10 Best Outdoor Lighting Ideas & Landscape Design Secrets

10 best outdoor lighting ideas & pro secrets to design beautiful path, patio, deck, garden & backyard with low voltage LED & solar landscape light fixtures!

We shared lots of DIY outdoor light ideas in our previous article here. In this article we are focusing on how to easily use different types of exterior lighting in outdoor spaces such as walkways, paths, and landscape beds beautifully like a pro!

People often ask: “What type of lights fixture should I use for low voltage landscape lighting?

10 best outdoor lighting ideas & pro secrets to design beautiful path, patio, deck, garden & backyard with low voltage LED & solar landscape light fixtures!

There are 5 basic types of outdoor light fixtures used for landscape lighting: directional lights including up lights and down lights,  hanging lights and lamps, path lights / post lights, in ground lights, and decorative lights. A well designed garden and landscape usually have a mixture of these different types of lights.

Let’s look at these outdoor lighting ideas to make our garden and patio spaces more functional, enjoyable and attractive!

* Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here .

1. LED and solar globe string lights

Some of the most popular outdoor lighting ideas are the Edison bulb string lights and globe string lights, also referred to as bistro, cafe, or market lights.

They are really attractive and easy to install. These hanging lights add such a relaxed and casual style to an outdoor patio or backyard seating area.

bistro, cafe, market string lights hanging above fire pit in garden

You can attach them to the side of a wall, a tree trunk, or free standing posts, and create instant patio lights. ( Via Brooklyn Limestone )

You may also love: 28 best DIY outdoor lights for your garden and backyard!

Best DIY outdoor lighting ideas
28 best DIY outdoor lights for your garden and backyard!

2. Outdoor string lights on wall and fence 

Outdoor string lights on wall and fence

You can also hang outdoor string lights on a fence or wall. This is a great way to add lighting and enhance the look of a fence or wall at the same time. (Via City Farmhouse )

3. Outdoor pathway light 

Outdoor pathway light

Low-voltage path lights offer simple and easy solutions to light up frequently used garden pathway, walkway, and driveway. Path lights come mounted on a post usually anywhere from 15-21” tall and produce a soft pool of light generally around 8-10’ wide close to the ground.  ( Via FXL )

solar outdoor lights for pathways and walkways

While LED and low voltage landscape lights require more work to set up transformers and wiring, solar outdoor lights are much easier to install.

Expose the solar panel to the direct sunlight and allow it to be fully charged during the day. The outdoor light fixture will be auto turned on at night and working for up to 8 hours. You can get the sphere solar path light here, and the decorative solar lights here.

DIY wood bollard solar pathway lights

You can also make stylish pathway lights and bollard lights using wood and inexpensive solar lights like these. DIY light fixture tutorials here and here by Build Basic.

4. Directional up lights and down lights

Directional lights (aka spot lights) like these can be used for up or down lighting.  These fixtures produce a narrow or wide beam of light for illuminating focal points in the landscape along a walkway or driveway. It’s a nice way to guide visitors to your front door.

Up lights  shine up at  tree,  wall, garden plants and planters

Low-voltage up lights and down lights offer lots of creative possibilities in landscape lighting designs. Up lights are usually installed on the ground level and shine up at a tree, a wall, or a garden sculpture. ( Via Process Design Build | FXL )

Most common examples of down lights are pergola canopy lights, and security lights over a garage or a door entry. Here are some easy to install solar spot lights.

5. Outdoor lighting for steps and railings

Up lights are usually installed on the ground level and shine up at a tree, a wall, or a garden sculpture.

It is really important to have well lit steps and level changes for safety reasons. There are many ways to install lights along railings and steps.

Step lights can also be used as outdoor wall lights. You can use step lights as shown here, or use path lights, hanging lights, and in ground lights – see next example. ( Via FXL )

6. In ground outdoor lighting 

In ground outdoor lighting

In ground lights, aka well lights or deck lights, are mounted in pavings like patio, deck or gravel to up light trees, plants, building walls, and structures. These solar lights are so easy for those who want to DIY!

In ground lights are great for any style landscaping, and a favorite choice in modern and minimal designs. 

7. Tiki torch outdoor lighting ideas 

Tiki torch outdoor lighting ideas

Tiki torches are similar to path lights: mounted on a post and illuminate a large area. They add such a fun vibe to a backyard party!

In addition to traditional tiki torches like these, you can even find solar tiki torches with flickering flames! 

8. Umbrella outdoor lighting 

Umbrella outdoor lighting

Use outdoor string lights or small solar lanterns along an umbrella rim for easy and effective canopy lighting. They are also easy DIY patio lights and deck lights.

9. Outdoor lighting with lanterns 

Outdoor lighting with lanterns

There are so many creative ways to use outdoor lanterns and wall sconces with solar versions, such as these solar table candle lanterns and these LED wall sconce lanterns here! 

You may also love: Super easy DIY mason jar hanging lights!

outdoor hanging mason jar lights
Super easy DIY mason jar hanging lights!
Outdoor pathway lighting with lanterns

You can also hang these solar lanterns on Shepherds hooks as pathway lighting.

Outdoor lanterns along walkway

A beautiful use of outdoor lanterns by Zeterre.

boho style Waterproof fabric lanterns and paper lanterns

Love boho vibes? Waterproof fabric lanterns and paper lanterns are must haves!  ( Via The Nord Room )

Waterproof fabric lanterns and paper lanterns

Hang these solar outdoor lanterns in trees or on Shepherds hooks as magical pathway lighting .

10. Outdoor chandelier lights

bohemian farmhouse mason jar garden chandelier

Chandeliers are such beautiful and functional garden decorations. This mason jar garden chandelier is absolutely dreamy. ( Via Moonshine Lamp )

ladder chandelier above a long farmhouse table

A ladder chandelier is the perfect outdoor lighting above a long farmhouse table. ( Via IdLights )

13 Comments

  1. What a valuable content, thanks for sharing. I am an LED bulb producer and marketer but i really enjoyed your article.

  2. I Just read your post, it’s very informative and helpful too for readers. Dark spots and shadows may cause safety risks. Lighting in the courtyard is extremely important in terms of safety. led flood lights enhanced the appearance, safety and security of my garden and courtyard..

  3. Wow! Very informative and impressive lines. Lighting in stairs is extremely important in terms of safety. Dark spots and shadows may cause safety risks. I Got the latest collection of brass step lights of best quality at the lowest price this month. Step Lights enhanced the appearance, safety and security of my home.

  4. It’s fascinating how you could invest in landscape lighting to boost your curb appeal at night! My friend wants to surprise his spouse with a nice garden once she comes back from her overseas work. I’ll be sure to share this idea with him so he could try it out someday!

  5. It’s awesome that you talked about lighting fixtures and how to use them to style our outdoors. My wife and I think our home’s backyard was missing something, and we believe we just find it! We’d like to use lighting fixtures to enhance our patio and porch, so we’ll read your tips carefully. We loved your advice on string lights and how they’re very attractive.

  6. It’s awesome that you talked about lighting fixtures and how to use them to style our outdoors. My wife and I think our home’s backyard was missing something, and we believe we just found it! We’d like to use lighting fixtures to enhance our patio and porch, so we’ll read your tips carefully. We loved your advice on string lights and how they’re very attractive.

  7. I was impressed by the example you gave of outdoor ground lights and how they can really set the mood for a landscaping project. Lights like these give me ideas for my outdoor kitchen and patio that I’ve always wanted to set up for those nights when the family gets together and feels like hanging out. Not only will this make the patio look nice, but it will give us a lot of visibility in case we have trouble walking around, so I’ll look for any landscape lighting contractors that can help me install this.

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