14 Outdoor Lighting Trends for 2018

Updated: Dec. 04, 2023

If you want new or upgraded illumination for your yard, be sure to check out these amazing outdoor lighting trends. Find the style you want, along with the latest tips on how to save money and stay safe with landscape lights.

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Moroccan-style light outdoor lighting
PAUL ATKINSON/Shutterstock

Patio Lights: Moroccan-Style Lights

Moroccan style is all about detailed metalwork. If you’re bored with lighting that stays in the background, investigate Moroccan-style lamp options to find a light that can be a conversation piece during your backyard gatherings.

Also mind checking out these best outdoor security lights to know exactly what’s going on around your home?

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Subtle Outdoor Wall Lights

Patio Lights: Subtle Wall Lights

We are seeing a new trend of beautiful siding lights that serve both as accents and for better visibility at night. Typically, these new wall lights are covered in panels (which can be painted the same shade as the siding to really blend in), and the light is angled down instead of up, to better highlight the landscape and nearby paths.

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Solar powered outdoor path lights
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Replacing Old Lights with Outdoor Solar Patio Lights

Solar lights, particularly solar LEDs (which require less energy) are popular for outdoor lighting makeovers. The big benefit of outdoor solar patio lights is that they don’t require complex wiring and tricky installation. However, they are best used as markers and accent lighting, since they don’t produce very bright light.

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Outdoor LED Step and Path Lights
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Patio Lights: LED Step and Path Lights

These bright LED lights are usually tubes or short LED arrays that you can install around steps and garden paths. We find homeowners choosing these lights more regularly because they are a great safety feature and LED lights are particularly well-suited to these illumination tasks, with their small size and longevity.

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Smart Security Lights

Patio Lights: Smart Security Lights

Security lights have been a little smart for years, with motion sensor activation. But we are now seeing even more advanced security lights used in outdoor lighting plans. New models offer wireless setup, easy app control for scheduling, and connections to nearby smart cameras and other devices so everything can work together.

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Traditional Style Glass Lanterns
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Patio Lights: Traditional Style Glass Lanterns

It’s common to see string lights stuffed in mason jars and other clear glass containers, but the new trend is the classic glass lantern and vintage bulb. A growing number of outdoor lanterns featuring bulbs that look like classic gaslights and early electrical lights of the 1800s, are finding their way to yards and gardens. It’s best to keep these glass lanterns in sheltered areas where they’re protected from the elements.

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Hanging Lantern Lights

Patio Lights: Hanging Lights

Pendant lights are popular indoors and hanging lights are everywhere as outdoor lighting, as well. Lights hung from eaves and other structures provide unique lighting for decks and patios. Globe-like pendant lights hung from trees provide soft illumination.

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Patio Lights: Portable Floor Lamps

We’re seeing floor lamps become a more popular method of lighting decks and patios. Their portability makes them handy and versatile for turning a deck or patio into an outdoor living room.

Buy them now on Amazon.

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pool with outdoor string lights

Patio Lights: Better String Lights

String lights grew in popularity in the past few years, but most of them are not very durable. Look for sturdier string lights that are more outdoor-friendly and longer-lasting—better suited for gardens and outdoor living areas.

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Patio Lights: Lawn Bollard Light Stands

Bollards provide a contemporary way to set up clear boundaries or call attention to a particular part of your yard, especially when equipped with bright LED bulbs. You see these a lot in commercial outdoor lighting settings, but more homeowners are installing them for security and as a unique way to illuminate outdoor spaces.

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Brass outdoor light
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Patio Lights: More Brass and Copper

In the past, outdoor lighting focused on blending into the house or adopting natural stone/earth colors from the landscape. We are now swinging back around to favoring classic styles that adopt brass and copper for a more luxurious appearance. Coordinate outdoor light fixtures with garden accents and your outdoor furniture.

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Tree twinkle string lights
Andrii Kobryn/Shutterstock

Patio Lights: Hidden “Twinkle” Lights

This trend is all about hanging string lights, and then hiding them away. Install string lights back into trees and shrubs, so that they do indeed twinkle as the breeze blows or people brush past. It adds depth and whimsy to your landscape.

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In-Ground Path Lighting
Piotr Wawrzyniuk/Shutterstock

Patio Lights: In-Ground Lighting

In-ground lights are popular because they’re safe—no one will trip over them. Plus, they are versatile and can be used for guidance along a path or for illuminating a particular landscape feature.

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Patio torch kerosene lamp
Jim Bethel/Shutterstock

Patio Lights: Well-Placed Torches

If you like the idea of a little fire in your backyard, consider stylish metal torches. They add beauty and a bit of elemental illumination to your outdoor lighting plan.