Lighting ideas to transform your outdoor space

Lighting has the power to take your outdoor space from bland to beautiful. From contemporary bollard lighting to welcoming wall lanterns or lights that line your pathway, the right smart light fixtures can enhance your home’s exterior and create a cozy atmosphere for entertaining. This guide will give you outdoor lighting ideas for different spaces and purposes.

Inviting outdoor lighting ideas for your doorway

A surefire way to make guests feel welcome is greeting them with warm light at the doorstep. A traditional way to do this is with two wall lanterns either side of your front door — but make sure they aren’t too bright. Greeting your guests with an uncomfortable glare isn’t ideal, so make sure your bulbs are dimmable so you can get just the right amount of light.

Use an LED bulb, as they last considerably longer than regular incandescent bulbs — and to add even more control, functionality, and convenience, use smart LED bulbs. Adding pathway lights that lead up to your lit doorway will create an even more inviting feel.

Backyard garden lighting ideas for atmosphere

Creating shadows and atmospheric backlighting is a great way to make more of your outdoor space. You can achieve this with downlighting on fences, bollard lights dotted among greenery, or spotlights directed at trees and plants. Outdoor LED strips can also be used to line decking, pathways, or railings on a balcony for subtle atmospheric illumination.

For a truly transformative outdoor atmosphere, use colored smart lights. With Philips Hue color-capable outdoor lights, you can cast 16 million colors and use preset light scenes to turn your backyard into different destinations.

Garden patio lighting ideas for dining and ambiance

When lighting an outdoor patio you use to entertain guests, there are two key factors at play — creating ambiance and providing enough light so that everyone can comfortably see what they’re eating. Using multiple light sources is the best way to achieve this. Wall lights provide reliable uniform light, while spotlights (such as Lily spotlights) create a wash of light, particularly when directed at trees and trellises.

Adjust the brightness of your various lights to create an overall balance — bright enough but not too intense.

Do outdoor lighting fixtures have to match?

You’ll want your outdoor lighting fixtures to look cohesive and in line with your décor style, but this doesn’t mean they have to be identical. Mixing lighting fixtures creates more variety in lighting effects and levels. However, it does help if they have at least one trait in common, such as the color of their casing.