Twinkle, twinkle! I've found the best outdoor lights for your backyard or balcony

Shine bright, tonighttttt

Three outdoor lights on purple background
(Image credit: Future)

I’m that person — the slightest twinkle in any backyard, be it from the stars, candles, fairy lights, or spotlight lamps and I am officially won over. I quite simply cannot fathom the idea of possessing (or renting) an outdoor space and NOT dressing it up with lighting. With this in mind, being tasked with the job of rounding up the very best outdoor lights came as no burden. 

Outdoor lights are at once a necessity and a luxury and that’s why I believe no home is complete without them. Not only do they replicate the stars in their enchanting charm and keep guests feeling cozy and warm, but they also make your home safer and more secure. I love that feeling of flicking a switch and seeing my backyard come to life and as you’re here, I guess you do, too! 

Quick Menu:
1. Solar outdoor lights
2. String outdoor lights
3. LED outdoor lights

Whether you’re dealing with a huge yard, a medium-sized patio, or a tiny balcony, the rule of thumb is the same. Outdoor lights will add warmth and ambiance, highlighting the beauty of nature, no matter the hour. Oh, and speaking of nature, look out for solar-powered lights if you’re after a solution that works with the environment in every way!

Just like most outdoor decor ideas, there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to outdoor lighting. Consider the size of your space, the features you want to highlight, and the reason you want them and you’re off to a great start. Then, it’s just about finding the best on the market and luckily, I’ve done that for you. So, without further ado, from festoon bulbs to stake lamps, these are the best outdoor lights around. Take your pick and get ready to transform your backyard into a hosting haven. 

The best outdoor lights to spruce your space in 2024

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The best solar outdoor lights

Let your lights soak up the sunshine and transform your backyard into the place to be. The green, energy-saving alternative to traditional methods, installing solar lights in your outdoor space is a low-maintenance no-brainer! 

The best string outdoor lights

I’m all about the whimsical, fairytale aesthetic and there’s no easier way to achieve this than by adding hanging lighting to your outdoor space. Give your backyard or balcony a touch of magic with these string lights. 

The best outdoor LED lights

The best outdoor lights are often LEDs. Durability, flexibility, and a brighter shine make these deserving of consideration for your backyard (plus, you can find string, solar, and LED garden lights — win, win, win!)


What are the benefits of adding outdoor lights to your backyard?

I asked the experts this question and got answers that covered all bases, taking into account everything from making your backyard look gorg to protecting your home from raccoons (lol, bet you didn't think of that!).

"By illuminating your outdoor space, you extend its usability beyond daylight hours," explains Alex Tinsman, founder of "Whether you're engaging in activities, hosting gatherings, or simply unwinding, the presence of outdoor lighting allows you to enjoy your garden's ambiance even in the evening." 

"Enhancing the aesthetics of your garden is another advantage of outdoor lighting. Thoughtfully placed lights add depth, accentuate architectural features, and contribute to an enchanting ambiance, transforming your outdoor space into a visually captivating haven."

Speaking to expert and owner of, Brock Ingham, he also points out the safety element of outdoor lights, weighing in on the benefits to pet owners (warding off intruders of the furry variety): "When most people think about landscape lighting they often focus on the ambiance and miss the little added benefits that make something like letting your dogs out at night a worry-free experience." explains Brock.

Where to buy outdoor lights?

Here's where to continue your search for cute outdoor lights.

How we chose these outdoor lights

The outdoor lights on this list were selected to be featured based on their amazing customer reviews. Yes, we only included products that shoppers rate more than four stars. This way, you know what you're buying is quality, and this comes from a rather good source. We also considered other factors such as price, power, and how easy these lights are to make work — they all have a long enough chord to illuminate your patio, that's for sure!

Niamh is a freelance journalist and the Head of Content at Raft Furniture. She is obsessed with all things interior design, with a particular focus on sustainability and city-dweller style. The wooden floorboards and built-in bookcase in Niamh’s rented North London home occupy her daydreams between writing, and after work, she has a knack for finding cheap plane tickets.