Top 10 Types of Garden Lights (2016 Buying Guide)

solar LED pathway lighting

Outdoor lighting draws attention to your home’s architecture and garden. It also offers safety since well-lit areas make it easier to traverse at night. Use garden lights to highlight points of interest within your landscaping and to create a warm ambiance.

Today’s garden lights receive their power through electricity or from the sun. They also come in a wide range of designs and materials. You can install garden lights that are made from glass, plastic or metal.

The best types of garden lights are easy to operate, affordable and designed to let you appreciate your outdoor spaces even more than you already do. To help you select the best type for your exterior areas, we intend to cover the ins and outs of garden lights. We are also providing a list of the ten best options.

How Bright Are Garden Lights?

When it comes to solar power lights, the brightest ones available are spotlights, and these are capable of providing light that is about the same as that of a 40-watt incandescent bulb.

If this is not bright enough for the area that you have in mind, then consider using electric power that is connected to your home directly or to a voltage transformer. To provide illumination, solar garden lights absorb sunlight during the daytime hours. This charges their batteries, which power the bulbs at night.

How Long Do Garden Lights Last?

Because most solar garden lights operate with rechargeable batteries that self-discharge, the power source will eventually discharge to a level where they are unable to work. If you decide to install this type of illumination, be sure to charge the light about every three months for longevity. The lifespan of most solar garden lights is one to two years. If you install low-voltage lighting, you can expect the bulbs to last for as long as 10,000 hours.

Are Garden Lights an Eyesore During the Day?

Since garden lights come in a variety of styles and designs, you can purchase a type that enhances your garden areas during the day. If your home is modern and contemporary, then a simple spotlight will likely blend in with the exterior of your home and landscaping arrangements while lantern-style lighting is a good option for homes that display Victorian or Craftsman architecture.

Will They Bother My Neighbors at Night?

Unless you have a spotlight pointed directly at your neighbor’s living room window, your garden lights are unlikely to affect your neighbors. In fact, by adding them to your outdoor areas, you may inspire others to enhance their homes with this feature as well.


With a set of four solar garden lights priced at around $35 and complete garden light systems coming to about $3,800, the cost for outdoor lighting varies greatly. Consider your needs carefully before investing in a system.


Garden light types include affordably priced solar lights, lanterns that you can hang from a pergola, and landscaping spotlights.

Solar Lights

To light your garden without increasing your power bill, consider solar lights. This type of illumination usually includes a stake for installation while the light containment section comes in different designs.

Hanging Bulbs

Use hanging bulbs when you want a festive look. These garden lights come in different sizes, and you can allow them to drape attractively from a pergola or porch.


Downlighting illuminates a large area of your garden. It mimics the soft glow of moonlight to create a romantic ambiance. Downlights are installed at an elevated location to provide the effect.


Garden spotlights feature a single beam that you can use to highlight a particular plant or section of your landscaping.


Use torches for an outdoor party or event. If bugs are an issue in your area, consider the citronella versions. Other options include torches made from steel and wood.

Post Lanterns

Post lights are a flexible option. You can set them up near the end of a pathway to improve street visibility or around a patio or pool to make using these areas possible after the sun sets.

Outdoor Ceiling Lights

Outdoor ceiling lights are usually used for patio dining tables, but you can also use this form of illumination for entryways or porches.

Deck and Step Lights

To light up walkways, pool areas and driveways, install deck or step lights. This type of illumination is designed for installation near the ground level. Because of this, they will light the way to keep you and your guests safe.


For a romantic vibe or high-end look, consider lanterns. Hang them strategically from a pergola or from posts around your garden. Gas options are available as are LED models.

Rope Lighting

Cove lighting comes in long strips that you can hide among your landscaping to add subtle illumination to your outdoor spaces. This type of lighting is ideal for pool areas, fountains and other landscaping features.

Top Type of Lights for Your Garden and Yard

1. Solar Powered LED Pathway Lighting

Solar Powered LED Pathway Lighting

With its black, contemporary design and easy installation, the solar powered LED pathway lighting (Amazon) is the ideal choice when you need to light pathways and backyard patios. Made from plastic, the solar powered garden lights are weather-resistant and durable.

2. Solar Bulb String Lights

Solar Bulb String Lights for the Yard and Garden

Energy efficiency and high style come together in the solar globe string lights (Amazon), because the set features solar power, you will not have to worry about hiding battery packs and unsightly cord connections.

solar bulb string light1

3. Outdoor Wall Sconce Downlight

outdoor wall sconce

The durable manufacturing of a outdoor wall sconce downlight will ensure that you have steady garden lighting for years. Its contemporary design adorns your outdoor space while its bright glow illuminates the area for nighttime use.

4. Outdoor Security Spotlight

Outdoor Security Spotlight

With its subtle stainless steel covering and energy-efficient manufacturing, the outdoor security spotlight (Amazon) discourages intruders while beautifully lighting your garden. You can even use the light to accent trees and landscaping features.

outdoor security light1

5. Planter Torch

Planter Torch for Gardens and Yards

Made from black steel and perched atop a brown wooden pole, the planter torch will enhance your garden areas with its stylish design.

6. Post Lantern Set

Post Lantern Set for Gardens and Yards

Classic styling and beveled glass merge to create the post lantern set. Not only will it create a subtle ambiance in your garden, but the light will also pleasantly illuminate the surrounding area.

7. Outdoor Hanging Pendant

Outdoor Hanging Pendant

When your outdoor patio table is calling for a graceful enhancement, consider installing the outdoor hanging pendant. It comes in different finishes, and it features traditional styling.

8. Deck and Step Lights

Deck and Step Lights

When you need a soft glow for your deck or walkways, install deck and step lighting. With their low-profile design and high-end finish, you will appreciate how the lighting option blends in with your current landscaping.

9. Wooden Candle Lit Lanterns

Wooden Candle Lit Lanterns for Garden

To give your guests a nostalgic glimpse into the past, add wooden candle lit lanterns (Amazon) to your garden area. Featuring quaint design elements like an iron handle and a wooden base, your outdoor space will exhibit old-world charm.

10. Rope Lighting

Rope Lighting for garden

For a subtle lighting element in your garden, add rope lighting under the lip of your deck or around a pool area.

rope lighting

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