Outdoor lighting in the garden – This is how you can choose your outdoor lighting without professional help

To make the warm summer evenings outdoors even more comfortable, you can optimize your garden or outdoor spaces with outdoor lighting. Many people finally want to use their outdoor space and have already equipped their garden areas with the right garden furniture. However, when night falls, you might still want to chill outside or have a starry get-together. Then the correctly selected outdoor lighting can really make a difference. So here are some tips and examples that can help you choose.

How you can improve your garden or courtyards with outdoor lighting

Stylish hanging chair on modern garden terrace with wooden paneling and outdoor lighting

Of course, there are different types of spaces and needs, whether you’re dealing with a small balcony or a sprawling garden. So how do you choose the best lighting for your outdoor space? There is some useful information and possible variants that can help everyone optimally illuminate their outdoor space. In addition, there are numerous options available to you, from choosing lights to creating a cozy atmosphere.

Cozy patio area with pergola and matching light sources for subtle outdoor lighting

Start by analyzing how much light you already have from your indoor spaces and neighboring properties. This way you can determine the amount of impact you need for outdoor lights. For example, in a rural area with less ambient light, smaller, lower wattage lights will work because there is nothing else to compete with them. Conversely, in a large city with a smaller backyard, there can be a lot of light coming in from outside, so you may want to add more wattage to your outdoor area.

Determine the size of the outdoor space

Wooden stairs illuminated with fairy lights in the middle of a terraced garden with a seating area

For smaller areas, outdoor lighting can help interior spaces feel larger. This applies even if you only light a balcony or a small terrace. This allows you to extend your view beyond the windows. Therefore, you can start small and install just a touch of light sources. This could be from directional fixtures mounted above the windows or sliding glass doors. Lanterns, torches and fairy lights are suitable for this, as they provide enough light even in small rooms.

Beautify the garden with romantic outdoor lighting and create a unique atmosphere in the evening

Meanwhile, for larger backyards, consider layering lighting. This means adding different types of lights to create a visually interesting environment. Decorative lanterns and pendant lights mounted in gazebos or even on tree branches add visual sparkle and even more style to outdoor spaces. You can also add accents with lights that are aimed at trees, for example. This creates more verticality and a feeling of order. It’s also worth noting that you can use a solar powered system so no wiring is required, which works especially well if you rent your home.

How you decide on light color and intensity

Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solar system possible as a cheap alternative to electricity

For outdoor areas, it is recommended to choose soft and warm light. Additionally, the temperature of your outdoor lighting is key to creating the right ambience. 2400 to 2700 Kelvin would be the right choice for this, or in layman’s terms, choose warm white lights. Another option would be to test the lighting before you buy it, if that is at all possible. The mood you are aiming for should be inviting and cozy.

modern outdoor wall lighting with lawn and illuminated garden paths with water feature

It is also important to make the garden or courtyard more attractive by softening the shine with outdoor lighting. Minimize glare from open bulbs or clear glass with dimmers. The exposed filament creates glare and makes you squint. The softer the light, the better the experience. Another option is to choose lights with frosted glass to support this concept as well. However, avoid overlighting and do not overuse the light sources. Darkness and silence between illuminated moments create a romantic and relaxing atmosphere, crucial for outdoor spaces.

Why you should optimize your garden and outdoor area with walkways with outdoor lighting

Backyard with lawn and suitable lighting in the flowerbed

Safety and orientation are the most important design criteria for garden paths and entrances. However, here too, excessive lighting would not be a suitable choice. Unless there are elevation changes along the path, you don’t need to light every square inch. Avoid furnishings like pagodas with lights that draw your attention to yourself rather than the path. Instead, opt for models that are shielded and only project light where it is intended. For example, those with an opaque cap are a good choice.

Small solar lights installed in the bed next to a paved garden path

The less you physically look into the light, the more your eye can see along the way, making the garden area experience safer and more enjoyable. A few lanterns flanking your front door would also be a good option for lighting the garden paths. Additionally, adding this type of outdoor lighting can make gardens and especially front yards more attractive through the curb.

Install atmospheric outdoor lighting

Mystical atmosphere with outdoor lighting make garden more attractive

The beauty of lighting is that it can completely change the tone and feel of a room. Whether you want to create an intimate atmosphere or an outdoor dinner party ambience, your outdoor lighting can help balance the scene. So when you install outdoor lights, you should always make sure that they are dimmable. This way you can create multiple moods for your guests.

Organize a summer party outdoors and illuminate the garden and table with outdoor lighting

For entertaining outdoor spaces, dreamy string lights are a favorite. These can usually be attached to a stainless steel cable so that they don’t swing in the wind and stay taut. Feel free to use portable solar lights too. These can be moved around the room and create a beautiful shadow pattern. When eating, it is also important to have light in the middle of the table. You can complete the tablescape with smaller fixtures. Rechargeable lights are always a great choice.

Mark the outdoor area with lighting

Large garden area with ceiling lights and ceiling spotlights in blue and warm white

Of course, lighting in the garden should not be missing. The key is to use overhead lights for the underside of canopies and overhead spotlights to better see the plant beds below in the evening. This is an opportunity to cast shadows on branches and leaves, creating more beauty and mystery at night. Play with the dimmer and turn it up and down to find the magic moment for optimal lighting.

Illuminated garden area with highlighted shadows on trees and ornamental grasses

Feel free to play with the texture of the plant material too. For example, you can create a glow in ornamental grasses to highlight their shape and reveal interesting shadows. Once the garden lights are finally installed, you can also set them on a timer so that they come on automatically just before dusk and then turn off again when you retire.

Quynh Luu Phuong Pham

Author and editor. I write about Interior designs, Beauty tips, IT services for business, Real estate and foreign trade. Strongly passionate about games, comics, art, literature, design, fashion and decoration, I will tell you in detail the best stories in the world of beauty and will guide you through the most popular trends of the moment.