If you’re anything like us, you want to make the most of your outdoor space and enjoy your wonderful garden design at all times – even after dark or when it’s gloomy during the day.

And you simply can’t do that without the right garden lighting.

The $64,000 question is:

What lighting is best for the garden?

To come up with all the answers (spoiler – there’s more than one), at Landscaping Superstore we took a deep dive into the most popular garden lighting ideas at the moment.

From elaborate modern garden lighting ideas to cheap garden lighting ideas that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered!

Let’s crack on.

Table of contents:

Outdoor lighting ideas that are worth your while

With so many garden lighting ideas in the UK doing the rounds, it’s easy to lose track of what’s really important.

The thing is:

Whichever idea or ideas you end up taking on board, when buying garden lights, you should consider several factors to ensure they meet your needs for durability, security, aesthetics and sustainability.

Here’s what you should look for in each aspect:


Opt for garden lights that are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, including rain, wind and temperature fluctuations. Look for lights made from materials such as aluminium, stainless steel, or durable plastics that are rust-resistant and UV-resistant.

Don’t forget to check if the lights have an IP (Ingress Protection) rating that indicates their level of protection against dust and water. Higher IP ratings like IP65 or IP67 are suitable for outdoor use.


Choose outside garden lights that contribute to the security of your property. Motion sensor lights or lights with built-in cameras can deter potential intruders and provide visibility in dark areas.

These lights automatically turn on when motion is detected, helping to alert you of any activity – even if it’s just your friendly neighbourhood fox. For security purposes, consider lights with adjustable motion sensitivity and a wide detection range.


Garden lights should complement your overall garden design and landscape. Consider the style of your outdoor space and choose lights that match its aesthetics.

The good news is:

Options range from classic lantern-style lights to modern, sleek designs. For instance, path lights and accent lights can enhance different elements of your garden, such as pathways, plants or architectural features.

We’ll get back to that a bit later.


To make an eco-friendly choice, look for garden lights that prioritise sustainability. Outside LED bulb lights are an excellent option, as they are energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. This reduces both energy consumption and the frequency of bulb replacements.

Solar-powered lights are another top-notch sustainable choice, as they harness energy from the sun during the day and illuminate your garden at night without relying on electricity.

Now that we know what to look for when buying garden lights, let’s move on to the first of our exciting outdoor lights ideas.

1. Illuminate paths & decking

Millboard Enhanced Grain Composite Decking

Illuminating garden paths and decking can enhance the overall ambience of your outdoor space while providing safety and functionality. Because garden paths play a crucial role in connecting your various features, you need to think about them first.

With that in mind, we recommend that you start by installing low-level garden path lights along the sides of your garden paths. These lights can be staked into the ground or mounted on short posts. They provide a guiding light and prevent tripping hazards.


Making sure any decks are well-lit is also essential, as they’re generally used to surround garden buildings like bars and summer houses or provide a solid foundation for garden furniture and dining sets.

So, how do you do it?

Here’s the scoop:

Install recessed or surface-mounted deck lights on the floor of your decking. These lights provide both safety and aesthetics, and they can be positioned along the edges or spaced evenly across the deck.

It’s also a good idea to illuminate steps and stairs with integrated step lights or under-step lights. This way, you’ll enhance safety and add a stylish touch to your deck design, getting the best of both worlds.

2. Focalise with spotlights

Focalising is one of the main principles of landscaping – and this includes garden lighting ideas. As you’d expect, one of the most effective ways to do so when the sun isn’t shining is with the help of spotlights or floodlights.


Start by thinking about which landscaping features you’d like to focalise after dark. Keep in mind that these may or may not be the same features that serve as focal points in the light of day.

For example, garden buildings are natural focal points for your garden during the day. However, we wouldn’t recommend using spotlights that point directly at the front of any summer houses or garden bars you actually intend to use in the evening, as they’re likely to blind you and your friends and ruin your experience.

Garden buildings aside, choosing to focalise different features at night will provide a neat contrast and an altogether different atmosphere.

Either way, consider using spotlights to highlight any water fountains you might have as well as any specific features of your patio, such as a decorative wall, sculpture or plant arrangement. That’s right – spotlights can easily double up as garden patio lights.

3. Jazz it up a with touch of colour

Coloured garden lights

Adding a touch of colour to your landscaping features is a tried-and-tested way of jazzing up your garden design.

So, why not take the same approach with your garden light features?

When it comes to the more colourful garden lighting ideas out there, we recommend going either with outdoor garden lanterns or coloured garden lights.

Let’s take a closer look at each option:

Silk and paper lanterns in various colours are readily available in a wide range of designs. East Asian designs – especially traditional Chinese and Vietnamese ones – are all the rage nowadays, especially with homeowners looking for a more creative garden lights design with a specific theme.

Just put some wireless outdoor lights inside your lanterns, and you can easily transform your outside space into a luxurious Oriental Garden in the blink of an eye.

Admittedly, bamboo silk and paper lanterns aren’t a permanent garden feature. Still, they’re an excellent solution for special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings and themed party ideas, making them one of the most versatile garden light ideas on our list.

And that’s not all:

As a somewhat less adventurous but just as effective alternative to garden lanterns, you’ve got coloured mains powered garden lights. These can be installed pretty much anywhere, and they’re guaranteed to do a fantastic job of adding a bit of much-needed oomph to garden features which might be a bit plain by themselves, such as certain types of fences and older, worn-out sheds.

Naturally, colour lights are virtually a must-have addition during the festive season, bringing the yuletide spirit to your garden as you enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine on a chilly December evening. Just don’t use your regular Christmas lights outdoors without a suitable weatherproof connection box, or you’ll be in for a nasty surprise!

Regardless of whether you utilise colour lanterns or lights, we recommend that you use colours that complement your garden’s overall design and aesthetics.

4. Embrace solar power

Just like solar tiles, solar outdoor lights are gaining in popularity with the engaged UK homeowner. This should come as no surprise since solar candles and other unusual solar garden lights offer several benefits that make them a popular and sustainable choice for illuminating outdoor spaces.

Check this out:

By harnessing the sun’s energy, solar lights eliminate the need for electricity and help reduce your energy costs. Their easy installation requires no wiring, making them a hassle-free option that can be placed in remote or challenging locations.

What’s more:

Solar lights contribute to eco-friendly, sustainable living by reducing carbon emissions and conserving natural resources. With built-in sensors, many models automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn, enhancing security and safety.


Up to this point, our garden lights ideas have focused on more or less general principles that will allow you to make the most of your garden at night.

Next, we’re going to zoom in on the types of lighting in the garden that work best with some of the more popular landscaping features.

5. Add tree lights

String lights on a tree

Trees are an outstanding natural feature that will take any garden to the next level (pun intended), helping you make the most of otherwise unused vertical spaces to achieve better balance. It goes without saying that this includes lighting.


When it comes to illuminating trees, the most exciting outdoor lighting ideas typically involve uplights and well lights. Uplights are fixtures placed at the base of the tree, directing light upward to highlight the tree’s canopy and branches, creating a dramatic and enchanting effect.

On the other hand:

Well lights are recessed fixtures installed in the ground around the tree, casting light from below to accentuate the tree’s trunk and lower foliage. Both options effectively showcase the tree’s natural beauty while adding depth to the landscape.

Go for fixtures with adjustable angles and beam spreads to tailor the lighting to each tree’s unique shape and size, which will help you achieve captivating and visually pleasing illumination.

Landscaping Superstore top tip: For larger trees or those with expansive canopies, consider using multiple uplights or well lights strategically placed around the tree to ensure even illumination.

6. Add trellis lights

When it comes to making the most of your beautiful plant-girdled trellis during those long autumn evenings, there’s no shortage of innovative garden lighting ideas.

Here are some of our favourite ones:

Firstly, colour-changing string lights can be draped over or woven through the trellis to create a magical and whimsical effect. Make sure you choose waterproof and outdoor-rated string lights, preferably LED, for energy efficiency and durability.

Secondly, solar trellis lights will help boost your sustainable lifestyle, as they gather energy during the day and automatically illuminate your trellis at night. Look for options with adjustable solar panels to ensure they receive adequate sunlight.

Thirdly, clip-on lights can easily attach to the trellis structure. They come in various styles, such as lanterns or mini spotlights. Additionally, they can be directed to highlight specific areas or plants on the trellis for a bespoke finish.

7. Add house wall lights

ET Clay Tamworth Red Multi Bricks

If one or more of your home’s external walls are facing your garden, then house wall lights are an absolute must. Not only are they perfect for illuminating the corners of your garden, but they will also help highlight the exterior design of your house – in effect, helping you kill two birds with the same stone.

Having said that, these are some of the best house wall outdoor lighting ideas we came across during our research:

Firstly, wall sconces are a classic choice for house wall lights. They come in a variety of styles, from retro to modern, and can provide both functional and decorative lighting. Consider dark sky compliant sconces that minimise light pollution and glare.

Secondly, barn-style wall lights offer a rustic and charming look. They often have a wide shade that directs light downward, making them suitable for illuminating entryways and pathways.

Thirdly, coach lights, also known as carriage lights, have a vintage aesthetic and can add a touch of elegance to your garden. They typically feature clear glass panels and can be installed on either side of the doorway.

8. Add fencing lights

When choosing garden lighting, many homeowners tend to focus on the middle of their garden, treating garden fence lights as something of an afterthought.

This is a huge mistake!

Here’s why:

Fence lights are essential when it comes to garden safety, illuminating the far edges of your garden and deterring any potential intruders. Additionally, having all your garden corners well-lit can ensure every single landscaping feature gets due attention, including the fence itself.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the popular garden fence lights ideas right now:

To begin with, string lights can be draped or wrapped around your garden fence to create a whimsical and enchanting ambience. They come in various bulb shapes and can be either white or multi-coloured.

If you’re looking to combine improved security, aesthetics and sustainability, then look no further than solar-powered fence lights. These lights attach directly to the fence and come in various styles, from post cap lights to decorative fixtures.

Last but certainly not least, uplights or well lights can be placed at the base of the fence to cast light upwards, adding drama and dimension to your fence’s texture.

9. Add pergola lights

Pergola with lights

A pergola is a lovely addition to pretty much any garden, providing a sheltered, dedicated space alongside plenty of style and elegance. Its growing popularity in the UK means that there’s no shortage of creative pergola lighting ideas doing the rounds.

After all, pergola lights can transform your outdoor space, creating a cosy and inviting ambience.

To do so, you can install:

  • Lantern-style lights on the rafters or beams to add a touch of elegance and provide a soft, diffused glow.
  • Pendant lights on the ceiling to create a stylish and functional lighting solution for dining or lounging areas underneath.
  • Candle holders or lanterns with candles to evoke a romantic and intimate setting.
  • Canopy lights along the edges of the canopy (if your pergola has one) for a cosy, sheltered feel.
  • LED rope lights along the edges of the pergola for a soft and even illumination that outlines the structure.

If you intend to host big evening garden parties centred around your pergola, you can even combine two or more of these for maximum effect.

10. Add driveway lights

White garage door with lights

Not every garden has a driveway. But if yours does, don’t forget about the appropriate lighting.

After all:

You don’t want to run over your precious garden ornaments or crash into your garage door due to poor visibility, right?

So, let’s consider some practical yet aesthetic driveway lighting ideas before we wrap up our list.

Firstly, path lights along the sides of the driveway can create a well-defined and illuminated pathway for vehicles and pedestrians.

Secondly, bollard lights, which are taller than path lights, can provide stronger illumination. They are excellent for marking the edges of the driveway. Forget about the predicted rise of AI – bollards will definitely rise.

Thirdly, recessed in-ground lights can be embedded in the driveway surface to create a clean and seamless look while illuminating the path.

Fourthly, reflective driveway markers are functional for indicating the edges of the driveway, especially in areas with minimal lighting.

How do you light a small garden?

Lighting a small garden can be a bit of a challenge, as you’re dealing with limited space. Still, with a bit of careful planning and the help of the latest small garden lighting ideas, you can create a perfectly lit small garden without too much hassle.

Here’s the scoop:

Start by setting up your lighting goals. It’s a good idea to divide your approach into layers – ambient, task and accent lighting. For ambient lighting, use overhead fixtures like string lights or small pendant lights to provide general illumination evenly across the garden.


Integrate path lights or step lights along walkways for safe navigation and a cosy atmosphere. To create depth and interest, employ accent lighting by highlighting focal points such as plants, sculptures or architectural elements with uplights or well lights. To avoid glare, ensure fixtures are positioned downward and shielded appropriately.

Then, strategically place lights at various heights – ground level, eye level and above – to create visual layers. Choose warm white or soft white lights for a comfortable and inviting feel. Test different lighting arrangements and angles, adjusting as needed to achieve the desired ambience.

Finally, make use of reflective surfaces like mirrors or light-coloured elements to amplify the light’s effect.

By thoughtfully combining these elements, you can illuminate a small garden to create a welcoming, visually appealing and functional outdoor space.

Where should garden lights be placed?

Garden lights should be placed strategically to illuminate all the key landscaping features in your garden in such a way as to contribute to the overall atmosphere. This includes every little thing from pathways and trees through garden bars and summer houses to house walls and fences and beyond.


One common mistake homemakers tend to make here is to consider each fixture as a standalone feature that should be lit in isolation.

If you do that, you’re likely to end up either with poorly lit patches or too much glare in certain areas – neither of which is conducive to a pleasant evening experience.

Key takeaway:

When it comes to outdoor lighting, always think of your garden as an integrated whole.

All of this brings us to our final point, namely…

Using the latest garden lighting ideas to create the right atmosphere

Creating the right atmosphere with garden lights can be a bit tricky and often frustrating because it involves strategically blending different lighting layers and techniques.

You’ll also have to integrate various features that complement your landscaping design to ensure they cast a flattering and enchanting glow.

The good news is:

By carefully orchestrating these elements and taking inspiration from our list of garden lighting ideas, you can create an atmosphere that resonates with your desired ambience, whether it’s a serene retreat, a lively gathering or anything in between.

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