After dark is when your patio space can really become magical. All it takes is the right lighting! Today we’re going to get inspired by 15 outdoor patio lighting ideas that’ll really enhance your outdoor space, making it enchanting, cozy, and above all, welcoming to both you and your guests!
We’ve chosen a fun assortment of outdoor patio lighting ideas that include several DIY projects, a few professionally built-in ideas, and many lighting fixtures you can install yourself at a very low cost. We hope you find something inspirational!
1. Use Rope Lights
Rope Lights are a great way to illuminate or define special features in your backyard. ChristmasLightsEtc shows you in pictorials how to use rope lights (which come in a variety of colors and lengths) to line walk-ways, against the base of stone walls, and to add deck lighting underneath hand-railings! Truly stunning!
2. Hang up an electric wreath
Here’s a beautiful lit-up wreath that you can hang by your patio as a both a decoration and a beautiful light fixture! Use for Christmas, or why not all through the year? No doubt you DIYers are already pondering the many different ways you could design something like this – for the details on how this particular one was made, check it out here at Sunset.com.
3. Hang up strings of white (or colored) patio lights
There is no end to the ways you can use long strands of patio lights to transform your patio space at night. From the layout (V shape, zigzag, star, grid…) to the bulb type, size, and finish, whether you hang them on the ceiling, build a stand, or drape them in a tree, there’s just so much you can do!
Want to get all the details and tips on figuring out what’ll work best for your space? Check out “How To Plan And Hang Patio Lights” over at ChristmasLightsEtc. It’s incredibly comprehensive and covers all the details and options!
4. Add a beautiful space heater that doubles as ambiance lighting!
Some nights spent outside on the patio can be a bit chilly. Warm up your guests with a lovely pyramid-style patio heater – these propane heaters have a glass tube in which the flames dance… throwing off beautiful lighting and of course, some welcome heat.
See: Best Patio Heaters 2020 for some top quality options.
5. Fill up a birdcage with lights (after you let the birds fly free).
We love this idea by GardenTherapy – use a metal birdcage (preferably something interesting looking, an antique, or something just plain beautiful), and fill it with waterproof, battery-operated LED lights. Aglow perched on a rock in your garden or hanging from a branch in a tree, it’ll creative some whimsy and fun as you and your guests pretend to have caught a collection of fairies!
6. Build yourself a Tiki-Torch planter
If you’re looking for something simple and fun, you can easily DIY a ‘Tiki Torch Bouquet’ by placing some battery-operated torches into a tall planter. Play with heights, colors, and styles to make your illuminated bouquet interesting! (Pic from Pinterest, source unknown).
7. Add some fun patio lantern fixtures to your outer walls
Be they cheap plastic or heavy duty iron, patio lanterns can add some pizazz to your patio, or the outskirts of it! Mounting a few of these lanterns with solar-powered lighting inside will be an easy and maintenance free outdoor patio lighting idea! Source: Running With Scissors
8. Add low-lighting to your walls
You can create some interest by adding some lower level lighting to your walls, sitting walls, edging, or wherever else it works. There are all sorts of colors and styles, so you can easily find something that’ll suit your design! Some even blend in nicely to the rocks! Image and info here
9. Wrap up your trees in lights!
Although in this picture (from Weddings By Lilly) the trees are in the middle of the yard, why not bring this idea back towards the patio and light up the trees (or pergola posts?) by wrapping the trunks (or pillars) with long strands of white lights? It sets a romantic ambiance and is very inexpensive to do!
10. Create a fairy light globe
Isn’t this such a whimsical outdoor patio lighting idea? A fabulous DIYer at From The Blue Shed turned 2 old wire baskets and a length of mini lights into this beautiful statement piece that young and old will admire! She calls it “A Fairy Light Globe” – a perfect name for it, no?
11. Add some pops of color!
Who says colored lights are only for Christmas!? Hang a line (or several) of lovely large colored bulbs and create a scalloped edge along the side of your patio for a fun, cheery look! It’s definitely a different ambiance than soft white lights, but beautiful none-the-less! Source
12. Built-In Deck and Stair Lighting
Some outdoor patio lighting ideas are purely for aesthetic appeal, some for practical “we need more light out here” reasons, and some for safety. Built-in stair and railing lights on your deck are a perfect combination of all 3! They add some serious flair to your stairs, give necessary lighting in a place that can be very dark, and thus add some elements of safety to your deck stairs! Check this out at Trex.com
13. Create a hanging wall of lights
Sometimes “less is more”… and sometimes “MORE is more!” This is one case where more lights means more beauty, more flare, and more EVERYTHING! You and your guests will love being cocooned by the soft lights if you set them up like in the photo! Built yourself a frame and get to hanging! Photo Pinterest, source unknown.
14. Build A Fancy (Hoola Hoop) Chandelier
If you’re looking to DIY some sort of chandelier for your patio roof rafters, why not check out this idea at Sarah With An H ? With some very simple tools (hoop, lace, lights, glue gun) and some DIY talent, Sarah has designed herself a chandelier that’s a really romantic conversation piece… and a lovely fixture that will add some beautiful light to her porch!
Our idea? Install one of these beauties above your hot tub! (Check out our Best Inflatable Hot Tubs post for some economical options… not all of us can afford the real deal, but these are great!)
15. LED Lighting On Your Patio Umbrella
If you have access to some battery operated or solar powered LED lights, why not put them to good use by lining your patio umbrella with them? Make your al-fresco dining experience something special! Source
Ready to make your patio a place you don’t want to leave? Any of these outdoor patio lighting ideas will be a nice addition to your space! Do you have a favorite you’re going to try?