18 Ways to Transform Your Backyard with Lighting
Your backyard is immaculate. The lawn is mowed regularly, of course. That’s kids’ stuff. Your yard has gone beyond simple maintenance and progressed to genuine landscaping. The walkways have decorative flower borders and colorful perennials surround the bushes. But, as the sun sets, all you have is the harsh glare of a single, bright floodlight.
There are a number of simple and beautiful options that can replace that floodlight to highlight your yard and garden’s beauty. Some require a little bit of investment, but most are do-it-yourself and use stuff you already have around the house.
1. Mason Jar
Mason jars are inexpensive and available everywhere. Combine them with some basic string lights, and you’re creating a beautiful and unique lighting solution. Put some colored glass beads or marbles into the jar if you’d like a little more flair.
2. Border Lighting
A little subtle under lighting can do a lot more to highlight a flowerbed than a garish spotlight. A simple string of (waterproof) lights at the base of the bed can bring the focus to the plants, as well as help keep your guests from stepping all over your roses and daisies.
3. Glow in the Dark Walkway
This is a cool, simple, and cheap idea that doesn’t require wiring or a whole lot of maintenance. Brush your walkway with some flourescent paint and you get a subtle way to keep people safely on the path, while providing a beautiful and eerie effect. Be sure to choose paint that changes when exposed to light and the sun will keep your walkway glowing with no effort on your part.
4. Trunk Lanterns
This idea might take a little more work and know how, but it creates a great effect. They can also be bought online. Log sections are inconspicuous during the day and can serve as seats or flower stands. At night, they start to shine and make your yard look like an enchanted forest.
5. Light Globes
Another great, indirect lighting option, light globes can be placed where they’re needed. They look beautiful and as guests are more likely to congregate in lighted areas, they can help keep people from wandering and trampling your flowers.
6. Tree Chandeliers
Trees can become huge chandeliers, lighting your yard and looking fantastic while they do it. Depending on the tree, this can be more or less difficult. Using your Christmas lights, though, are easy, and you probably have a whole box of them in your basement.
7. Light Wrapped Trunks
Rather than going to the trouble of stringing lights in branches, keep them more at ground level by wrapping tree trunks. Again, this idea uses the Christmas lights you already have, and create a beautiful effect.
8. Walkway Lights
This is another way of lighting your walkway that’s a little more interesting than simply shining a light on it. By using different lights and playing with the placement, you can create different patterns of light and shadow. They can also be used to highlight the best features of your garden, while hiding the spots you’d rather people didn’t notice.
9. Twine Balls
This is a great DIY project that uses some inexpensive twine and glue to create a great canvas for your lights. Whether you use simple string lights or something a little fancier, you can place these balls around the yard, or hang them from trees or your fence, to provide a beautiful lighting solution.
10. Refitted Chandeliers
You can usually find old and inexpensive chandeliers at junk or antique shops. Stringing them with lights and hanging them outside looks great, and can breathe new life to these abandoned treasures.
11. Light and Artwork
If you’re willing to get a little more creative you can create some true works of art. Paintings and murals are great, fun projects, particularly if you get the whole family involved. Adding some lights makes for an easy 3D effect that adds interest and looks beautiful.
12. Railing Lights
If you have a porch or patio with a railing, use that space for some lights. It looks great, and serves a more practical purpose by keeping your family and guests safe.
13. Willow Tree Lights
Another great way to use your backyard tree is to create a ‘willow tree’ effect with some string lights. It looks fantastic, and is actually pretty simple to set up. You probably don’t want to leave these up for too long, though. This is an idea best used for special events.
14. Bicycle Wheel DIY
You might have a few old, rusty bikes hanging out in the garage. With a little DIY creativity, you can put them to use. Take the wheels and use them as great chandeliers. Put a few together for a great effect.
15. Firefly Lights
Old lanterns can still shed light on your yard. Filling them with string lights creates a wonderful ‘firefly’ effect that can be used to light your patio or porch. Put a few of them together, and they can light your whole yard.
16. Lights that Blend In
This is a subtler lighting option, throwing just enough light so you and your guests can admire your garden. Turn them off in the day, and they’ll look like just another plant.
17. Lighted Bricks
This is a more involved idea, but it is another great option for lighting your walkway. Lighted bricks stand out and create a path of light to your door.
18. Writing With Lights
In case you have trouble remembering what your yard is for, sometimes, you can let your lights spell it out for you. If you’re feeling particularly artistic, you can also use them to create simple pictures and drawings.
Lighting is as much an art form as painting, sculpture, or landscaping. It can serve the practical goal of lighting your yard, while looking beautiful and creating a relaxing, or mysterious, atmosphere. Use some of these suggestions in your yard, or use them for inspiration in creating your own creative lighting solutions.