Garden After Dark: Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Evening Ambiance

Garden After Dark: Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Evening Ambiance

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, you may find yourself in need of garden lighting ideas to help light up your outdoor living space. 

When the sun goes down, you should still be able to roam outside, enjoy your garden, and stargaze. With a variety of outdoor lighting features, you’ll be able to enjoy the evening air and host late-night gatherings that are comfortable, cosy, and well-illuminated. 

By carefully thinking about the types of lighting fixtures you need and the effects you want to achieve, you can create a magical outdoor space that glows and is ready to be enjoyed when day turns to night.

Simple string lights, modern smart lighting, fire pits — there are tons of options out there. From subtle and elegant to bold and dramatic, the possibilities are endless when it comes to garden lighting ideas. Here, we’ll discuss them all. Read on for a plethora of garden lighting inspiration to brighten your garden and bring joy to your nightly gatherings. 


1. Create a warm gathering place around a Firepit 

Monterrey 6 Seat Rope Firepit Teak Bar Set in Grey - £3,499


Enhance the cosy ambience of your garden with a freestanding firepit or rising fire pit table. The fire will cast a warm, inviting glow across your outdoor gatherings to encourage storytelling and good times.

Check out some other outdoor seating ideas to pair your fire pit with an inviting and creative sofa and chairs. There’s so much you can do with a firepit — thankfully, we have a whole other list of creative firepit ideas to check out. 


2. Create Ambience with an LED Pergola 

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,599


If you’re on the hunt for modern garden lighting ideas, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with an LED pergola. This shade structure with colour-changing lights will transform your garden into a glowing, atmospheric gathering area at night. 

For more on these high-tech and convenient garden additions, get inspired by our list of modern pergola ideas


3. Set a fun tone with Fairy Lights 

Photo by Askar Abayev 

Hang string lights across your garden or patio area for a fun and romantic ambience. Or, for a great garden fence light idea, drape them vertically down the side of a barrier. You can also drape string lights across trees to add a touch of whimsy to your garden. Opt for traditional fairy lights or go unique shapes such as small lantern string lights.


4. Brighten a large space with Wall Lights 

Santiago Rattan Sofa Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Grey - £1,999.00

Install elegant wall lights to add sophistication to your garden walls. You can place these on the outside of your house or on the walls of your screened-in patio. Wall sconces provide a convenient, permanent, and durable lighting solution for your personalised outdoor seating area


5. Ensure safety with Step Lighting 

Photo by Frédéric Barriol


 Another essential garden light idea is step lighting. Add subtle recessed or embedded lights to stairs and pathways to improve both safety and aesthetics. Ensure that guests have enough light to navigate around at night, using stylish step lights to guide them through the garden.


6. Adapt to the seasons with Colour-Changing Lights 

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,999

Luna 6 Seat Teak Firepit Bar Set in Grey - £3,799


Switch up your garden lighting according to the seasons or holidays. Use coloured lights to match the mood of different festive occasions or times of the year. For example, cool-coloured blue and purple lights match a wintery atmosphere (take a look at our winter ideas guide for more) while warm orange lights match the changing leaves and pair great with our other autumn garden ideas


7. Illuminate a Garden Walkway 

Photo by Cee on Unsplash

Install lights along a meandering garden path to create a magical journey through your garden. Take in more of your garden with subtle pathway lights, creating a dreamlike night-time stroll.


8. Add Playful Orb Lights 

Bob Large Table Light in Charcoal - £69.99

Want some unique, contemporary-looking light sources? Use globe-shaped lights to create a modern effect. Scatter spherical or rounded lights around your garden for a playful, otherworldly design.


9. Layer your Light Sources 

Glow Challenger T2 3m Square Cantilever Parasol in Anthracite- £650.00

Combine various light sources to create depth, making your garden come alive after dark. Tall light sources, like pergola or parasol lights, pair well with low-to-the-ground walkway lighting and feature lighting. 


10. Brighten the space for Alfresco Dining 

Monterrey 8 Seat Rope Rectangular Teak Firepit Dining Set in Grey - £3,999


Enjoy alfresco dining with a beautifully lit table, creating a charming atmosphere for your meals. Drape string lights high above the outdoor dining table, light some candles on the tabletop, or place lanterns nearby. 


11. Warm the space with Fire Lanterns 


Höfats SPIN 120 Table-Top Fire in Grey - £139


A fire lantern is a super unique form of garden lighting idea that you won’t find just anywhere. Place portable fire lanterns throughout your garden to add a captivating, flickering glow to your outdoor space.


12. Spotlight Luxury with a Fire Pit Bar 


Luna 6 Seat Teak Firepit Bar Set in Grey - £3,799


Create a captivating social hub with an upscale fire pit bar. A bar table with a built-in firepit can serve as both a light source and a great place to roast marshmallows, dine, and sip on drinks. 


13. Consider Garden Solar Light ideas

Luxor Large & Small Floor Outdoor and Indoor Solar Lantern in Charcoal - £74.99 - £99

Harness the power of the sun with solar powered lanterns. These portable, lightweight, and beautiful lanterns are eco-friendly and efficient lighting options that you can place around a garden sofa set or dinner table. 


14. Design Beacons of Light with Pillar Lanterns 

Cosiscoop Pillar Lantern in Teak - £749


Place pillar lanterns strategically to evoke a rustic charm in your outdoor living space. These outdoor lighting ideas pair great with a firepit or candles, casting the glow of flickering flames all over the gathering area. 


15. Reflect the Light with Mirrors 

Cosiburner Build Up inc Glass - £499.00

One of our favourite small garden lighting ideas is simple but powerful... adding mirrors! A strategically placed mirror in the garden will reflect your garden light sources to create the illusion of greater space and depth.


16. Hang up Fire Lanterns 

Höfats SPIN 120 Hanging Fire in Silver - £134.00

Fire lanterns are another truly unique feature to light up your garden. These Höfats lanterns include mesmerising, twisting flames that are sure to catch the eye of guests. 

Hang these enchanting lanterns from a ceiling or shade structure to infuse your garden with a touch of magic.


17. Liven Up a space with Pendant Lights 

Bromic Tungsten Smart-Heat™ Electric 2000W in White - £829.00

Pendant lights aren’t just for the indoors. Bring pendant lights outside by hanging them from pergolas or patio ceilings. Pendant lights tend to add a sophisticated finishing touch to any space. They make great additions to an upscale outdoor kitchen


18. Dine in ultimate comfort at a Fire Pit Table 


Monterrey 8 Seat Rope Rectangular Ceramic Firepit Dining Set in Grey - £3,799


Combine dining and warmth with a fire pit dining table, perfect for entertaining guests. Grill vegetables above the fire, keep warm on chilly nights, and enjoy your food around a crackling fire that will illuminate the whole table throughout the night. 


19. Kick Back on a Fire Pit Sofa 

Luna Deluxe Outdoor Fabric Square Corner Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Grey - £4,299


Snuggle up on a comfortable sofa around the fire pit for relaxed evenings under the stars. This garden lighting idea is super versatile; you’ll light up the area, provide warmth, and create an extremely inviting, comfortable spot to lounge in the back garden. These plush, unique sets are one of our favourite luxury garden furniture ideas


20. Furnish an Outdoor Living Room with a Floor Lamp 

Grey Metal Outdoor & Indoor Floor Lamp - £148.00

Need even more lighting in the garden? Complete the look of an outdoor living room with an outdoor floor lamp. Place floor lamps strategically to illuminate specific garden features or seating areas. Pair a floor lamp with a rug, sofa, and coffee table to bring the homey feel of the living room out into the fresh air. 


21. Go Traditional with Glass Lanterns 

Monterrey 8 Seat Rope Dining Set with Oval Ceramic Table in Grey - £2,349.00

Introduce the charm of candlelight with traditional glass lanterns on the outdoor dining table or near walkways and steps. Traditional lanterns instantly add elegance and refinement to a space. 

22. Light some Table Candles


Höfats GRAVITY CANDLE Lantern - £29.00

Decorate your outdoor tables with candles for an intimate, romantic, and inviting dining experience.


23. Warm Up near a Patio Heater 

Quadrilateral Patio Heater in Stainless Steel - £430.00

A large patio heater with a visible flame can help you and your guests stay warm on chilly nights while also adding some illumination to the patio. 

Paired with other light sources and some nearby blankets, a patio heater can turn a dark, cold autumn night into an opportunity to get cosy and enjoy more time outside with loved ones.


24. Focus on Garden Feature Lighting 

Photo by Alex Moliski on Unsplash

Place ground lights at the base of trees, statues, or architectural features in your garden to create a striking effect at night. Invite guests to walk through your lush garden by highlighting your favourite features and spots with landscape lighting and garden feature lighting. 


Let Your Garden Shine

We hope you’ve gleaned some inspiration from this list of UK garden lighting ideas. 

Garden lighting is far from just practical — it’s also a creative opportunity to transform your outdoor living space into a beacon of comfort and style. Whether you're looking to make your pathways safer to navigate, set the mood for outdoor gatherings, or showcase the beauty of your landscaping, the right lighting choices can make all the difference. 

We think you’ll love our selection of outdoor lighting pieces here at Harbour Lifestyle. From elegant lanterns to durable wall lights, we offer everything you need to shine stylish light on your favourite outdoor space. 

Host summer soirées, relax under the stars, warm up by the fire, or simply sit outside and enjoy the serenity of nature after sunset — gorgeous garden lighting can help you do it all.