20 Patio Lighting Ideas to Brighten Your Backyard

20 Patio Lighting Ideas

If you’re anything like me, you want your patio to pop, and the best way to do that is with proper lighting. From string lights to decorative hanging lamps, how you illuminate your patio can be achieved through a variety of styles, many of which require little to no effort thanks to your preexisting structures. Pergolas, posts, decks, patio covers, umbrellas, and even landscape trees can be used to install lights. Patio lighting fixtures can also be outdoor floor lamps or lights built into a wooden deck or even into concrete or paver patio floor. There are also cool DIY patio lighting ideas. Though there are solar no-electricity lighting options, in my personal experience, their luminosity is lacking and leaves you asking for more.

20 Lighting Ideas


1. DIY Electric Patio Umbrella

This DIY electric patio umbrella doubles in both form and function. Don’t let the soldering gun scare you, this design is more straightforward than it seems, and if I can do it, so can you. Featuring an array of LED strips that bring the stars to your hand and light your path. This idea would be perfect for nighttime strolls through your backyard, or even photo shoots with your family.


2. Privacy Wall with Backlit LED

This beautifully modern privacy wall features LED strip lights that extend both to the table and along the raised garden beds. The color of the light closely mirrors the stars in the background, giving you a seamless backdrop. The result is a truly magical outdoor space that’s ideal for reading, relaxing, or simply enjoying the night sky.


3. Spherical Light Features

These spherical lights, strategically placed along the edge of your paver patio, highlight your centerpieces. Their warm tone brings texture to your greenery, making your trees and shrubs come alive at night. The diffuse lighting basks the rest of your landscape in a golden glow that reminds me of sunsets at the beach.


4. Incandescent Hanging Lights

This well-illuminated patio deck features hanging incandescent lights that extend from the house and along the perimeter. When designing your patio it’s important to ensure that the lighting is balanced and uniform to prevent dead zones. One way of achieving this is by hanging the lights from above like the sun at noon. To me, the luminosity and tone of these lights couldn’t be more inviting.


5. String Light Poles in Planters

In this DIY idea, we find a series of light planters that function both as pots and pole stands. I find that sometimes when a patio is too wide, or there are no structures or trees to hang your string lights upon, you need to resort to a little elbow grease. Here we find an ingeniously malleable option that allows you to move and adjust your lighting as you see fit. If you’re looking for a cheap, low-commitment design, this one is for you.


6. Easy and Efficient Pergola Lighting

Simple and easy are the hallmarks of this design. When you already have an existing pergola or patio cover, hanging a string of lights becomes as easy as flipping a switch. But don’t let this basic setup fool you, it’s clean look belongs with any outdoor patio. If you’re unsure about your options, I would strongly consider this idea.


7. Bright Pergola Fixtures

This luxurious backyard features a beautiful pergola and a sleek outdoor pool. The pergola itself boasts four elegant light fixtures attached to the posts. The hanging light basks an inviting glow around the patio table, while the four fixtures provide ample lighting to your surroundings. With comfortable chairs nestled beside the table, you’ll find yourself spending more time outside than you anticipated.


8. Backyard Stage

This constellation of lights hung upon the ceiling of the pergola has become a wildly popular concept recently. Reminding me of a theater stage, this backyard centerpiece brings a slice of indoor tranquility to the outdoors. There are so many unique looks you can achieve, especially when punctuated with these hanging lanterns, that I consider this style to be timeless.


9. Intimate Al Fresco

This intimate al fresco dining area adorned with overhead LED bulbs creates a picturesque scene. This setup is best suited for compact spaces and is perfect for a romantic evening with your partner. The temperature of the lights juxtaposed against the surrounding woods creates a crisp and clear atmosphere. Evenings spent nestled beneath the canopy of this hawthorn won’t be soon forgotten.


10. Alluring Floor Lights

In this elegant backyard setting, we find a unique lighting design that creates an inviting ambiance and highlights the surrounding features. The textured shades of the floor lights produce a striking pattern cast upon the outdoor tile. We can see how softly lit the cream couches are, while the red silk cotton tree is capturing errant rays of light, enhancing their natural beauty.


11. Outdoor Floor Lamp Idea

In this setup, we see a giant outdoor floor lamp of modern design becoming a backyard centerpiece when it turns on. I find this idea to be more than sufficient to illuminate a small size patio. This idea is not new, yet I have not seen it in anyone’s backyard.


12. Decorative Watering Can as Lighting Fixture

In this charming garden scene, we see a unique and decorative idea taking center stage. The watering can hung upon the pole gently illuminates the garden bed to create a welcoming oasis. The lantern hanging on the back adds an extra touch of ambiance, casting a soft glow around the immediate area. This clever lighting design is a creative way to emphasize key plots of your garden.


13. Cafe Lighting

This DIY pergola by TheCreatedHome is a great example of how patio lighting ideas can be done on a budget. I find this endearing design to be both cozy and inviting. The subtle illumination from the cafe lights adds an extra layer of warmth to the space, making it the perfect spot to unwind after a long day or to enjoy an outdoor dinner with friends and family.


14. Oasis of Lights

This stunning outdoor patio is a natural oasis of depth and greenery. A string of vintage incandescent lights is festooned alongside Virginia creepers that decorate the pergola. The glow from the candles brightens up the rustic planters while the wicker chandeliers create a combination of natural and artificial lighting elements that would make any backyard gathering truly special.


15. Soft Walkway Light

Easily stroll along this charming stone pathway. This is a prime example of how elementary lighting can have a big impact on your outdoor space. The brick border along the path is guided by the strip of LED lights, providing a soft and subtle glow. I consider this lighting to be a simple way to add a touch of safety and style. You’ll want to get lost on this path.


16. Built-in Lighting

This rustic wood patio is lit with built-in deck lights that create a clearly outlined path. I can imagine myself enjoying a quiet night outdoors, or entertaining neighbors within the relaxing ambiance of this design. If you’re looking to add simplistic and practical value to your patio, this is both affordable and effective.


17. Hanging Sconces

This combination of concrete and shale is beautifully illuminated by the hanging LED lights, as well as strip lights hidden beneath the stairs. The sconces provide a radiant tone to the surrounding garden beds while brightly lighting the stone pathway. The walk from your driveway and through the yard never looked better.


18. Fire Pit Compliments

This brick fire pit is the perfect gathering spot for friends and family on a chilly evening. The built-in lights are cleverly incorporated into the exterior edge of the pit which provides an off-white glow to compliment the fire itself. Not only does the lighting add to the ambiance, but allows for safe passage when navigating around the feature.


19. Modern Light Post

This stylish light fixture is a contemporary addition to any patio or outdoor space. This light post stands out amongst the gravel garden bed in contrast to the surrounding trees giving it a sleek and modern appearance. I consider this candle-like design to be an impeccable example of both modesty and style.


20. Solar Lighting Idea

In this example, we see an inviting circular brick patio with a central fire pot. What caught my attention were the solar lamps embedded into the ground creating a walkway invitation. These lights produce a soft and subtle glow to the backyard which spreads a mood of comfort. While I prefer electrical lighting, the open space of this design lends itself to the lower output given by solar options.

About Jesse James 8 Articles
Jesse James has countless hours of hands-on experience with gardening and home repair. From landscaping flower beds to building patios, Jesse has been providing advice on home improvement for over a decade.