Just because the sun goes down doesn't mean you have to take the fun inside. With the right lighting, you can keep enjoying that backyard respite well into the night (or early hours of the morning, if that's your style).
It can also serve as a great security feature, discouraging burglars and trespassers from entering your property when you're away or just asleep.
Want to give your yard more runway or up its security? Here are seven types of lighting options that can help:
1. Solar stake lights
These are great for lining a walkway, or you can use them to outline your pool, koi pond, or other water feature, too. There are even colored ones, if you want to add a little pop of style. For the most coverage, consider a staked spotlight.
2. Motion-activated lights
If you only want the yard lit when you're actually out there, motion-activated lights can be a good option. You can mount them on fence posts, under the eaves of your house, or even on outdoor walls. Just make sure they're pointing at an area you or your guests will be walking by or hanging out in.
Torches are a fast and easy way to light up any space. Just stake them in the ground around the perimeter of your yard, and you're done. You can choose either solar-powered torches or torches you have to light (though these are much more of a fire hazard).
4. String lights
String lights are a popular way to line patios and balconies. These come in all sorts of styles -- from lantern-type lights and multi-colored globes to small, twinkly bulbs and even festive shapes like chili peppers and parrots. You can also use small string lights to wrap any tree trunks you have in the yard (make sure to choose white bulbs, unless you want it to look super holiday-ish).
5. Glow-in-the-dark paint or powder
You can add glow-in-the-dark pigments to grout or cement and use it on your patio or on walkways. There's also glow-in-the-dark paint you can use on fence posts, rock features, balconies, or walkway stones.
6. Rope lights
LED rope lights are super flexible, and you can use them to line just about any surface -- the top of a fence, the roof of your patio, or even the edges of a walkway or garden. You can usually find these in battery- and solar-powered versions.
7. A fire pit
A fire pit can be a great source of lighting and serve as a nice spot to hang out with friends and family -- particularly in the colder months. If you're the handy type, you can build your own using some bricks and sand. If not, you can buy a premade one at any home improvement store or online.
The bottom line
There are tons of ways to light your yard and bring new life to your outdoor spaces. Most are fairly low cost and are easy to DIY, too. Want more ways to make your backyard more livable? Try these projects on for size.