40 Lighting Ideas for a Dreamy Backyard


Whatever the season is, there is always a place for backyard lighting.

Not only does the lights set up an instagrammable façade but it could also evoke the right emotion from being festive, to just wanting the calm, a chill smores night or a romantic cut-out-from-a-movie-scene date night or storytelling with the kids.

Whatever it is, backyard lighting is a worthy project and here are some ideas that you could consider if you ever want to make it happen.  

40 backyard lighting ideas

There are various types of backyard lighting designs. They could stand alone most of the time but nothing beats to when they are mixed together in one backyard lighting design. These light designs function differently though when it comes to what they highlight and their overall effect on the backyard so we will look at the seven major types and we will show some ideas within each. 

In-ground lighting

As the term implies, these lights are installed directly into the ground or in decks and are typically done so to light up garden walkways, driveways and of course the backyard. It produces silhouettes with an upward projection and is good to be installed in between big trees for a dramatic effect. 

You could line them up from the walkway leading to the backyard like these ones.

Or mount it in pool decks for an ambient night swimming like this one from La Perla London

Or maybe spark up the backyard arbor with parallel in-ground lighting like this one from Houzz

Outdoor post light

Outdoor post lights come in various heights. Taller post lights are beneficial to illuminate parts of the backyard that get lost in the dark.

Shorter post lights on the other hand are good in lighting short walkways, the patio and the garden. Unlike floodlights, they are not overpowering that is why post lights are efficient in producing an ambient vibe for the backyard.  They could also work as backyard path lights. 

Make the backyard a sweet spot for date nights, coffee and chill with this rustic take on backyard patio post lights from Lamp USA

Or how about a dreamy garden escape complete with pergola with mounted and standing post lights like this one. 

And just install solar lamp posts to illuminate the walkway leading to the garden and the backyard like this one from Fluxy Med.

Image credits: asmithofalltrades,

Up-Down/Deck Lights

These types of backyard lights have many functions. One, they are essential architectural fixtures to illuminate steps and backyard decks. Two, they can serve as wash lights to accentuate stone walls, the patio, balcony and other garden fixtures. 

They could be all in one place to illuminate the entire pool area up until the pergola or gazebo like this one from coredgroup. 

Get crafty in transforming your backyard by installing deck lights and up lights in the trees like this one from The Spruce

Or just give it all in to make a dreamy decked walkway like this one from Mc Kay Lighting

Image credits: timbertech,

String Lights

String lights are composed of your Christmas lights, repurposed mason jars, bulbs and other lights that could be bound together with a string, wire and others. They are usually wrapped around trees, hang in pergolas, patio beams in the balcony and other hardscapes. 

Host the next smores night with friends by installing string lights around the firepit. You can customize it with wood beams and just make dreamy campsite out of it like this one from brooklynlimestone, diynetwork

You can also repurpose old mason jars and boxed up Christmas lights to make as string lights to complete that rustic backyard date like this one from Home Stories.

Or transform the entire backyard with a touch of Hispanic or bohemian glow like this one from Destination Lighting. 

Image credits: ishouldbemoppingthefloor, instructables,

Flood Lights/Garden spotlights

They are not the same but they are most of the time used together at the same time because their only difference is their beam spread. Spotlights have more concentrated beams while floodlights could cast wider beams. They are good in emphasizing beautiful spots in the backyard and can be used as emergency lights for spaces that are darker than others. 

This is a simple installation from LED Master of both flood lights and garden spotlights in the backyard to illuminate the entire area at night time. They were installed for security purposes. 

You can also use both light types to make the pool side more whimsical and ambient like this one. 

The same whimsical and ambient feel could also be achieved if you install glaring flood lights and softer garden spot lights in the garden like this one


Backyard lighting is not just about light installation. It requires knowledge of your backyard space, the vibe that you want it to evoke, the fixtures that will complement it best and the function that you will use it for. Hence, it is something that must be well thought of and must be done with time and effort. We hope that the designs we showed you here would motivate you in your backyard lighting project.

Image credits: home depot, konstsmide, despachodearquitectoshv,

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Sophia Rivera is a passionate gardener and home improvement expert based in California. With a deep-rooted love for nature and design, she pursued her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the prestigious University of California, Berkeley. Sophia is not only academically qualified but also a hands-on practitioner in the field. Her certification as a Master Gardener from the California Master Gardener Program is a testament to her extensive knowledge and commitment to gardening and sustainable living. Sophia's expertise is further solidified by her status as a LEED Accredited Professional, highlighting her dedication to green building and eco-friendly home improvement practices. With over a decade of experience in transforming homes and gardens, Sophia has become a trusted name in California's home improvement scene. Her work focuses on creating beautiful, sustainable, and functional spaces that cater to the unique lifestyle and environmental conditions of California.


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