How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night

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When the sun goes down for the day, it doesn’t mean you need to head inside. Adding creative lighting to your garden in the following ways allows you to enjoy your outside space after dark.

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For many people, their backyard garden is a place to sit and relax, to unwind and enjoy the peace and beauty of their outdoor space. Adding light sources to your landscape lets you enjoy your plants regardless of the time. Sitting in your garden in the evening hours, with everything bathed in the soft glow of lighting, might become one of your favorite ways to spend your free time.

There are many different ways to illuminate your garden that fit your decor style and budget. Choose to create casual elegance with string lights or lanterns or a more modern aesthetic with carefully placed walkway lighting and stylish lamp posts. Most lighting fixtures are available as solar-powered options or must connect to an electrical outlet.

String Lights Along Your Fence

A simple way to light your garden is by stringing lights along your wooden privacy fence. String lights come in many bulb shapes, sizes, and colors and are easy to install with hooks or even nails in the cross beams. For an extra bit of fun, look for light sets with a controller that adjusts their brightness or allows them to twinkle.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Line a Walkway With Landscape Lights

A common way to illuminate your garden is by placing landscape lights along a paved walkway or garden path. These shorter lights add just a touch of light low to the ground and bring attention to beautiful stonework or pretty flowering groundcover plants. You can buy them in various shapes and sizes, and they are available in models that are easy to move around or can be permanently installed.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Hang Chinese Lanterns for a Festive Mood

Hanging Chinese lanterns from your trees, shrubs, or fence brings a festive flair to your garden. Add inexpensive colored lanterns to decorate for an upcoming themed party, or go with simple white lanterns for an elegant mood. Choose from paper lanterns for mild climates or purchase weather-resistant fixtures to keep out the rain and wind.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Highlight Trees from Underneath

To highlight beautiful trees in your yard and garden, use uplighting to cast light from the ground up into the foliage. Palm trees and other ornamental trees with intricately textured bark look beautiful at night when showcased with ground lighting.

Lights can be hardwired to a switch inside the house, or opt for ones that automatically turn on at dusk for a hassle-free light source.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Garland Lighting Under Tree Canopy

Backyard trees provide the perfect backdrop for simple garland lighting. String twinkle lights or Edison lights from the bottom tree branches for overhead lighting. They add a quaint light source to your space that can take on the appearance of lightning bugs flitting through the air.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Candlelit Jars Tucked in Flower Beds

If you’re looking for a romantic, bohemian light source, beautiful glass jars with candles are a great, inexpensive idea for garden lighting. You can purchase jars in many sizes and even paint them with high-heat paint if you want to add color to your space. Once you set the jars in the desired locations, pop a regular candle or an LED-flickering light into them for a soft glow.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Use Insect-Repelling Torches for Double-Duty

Upright torches help to illuminate your garden space while also keeping pesky mosquitoes and other flying insects at bay when filled with insect-repelling fuel. Choose from the iconic bamboo torches to bring a tropical feel to your garden, or buy sleek wrought-iron and glass fixtures to add an air of modernism and sophistication.

Insect-repelling torches can be placed around a patio during parties or backyard barbecues and then moved back into the garden when you aren’t entertaining.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Create an Ambient Glow With Globe Lights

Globe lights are available in many colors and sizes to create a soft, ambient glow throughout the garden. Choose from frosted globes or hand-blown glass orbs in bright, bold colors, depending on your taste.

They look beautiful paired with tall ornamental grasses or tucked in along well-manicured hedges, bringing a new shape and texture to the landscape. Add a variety of sizes to complement different plant heights, or use one standard fixture throughout the garden for uniformity.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Illuminate Your Water Feature

A water feature in your garden — whether it be a fountain, koi pond, or cascading waterfall — is already a beautiful focal point in your landscape. Adding lighting around it elevates it to a show-stopping piece enjoyed both day and night.

Install a combination of short solar lanterns or path lights around the edge of the pond and a spotlight that shines up onto the fountain or waterfall to bring it into focus. You can also sink waterproof lights into the bottom of the pool to illuminate fish, showcasing their bright colors after dark.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night
Install Solar Lamp Posts

To create the upscale look and feel of an elegant urban garden, install upright lamp posts along your walkway or tucked in along your flowering shrubs. Choose from modern stainless steel designs or look for old-fashioned lamps to bring a feel of an 1800s gas-light district to your backyard.

How to Illuminate Your Garden at Night

No matter your style or budget, there are many different ways to bring your garden to life at night with lighting! Illuminating your outdoor space is a great way to enjoy the outdoors after hours.