You’ve spent plenty of time and money beautifying your backyard with outdoor furnishings, landscaping, a fire pit, and maybe even an open-air kitchen. Wouldn’t it be a shame to let all of your hard work fade into the darkness after the sun sets? Instead, give your outdoor space the glow-up it deserves with the perfect backyard lighting.

HomeLight’s Spring 2021 Top Agent Insights report found that 54% of agents cited outdoor lighting as a top outdoor upgrade in their markets. To help you capitalize on that trend, we gathered some creative backyard lighting ideas from some interior and exterior designers with stunning portfolios. Get inspired to illuminate your outdoor living and entertaining spaces with every type of lighting imaginable.

An image of a backyard to demonstrate backyard lighting ideas.
Source: (MC Design)

Lantern lights

With a classic aesthetic and sturdy durability, outdoor lanterns are a popular outdoor lighting idea to add lighting to a deck, patio, or exterior walls.

MC Design converted these lantern lights to be low-voltage and wired them through tree branches and lantern-style sconces above the deck in this outdoor space in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

Our top picks for lantern lights:

An image of a backyard to demonstrate backyard lighting ideas.
Source: (MC Design)

String lights

String lights are an easy and affordable way to add ambient lighting to a deck, patio, pool, or garden. Wrap them around a trellis, along a fence line, or throughout trees for a fun, festive effect. There are many different styles and sizes available, from small, dainty “fairy-style” lights to larger, more durable globe bulbs.

In this stunning outdoor space in Rolling Hills, California, MC Design wove string lights through the trellis for a fun, festive ambiance.

Our top picks for string lights:

An image of a backyard to demonstrate backyard lighting ideas.
Source: (John Michael Kitchens)

Counter backlighting

Backlighting frames this U-shaped, modular John Michael outdoor kitchen countertop, providing ambiance and additional lighting for the outdoor space in Point Lookout, New York.

Our top picks for counter backlighting:

An image of a backyard to demonstrate backyard lighting ideas.
Source: (MC Design)

Outdoor chandeliers

Also from MC Design, this Mediterranean-style backyard in Sherman Oaks, California, features a mix of candelabra chandeliers and standing lantern lights. “I will often mix multiple lighting sources in one space,” says designer Megan Dufresne.

“This adds layers into the design and creates visual interest. In this backyard, we mixed and matched hard-wired lighting with candle lighting in the outdoor dining area.”

Our top picks for outdoor chandeliers:

An image of a porch to demonstrate backyard lighting ideas.
Source: (Christin Cieslarski)

Outdoor ceiling fan lights

A ceiling fan is a great way to add a comfortable breeze and overhead lighting while enhancing the design of an outdoor space. For use in a covered porch or three-season room, a ceiling fan should be “damp-rated.” For use in a more open space that’s exposed to rain or snow, a “wet-rated” fan offers more durability and moisture resistance.

Christin Cieslarski, a home decorator and DIY enthusiast, shares this photo of her sunroom with a vaulted ceiling, where she has mounted a ceiling fan with an overhead light.

Our top picks for outdoor ceiling fans:

An image of a backyard to demonstrate backyard lighting ideas.
Source: (John Michael Kitchens)

Sconces

Along with other outdoor lighting elements, the sconces used on the trellis provide lighting for cooking and grilling in this John Michael outdoor kitchen in San Francisco, California, enhancing a perfect evening dinner party environment.

Our top picks for outdoor sconces:

An image of a deck to demonstrate backyard lighting ideas.
Source: (Deckorators)

Post cap lights

Lighted post caps enhance the aesthetics of a deck while ensuring safety by illuminating railings and staircases. Coordinating with Deckorators decking and railing, Deckorators by Hinkley post cap and step lighting provide a low-voltage solution for brightening any outdoor living space, as shown in the installation below.

Our top picks for post cap lighting:

An image of a deck to demonstrate backyard lighting ideas.
Source: (Deckorators)

Step lighting

Affordable and easy to install, step lighting enhances the appearance of a deck while also boosting security. Options like these stair lights from Deckorators add safety and modern style to any outdoor retreat.

Our top picks for step lighting:

Header Image Source: (Drew Thomas / Unsplash)