Backyard Lighting Ideas for Summer Parties

Having friends and family over for Memorial Day? Landscape lighting can help create atmosphere for a summer backyard party. Show off your gardening work with path lights leading through your yard, create a natural gathering area around a fire pit, or light up your front walk to signal that people have come to the right place. As you prepare for your Memorial Day festivities, here are just a few lighting ideas for you to include in your decorations.

String lights – String lights are one of the most festive lighting options. Drape strands between trees or posts to illuminate food and drink areas, or to designate open space for a dance floor. They can also be used purely for decoration, wrapped around trellises, deck railings, tree trunks, or even shrubbery. String lights are a cheap, easy-to-set-up lighting option for your holiday gathering.

Lanterns – Lanterns are a versatile lighting option. Hang them in key locations around your backyard patio as an additional light source or just as a decorative accent. They look lovely when hung from tree limbs and gazebos, but you could also set them on deck railings, space them out on the ground to line a pathway, or arrange a cluster in the center of a table. While candle lanterns certainly add atmosphere, choosing battery-powered or electric lanterns can present less of a fire hazard.

Fire pit – A fire pit is a great centerpiece for a summer gathering, especially on these early summer nights when evenings still get a bit chilly after the sun goes down. Easier to clean up and safer than a traditional bonfire, something about the crackling sound of burning wood always seems to bring people together and add a warmth to any gathering. Set up a few chairs around the fire pit so guests can settle in, and don’t forget to stock up on s’mores makings!

Landscape lighting – Installing permanent landscape light fixtures allows you to illuminate your backyard patio and garden every night of the year, and you’ll have less work to do when it comes time to set up for a neighborhood barbecue or family gathering. Floodlights and spotlights are good for illuminating large trees or the front of your house. Smaller ground lights can illuminate paths in your yard or features in your garden, such as a bird bath or a flowerbed.

Before setting up your party lighting, it’s a good idea to map out how you’ll arrange the lighting throughout your backyard. Think about how you plan to use the space for the party and where you want people to gather. Good landscape lighting not only adds atmosphere to a party, but also serves a practical purpose of setting off certain areas and guiding guests from one area of the party to another.

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