Tips For Outdoor Backyard Lighting

You may be looking for tips for outdoor backyard lighting to highlight the different features in your garden. There are many different types of outdoor lighting available, from traditional Lanterns to modern and minimalist String lights. 

Motion-sensor lanterns create a festive atmosphere while Planters feature built-in lights for a low-maintenance look. Here are some tips to help you choose the right type of outdoor lighting for your yard:

Lanterns Are a Traditional Option

If you’re not comfortable doing any electrical work yourself, lanterns are a traditional option for outdoor backyard illumination. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of wiring a new light, an adapter allows you to mount a post lantern without a lamp post. 

You can even mount the lantern on a wall or fence. Of course, lanterns require a light bulb, and most outdoor lights have a screw-in socket. You can use standard-base bulbs, or choose a modern LED screw-in bulb. 

LED Camping Lantern
LED Camping Lantern

If you want to create natural white light, consider using a full-spectrum light bulb. Outdoor lanterns can transform your dull backyard into an exotic getaway. 

Staycations are increasingly popular these days, and a small outdoor space can be turned into a tropical or Tuscan escape. 

To achieve this, you can decorate with plush seating and lanterns to create a romantic and exotic theme. If you’re on a tight budget, lanterns can be a simple, affordable option.

Hanging lanterns will enhance your landscape by adding festive style. These decorative lights can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. 

Lantern lighting fixtures are available in plug-in and hard-wired styles, and they can blend seamlessly into any landscape style. 

Chinese lanterns are particularly popular for their rustic look. These lanterns can be left up for the season and brought out during the holiday season for a festive look. 

String Lights Are a Minimalist Approach to Outdoor Lighting

You can easily decorate your backyard with string lights. They are the easiest and most affordable way to decorate an outdoor space. You can place them around trees, fences, and poles to define the boundaries of the outdoor room. 

The lights should be at eye level or slightly below to enhance the effect. For a festive feel, you can use colored string lights. 

In addition to making your backyard look more beautiful, string lights can increase the value of your home by adding ambiance.

string lights
String lights

String lights can also be placed in the spa or pool area. It’s always better to have ample light in this area. Otherwise, you risk falling in the pool and getting hurt. 

Moreover, string lights create an intimate atmosphere, making your outdoor dining space more inviting. You can use them to illuminate your patio, poolside, and garden. For example, if you’re laying out a picnic with friends, you can hang string lights along the perimeter to add some ambiance to the area.

Another type of string light is the “horizon point” pattern. It looks better in non-symmetrical spaces. It involves hanging two strings of lights at 90 degrees or 45 degrees from each other. 

These lights look great on curved squares and triangles. This type of outdoor lighting is also perfect for smaller outdoor spaces. You can choose a pattern based on the area and the size of the outdoor space.

Planters have Built-in Lights

There are many types of outdoor lighting available, from stake lights that blend into the garden during the day to planters that have built-in lights. 

If you’re putting up stake lights, make sure that the work surface is level, as they will become heavier once filled with concrete. 

Light cubes add an interesting appeal to your garden as they cast light in many different directions equally. You can even use multiple light cubes to create different effects.

To build the cubes, cut the 1×4 panels to 17 3/8″ long. These pieces will act as decorative horizontal slats on the planter. You can use finishing nails or glue to attach the panels to the bottom of the planter. Next, cut a length of 5/8″ plywood and glue it down. You want it to be long enough to support two pieces of wood across the bottom of the planter.

Motion-Sensor Lanterns Create a Festive Atmosphere

The addition of motion-sensor lanterns to your outdoor backyard lighting is a fantastic way to conserve energy and cut down on installation costs. Many fixtures now come with motion sensors that automatically turn on the lights when someone approaches the area.

You can also choose fixtures with pulse-count technology, which prevents unnecessary activation by roaming animals. 

Wall and post lanterns can also announce your home’s entrance from the street or driveway. Whether you’re going for a festive ambiance or a more traditional look, line-voltage fixtures provide adequate lighting and can even conserve energy.

In addition to offering low-voltage accent lighting, lanterns can also serve as decorative accents for your outdoor backyard. Most of these lighting fixtures are placed near the back door, where they add a festive atmosphere to your backyard. 

Motion-sensor lanterns
Motion-sensor lantern


Typically, lanterns have a metal and glass exterior that attaches to a wall plate. For additional visual interest, consider purchasing a battery-powered tabletop lantern. You can use the light on your table to highlight nearby objects or decorations.

These lights can be easily moved around to create different moods throughout your backyard. They are also great for decorating spice jars and garden lounge areas. 

For an extra festive atmosphere, you can even add solar-powered lanterns to your backyard. You won’t need to purchase many supplies for them. 

To make your own lantern, visit Designsponge for more information. So festive lighting doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

Illuminated Logs are the Focal Point

Whether you’re adorning the backyard with fairy lights, string lighting, or lanterns, it is easy to transform a space with outdoor lighting without spending much money. Here are some DIY lighting tips to get you started. 

Illuminated logs make a charming focal point. These wooden structures look like garden stools during the day, but at night they glow with a golden light. 

Moreover, they require no wiring and can be placed anywhere in the backyard. They are the perfect option for a romantic interlude between a loved one and a significant other.

Wall lighting is another great idea to add lighting to your yard. You can integrate them into the walls to illuminate small spaces. 

Here, staggered lighting poles create an interesting pattern. A curved half wall is lined with path lighting, while accent lights are placed along the walls surrounding the yard.

These lighting elements work together to create an ambient light profile that is both welcoming and relaxing. They can also be used to illuminate a sunken seating area or a low-lying area.

Another popular focal point for outdoor backyard lighting tips is illuminated logs. This design is particularly appealing if you have a large backyard. 

The illumination of these logs will be the perfect way to illuminate the logs. It will add a unique appeal to the backyard and give it a more festive look. 

A large number of homeowners opt for this style of lighting because it is unique and makes them stand out.

Uplighting and downlighting create a dramatic effect

The effect of uplighting and downlighting in outdoor backyard lighting can make any landscape or garden stand out from the rest. 

Uplights are positioned near the ground and shine upwards onto special features in your yard, like a mature tree, a rustic stone base for your home, or a naturally sloping retaining wall. 

This type of lighting creates soft illumination and is an effective way to highlight these features.

Uplighting complements downlighting. It enhances architectural features such as columns and statues while highlighting foliage and other ground-level features. 

Downlighting: On the other hand, downlighting is softer and can be used with uplighting to highlight various elements. It is best to choose a combination of both techniques if you want to create a dramatic effect in your backyard.

Uplighting: A popular technique that creates a dramatic effect in outdoor backyard lighting is to place a light above a feature to draw the viewer’s attention upwards. 

This technique is best for tall landscape elements, as it highlights the structure of the objects. The best way to use uplighting is to select fixtures with a narrow-angle so the light does not hit the eye.

Miller D.

Miller Daniels - A Backyard Enthusiast, is an author at Prime BackYard. He's been writing for the website since 2022 and has covered a variety of backyard-related topics, from landscaping to hosting backyard parties. Miller loves spending time in his backyard, whether he's decorating it or throwing a party for friends and family. He considers himself a backyard enthusiast and is always looking for new ways to make his yard more enjoyable.


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