Here's Your Complete Guide to Outdoor Lighting Ideas

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It's easy to forget about the exterior of your home when you've got so much going on inside, but have you ever thought about how your home makes you or your guests feel upon arrival? Or, what finishing touches you need on your garden, outdoor patio, or front porch to make it fully functional after dark? Well, look no further. Two words: outdoor lighting. This addition is not only practical, but will absolutely elevate the ambiance of your outdoor area year-round. Discover our top tips on what to buy and where, and in no time, your outdoor living space will be just that much more — well — livable.

Types of Outdoor Lighting:

When it comes to the best options for exterior lighting, there's plenty of light sources to choose from. Whether you're looking for something to blend in with your design or light fixtures that will add character, these styles are all up for consideration.


1. Wall Sconce

If square footage is an issue in your porch or backyard, the trusty wall sconce is the answer. Saving on floor space and lighting up the night, outdoor wall sconces and wall lights will add a modern touch to your outdoor space.

Get the look:Rectangular Indoor/Outdoor LED Sconce, $129

2. Table Lamps & Lanterns

Table lamps and lanterns are a great way to add an immediate lighting fix to your patio space. Simply pop them around the garden or in your outdoor seating area — just make sure they're suited for outdoor use, or better yet, solar or battery-operated so you don't have to deal with cords.

Get the look:Article Bori Small Natural Lantern, $129

3. Pendant Lighting

Perfect your al-fresco dining area by adding a few pendant lights to the space. From a classic chandelier to a sculptural statement piece, eating outside on the perfect summer night has never looked so good.

Get the look:Pottery Barn Flora All-Weather Wicker Outdoor Pendant, $399

4. String Lighting

You might think that fairy lights are reserved for the kids' bedrooms, but string lights are the perfect way to bring a starry night sky closer to your dinner table. Plus, you can choose between Edison-style bulbs, bohemian lanterns, or colorful globes to match your decor.

Get the look:Costway 48-Foot LED Waterproof Globe String Lights, $68.99

5. Path Lighting

Path lighting is a pretty sweet way to lead guests up to your entryway safely and stylishly. These path lights are normally solar-powered too — meaning no cords and no extra electricity.

Get the look:Hampton Bay Solar Black LED Metal and Glass Landscape Pathway Light, $5.88

Outdoor Lighting Styles:

Now that we've covered the types of outdoor lighting available, it's time to think about how to incorporate these options into your own personal style. What's the right lighting for you?


1. Boho Outdoor Lighting

It's pretty easy to go boho when it comes to outdoor lighting, as most options come in a rattan or wicker material. For something different, hang or lazily place Moroccan or paper lanterns around trees for an ethereal feel.

Image Credit: Crystal Bolin Photography/iStock/GettyImages

2. Farmhouse Outdoor Lighting

There's no harm in keeping things simple, and a string of lights across your yard will totally be in keeping with a barn or farmhouse aesthetic. If you really want to go all out on the rustic vibes, add in a fire pit, which will not only offer light, but also warmth.

3. Mediterranean Outdoor Lighting

Make like the Europeans and become a master at outdoor dining. Create the look of Spanish moss with string lights, wrapping them around a pergola and letting the ends cascade downwards. No pergola? No worries: Hang them on trees instead.

4. Modern Outdoor Lighting

A modern home requires modern lighting options, and wall sconces, pendant lights, and string lighting will all do the trick when decking out your outdoor living area. Just look out for streamlined shapes and slick finishes.

More Places to Shop for Outdoor Lighting

Serena & Lily


If you're looking for a statement fixture, Serena & Lily is definitely a go-to. Their summery, woven pendant lights are to die for.

One Kings Lane

With all the modern outdoor lighting fixtures on the shelves, One Kings Lane is the place to go for sophisticated styles that will suit every garden.

Schoolhouse Electric

If you're a fan of the midcentury aesthetic or want to add a spot of color, Schoolhouse Electric is the place to head. Managing to pack just as much personality into outdoor lighting as the designer-favored indoor fixtures, you won't be disappointed with the options here.

Joss & Main

Oh, we do love a good selection to choose from. When it comes to shopping, Joss & Main is on hand with everything from boho pendant lights to industrial-style lanterns.

The Home Depot

For a wide selection at an affordable price, The Home Depot's your spot. They have tons of great traditional, Farmhouse and Mediterranean options.


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