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33 Creative Outdoor Lighting Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

outdoor lighting ideas featured image
Coming up with creative outdoor lighting ideas may seem quite costly. But there are many ways to work around lighting up your home without breaking the bank.

31 Best Outdoor Lighting Ideas You'll Love

Here are a few creative outdoor lighting ideas that will make your jaw drop but won’t seem like you’re being a cheapskate.

1. Stair Strip Lights

strip lights outdoor lighting ideas

For additional lighting and to ensure you won’t stumble up or down your steps, keep your stairs lighted by using LED strip lights with waterproof coatings.

These strip lights are easy to install, and with the help of a dimmer, you can adjust the brightness to complement your pathway and porch lights. You can install them on every staircase in your home should you want to. Motion-activated sensors will help you keep that electric bill to a minimum, so it lights up only when needed.

2. Soda Glass Bottle Pathway Light

pathway lights outdoor lighting ideas

Welcome your family, visitors, and friends with a simple but welcoming fairy light idea. Gather several soda bottles to line up each side of your pathway from one end to the other. Watch your spacing.

Weight each bottle with small rocks or weighted BBs just enough to keep them from falling. Insert a bulb or two in each bottle, depending on how bright you want each bottle to shine. Roll up a piece of paper into a ball and plug it into the mouth of the bottle, and you’re done! Enjoy the scenery come nighttime.

3. Keep them Connected

connected festoon lights outdoor lighting ideas

Do you know Festoon lights can be connected? Yes, they do have built-in connectors. They did all the work for you, so you won’t have to.

Connect the pathway string lights to the ones leading to your stairs and around your front porch. This provides a sense of continuity in your set-up from the pathway to your front porch. What’s good is you can change the bulbs’ size and design per area.

4. The OUT-BACK Lighting

outback lights outdoor lighting ideas

I’m not referring to the remote areas of Australia. We started with a soda bottle string light on your pathway; why don’t we continue on out the back of your home? One huge advantage of using festoon lights is it won’t cost you much. Its shatterproof bulbs make it robust. The IP44 waterproof rating makes it desirable both indoors as well as outdoors.

Line up your back area with different patterns of sting light designs. It’s bright, gives out a wonderful warm glow, and can last for up to 20,000 hours. Easy to install and take down whenever you want. Remember that a distance of more than 7m from point A to point B requires a support wire.

If you want to be more practical about it, you can have the outdoor solar lights at the ready. Less worry, more enjoyment!

5. Solar Post Caps for Your Veranda or Patio

solar post caps outdoor lighting ideas

These solar post caps automatically adjust their brightness to the light in their surroundings. It’s extremely easy to install and requires very little maintenance.

This would mean more time to relax as you enjoy the sunset, and you wouldn’t have to worry about getting up to turn on the lights when the sun fully sets.

6. Mason Jar Sconce with Reclaimed Wood

mason jar sconce outdoor lighting ideas

It’s all about the theme you want you and your guests to vibe in. These are great conversation starters. Simple yet somewhat original.

You can even modify it by using a Festoon light rope dropper pendant. It would undoubtedly look cooler combined with the wooden structure. Place them on your walls outside your patio as an alternate to your other lights.

7. Wine Bottle Chandelier

diy bottle chandelier outdoor lighting ideas

Yet another innovative way to recycle used wine bottles and put them into good use instead of throwing them away.

Attach your pendant light droppers to driftwood or a reclaimed barn wood mount, and choose clear or coloured wine bottles.

Hang these lights on your patio, pergola, and other outdoor structures.

8. Amp It Up!

multi coloured festoon lights outdoor lighting ideas

You can install multi-colour string lights in your backyard for a more party vibe. These are even great during the holiday season or for any celebratory occasion.

These would even bring the festive spirit a notch higher if placed above the activity area with games and music to go with it. Again, these lights are easy to install and remove when everything is said and done.

9. Novelty Glass Jar LED Fairy Lights

novelty LED fairy lights outdoor lighting ideas

Just when you thought string lights couldn’t be any more innovative. These fairy lights inserted into a novelty glass will bring everyone child-like awe. Line them up on your fences, or just let them hang overhead.

Let them slowly flicker like a firefly and enjoy the illumination and the sound of the crickets in your backyard. Just might bring back a sense of nostalgia.

10. Fairy Wrap

pergola fairy lights outdoor lighting ideas

Fairy lights are lovely if you have the imagination to go along with them. Wrap these around the posts up to the beam of your pergola, and you can create a wonderful sight.

It will create a soft hue in your surroundings without blinding you. Let it fade and flicker depending on the mood you’re in. Grab a can of ice-cold beer, look up, and watch the “stars”.

11. Functionality and Beauty in One

festoon lights outdoor lighting ideas

Some of us have an outdoor kitchen. While we need task lighting to keep the job done in the kitchen, festoon lights can provide functionality and beauty in your cooking area.

12. Subtle and Stunning

subtle outdoor lighting ideas

This is a classic landscape lighting design. Use uplighting to enhance the natural elements of your surrounding.

The key to this lighting idea is the positioning of your lights. Placing the light in front of the object creates a wash effect. Positioning it to the side would define the object’s shape, and installing it behind it achieves the silhouette effect.

13. Dreamy Glow

floor led lamps outdoor lighting ideas

For open areas like the inspo, we always say it is easy to dress up. Your options for outdoor lighting design are endless. However, choose LED lamp for a smart, portable, and safe option.

This type of light poses no danger of igniting flames. It is easy to move around the area. If you are looking for simple yet stunning backyard lighting, this is one of those ideas you can have.

14. Easy Maneuver for Deck Lighting Ideas

stair lights outdoor lighting ideas

When decks have stairs, the next thing to do is install lights to eliminate potential injury when going up and down.

Aside from using string lights to illuminate your deck, you can also use recessed LED stair lights. You may install it on the rise or railings of the stairs.

15. Go Under

verandah railing lights outdoor lighting ideas

When your veranda doesn’t have roofing, your alternative way to illuminate the area is to decorate the railings with outdoor string lights or fairy lights.

16. Mixture of Hues for your Home Garden

cube lights outdoor lighting ideas

Some outdoor areas or gardens do not have trees or structures suitable for hanging or mounting lights. But this doesn’t mean your outdoor gardens will just be dull when dusk begins to fall.

Outdoor floor lamps can be your best option as garden lights. This type of light comes in different sizes and shapes. The best part? Some designs can double as planters while others as stools.

17. Bewitching Way

moonlight outdoor lighting ideas

To dress up a backyard garden is exciting. The sky is the limit for backyard lighting ideas. Having an elevated pathway is a charming feature of a yard.

You can quickly transform it into dreamland by simply adding ethereal globes. Tell me if the inspo isn’t bewitching.

RELATED: 9 Stunning Garden Lighting Ideas For Your Backyard

18. Wrapped and Draped Lighting

draped fairy lights outdoor lighting ideas

Solar fairy lights can also be wrapped around a tree trunk from the bottom all the way up the branches. Then let some of them hang from the top all the way down.

Create a mystical fairy forest with these cool lights using what you already have in your backyard. It will be a magical experience for anyone walking through these tree lights.

19. Mocked but Still Lovin' It!

firepit outdoor lighting ideas

Arrange pieces of firewood on a large pan and lay your outdoor fairy lights around it to create a mock bonfire. This is also a great piece to add to your patio or verandah.

Of course, nothing can beat the real thing when it comes to producing flickering ambient lighting performances. Not to mention the availability of heat to give you a warm hug on a cold night. This is clever backyard lighting.

20. At the End Of Your Rope

rope lights outdoor lighting ideas

LED rope lights can do aesthetic wonders for your backyard. You can lay it alongside your pathway or highlight your garden with large rocks. Form ring of fire or a lava-like formation alongside your stonewall are just some of the many outdoor lighting ideas you can do with this lighting gadget.

So unless you run out of rope lights and the party is about to start, you might as well just run back to the store and get more.

21. Meteor Shower Rain Tubes

meteor lights outdoor lighting ideas

Hang these up your trees and create a dazzling display of meteor shower lights that you can enjoy every night.

They come in various lengths and colours, so you can choose which ones suit your backyard for a more personal touch. You don’t have to be in NASA to be in the front row.

22. Against the Wall

wall lights outdoor lighting ideas

Not everyone could recreate the famous Rowe garden design. Some could only have a typical courtyard garden for a house with small and enclosed spaces. However small the area can be, a good lighting design is equally important.

One of the lighting fixtures that many home designers recommend is an outdoor wall light. Enhance the ambience by adding spotlights, candlelights, and even floor lanterns.

23. Shed Some Light

shed pendant lights outdoor lighting ideas

An outdoor dining area like this inspo above needs an extra light boost. The pendant lights make the food look appetizing and add warmth to the space.

24. Ring of Light

ring fairy lights outdoor lighting ideas

This lighting design is not only ideal as Christmas decor. The fairy lights wrapped around hula hoops can be an excellent addition to your firepit and floor lantern.

25. Inspired by Nature

snail decor lights outdoor lighting ideas

If only companies would come up with more of these nature-inspired lighting gadgets. This slug light fixture can come up with a story while you look at them. They seem to be travelling across your area but not being a nuisance, as some may put it. They belong!

26. ORB - It!

orb lights outdoor lighting ideas

These waterproof LED rainbow orb lights make your backyard or pool even more inviting. Great for pool parties or just lighting up your pool with different coloured orbs floating around. The reflection of these lights on a serene pool surface adds even more mysticism and wonder to those who see it.

27. Highlight Your Water Features

fountain lights outdoor lighting ideas

Adding lights to your water features will make it even more spectacular. Watching the water flow or move around in a way that plays along with the light surrounding it is mesmerizing.

So why just have them running through the daytime? Flaunt them at night with a boost of the sound of water will help you relax whenever you need to kick your feet up and relax.

28. Solar Powered Fairy Lights in a Mason Jar

solar fairy lights outdoor lighting ideas

You can hang these where you see the need to do so. It is portable and gives off a warm cozy glow. It is just suitable for almost anything that needs ambient lighting— fence, trellis, and trees.

The solar-powered ones are practical since you wouldn’t have to worry about running out of batteries fast.

29. Blend a Lamp

lamp post outdoor lighting ideas

Aside from illuminating the yard, a lamp post also beautifies your home. Styles may vary, but for an elegant look— go for the Victorian design.

30. Besides Doorway

door lamps outdoor lighting ideas

Having the right lights on your front door creates a character in your main entrace. Though adding door lamp posts on both sides is a standard design, You just can’t add anything you want for your door.

You need to make sure you have the correct size. Ideally, the lights should be ¼ of the door’s height. Remember, a well-thought-of lighting design for your entranceway leaves a lasting impression.

31. Trellis Saves the Day

trellis lights outdoor lighting ideas

Bare outdoor walls do not have to stay that way. Adding trellises is a brilliant way to add life to your outdoor walls. You can weave fairy lights and faux climbers.

32. Get The Party Started

party lights outdoor lighting ideas

Imagine using only one lighting tool, but you can create multiple coloured sceneries in a different part of your home. It gets me excited just thinking about the possibilities! At least 20 colour options to choose from. Different lighting modes like fade, flash and jump with a 50,000-hour lifetime.

All these you can control at your fingertips with a remote. Some even can be controlled using your smartphone. RGB strip lights are voice-activated and can even sync to the beat of the music.

33. Hassle-free Candlelight Dinner

LED candlelights outdoor lighting ideas

Candlelight dinner never fails to create a romantic vibe. Even so, it is hard to keep the candle burning if the dinner is done outdoor.

To make it hassle-free, use tealight drip candles. You do not have to worry about the wind blowing them out.

Tips Backyard Lighting Ideas for Homes

festoon lights backyard lighting ideas

These tips may be familiar but often neglected by some homeowners. When installing lights in your backyard, it is best to consider the following tips for outdoor lighting:

  • Know the different outdoor lighting types. This is really helpful in making the right decision. You will understand that other outdoor areas in your house need a different kind of illumination.
  • Don’t be afraid to incorporate ambient, task, and accent lighting into your outdoor space. By doing so, you will be able to achieve balance and comfortable outdoor lighting.
  • Understand IP ratings. This will help you know if the lights you purchase can withstand outdoor elements like water, dust, etc.
  • Calculate how much lighting the space needs. You may use this easy calculation to estimate: area (in square foot) X 1.5. For example, a 200 sq. outdoor area needs 300 watts. This helps you buy the correct wattage for your space.
  • Before buying lighting fixtures, plan ahead. How? Observe the area and take measurements. You do not need to purchase a large-scale lighting device if you have a smaller area. Also, ensure that it adheres to the guidelines stated in the NCA Outdoor Lighting Policy.
  • Use LEDs if possible. This type of lighting does not only maintenance-free but also consumes less energy than halogen or incandescent bulbs.
  • We only do not recommend using LEDs but also ensure you choose quality fittings. Outdoor lighting is subjected to all kinds of weather conditions. Buying a durable and well-made fitting is the wisest choice. You should definitely go for lights that are thoughtfully designed and with the highest safety standards in mind.
  • Look at your outdoor spaces from the inside-of-the-home perspective. This way, you can see what your patio, pergola, garden, front yard, or verandah looks like from the inside of your house. This perspective would help you be able to choose the right lights and how you would position them. In short, this will help you achieve the look and feel you want to create in your front yard or backyard areas.
  • Use subtle outdoor lighting for your dining area. No one wants a bright spotlight on them. Use outdoor light with a dimmer if you can, as it gives a soft glow. It also allows everyone to have the restful mood they need after a long day and simply enjoy the food and the company.
  • Prioritise safety. We just don’t add lights to illuminate the home. Whether you are lighting indoors or outdoors, you need to consider security. For example, pathways need just enough light to illuminate the path. Avoid installing glaring or blinding lights.
  • Highlight the best feature of your outdoor areas. This can be a tree, fountain, pergola, or firepit area. From there, you can create a hierarchy of outdoor light. This will also help you establish depth and harmony in your overall outdoor lighting system.

There you have it! These lights won’t empty your wallet but give you a fantastic lighting display to match your mood or occasion.

For added security, try to install motion-activated sensors to your outdoor lights so you can scare off possible thieves who might want to enter your home. These are just great, practical and ingenious ideas you can start using today.

Lastly, if you’re in the middle of your own DIY lighting project and loved any of the inspiration ideas above, get in touch using our contact page! We’d love to collaborate with you.

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