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12 outdoor lighting ideas to illuminate your garden

Looking to be able to enjoy your garden in the evening? Lighting is the answer. Take a look at our outdoor lighting ideas for inspiration.

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Why should you light up your garden?

Adding outdoor lighting ideas to your garden will transform your outside space.

Not only will it allow you to enjoy your garden beyond daylight hours, but outdoor lighting will also create an inviting atmosphere and increase security.

Many homeowners use outdoor lighting cleverly to highlight architectural plants and features or simply to improve visibility, spotlighting paths and walkways.

In this guide, we will take a look at some top outdoor lighting ideas to help inspire your garden project. For information on costs, take a look at our exterior lights installation cost guide.

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Outdoor lighting ideas

Residential garden lit up at dusk

If you’re entertaining outside, a well-lit garden can be enjoyed later into the evening. However, illuminating the garden at night can also help create an increased feeling of spaciousness if you’re inside, looking out over the view.

These outdoor lighting ideas show you how to create the best garden lighting for your needs, space, and budget.

Outdoor lighting ideas to create ambience

Calm, tech-free zones in our homes encourage healthy interactions with family and friends. And what better place to do this than outdoors, where we can absorb the benefits of nature too.

Create an inviting atmosphere with warm outdoor lighting to entice everyone outside to socialise, dine, or just stargaze.

1. Festoon lights

Dress your outdoor space in festoon lights to create an enchanting and cosy atmosphere. Couple this with comfy seating, warm blankets, and a hot drink to enjoy this set up even on cooler evenings.

2. Mini lanterns on a balcony

Under the protection of a covered balcony, string mini lanterns along the railings to create a warm glow without encroaching on your space. Perfect for some relaxing alfresco dining after a long day at work.

3. Atmospheric lights within a garden border

Create a magical feel to your garden borders by adding some low-level outdoor lighting in between shrubs and plants. In this way, you can still enjoy the variety of colour in your outside space, even after dark.

4. Garden fence lighting ideas

Outdoor wall lights

Enclosing your garden in threads of light creates a warm, inviting atmosphere and is effective in any size garden. Hang strings of lights along the top of your fence, or install standalone stake-style lights along the perimeter. Otherwise, use the fence itself as a mounting for individual lights.

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Outdoor lighting ideas for aesthetic appeal

Just like inside the home, a layered lighting scheme – including ceiling lights, wall lights, lamps, etc – helps to create balance and an aesthetically pleasing space.

You can achieve a similar effect outside by adding lights to illuminate specific areas of the garden. Here’s how:

5. Highlight architectural plants

Carefully placed lights in this exotic garden highlight the magnificent shapes and structures of these architectural plants, enhancing the outside space’s aesthetic appeal.

Get a similar effect by placing uplighters at the base of your trees to capture the shape of the branches and leaves against the night sky.

6. Lighting for a water feature

Installing pond lights gives a golden glow to this water feature and allows you to see your fish in the evening too.

7. Garden shed lighting ideas

Illuminating a garden room at dusk
AI concept of a garden room

Mounting outdoor lighting on your shed can give it a lovely charm while brightening up your garden. Uplighters running around the base of the shed or garden room, or downlighters hidden in the eaves are also a great way to brighten up the outside of a shed without dazzling anyone.

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Outdoor lighting ideas for increased safety

Outside lights are not only decorative, they also help make your garden safer at night. As well as illuminating paths and walkways, they can be used to light up the front of your property so you can see who’s calling after dark.

8. Garden path lighting ideas

Garden path lights help prevent trips and falls by highlighting uneven ground. Several options are designed for this purpose, including illuminated stepping stones and flat, floor-mounted lights that can be embedded in the ground along the walkway’s edges.

9. Solar lights to illuminate a walkway

solar power garden lighting

Solar-powered lights are a great cost-effective option as they can be put in place and left to their own devices. They will charge via the sun during the day and will turn on after dark.

10. Illuminate steps with built-in lights

Reduce the risk of accidents by lighting up your garden steps. The warm glow at the base of each tread creates a striking feature too.

11. Driveway lighting

Solar powered lights on driveway

Driveways should be easily visible – more so at nighttime. If streetlights do not illuminate your driveway, consider installing mains-powered lighting for added safety and security. You will need a qualified electrician for this job.

12. Outdoor security lights

Outdoor security light

Last but not least, the security light. There are a wide variety of outdoor security lights to suit the style of your home and garden and your needs. Speak with a local electrician to discuss the best options to meet your requirements.

Hire a qualified electrician to safely install your outdoor lighting

Looking for a local electrician to help you install your outdoor lights? Add your postcode to the box below to see who comes highly rated in your area.

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How do you power garden lighting?

There are four main options to power outdoor lights in your garden, including battery, solar, mains wired, or via an outdoor plug.

For mains wired lighting and an outdoor plug, hiring a qualified electrician is highly recommended.

Can I get an outdoor plug installed?

Yes. Installing an outdoor plug socket will come in handy for so much more than just your garden lighting at night time: it can be used to power lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, leaf-blowers, an electric pump for a paddling pool, and so much more.

An outdoor plug is sturdy and weather-proof, but it must be correctly installed to comply with council bylaws and wider electrical safety legislation.

A big advantage of installing an outdoor plug socket is that it comes with an RCD (residual current device) that protects users from serious electric shocks.

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