a backyard lighting project. Otherwise it is advised to hire an expert to do the job.

How much does it cost to install backyard lighting?

The cost of backyard lighting installation depends on a number of factors, including the type and number of lighting fixtures, the size and layout of your backyard, and the complexity of the installation process. On average, expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on a backyard lighting project.