When the weather warms up and it's time to spend longer outside, nothing gives your back or front yard a lift like refreshing your outdoor garden lighting. But knowing where to start can be a tricky task, especially if you’re unsure which types of outdoor lights you need. 

We’ve picked out our favourite ideas to elevate your outdoor space with light. And also chosen ways to illuminate your outdoor dining area and decking no matter your budget. Keep reading to find new ways of lighting, or click the links below to skip ahead. 

Types Of Outdoor Garden Lighting

Solar Powered Lighting Ideas

Lighting Your Outdoor Dining Area

LED Lighting Ideas

Deck Lighting Ideas

Types Of Outdoor Garden Lighting

Garden path lit by modern lightingGarden path lit by modern lighting

It all depends on the size of your garden, but generally a mix of LED, candle, and solar light should be easy to implement in your outdoor area. Whether you’ve got a balcony or large outside space, these options are the ideal.

LED lighting tends to be very energy efficient if you have the means to run electric cables into your garden, or it can also be battery-powered if needed. Solar light comes from the sun which has no running costs, and makes those lights super-sustainable. The soft ambience of outdoor candles also creates a romantic setting in dining and entertaining areas in your space - just remember to never leave them burning unattended. 

Solar Powered Lighting Ideas

Garden decking lit by solar powered lightGarden decking lit by solar powered light

Adding solar lights to your home is a beautiful way to create a gentle ambience once the sun sets. And the best thing is that they’re completely free, and they’ll last all night if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere extremely sunny. 

They can enhance your favourite plants, sculptures or water features after dark, light secret paths to other areas of your space, or help create multiple layers of light for extra variety in your garden. 

When choosing solar powered lights there are three things to consider: 

1. Style - Think about where you want to put them when buying your solar lights. For example, if you're looking to illuminate a wall or fence, then hanging lights are what you need. Or for areas where you want to light up furnishings, a free-standing solar lamp would work.

2. Size - This may seem obvious, but the bigger the bulb, the larger the area it will illuminate. So for smaller gardens opt for smaller solar lights to ensure you don’t light up your neighbours space by accident!

3. Brightness - Some solar bulbs use LED or bright white light which may be too bright for casual dining and entertaining. Choose the warm ambience of string lighting or festoon lights if you know you’ll be regularly using the area you’re illuminating.

Front garden path lit by lightsFront garden path lit by lights

Front garden - Adding solar lights during the summer to your front garden will make your home feel more warm and welcoming for any visitors, especially if you’re putting on a party in the nicer weather. They can also have the added bonus of acting as security lighting, as your home will seem well lit even if you’re not there!

Water feature - If you have a water feature, then you’ll love how dramatic solar lights look reflecting against the surface at night. You can place them around the edge of the feature to create a mirror effect, or invest in floating solar lights that will move around casting gentle shadows across the water. 

Pergola lighting - If you have a pergola in your garden, hang solar lighting up in the canopy to bring it to life at night. We’d recommend soft ‘bulb’ style lighting and soft furnishings to make it feel as cosy as possible. Ideally these lights will have a separate solar panel that you can place in a sunny spot in your garden, ensuring that they get plenty of charging time during the day. 

Flower boxes/planters - Bring life and colour to your planters after dark with solar lights designed to look like flowers. These can look especially dramatic if you choose a flower colour that contrasts the live plants you’ve got in your pot or planter. 

Globe lights - Turn your garden design into a modern art installation during the day or night with globe lights. Using a mix of sizes and colours will create an amazing effect once the sun goes down, and they’ll look just as good while they charge under sunlight. Globe lights are perfect for showing off the different levels of your space if it’s sloped. 

“Indoor” lights - Outdoor lights that are designed to look like indoor illuminations will add a modern touch to your space. Solar powered lights that look like standing floor lamps are perfect for smaller spaces as they won’t take up much room, and don’t need a wire running into your home to keep them running. 

Experimental lights - Not all lights you use in your garden have to be standard. Choosing interesting and unusual solar lighting for your garden can make them more than functional, they can become a unique design feature. Bury these Ice Cube lights from Auraglow along your border or in any gravel path to create a new texture to your space. You could also lay them around any decking or water feature to light up an area you want to accentuate.  


1. A Fire Pit - If you have the budget, a fire pit is ideal for entertaining at any time and will warm you all-year-round. If you’re not sure about bringing open flames into your outdoor space, choose a safer option that looks just as dramatic like…

Fragrance Flame™ - Outdoors lit at nightFragrance Flame™ - Outdoors lit at night

2. Fragrance Flame™ - Exclusive technology that delivers instant fragrance and flickering flame for you and your guests to enjoy once you’ve finished eating. Both of PartyLite’s Fragrance Flame wax melt burners can be used in outside spaces, and our Outdoor holder uses citronella fragrance. Citronella is an ingredient that’s known to keep bugs at bay, so it’s designed to help you stay comfortable outside at night, for longer. 

3. A Fake Chandelier - Keep your parasol up at night in your outdoor dining area and use it to hang lights from, creating a ‘chandelier’ without having to spend a lot of your budget. These could be solar lights that you’ve been charging all day, or battery powered ambience with festoon or hanging bulbs. 

4. Create A Canopy - Tie multiple string lights and festoon lights between trees, furnishings and structures to create a dazzling canopy over your dining table. Always make sure to check the weather before committing to hanging your lights up. Lights with classic bulbs should create a warming look above your space. 

PartyLite lit candle in an outdoor settingPartyLite lit candle in an outdoor setting

5. Outdoor Candles - Candles designed to be lit outdoors add to any atmosphere as you entertain in your garden dining area. The gently flickering light will accentuate any table setting, especially if you pair your fragrance with an outdoor candle holder.

LED Lighting Ideas

LED lights are ideal for use at home as they’re incredibly energy efficient. They also have a longer lifespan than fluorescent lighting, making them perfect for lighting up your garden.

Just always be aware that some LED bulbs can’t be changed, so check that out before you buy one. It’s also a good idea to measure the lumens you need from your LED lights, as they tend to emit a broad, warm glow when you turn them on.

Integrated LEDs - Building LED lighting into a garden structure will give your space a super-modern look, especially if you’re building a pergola or decking cover out of metal or treated wood. Strip LED lights can be used for downlights if you build them into the top of the structure. These will generally light up the whole space when compared to uplighting which looks great, but lights up less space. Warm white LEDs should be your go-to for your space as they will create the ideal glow. 

Light up your hedge - Use an LED net to light up your hedge at night. These types of LED lights are ideal for your hedge as the nets are generally so thin that you can’t see them during the day. Then once the sun goes down, you can enjoy twinkling lights from the border of your garden. 

Go futuristic with light-up planters - No matter the time of year, you can add interest to your planters by installing LED uplights at the bottom. These uplights can either be built into the ground just underneath your planters, or set in spikes if you have soft ground below your pots. You could also use your budget to invest in planters with built-in LED lights.

Wrap up your trees - No matter if you have a large old oak or a smaller spruce, wrapping your tree in LED lights creates a stunning effect in your garden. It turns your tree into a focal point within your space. And depending on its location, the reflections from your house windows create a beautiful view from every angle when you light it up. 


1. Illuminate a living wall - Living walls look amazing on decking, especially if you have a smaller space to work with as they add large volumes of plants and greenery without taking up too much room. Hanging string lights in your living wall means you can enjoy your installation long after the sun goes down. 

2. Wall lights - Even if your decking doesn’t have as many plants, wall lights can transform what seems like a blank area into a warming part of your garden. An installation of uplights would be great for drawing attention to the colour, textures and shape of your walls after dark. 

3. Lanterns everywhere - Safely burning candles in hurricanes or lanterns can add a variety of looks to your decking. Go for a rustic farmhouse look with a vintage tealight or candle holder, or take inspiration from Moroccan souk designs with minaret lanterns for your space. 

Loved these outdoor lighting ideas and want more inspiration from PartyLite? Click here to read more of our features. Shop your new favourite outdoor candles here, and find the ideal holder to go with your fragrance here.

Tejinder Rees