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Illuminate Your Summer Nights with These Bright Outdoor Lighting Ideas

Apr 26th 2024

Lanterns suspended from tree branches and poles illluminate an outdoor patio

Summer days are long. But there’s no need to take the fun indoors when the sun sets! Various outdoor lighting solutions can extend the use of your porch, patio and yard well into those balmy summer nights.


Outdoor lights are available to brighten any exterior space around your home. They also can complement a variety of decors: You don’t have to stick with just one look.


Liberate your decorating spirit and let the light shine on all your summer celebrations, from birthday parties on the patio to backyard barbecues, from drinks on the deck to elegant outdoor dining.

Where to add outdoor lighting diagram

Backyard Lighting Ideas

When decorating with light, you’ll want to consider all your existing outdoor structures and spaces, including your:

  • Porch

  • Patio

  • Deck

  • Pergola

  • Trees

  • Fencing

  • Pathways

  • Pool

  • Lawn

Layer your lightscape for maximum impact. That means using several kinds of lights in a number of areas - above your head, at your feet and all around the yard.

suspended lit globe lights with house, trees in bokeh in background

String Up the String Lights

Get out your Christmas lights! Outdoor string lights are a versatile way to light up your yard in style. You can find decorative outdoor patio lights to match every style and mood.


Take your yard’s look from playful to sophisticated, simply by switching out a few strings of patio lights. Choose outdoor LED lights for energy efficiency, incandescent string lights for a warm glow or colorful novelty shapes just for fun!


Suspended over a dining table, strung along a pergola or awning, or draped tree to tree, Edison lights reflect a casual mood, while classic globe lights present a look that’s more traditional. 
10 count LED color changing sparkle patio globe lights

Novelty string lights let you express your style, enhance a theme and add some fun! String up seashell lights or flip flop lights for a beach party, flower lights for a summer party, or novelty light strings featuring tractors for grandad’s birthday.


Other outdoor lighting ideas:

  • Twine them around deck rails, up columns and posts, around trellises and arches

  • Swag them along fences

  • Criss-cross them over an open patio

When the season is over, switch your lights from the backyard to your front lawn holiday display or tuck them neatly away with our lighting storage solutions.
path lights brighten a walkway at night

Path and Stair Lighting

No one wants to miss a step in the dark. Fortunately, there are lighting solutions that are both practical and attractive.


Tuck rope lighting along edging or under the lip of stair treads to subtly light the way. Solar powered garden stake lights work well along footpaths and entryways. They stay lit for many hours and are easy to move around.
patio lights strung from tree branches and tabletop lanterns softly light an outdoor dining table

Table Settings

Dining tables, side tables and coffee tables can always use some additional light at night. There are many options, including flameless pillar lights, jar candles, tea lights, votives and traditional tapers. Set them in beautiful candle holders arranged singly or in groups to add a warm glow to your meals and brighten your conversation.


Or, if you prefer, choose a patio umbrella with built-in lights. The same sun the umbrella shades by day powers the lights solar lighted outdoor patio umbrellas. Battery-powered umbrella lights are another option.
a deck rail provides a perch for a lighted decorative lantern

Additional Ambience

Lanterns are attractive decor features by day that become even more beautiful at night. Versatile lanterns are at home on a table or deck rail. Place them along a path, around the pool or patio, on a raised tree stump or hung from a low shepherd’s hook.


There’s another style of outdoor light you’ve probably seen on home design shows and social media. It’s a popular DIY trick because it’s so attractive! Fill mason jars with battery-operated mini lights or fairy lights and use the jars to line walkways and patio steps.


You can leverage the same concept by tucking micro lights into a vase or lantern set on a dining or end table for some elegant soft lighting.

lights at ground level dramatically illuminate trees in a nighttime garden

Reflected Light

Don’t forget to illuminate your water features! Ponds, fountains and swimming pools all benefit from night lighting. Plus, the effect of light reflecting on water at night can be truly magical.


The internet abounds with ways to enhance your water features with light. You can float tea lights on top of your pool using anything that floats, including candle holders made for the purpose. Use LED candles to avoid fire hazards and a potential mess in your pool.


Floating pool lights are also an option. Many are battery operated and equipped with LED lights that can change color according to your style or mood.

a fire pit, patio lights strung from the trees and lanterns create a cozy atmosphere for an outdoor patio

Luminous Backyard

For entertaining or personal pleasure, outdoor lights can add an extra element of beauty to your pool, garden, yard and patio area. With just a few lighting options and a bit of imagination, you can use light to enhance garden and architectural features and create a welcoming space for your family and friends.


For improved ambience and flexibility, expand the lighting in your outdoor spaces. Browse Christmas Central’s extensive selection of outdoor lighting to find just the right look for your new backyard lightscape.

Shop Outdoor Lighting
Shop Rope Lights
Shop novelty string lights
Shop Globe Lights and Patio Lights
Illuminate Your Summer Nights with These Bright Outdoor Lighting Ideas

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