20 Garden Lighting Ideas to Add Interest to Your Landscape

Ambience, novelty, and safety are only some of the reasons to install outdoor lighting in and around your garden. Check out these garden lighting ideas for inspiration on how to transform this area of your yard.
Kat Hodgins Avatar
Steel garden path light in a well-maintained yard
Photo: istockphoto.com

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The plants, flowers, and produce in your garden beds and boxes look glorious in daylight, but once the sun sets, they’re left unappreciated in the dark. Introducing some of our favorite garden lighting ideas will bring atmosphere to your garden space, whether it’s big or small.

Illumination highlights your garden’s finest qualities, creates a well-lit pathway to your garden, and can even serve to startle any creatures looking to nibble on your plants. From whimsical to practical, these backyard garden lighting ideas can give you inspiration to enjoy your outdoor space long after twilight.

1. Philips Hue Calla Outdoor Bollard

close up of small cylindrical light feature casting red light on plants in garden
Photo: philips-hue.com

For those who enjoy the convenience of technology, Philips offers a customizable smart outdoor lighting system that levels up your garden aesthetic after dark. When it comes to modern garden lighting ideas, this is one that can be controlled through your mobile device—even when you’re not home—and is voice-activated through Alexa. Personalize and highlight areas of your garden with 16 million colors and change them as often as you like through the app.

Get the Philips Hue Calla Outdoor Bollard at Amazon for $103.36

2. Brightown Patio String Lights

close up on bulbs of string lights in garden
Photo: amazon.com

Give your garden some elegant bistro lighting to add charm to your outdoor space. Imagine sitting garden-side for dinner after dark with these dimmable, all-water-resistant Edison bulbs overhead. Whether you hang them from a tree, pole, or fence, the built-in hooks make installing outdoor string lights a breeze.

Get the Brightown Patio String Lights at Amazon for $68.99

3. Letmy Solar-Powered LED Lantern Set

high angle view of backyard at night with colorful flowers and hanging lanterns casting snowflake patterns on the lawn
Photo: wayfair.com

These retro-style garden lanterns are a work of art during the day and after nightfall. Made with waterproof, rust-resistant metal, they cast beautiful patterns in the nearby area as the lights come on. The well-incorporated solar panel soaks up energy from the sun to power the lanterns for up to 10 hours, creating a garden-party ambience every night of the week. Set them on the ground within your garden beds, hang them from the built-in rope, or suspend them from stakes (not included) to light a garden pathway.

Get the Letmy Solar-Powered LED Lantern Set at Wayfair for $30.99

4. Gigalumi 8-Pack of Solar Pathway Lights

backyard patio with stone pathway lit by small lights leading to table and chairs
Photo: amazon.com

Add warm white light to your beds, boxes, pathways, or the lawn around your garden. These energy-efficient metal lights have textured glass that displays a flower pattern on the soil or grass below for up to 12 hours after the sun sets. Highly rated by buyers, these solar lights have a timeless aesthetic that goes well with anything you plant in your garden—and they couldn’t be easier to install!

Get the Gigalumi 8-Pack of Solar Pathway Lights at Amazon for $49.99

5. Solar Illuminated Planter Square

night view of terraced stone landscaping with planters lit up in different colors in garden
Photo: gardeners.com

Instead of using traditional garden lighting such as lanterns and pathway lights, why not plant your container garden inside the light source? In daylight, it looks like a modern white planter, complete with a drainage hole. However, it comes with a small solar panel on a stake; come nightfall, it glows for 6 to 8 hours using 18 built-in LED lights. Use the switch on the solar panel to set the planter to one color, or use color-changing mode for a little bit of magic.

Get the Solar Illuminated Planter Square at Gardener’s Supply Company for $99.99

6. Solar Northern Lights Sphere

close up on two small stake lights with blue and purple orbs in garden
Photo: gardeners.com

Made with 3-inch spheres of crackled glass, these lights add a touch of sweet elegance to your garden. The solar-powered lights rotate slowly through seven colors, commanding attention without stealing the show from the garden’s surrounding flora. Keep the solar panel clean, and these orbs will turn on automatically and glow for up to 10 hours on a full charge.

Get the Solar Northern Lights Sphere at Gardener’s Supply Company $34.99

7. IkeeRuic Solar Outdoor Torch Light

house lit up at night with torch lights in front lawn path
Photo: amazon.com

Forget dangerous tiki torches; add the illusion of dancing flames to your garden with these 3-inch torches on a 10.6-inch stake. It’s a small after-dark spectacle that casts a flickering glow on any surrounding plants for 6 to 8 hours. Wire-free and solar-powered, these torches can stay in your garden when your plants are at their growth peak or when the beds are empty in the winter (keep in mind that a lack of sunlight affects how long they glow after dark).

Get the IkeeRuic Solar Outdoor Torch Light at Amazon for $34.99

8. Awendietou Solar Garden Watering Can Lights

night shot of hook light shaped like a watering can with string lights coming out of spout
Photo: amazon.com

Some gardeners say the best time of day to water your beds is in the evening, in which case these lights are especially applicable. These watering-can-shaped garden lights, which come in a pack of two, add some flair in and around your beds. A 32-inch shepherd’s hook suspends the light, which glows from within the watering can and also from the copper-wire fairy lights. You can bend the wire lights to look as if they’re watering your plants, making these a charming addition to the garden.

Get the Awendietou Solar Garden Watering Can Lights at Amazon for $39.99

9. Jobosi Sun Solar Wind Chimes

two sun shaped wind chimes with lamps and background of night sky with stars
Photo: amazon.com

Both a patio and a backyard garden can benefit from this garden lighting idea. Consider it a two-in-one for adding ambience near your plants: it’s part light, with a solar-powered crackle- glass orb, and part wind chimes. Made of high-quality metal designed to withstand the elements, this small addition to a garden is sure to gain attention.

Get the Jobosi Sun Solar Wind Chimes at Amazon for $32.99

10. Beau Jardin 8-Pack of Color-Changing Solar Lights

winding stone pathway lit by multi colored pathway lights casting patterns on the grass
Photo: amazon.com

By day, these may look like standard solar pathway lights, but the evening is when they show off. Textured-glass garden lights create beautiful patterns surrounding the lamp, and the LED colors make them truly special. Instead of creating designs of white light, these color-changing stainless steel lights flood the surrounding area in a rotation of seven brilliant colors.

Get the Beau Jardin 8-Pack of Color-Changing Solar Lights at Amazon for $49.99

11. CCJK Outdoor Solar Garden Rose Stake Lights

close view of pink and yellow rose shaped garden lights in garden at night
Photo: amazon.com

What’s more appropriate in a garden than lights shaped like yellow and pink roses? Made of strong silk-like material, these faux flowers resemble the real thing but glow at night with three lighting modes. An order contains three sets of solar flowers connected to a joint solar panel large enough to keep the flowers lit for 6 to 8 hours. Bunch them together or spread them out in your garden to create the look you like best.

Get the CCJK Outdoor Solar Garden Rose Stake Lights at Amazon for $25.88

12. Gigalumi Solar-Powered Integrated LED Outdoor Lanterns

group of three lanterns made of mason jars with lights inside
Photo: wayfair.com

Modern garden lighting ideas don’t suit homes with rustic or country decor. For a farmhouse aesthetic, consider these portable lanterns, which resemble mason jars filled with fireflies, though they contain solar-powered fairy lights that charge via the panel on the lid. Scatter these throughout your garden bed or patio, carry them with you to navigate garden paths, or hang them from backyard trees to make your garden feel like it’s out of a storybook.

Get the Gigalumi Solar-Powered Integrated LED Outdoor Lanterns at Wayfair for $47.00.

13. Urpower Solar Motion Sensor Lights

mockup of couple walking outside modern house on driveway lit by large led light walking dog
Photo: amazon.com

Security lights aren’t often what one thinks about in the garden. However, depending on where you live, you may have reached your frustration capacity with wildlife helping themselves to your garden. These all-weather-tested LED motion sensor lights are solar-powered so that you can hang them virtually anywhere. The next time a critter tries to eat your crops under the cover of darkness, they’re bound to be startled by brightness.

Get the Urpower Solar Motion Sensor Lights (4-pack) at Amazon for $35.99

14. Roshwey Solar Lanterns

close view of camp site with tent and covered table lit by warm string lanterns
Photo: amazon.com

Looking for more solar lighting ideas? Stylish whether hanging from a tree branch, placed on an outdoor table, or nestled into the soil, these decorative solar lanterns can turn your garden into a real showpiece. Though they look fragile, these crackle-glass orbs are designed to withstand all types of weather, so you can leave them outside without worry.

Get the Roshwey Solar Lanterns at Amazon for $58.99

15. Enbrighten Color-Changing Cafe Lights

front of house with porch lit in rainbow colors by string lights
Photo: amazon.com

Gardens are full of natural beauty, so why not add an unexpected light element as juxtaposition? Enbrighten’s weatherproof remote-controlled color-changing string lights can enhance the mood from a swanky garden gala to a festive backyard party at the touch of a button. You will need access to a power source, but the bright and fun displays over your container gardens are worth the extension cord!

Get the Enbrighten Color-Changing Cafe Lights at Amazon for $204.10

16. Tonulax Solar Garden Lights

close shot of small stake lights shaped like blades of grass among plants in garden
Photo: amazon.com

Add these solar lights in and around the foliage to make your plants pop. Unlike other garden lighting ideas, these lights have a specially designed iron wire made for movement and will sway in the wind alongside the leaves in the garden. These lights are all-weather ready, so whether it’s hot or wet, they will automatically glow and dance around in the breeze.

Get the Tonulax Solar Garden Lights at Amazon for $33.98

17. Greluna Solar Wall Lights

close up of wall lamp on porch staircase
Photo: amazon.com

Lining a fence or attached to garden posts, these wall lights offer garden walkways a bit more visibility—which is handy if you’re determined to take a garden project to the finish line after dark. These are also useful for navigating garden patios that have stairs. Though they look elegant and offer white lighting, there’s a party side to these wall lights; switch to color-change mode to bring festivity to the garden.

Get the Greluna Solar Wall Lights at Amazon for $29.98

18. Grand Patio Outdoor Solar-Powered Floor Lamp

two tall wicker floor lamps on stone porch stairs
Photo: amazon.com

Only some gardens are in a backyard. Those who have a patio, deck garden, or even a dim garden path may need some oomph to make it more inviting after dark. This fashionable alloy steel and hand-woven resin wicker floor lamp provides excellent outdoor lighting with a modern aesthetic. Enjoy the atmosphere well into the night, as the solar charge keeps it aglow for up to 8 hours.

Get the Grand Patio Outdoor Solar-Powered Floor Lamp at Amazon for $89.99

19. Amir Solar String Lights

fun outdoor garden party with friends drinking and bright string lights hung on wall in background
Photo: amazon.com

These solar string lights give the area around your beds and planters a fairy-garden glow. Made of high-quality, waterproof, flexible copper wire, these microlights can be wrapped and shaped into unlimited configurations. As long as the solar panel absorbs enough sunshine, these whimsical, warm white lights can keep your garden lit for up to 12 hours.

Get the Amir Solar String Lights at Amazon for $9.99.

20. Sunriver Low-Voltage LED Landscape Well Lights

composite of three exterior homes displaying landscape lights in snow covered front lawn and one large mansion at night lit up by landscape lights
Photo: amazon.com

When you light plants or garden features from below, it creates a very dramatic effect. Whether you have prized flowers you want to show off, a stone wall with creeping vines, or a garden pathway that needs more visibility, these well lights give a flattering warm light output. The low-voltage power requires some more involved setup, including building a trench and installing a transformer, but the result is reliable and stunning.

Get the Sunriver Low-Voltage LED Landscape Well Lights at Amazon for $47.99

FAQ About Garden Lighting

Q. Is LED better for outdoor lighting?

LED bulbs are more cost-effective, eco-friendly, and longer lasting—so they won’t have to be changed as often.

Q. Do outdoor lights need a cover?

Outdoor light fixtures need to be rated for wet conditions to be considered safe, and they should be paired with a weather-resistant outlet (if it’s powered by electricity).

Q. Is warm white or cool white better for outdoor lights?

The type you choose depends on the atmosphere you want to create. Warm lights come off as friendlier and more inviting; however, cooler lights imitate moonlight and are great at capturing the details of gardens or trees.

Q. What is the best LED wattage for outdoor lighting?

You don’t want your outdoor space to be too bright, so 40 watts or lower should be sufficient to light up your outdoor space.

The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on 7/31/23.