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These outdoor lighting options will transform any space

Just because the sun has dipped beyond the horizon doesn’t mean the party has to stop in your backyard. By installing outdoor lighting, such as decorative deck lights, any outdoor space can be transformed and the fun can keep going long after dusk (as long as we are invited).

Don’t think that outdoor lighting is for the rich people down the block, either. It can save you from tripping on a dark pathway (don’t worry, we have all done it) or fumbling for the lock. With the latest advancements in smart lighting, backyard spaces can be taken to a whole new level via automation, remote controls, and other features.

Choosing the type of lighting you want comes down to your space. There are many ideas for outdoor lights, including string lights, path lighting, wall lighting, and lanterns for a rustic look. Read on to discover the best type for your backyard.

String lighting

String lights outside

Let’s start with the classic. From college dorm rooms to millionaires’ beach houses, string lights make any space warm and inviting. They are especially desirable for entertaining and can be hung wherever the party is — an outdoor kitchen, the inside of a gazebo, or right above patio furniture.

The biggest benefit of string lights is their ability to illuminate far corners of a backyard without needing multiple electrical outlets.Try to find string lighting that is waterproof, rechargeable, and solar-powered (these will come with a separate solar panel), with long-lasting LED light bulbs.

We suggest going for the

Lemontec Outdoor String Lights

. With 48 feet of weatherproof cord, these string lights will provide a warm glow with 15 bulbs for years to come. Not only that, but they are energy efficient! The LEDs will last much longer than the average incandescent.

Path lighting

Path light ouside

Want to walk to your hot tub for a midnight swim, but can’t find your way? Path lights are the answer. As the name suggests, they are meant to help navigate walkways by attractively bathing them in light. Install them along both sides of a path, stepping stones to that fancy hot tub, or around flower beds to show off your gardening skills.

We suggest buying solar LED lights, which require no extra wires. Even if your area is shaded, solar path lights will stay on for a few hours after dusk; you can thank the rechargeable battery or remote solar panel for that.


MAGGIFT Solar Pathway Lights

have everything you could want at an affordable price. The lights come on automatically at night and turn off automatically during the day, saving energy. The solar panel provides for long-term use, and installation could not be easier. No, seriously, just push them into the ground and you’re done.


lantern mounted on outdoor wall

Like string lighting, lanterns bring in extra light but also double as decor. There are an infinite amount of lantern styles, making it easy to find the perfect one that enhances your space. Most lanterns are installed via an arm attached to a plate on your wall and look best under overhangs, archways, over doorways, windows, or really anywhere; they are incredibly versatile.

We suggest sticking with lanterns that have a translucent covering as opposed to clear glass. This provides glare-free lighting, letting your other backyard light fixtures shine (no pun intended).

Wall lighting

Wall light mounted outside

Outdoor wall lights are one of the easiest types to incorporate into an outdoor space. They mount on practically any type of vertical surface and cast a soft ambient glow. Great for illuminating tiny recessed areas that other lights can’t reach, including pathways, stairways, or simply dark corners of your deck. These are a must simply because of how easy they are to install and the wide variety of styles that can blend into your outdoor decor.

Our one suggestion? Stick with low-wattage bulbs. These are meant to be accent lights, not the main show. Using higher wattage bulbs will create a glare and make these lights harsh at night.



is probably the simplest and most stylish wall lamp you will find. Not only is the lamp waterproof, but you can adjust the effect of the light, angling it up or down to create different moods. The lamp also comes in multiple colors for a variety of outdoor spaces.

The bottom line is to focus on which lights work best for your space. Have a big deck that always sees foot traffic? Use string lights to add a party atmosphere. Have walkways that lead around your backyard? Use path lighting so your guests don’t trip. You get the picture. Don’t be afraid to experiment; it’s your outdoor space so make it how you want.

Editors' Recommendations

Niko Vercelletto
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Niko Vercelletto lives in Lansing, Michigan. He is passionate about going into depressive spirals thanks to the Detroit Lions…
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