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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

  • Claire Douglas

15 garden path lights: lighting ideas for outdoor spaces

Updated: May 10

I'm a huge fan of garden path lights and often look enviably at those of our neighbours. Outdoor lighting for paths can add a touch of elegance to your garden and serves a practical purpose to prevent you falling in a bush or down the stairs upon getting home late!

Whether you're revamping your garden, sprucing up your front yard, or enhancing the ambience of your backyard, choosing the right pathway lighting is key. There are so many benefits to getting the right outdoor pathway lights; you can highlight architectural features, shine a light on outdoor areas at night, elevate your landscape design and garden features and better enjoy your outdoor space.

Whether you prefer a soft glow, a warm white light or the twinkling of fairy lights, here are 15 brilliant pathway lighting ideas to illuminate your way and elevate your outdoor experience.

1. Solar-powered lanterns as garden path lights

Solar-powered lanterns are an eco-friendly and cost-effective option for garden path lights. They harness energy from the sun during the day and automatically illuminate your pathways at night. These lanterns come in various designs, from classic to modern, allowing you to choose one that complements your outdoor aesthetics.

2. LED step garden path lights

LED step lights are perfect for illuminating stairs and steps along your pathway. These sleek and low-profile lights provide subtle yet effective lighting, enhancing safety and visibility in dimly lit areas. LED step lights come in various shapes and sizes, offering versatility in design options.

3. Rope garden path lights

Rope lights are versatile and easy to install, making them an excellent choice for outlining pathways. These flexible lights can be shaped to fit any pathway design and come in various colors to match your outdoor décor. Whether wrapped around trees or lining garden beds, rope lights add a whimsical touch to your outdoor space.

4. Bollard garden path lights

Bollard lights are sturdy and functional fixtures that provide ample illumination along pathways. These cylindrical fixtures come in various heights and finishes, allowing you to customize the look of your outdoor lighting. Bollard lights are durable and weather-resistant, making them ideal for outdoor use in all seasons.

5. Solar powered stake garden path lights

Garden stake lights are a stylish addition to any pathway or garden bed. These lights feature a stake that can be easily inserted into the ground, providing soft and ambient lighting along walkways. With designs ranging from floral patterns to butterflies, garden stake lights add a whimsical touch to your outdoor landscape.

6. Hanging lantern garden path lights

Hanging lanterns can be suspended from trees or pergolas to illuminate pathways and outdoor seating areas.

7. Motion-activated garden path lights

Motion-activated lights are a practical option for enhancing safety along pathways and driveways. These lights automatically turn on when motion is detected, providing added security and visibility at night. Motion-activated lights come in various styles, including wall-mounted fixtures and stake lights, offering versatility in placement options.

fairy lights in garden

8. Fairy lights for garden paths

Fairy lights, also known as string lights or twinkle lights, add a magical touch to your outdoor space. These delicate lights can be wrapped around trees, draped along fences, or hung from pergolas to create an enchanting ambience along pathways. Fairy lights are available in various lengths and colours, allowing you to create a customized lighting display.

9. Rock lights for a garden path

Rock lights for garden paths can blend seamlessly into a rockery or provide a light source for a flowerbed or garden pathway.

10. Black minimalist garden path lights

Black minimalist garden path lights elegantly illuminate outdoor pathways with their sleek design and subtle illumination.

Starburst stake lights
image: B&Q

11. Starburst stake lights 

These battery-operated powder-coated stake lights give the impression of twinkling flowers. They have a timer to prevent the batteries from running out too quickly and can be enjoyed every evening. 

12. Outdoor illuminated spheres

These warm glowing spheres are battery operated and can be used in or outdoor as they are weather resistant. I love the magical look they create, very whimsical and perfect for a summer garden party.

13. Wooden posts with downlighters

Wooden posts with downlighters add a rustic charm to outdoor spaces, casting a warm and inviting glow along garden paths and walkways.

festoon lights for gardens
Image: B&Q

14. Festoon lighting over-path lighting

Festoon lighting positioned over paths provides practical illumination as well as a stylish focal point, ideal for entertaining and summer evenings.

15. Tall post lamp

They say "The Strand Outdoor Post Lamp is designed for modern gardens and outdoor spaces. Lead the way and space evenly along paths and driveways to the front door for a striking garden feature. Its nautical caged design is finished in our deep and versatile Carbon colourway."

Garden pathway lighting ideas

As you can see, there is a great variety of pathway lighting available with styles to suit every garden and outdoor space, why not add some as part of this year's Summer garden prep? If you prefer subtle lighting, primarily for illumination, then garden post pathway lights (especially the minimalist style) would be perfect, whereas illuminated spheres or lanterns provide stylish focal points. Hopefully, you've been inspired by some of these landscape path lighting ideas for your next landscape lighting project.  

I'm working on a garden revamp and am keen to incorporate some outdoor path lights for visual appeal and functionality. I plan to opt for solar-powered lights or battery-operated ones (with long battery life) to save the hassle of connecting to a power source. I love the idea of placing some lights in a flower bed or two to add points of interest and I am keen to add lights at varying heights (eg with festoon lights or hanging lanterns). 

Tips for success in choosing garden path lights

  • Look for lights with low maintenance costs eg ones made of durable materials light powder-coated steel or aluminium/brass fixtures or heavy-duty plastic.

  • Check they are suitable for all weather conditions if you plan to leave them outside.

  • If choosing solar lights, ensure you place them in a prominent location that gets lots of daylight so they can charge enough even in the winter months.

How to light up a garden path?

To light up a garden path effectively, consider installing outdoor solar path lights with built-in solar panels. These solar pathway lights are energy-efficient and eco-friendly, harnessing sunlight during the day to illuminate your path throughout the whole night.

Opting for stainless steel or quality brass landscape path lights with powder coating for durability against outdoor elements is a great idea for longevity. Work out how many lights are needed based on the overall dimensions of your pathway and how bright you want it.

How do I choose outdoor path lights?

When choosing outdoor path lights, consider factors such as the height of the pathway lights and the quality of the materials. Opt for pathway lights with stainless steel or brass components for durability and a higher rating against weather conditions. The height of pathway lights should be sufficient to provide adequate illumination without obstructing the path.

Solar path lights with ground spikes offer easy installation and flexibility in placement. Select landscape path lights with powder coating for added protection and longevity, ensuring your outdoor path lights remain functional and attractive for years to come.

How tall should path lights be?

The ideal height for pathway lights depends on various factors such as the overall dimensions of the outdoor space, desired light levels, and the specific style of the light fixtures. Typically, pathway lights should be tall enough to illuminate the pathway adequately without causing glare or obstruction. For stake/spike lights between 20cm - 50cm is usually about right, but if you are installing mini lampost style garden path lights, you might want to go up to 1M in height for full effects.

When considering the height of pathway lights, take into account the number of lights needed to cover the entire pathway effectively. Choose from different styles and light options, including solar landscape lights with built-in solar panels for energy efficiency and affordability. 

Where next?

Here are some other garden-related posts that you might enjoy...

Paths & Patios

Rockery & driveway



I hope you've found some of these ideas inspiring and useful, let me know in the comments if you try any of them. Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the page & hit the subscribe button to receive my monthly newsletter which is packed full of tutorials, updates and offers.


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