Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space with the 8 Best Garden Lights

Updated: Feb. 01, 2024

An outdoor space is warmer and more inviting with the right lighting. Start with the best garden lights.

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The 8 Best Garden Lights To Brighten Up Your PatioVIA MERCHANT

Spending more time outdoors? Then it’s also time to light up your backyard for outdoor evening fun. Summer outdoor lighting trends suggest creating an atmosphere that’s an extension of the indoors. Basically, the right lighting can turn your backyard into an outdoor living room.

When deciding on the best garden lights for your space, think about investing in and prioritizing the overall look of the lights, as well as their function. Lights can change the whole mood of a backyard barbecue or late-night hangout—and there are plenty of cool options to choose from.

Installing low-voltage landscape, pathway and string lights are a DIY weekend project you can do with a little know-how and the right tools. But if you’ve never done electrical work, we suggest hiring a qualified electrician or asking someone with experience in basic wiring to help.

The Best Garden Lights

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Ring Solar Pathlight Outdoor Motion Sensor Security Light
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Best Overall Garden Lights

Ring Solar Pathlight Motion-Sensor Lights

Powered by the daytime sun, Ring solar pathlights let you stroll along walkways and garden paths at night with a sense of security. They shine 80 lumens of light when motion is detected. These smart lights connect to a Ring Bridge (included) so you can customized settings, turn lights on and off remotely and receiving notifications from mobile device using the Ring app. It works with Amazon Alexa and allows you connect with other Ring products in your home.

“The app that comes with the light also allows you to manipulate the light to meet your needs,” explains Joseph B., a five-star reviewer. “You can schedule when it turns off and on, how long the lights remain illuminated when the motion sensor is triggered, how sensitive the motion sensor is and a variety of other tasks.”


  • Solar-powered
  • Comes in a pack of six
  • Motion-activated light
  • Connects with other smart products


  • Pricey

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Brightown Outdoor Globe String Lights
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Best Value Garden Lights

Brightown Globe String Lights

With nearly 10,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, the Brightown globe string lights may not be the cheapest, but given their charming Edison-style bulb design and energy efficiency, the value is hard to beat. With 100 feet worth of string, it provides enough lighting to go across your patio and back again. Not to mention, they’re especially lovely stretched across decks and balconies to create a European bistro-inspired vibe.

“I recently gave our front porch a makeover, and these lights made all the difference for nighttime usage. I love the warm glow they put off. I chose these over others because of the positive reviews, the white color option and the strands can be connected,” says verified purchaser, Jessica Stevens.


  • Won’t break the bank
  • Dimmable
  • 1,000-hour lifespan per bulb
  • Cool Edison-style design


  • Bulbs are delicate

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Brightown Outdoor Solar String Lights
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Best Twinkling Garden Lights

Brightown Solar String Lights

Magically convert sunlight into electricity with these solar twinkle lights, which collect and store power in a high-efficiency solar panel. These outdoor lights continuously illuminate your yard for up to eight hours on one charge. Each pack of festive garland has 200 tiny LED lights that use waterproof technology to withstand rain, snow and deep freezes for an entire season without a glitch.

Jill Brown, a five-star reviewer, writes, “I am obcessed with these solar lights. I hang them inside my house, around my front windows, on the the front porch. I use them for ALL holidays. They have multiple settings and they stay lit a very long time.”


  • Has eight lighting modes
  • 360-degree viewing angle
  • Automatically light up when the sun goes down
  • Bendable copper wire to fit nearly any space


  • Can only recharge with daylight

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Tomshine Led Moroccan Garden Lights
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Most Decorative Garden Lights

Tomshine LED Moroccan Garden Lights

For the eco- and style-conscious, this hanging lantern brings the best of both worlds. Not only does this lantern offer an olive-shaped design that casts a pretty pattern on the ground, but it’s also solar-powered for optimal energy savings. Each beautiful lamp comes with a waterproof stand, but it can also be hung from a tree branch or under the eaves of a gazebo.

These are so lovely to look at, both during the day and at night. They cast such a beautiful design on the yard, but they give off some decent light, as well,” shares Susan J., a verified buyer.


  • Beautiful floral design
  • Energy-efficient LED bulb
  • Durable metal casing
  • Can be hung nearly anywhere


  • Bulb not included

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Ring Smart Lighting
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Best Floodlight Garden Lights

Ring Smart Lighting Floodlight

Another standout from Ring, this smart floodlight is always on duty—whether you’re at home or away. It’s a must-have for high-traffic areas, like front doors, driveways and backyard entrances. Set the customized timer using the Ring app on your mobile device, or opt for motion-activation to beam 2,000 lumens of visibility for you and your house guests. You can pair this floodlight with other Ring cameras, doorbells and home security systems for an extra-safe feel.

“Overall, this is a great security light. The motion detection is outstanding and I love that I can change the settings from my phone instead of having to get on a ladder to mess with dials,” says five-star reviewer, Nico.


  • Provides 2,000 lumens of brightness
  • Motion-activated light
  • Voice-controlled through Alexa
  • Available in black and white


  • Hard-wired installation only

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Biling Solar Spotlights
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Best Spotlight Garden Lights

Biling Solar Spotlights

These solar landscape spotlights are our top pick for their extra-wide directional beams that let you highlight architectural details or cast a warm glow in dark corners. Place them in the ground using the sturdy stakes or mount them on a wall or fence (your purchase includes screws). This multi-pack has adjustable brightness settings, is waterproof and provides a warm white light.

“We have had these spotlights for about a year now, and they are still shining brightly each night at sundown, through the night. Very high quality. These put other solar-powered landscape lights I have tried to complete shame—and I have tried many,” writes Shaun D., a verified purchaser.


  • Each solar spotlight is made of 12 LED bulbs
  • Comes in a pack of two, four, six and 10
  • Pivot and angle in any direction
  • Easy installation


  • Not ideal for large yards

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August Grove Battery Powered Outdoor Lantern
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Best Lantern Garden Lights

August Grove Battery-Powered Lantern

This solar-powered outdoor lantern by August Grove features a set of 10 LED lights on a string that are enclosed in a beautiful window frame-style for a magical glow. This outdoor lantern resists rust, includes the lights and automatically turns on night (as long as the switch is flipped). Weighing just 1.5 pounds, this lightweight pick can be placed on a patio table or hung on a tree or hook. The sleek black finish is bound to blend in with the majority of outdoor decor aesthetics.

“These lanterns are perfect for adding ambience to your outdoor setting. I love the grouping of three on my deck railing,” says verified buyer, Lynda.


  • Cool lantern design
  • Powered by a solar-charged battery
  • Sits on surface or can be hung from the integrated loop
  • Rust-resistant


  • Should be taken inside during high winds

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Hampton Bay Solar Post Cap Light Ecomm Via
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Best Post Cap Garden Lights

Hampton Bay Solar Post Cap Light

Gone are the days where you have to use your phone to light up your path as you walk up the stairs. The solar post cap light from Hampton Bay is a Mediterranean-inspired option with bronze casing. The solar design has an automatic dusk-to-dawn operation, so you don’t have to worry about turning it on and off. It comes with a rechargeable battery, but luckily, you can let the sun do the work. Plus, installation won’t be a headache, as it’s a quick install-and-enjoy kind of situation.

“Very beautiful light. Easy to install. Gives a beautiful glow and lovely pattern on the ground, due to the cut crystal light shade,” writes Bill, a five-star reviewer.


  • Rust-, water- and weather-resistant
  • Stylish bronze finish
  • No wiring needed
  • Instant install


  • Base doesn’t fit all posts

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What to Consider When Buying Garden Lights

The first thing to catch your eye, understandably, is probably the look of the garden lights. Once you find one that matches your outdoor aesthetics, look at safety and security, energy consumption, size of the area to light and cost for the fixtures and installation.

How We Found the Best Garden Lights

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.


What kind of outdoor lights are the best?

If you’re looking for atmospheric lighting, string lights and hanging lanterns often provide a soft, warm yellow glow. Flood lights cast the widest beam, so they’re best for shining on driveways and walkways.

Is LED better for outdoor lighting?

LED lights are a smart choice for outdoor lighting, because they cast a brighter light and tend to have a longer lifespan.