5 Outdoor Lighting Ideas To Transform Your Yard This Summer

Backyard setting with outdoor lighting surrounding a concrete fire pit and a seat with blue and white striped cushions.

Got your outdoor lighting ready for the summer? The season for outdoor barbecues, pool parties and entertaining friends is knocking on the door. That means there is no better time than now to make sure you’ve got your outdoor spaces looking just right. 

From the landscaping to the lighting and everything in between, there’s a lot to consider. Lighting, especially, can serve many functions, from simple illumination to security and even pure decoration. For now, let’s take a look at some great outdoor lighting ideas that will help you make the most out of your summer. 

But First, Know Which Type of Outdoor Lights You Need

Different outdoor lights are best suited to specific functions, so determining the purpose of the lights and then finding the right lighting option is crucial. 

Generally, outdoor lights serve one of four key functions. 

  • Task lighting, such as path lights, deck lights and step lights, is typically used for improving the visibility and illumination around pathways, low level steps and outdoor decking structures. 
  • Ambient lights, such as wall lights and downlights, provide wide coverage lighting to outdoor spaces. 
  • Accent lighting is used to enhance the visual appeal of certain features in your yard by highlighting the contrast between shadow and light. Options include wall mounted lights, track lights and downlighting.    
  • Decorative lighting, such as festoon or fairy lights, adds warmth and whimsy to an outdoor space, without being too overpowering. 

Let’s explore just what you can do with outdoor lighting to really transform your front and back yards!

1. Outdoor Lighting Solutions for Patios and Courtyards

When you have friends or family over for a summer barbie, the tendency is to take advantage of the warm, balmy evenings and sit outside on the patio or courtyard. As the sun gives way to the moon and the sky darkens, you’ll need additional lighting if you want to continue sitting outdoors. 

Wooden gazebo in a backyard with hanging outdoor lighting, seating, plants and drapes.

A bright, white floodlight or spotlight might be too overpowering in an intimate courtyard or patio area. Typically the better solution for this environment is outdoor lighting that is lower in wattage and warmer in colour. Examples that fit this description include string lights or party lights hung overhead in open spaces. There is also the option of ground lighting in seated areas that can deliver the visibility you need without intrusion or compromising on ambience. 

2. Outdoor Lighting for Landscaped Areas

When you’ve just had your front yard or back yard professionally landscaped, it’s natural to want to show it off day and night. Landscape lighting is a highly effective way to highlight features of the yard, whether it’s an impressive tree, a newly installed water feature, or an innovatively designed surface that is rich in texture and character. 

When installed and positioned correctly, landscape lights can really accentuate the features of your yard, making a truly visually striking, lasting impression. Use a combination of ground lights, spotlights and floodlighting to create a layered, multi-level landscape lighting design.  

3. Backyard Swimming Pool Lighting

Whether you have an inground pool or you’re swimming above ground, sufficient lighting is essential. Not only does lighting improve safety in an area that particularly requires it, but it can also enhance the visual appeal of the pool and the surrounding outdoor space as a whole. 

In ground swimming pool in an outdoor area of a modern home. There is wooden decking, plants and outdoor lighting.

There are numerous lighting options for backyard swimming pools with varying safety, visibility and decorative benefits. Floodlights are highly effective for illuminating the entire area with just a single fixture. As its name suggests, it will flood your swimming pool with light, but may detract from the ambience and aesthetic appeal. 

Flush-mounted LED or halogen lights are positioned and fixed in line with your pool’s inner wall. You also have surface-mounted underwater lights and floating LED lights that offer decorative benefits. 

4. Deck Lighting 

If you have a raised deck area in your backyard, possibly near a swimming pool, you’ll almost certainly benefit from installing deck and step lighting. Deck lighting provides much needed safety benefits by reducing the risk of tripping hazards. It is also used to highlight specific architectural features of the structure as well as illuminate entertainment spaces.

Deck lights are typically LED lights that are installed flush with the deck surface, usually within its grooves. This allows you to safely walk over the lights without worrying about damaging them. If you have steps leading up to the deck, you can install step lights in a similar manner. 

5. Outdoor lights for safety and security

Just as outdoor lights are useful for illumination, visibility and decoration, they are equally as essential to provide optimal safety and security. 

When you have guests over who may not be as familiar with the layout of your front or back yard as you are, pathway lighting is a particularly useful addition to your yard. It offers a clearly defined path for people to use that minimises the risk of tripping up and causing injury. 

Motion sensor security light installed on a wall.

Motion sensor lighting will activate when it detects movement, and can be a highly effective deterrent against intruders and other people not authorised to be on your property. You’ll typically install these lights near your front door and around the corners of your home.

To Sum Up …

Outdoor lighting offers a wealth of benefits, especially in the summer months when you’re more likely to be using your outdoor spaces. Each lighting option serves a different purpose, so getting the right lighting solution for your particular need is important. From decorative fairy lights to swimming pool flood lighting for those late-night dips and path lights that improve nighttime visibility, there are many options to consider to really transform your yard this summer.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

Last Edited on: 16th November 2022