Beautiful DIYs That Will Light Up Your Backyard Patio For Summer Nights

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With summer fast approaching it is time to start enjoying your backyard again. Although the days are longer, just because the sun goes down it doesn't mean your time on the patio should end. Enjoy those warm summer nights by illuminating your backyard and keeping the party going all evening long. The problem is that many outdoor lighting solutions are often expensive or require a complicated electrical change. Especially for those dark corners of your backyard patio that are far away from an outlet, it can be hard to find a creative solution within your budget.

Luckily, with just a few products from popular stores like Home Depot or Dollar Tree, you can create some beautiful lighting perfect for any patio space. While there are lots of good store-bought lights that are perfect for your backyard, sometimes you need to create something specific to the dimensions and needs of your space. Ready-made products may be functional, but they can look a bit utilitarian and might not fit the cozy vibe of your home. So, if you want to turn your backyard patio into a beautiful, functional space at night, here are 11 DIY ideas to light up your summer nights.

Attach solar powered lights to your fence

A fence is a great way to have more privacy around your backyard or patio, but come nighttime the wall can make the area look extra dark. By adding some simple lights, you can use the fence as a way to make your patio area look romantic and cozy. Solar powered lights have the benefit of being able to be mounted anywhere without the need for pre-existing electrical wiring, which means you can easily attach them to any dark corner of your yard. Not only does this look good, but it also is a safety feature because you can see what critters are running around your yard at night.

As @simplykatielynn demonstrates, you can easily hang these solar-powered lights from Amazon with just a one-screw bracket. This makes it an especially easy solution for those with a wooden fence. But, if you're a renter and don't want to risk losing your security deposit for a few screws, you can always try hanging these lights using Command Outdoor Strips, available at many hardware stores. These are UV-resistant and can hold strong in a variety of temperatures. The medium strips can hold up to 2 pounds and the large up to 5 pounds, which should be able to secure the light which is 0.85 pounds. It's important to remember that because they aren't intended specifically for use with this light, you might have to play around with how many strips you need to hold the fixture.

Use spotlights to illuminate trees

You spend so much time and effort making your trees and plants look as beautiful as possible, so you should be able to enjoy them at night as well! Using lights to illuminate your trees not only creates a magical botanical garden ambiance but also brightens up your entire backyard. @lance_ramsey decided to use a combination of spotlights and floodlights to brighten up the front of his home, but you can use these same products on your backyard patio. Since the lights come with convenient stake attachments, you can place them on the ground to illuminate walls or planted shrubbery, as well as into pots.

He used a combination of Govee spotlights and Govee floodlights, both from Amazon. While these lights are pricier than other DIYs on this list, they come with a ton of added benefits. The main perk is the ability to control the lights from your phone, adjusting brightness and color or even turning them on and off with voice control. If you are willing to splurge a bit for added features, then this could be a great option for you.

Make a cute chandelier with items from Dollar Tree

A DIY chandelier can provide great ambient lighting from overhead. This will add a sense of magic to your patio, serving as both a source of light and a beautiful decor piece. While the battery-powered string lights used in this DIY might not be powerful enough to light up a patio on their own, you can make multiple chandeliers or combine this piece with other light sources, depending on your preference.

The video's original creator @artsandclassy uses twine to hang the chandelier, which gives you a few options for how you want to secure it. If you have an overhead awning you can easily tie the twine around an exposed beam. This is also a great solution for renters or anyone who doesn't want to cause damage. If you have a wooden overhead awning you can use a staple gun to secure the twine to the wood, or use a screw eye hook.

Build your own light post to secure string lights

String lights are a beautiful and classy way to light up your patio while still keeping things ambient. You can usually secure one end to your house exterior, but what happens if you have nowhere to hang the other end? Luckily @citygirlmeetsfarmboy came up with a solution to build a secure post quickly that you can place anywhere to hang your string lights. This is a great DIY because of the flexibility it gives you. You can build multiple posts to create a custom lighting scheme around your patio, and you're not locked into just one arrangement. If you decide later on you want to add more lights or switch the setup, you can always just move the free-standing post to the other side of the deck.

All you need is some wood (they used cedar boards), a large planter, rocks, and foam concrete. You will want to use foam concrete specifically because it sets much quicker than traditional concrete. They also added some screw hooks to the top of the wood for easy hanging. Although this is especially helpful for hanging string lights, you can use it to hang a chandelier, mount a sconce, or display any other type of light you desire.

A solar light and pipe can create a beautiful sconce

Wall sconces create beautiful and subtle lighting, taking up no floor space and adding visual interest to a wall. While you can buy an outdoor sconce, they often require electrical wiring and may come with a rather high price tag. But, you can create your own using some PVC pipe and a solar-powered light. The benefit of this DIY is that you can mount it anywhere around your patio. If you have your table and chairs set up in one corner, you can add some of these wall sconces around where you gather the most, or you could add some right by the door to help people watch their step as they enter the patio.

The video, originally credited to @goodlyearth, shows how simple it is to create this solar-powered sconce. You can paint the pipe any color you like, which is perfect for either adding a nature-friendly pop of color to your patio or keeping things neutral so that they blend in with the house. One thing to remember when using solar lights is the importance of placing them in a location that receives enough sun. If you install them directly underneath an awning that doesn't receive much light, they might not be as powerful and bright as you'd hoped. If you are thoughtful with the placement, these sconces will be the perfect accent for your patio, day or night.

Hanging jar lights can light up any walkway

If you have a walkway headed to your patio, make sure not to neglect that space in your lighting plan. Having lights illuminating the ground are not only beautiful but they are critical in being able to see where you are walking and avoid a fall. This DIY uses the solar lights from Dollar Tree, which are a great affordable solution, but they are not the prettiest lighting option. However, @windycitycrafts1 uses just a few other Dollar Tree products to transform these solar lights into beautiful hanging fixtures.

By gluing the solar lights to some small jars which are then strung on hanging planters, the lights are elevated into glowing, decorative light sources that are much more aesthetic than using the solar lights as they come. If you have a patio that is surrounded by grass, you can also use these fixtures to surround your patio with light on multiple sides, creating a visual distinction between the patio space and the rest of the backyard. 

Use an old lamp to create a solar-powered fixture

If you want to have the creature comforts of the indoors while still enjoying the fresh air, you can create a table lamp that is intended for use outdoors. This is a great DIY because the lamp is portable and can be moved from beside a reading chair to the dining table with ease. If you have an old lamp that you want to upcycle, this is a great way to give it another life, but you can also find a vintage lamp to upcycle at your local thrift store. No need to buy a new one because you will be cutting off the wiring anyway.

Once the old wiring and hardware are removed, just attach a solar light, secure the shade, and you're done! @tastyhome says in the video that the solar panel will be able to get enough light even if you attach the lampshade, partially covering it. This lamp will make your patio feel so cozy, providing not only a source of light but a feeling of warmth. One thing to remember is that if the lampshade is made from fabric it will probably get dirty from the elements, so giving it a frequent clean is necessary.

Chicken wire can be turned into magical light balls

While this overhead lighting idea is intended to be made for Christmas, it can absolutely be used throughout the year. Because you shape the chicken wire to form the foundation of the light, you can adjust the size based on your space. You can make multiple small ones and hang them all over your patio, or you can create one large one as a statement light. In the video from @theblendednest, they used a piece of chicken wire that was 18 inches by 2 feet, so copy those dimensions if you want a final product similar to the video.

Either way, these lights are so easy to make. If you are hanging them somewhere near an outlet you can use traditional Christmas lights with an extension cord, or you can buy a package of battery-powered outdoor fairy lights and use them in the same way. Just secure the battery pack in an area where it won't be seen yet will still be easily accessible.

Make a portable lantern that can be placed anywhere

This is another DIY using the solar-powered lights from Dollar Tree. It is a perfect way to create a portable lantern. You can decorate your homemade lantern for the season to create a centerpiece, or make multiple to place on the ground and line the sides of your patio. As long as the solar light properly fits, you can use any light and any jar or metal container for this project. Many cute containers can be found at Dollar Tree or in Target's Dollar Spot. You just want to make sure that there are enough holes for the light to shine out of the lantern, because this is also what will create the beautiful light patterns.

As seen in the video from @tenabreegs, you will also want to pop a couple of rocks in the bottom of the lantern to make sure it is not too top-heavy with the solar light. This will also ensure it stays put during windy days.

Don't ignore your pool lighting

If your patio has a pool, or even a view of your pool, then it could be worth it to integrate some lighting to make the water beautiful to look at, even at night. Turn your dark pool into a glimmering light show with just a pool noodle and some battery-powered tea candles. You can even find tea candles that will give off a romantic flickering effect. The pool noodles will keep it afloat and gently drifting around the water.

As seen in the video from @hwest82, you'll just want to remember to wrap the candles in a bit of plastic wrap before inserting them into the pool noodles to ensure that there is no water that seeps in to cause damage. But, if one gets damaged that's okay, because you can get a 24-pack from Amazon for under $10, which means you can have plenty of back-ups. This will create a beautiful light feature that you can watch while relaxing on your patio.

Classic string lights will always create a cozy look

While there are many different lighting options on this list, there is a reason why string lights are so popular. They transport you to a cafe in Paris or to the secret garden you've always dreamed of. And, because it is easy to connect a few strings together or hang them to follow any shape, they can always be customized to fit your specific space and needs.

As @​​cedar_hill_builder shows, they are so easy to hang up in just a matter of minutes, making this the easiest solution for those who are new to the world of home DIYs. Depending on your patio, there multiple methods of hanging the lights. This video shows how to quickly screw in some 2x2 boards into the corner of your deck and screw in a cup hook. No matter how big your space is or where your skill level is at, adding some classic string lights to your patio is the simplest way to create some beautiful lighting.