Like many families, we use our patio and backyard as extensions to indoor social areas. Along with comfy furniture and entertainment, lighting is one of the most important aspects of an outdoor space. While wall-mounted lights and candles are among the most commonly used forms of outdoor lighting, more stylish options are available. Consider both function and design when choosing outdoor lights for your patio and backyard. Also think about power sources, such as low voltage, line voltage, or solar powered. Some unusual outdoor lighting ideas include:

1. Patio String Lights

Hanging string lights is an easy way to make a big design statement. ATTRIBUTION: Wikimedia Commons – Matthew Skinner


Outdoor string lights are the perfect addition to any patio or backyard. While commonly used as party lighting to illuminate food tables or a dance floor, string lights can also be used year-round to give a soft glow effect to your landscaping. Wrap string lights around tree trunks, along deck railings, or across a porch ceiling. String lights also create a cozy atmosphere when hung above a fire pit, over a pool, or in trees overlooking a hammock.





2. Lighted Patio Umbrellas

Create an intimate place for friends and family to gather in your backyard with a patio umbrella and a string of outdoor lights. Both battery-operated and solar lights are great options for this project. To add a string of lights to your patio umbrella, attach light clips to the ribs of the umbrella, starting approximately 2-inches from the center pole. Secure the clips with zip ties so that they are firm against the umbrella ribs. When finished, you should have around five clips per rib. Hang the string of lights using the light clips.





3. Tree Uplighting

Lighted lamps can create an uplight effect on trees

Tree uplighting is a popular way to add outdoor accent lighting. Lights are aimed upwards towards the sky to create a dramatic effect on shrubs, trees, and outdoor décor like statues and fountains. What makes uplighting so eye-catching is that it creates focal points in backyards and gardens by focusing the attention on specific areas of your property. Choose from a variety of lighting options, such as bullet spotlights that create a narrow beam of light and can be installed directly in the ground.




4. Path Lights

Illuminate pathways in your backyard. ATTRIBUTION: Flickr – Tyler

Path lights not only create a beautiful effect among walkways in your yard, but can also reduce safety hazards when walking after dark. When choosing pathway lighting, subtlety is key. The lights should be soft and staggered from side to side to avoid a runway effect. Solar-powered lamps and lanterns are most commonly used on backyard paths. More unusual options include step lighting which typically appears as lighted stones or bricks. Step lighting is an excellent choice if you don’t want the light source to be visible.