When it comes to curating our dream homes, most of us tend to focus on what’s happening indoors. But, once we’ve got the design layout finished, it’s time to take a look at what’s happening in our outside spaces. Especially in these days, when any social experience is more than likely happening out-of-doors, perhaps around a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, it seems like every outdoor space—even a balcony—is an opportunity to create someplace warm and inviting—and that means paying attention to the lighting.
After all, if you have ever scrolled through Instagram and seen all the great backyard ideas to illuminate outdoor spaces (from patio lighting ideas to garden lighting features), then you know that the right lights can make even a cramped, out-of-the-way spot seem almost magical. The options are endless. (Even better to open up a small backyard!) Whether you have a sprawling seaside green space or a narrow apartment overlook, Instagram users near and far have ideas of how you can decorate it.
Because it’d be pretty cruel to tell you all of this without actually showing you some evidence, we rounded up the best outdoor lighting ideas to help make the most of every inch of your real estate. If you’re looking for warm-weather ideas, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for ways to cozy up outside with candlelight in the middle of fall, we’ve got that too. Have we captured your attention? Good. Keep scrolling to find the whimsical outdoor lighting that suits your fancy.
Whether you have an ocean- or river-side sitting area or simply a spacious backyard sans water, hanging simple string lights can make a major impact. And, if you don’t have trees to hang them from, you’ll be glad this DIY teaches you how to craft poles.
Nature in the City Lights
Living in the city has its perks, but if you’re a nature lover, you might feel like something’s missing. Here’s one way to get back to your green roots without actually uprooting yourself. Plus, how dreamy are these icicle lights?
Seaside String Lights
If you live near the ocean (or you simply love the cool hues of the colors inspired by it), consider these soft and warm blue and green lights. Each string has 30 bulbs.
Cozy Balcony Lights
If you’re working with a small space like an apartment balcony, consider lighting it up with fairy star lights.
Paper Ball Lights
For a more natural vibe, opt for paper ball lights over classic class bulbs. These remind us of beachy nights in the Hamptons, Malibu, and on the Gulf Coast.
Table in the Woods Lights
If you’re working with a wooded backyard, make use of nature and string lights from the branches. Place a table and chairs underneath for the perfect summertime dinner party setup.
Summer Balcony Sanctuary Lights
Battery-operated candles, fairy string lights, and round paper lights make for a dreamy summer balcony situation. Just imagine cozying up with a book or your best friends in this picture-perfect setting.
Bohemian Summer Balcony Lights
With paper grass wall hangings, straw lanterns, woven pillows and ottomans, this well-lit balcony is a Bohemian dream. Imagine streaming Netflix or getting lost in conversation with friends out here.
Even small balconies can turn into outdoor lighting masterpieces. Here, a vintage star light, candles, and classic string lights bring the comfy look together.
Just because it’s chillier in the fall doesn’t mean you can’t sit outdoors. With this well-lit set-up, you’ll be able to cozy up with your loved ones while enjoying the seasonal weather.