Ideas + Inspiration

Backyard Lighting Ideas

You’ve turned your backyard into your own personal oasis. And you want to be able to enjoy it, even after the sun goes down. From deck lights to bollards, outdoor chandeliers to landscape lighting, here is your visual guide to backyard lighting design.

Don’t Drop the Boll’

Bollard lighting utilizes a short post to shine light downward, which is great for illuminating a pathway along the edge of landscaping.

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From the Ground, Up

Recessed lighting in the ground is a low-profile way to up-light focal points in your landscape like a tree. Or to use to illuminate a border between landscaping elements like the edge of patio and lawn.

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Mind the Water Feature

If you have a pool or water feature, make sure to have ample lighting around the perimeter as not to have anyone accidentally take a dip.

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Landscape Lighting |YLighting
Pendants Venture Outdoors

No longer merely lights you hang over your kitchen island, (but if you’ve got a full-on outdoor kitchen, by all means do) pendants can be a nice addition to a covered deck space.

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2016 Best Chandeliers | Hubbardton Forge Divergence Outdoor Pendant Light |YLighting
For Your Outdoor Living Room

If you're going for an "outdoor living room" feel on your back patio, an outdoor chandelier will really bring it home.

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Wash the Walls

These wall sconces are shaped in a way that reflects light back onto the walls. It's an effect called "wall washing" and is a great way to keep things laid-back and moody on your back patio.

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TECH Lighting|YLighting
Two Birds, One Light

Strategically place lights that can do double-duty—depending on how your outdoor space is planned. Even a backdoor light can become back patio lighting in the right scenario.

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Add Architectural Interest

Okay, now that you’ve created enough light to see around in your backyard, you can have some fun. A large , well-designed piece can actually add to the architectural appeal of your backyard.

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Go Big

An oversized outdoor lamp can add scale and intrigue to an outdoor seating area.

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Use Your Surroundings

Lightweight plug-in pendants can be hung from tree branches to create a dining-room-like setting under a tree canopy.

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Saturn Outdoor Post Light from Hinkley Lighting
Create a Sitting Nook Outside

Find a nice nook within your landscaping and place a couple of seats, somewhere to rest your drinks and add a healthy glow of landscape lighting. Also applicable if you find a cranny.

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Outdoor Lighting |YLighting
Good Spacing Makes Good Lighting

When placing fixtures, make sure to note where the light will be thrown. A slight overlap will ensure there aren’t any dark zones on a pathway while also keeping the lighting subtle and evening-appropriate.

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Go To the Dark Side

While an overly dark path is not a good thing, strategic lighting patterns can add an extra special effect once nighttime falls. Just make sure the shadows are cast in areas that wont see foot traffic.

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Fora Outdoor Floor Lamp from Bover
What’s In Is Out

An outdoor floor lamp brings an element of the indoors to an outdoor setting. Especially when finished in materials that evoke indoor living, like the basket weave here.

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Command the Floor

Some of the more mobile floor lamps can be moved to add light between outdoor seating areas when moving to different seating areas, such as retiring to lounge seating once dinner is over.

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An Itinerant Chandelier

A large cantilevered outdoor floor lamp allows you to put overhead lighting wherever you see fit.

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Nobody wants to entertain in the dark. So be sure to have your back patio or porch, even your pool area well lit so you can have guests over for evening barbecues and get-togethers. You should light your backyard beyond the back porch or patio, for ambiance and safety. Illuminate any garden paths and the exterior of your home so your family and guests can safely walk around outside at night. In addition to wayfinding, your lighting scheme can also add another level of design to your landscape.

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