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5 cheap garden lighting ideas

If you’re looking for easy and cheap garden lighting ideas, let us inspire your glow-up. We’ve put together this year’s top budget trends and designs to make your backyard shine.

Lighting is an often overlooked feature. However, installing the right type of illumination creates an ambience that allows your garden to dazzle all year long. And it’s not just lawns that benefit. Porches, decking, paths and shrubbery can all handle a twinkle or two.

So, get those creative juices flowing by checking out our ideas below.

Cheap garden lighting ideasCheap garden lighting ideas

Let’s set the scene. It’s a warm and balmy evening. The moon is high and your garden is bathed in a silver glow. The patio is strewn with floor lanterns and the eaves are adorned with festoon lights. You’re enjoying a cool glass of vino as you bask in the tranquillity of your handiwork.

Because the entirety of your lighting project only cost you a measly £10.

And why is that? Because you upcycled large jars (or bought them from a charity shop) and filled them with solar-powered LEDs. You stacked small terracotta planters equipped with candles onto larger terracotta planters already filled with plants. You hung fairy lights around your fence and down from your eaves, and you stuffed string lights into wine bottles and planted them nose-first into your lawn.

Simple. Beautiful. Elegant.

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Solar lights in plant patchCheap outdoor lighting ideas

One of the best ways to save yourself money on electricity or batteries is to buy solar-powered lights. Not only are they eco-friendly and good for the planet, but they’re cheap! They’re also available in globe light, string light, festoon and fairy light designs.

Installing traditional lantern designs as depicted work well along flowerbed edges or up garden paths. This allows the glow from the lights to gently illuminate the surrounding flowers or grass for a whimsical effect.

Alternatively, adding globe lights, which are plastic or acrylic balls filled with solar-powered string lights achieves a similar luminescence.

Another fun idea is to fill jam jars with tea lights and leave them on either the floor or table to shine brightly. You can also hang them along metal wires woven around posts or trees.

Cheap patio lighting ideasCheap patio lighting ideas

Patios lend themselves to various lighting options. Whether you’re installing strip lights beneath the steps, hanging festoons along the periphery, or placing floor lanterns in each corner, patios are ripe for illumination.

That’s why it’s easy to get creative. Why not install posts or trees on each corner of your dining area, which then allows you to hang string lights between them to create a well lit social area? How about fashioning some grapevine and string lights into spheres and hanging them in your trees or plants for a whimsical finish? Alternatively, copper is very much in fashion, so why not purchase or repurpose some pipes to make patio torches?

You can even make DIY coffee tables out of pallets and fill them with string lights for an extra splash of light.

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Light globes on lawnLawn budget lighting

Lawn globes are contemporary lighting solutions that add serenity to your evenings all year long. We love these acrylic examples, which are both understated and stylish.

Alternatively, add globe planters that aren’t electric, solar or battery powered for A+ green credentials. All that’s required to manage this simple feat of engineering is glow-in-the-dark paint! It also allows your plants to thrive, totally unharmed, while creating a truly striking effect.

Another option for lighting up your lawn is to make rustic floor lanterns using repurposed or distressed wood. Build a simple rectangular shape with no glass planes and use a wood preservative/stain to protect the structure from the elements.

Then, simply add candles, tea lights or LEDs to the centre for a warm glow.

Cheap garden lighting along walkwayWalkway garden lighting on a budget

Why not make DIY garden lights to hang from the trees lining your walkway? All you need are spare tins, a drill with a metal head, and strong, malleable metal wire. Drill small holes into the side of the tins – either randomly or in a pattern – before adding two at the top for the metal wire to thread through. Once that’s done, hang your tins on random branches or string them up (using knots to secure them in place).

Another way to light up your walkway without spending a fortune is to create cedar cubes and embed lantern style solar lights on the top. Build them in stacks of three at different heights for a stylish effect, then place them at each end of your garden path.

Sometimes, simplicity is key, which is why these homeowners opted for inset lights along the border of their garden path. Instead of relying on the sun or batteries, a simple underground installation operated with a flick of a button inside the main house is preferred.

Check out our Garden steps ideas: Elevate your landscape for alternative inspiration around lighting up your walkways.

Like what you see? There’s more where this came from. Check out Checkatrade’s blog for more tips, ideas, how-tos, and inspiration. For more garden ideas on a budget, take a look at our cheap garden ideas.

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