The shifting seasons signal change, and the use of your outdoor lighting also changes with the seasons! The days get longer and shorter, the weather can be wild, and our activities vary to adapt to the temperatures. In some seasons good lighting is good enough to just look good, but in other cases, it serves an important function for safety, convenience, or task performance.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of ideas that will help you stay on top and on-trend this year. While many of these ideas work best in a certain season, all of them can be used year-round. Creativity is key, so you have our full permission to let your imagination run wild!
1. Green and Gold
Golden lights look stunning against greenery. It’s a quick way to make your outdoor decor pop, and one of our favorite looks for spring. String lights are one of the easiest ways to spiff up your bushes or topiary, but feel free to experiment with lanterns or even LED lights.
2. Spotlight Your Statues
Flowers may not be blooming yet, but that doesn’t mean your yard can’t be eye-popping! Lanterns and spotlights can highlight your unique yards décor, such as water features or statues. This way, the yard still has decorative focal points while any greenery develops.
3. Down Below
If you prefer a low-profile look for your lights, in-ground lights are a great option to consider! Embedded in your pathways or curbing, these lights are especially appropriate if you’re concerned about children or pets crashing into a typical post light.
4. Garden Path
It’s a classic look for a reason. Use posts, in-ground lights, shepherd’s hook lanterns, or anything else you can think of to light your beautiful walkway. As an extra bonus, it enhances safety in addition to the atmosphere! Just wait until sundown and enjoy it.
5. Hanging Out
It’s standard to hang grouped indoor lights at varying heights, and the design principle works just as well with outdoor lighting. One way to achieve good light layering outdoors is to use trees. Try hanging lanterns or pendants from the branches, having several usually works best.
6. Solar Pegs
Do you love those long summer days? Make good use of the stretching daylight by converting that sunlight into brighter nights! Solar lighting is a no-brainer for varied outdoor uses since it’s eco-friendly, incredibly versatile, and easy to install.
7. Bar and Grill
Taking dinner outside? Post bright lights around your prep area. It’ll serve a dual purpose: plentiful lighting for your cooking tasks, and distracting lighting to draw bugs away from your food and drinks while you’re dining.
8. Summer Nights
Colorful lights get the excitement going at any party. Achieve a festive look with string lights, an LED spotlight, or another event-specific lighting. For maximum spread, shine them on a white wall or across your pool.
9. Walk, Not Run
Pool lighting is primarily a matter of safety, but it can be fun too! LEDs and white light are great for providing bright, natural-looking light. Plus, they’re the most energy-efficient type of lighting, so you’ll rarely have to change a bulb.
10. Patio Fans
On those gorgeous, warm afternoons, treat yourself to a cool breeze from an outdoor fan. They’re treated for weather, dampness, and other outdoor conditions, so kick back and keep things classy with a nice patio fan.
11. Water Features
Subtle lighting on your water features will add to their natural beauty and make your backyard feel even more luxurious. For extra effect, place your fixture in a bed of rocks or plants to emphasize that sparkling water.
If you have outdoor beams or a pergola, lights at a mid or high level will make them more inviting. Add that to some comfortable seating, and you’ve got the makings of a social hotspot.
13. String Together
These are quickly becoming a staple for any outdoor space. String lights can take any shape, and they create a wonderfully cozy atmosphere. The real question is, bulbs or fairy lights?
14. Warm Light
The color of light affects us psychologically, and warm light is known to help the brain relax. It’s a good pick for autumn, with the dwindling excitement of summer and cozy vibes of the season. Spread some warm light on those chilly evenings and settle into these beautiful, cooler months.
15. Glowing Lanterns
Autumn decor is all about the rustic look. For some seasonal vibes, place mobile lanterns near furniture and walkways. Pumpkins are optional, but encouraged!
16. Smart Lighting
When the sunset becomes unpredictable, smart lighting ensures that you’re prepared for any activity at any time. Set automatic schedules for a boost in home security or adjust the lights manually from your device.
17. Holiday Cheer
Keep it simple or go all out—it’s your choice! There are plenty of creative options to suit any type of dwelling, landscaping, and style. Use string lights to outline structures, or add a few personal touches with illuminated character decor. You can’t go wrong!
Archways are a classy space for some creative fun. Add some pizzazz to the most barren season by lighting up an at-home archway. Color the lights for a specific holiday, or keep some warm, white lights shining all winter long.
19. Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Why be satisfied with lighting that just looks good? Multifunctional items are the way to go, with specially designed lamps that provide both heat and light. Better yet? They use electrical current to warm you up, so there’s no gas or fire.
20. One Step at a Time
Keep stairs well-lit and you’ll be glad you did! Especially when the ice hits… We recommend individual lights for each step, as they give much better coverage than one generic overhead fixture. They also add some visual intrigue to the side or under steps.
21. Outdoor Chandelier
One fixture can transform “simple” into “simply amazing”. Standalone chandeliers catch attention like no other, so if you want an easy way to elevate, this is for you. Modern and classical designs both work well, even in a natural outdoor setting.
22. Make an Entrance
Curb-appeal is what you make it. Attractive entrance lighting lends a “welcome home” feeling to your space. In fact, the light that shines from the top downwards adds emphasis, so you could even consider adding exterior lights to upper floors and trims.
Guiding posts for your driveway will not only add visual appeal but can help drivers pull in straight every time. They’re great for everyone, but especially any new drivers in the family!
24. Properly Addressed
Courtesy is in the little things. Help others find you by spotlighting or backlighting your address numbers. Simply connect lights to a switch or use smart lighting to save energy when it’s not in use.
25. Motion Sensing
Whether it’s raccoons or robbers, you should know when you have uninvited guests. Update your home security system or start one with motion-activated lights. These lights will help your cameras catch valuable footage, even if it’s only of the neighbor’s cat.
26. Up and Away
For those that love to make the outdoors their centerpiece, consider recessed ceiling lights on your porch or patio. It’s a subtle way to light the space without taking away from nature’s beauty.
27. Upscale for Cheap
Putting LEDs in furniture, fences, or privacy features will add some extra style to the functional pieces in your yard. Add them to bland focal pieces and enjoy the extra atmosphere!
Come rain or shine, you can have outdoor lighting that improves your quality of life and looks stylish. Whether you opt for automated lighting, string lights, or traditional fixtures, we hope this has inspired you to light up your piece of the world. When you have lighting needs, whether design or electrical related, consider McInnis Lighting—your friends who get it done.