We’ve covered a lot of topics relating to gardens, patio, and landscaping, but noticed an aspect of the experience we’ve neglected so far: lighting!
Because standard overhead lighting is often a built-in part of the home, we went looking for more novel approaches to illuminating our gardens. Thus, we settled on step lighting. We sought a comprehensive selection of garden step lighting ideas, bringing the light from the ground up to make our gardens and patios glow from a fresh direction.
You’ll notice throughout this gallery that the style, form, and function of step lighting varies wildly. With everything from LED strips to hanging lanterns, the modern world offers an unending variety of novel ways to illuminate your path. Take our top featured project, for example, the use of tiny, subtle light elements makes for a fresh perspective on this garden.
Please follow along as we explore the frankly exciting realm of step lighting ideas. We’ve got homebrew solutions and professional setups in equal measure, encompassing the full scope of this subset of outdoor lighting. Keep an eye out for projects that particularly catch your interest, and be sure to click any accompanying links for further details.
We begin with one of the more simple and elegant step lighting solutions. This project involves small LED strips placed beneath the step edge. With the source concealed, the light spills down the steps, glowing from within.
This Zen-like garden features both subtle lighting flanking the stairs and small light poles embedded in the greenery itself. The subtle addition of these sources makes for a dramatic reimagining of the space at night.
With a sleek raised garden and patio area, this garden is elegantly equipped. Stone pathway and stairs are illuminated via tiny embedded LED lights on vertical surfaces throughout.
Cascading down a hilly lawn, this stone stairway features intricate little lanterns flanking the entire path. The bespoke little lights feature the same hook and hanging lantern shape of their full-sized progeny, yet stand unobtrusive between the large boulders defining this garden path.
Here we have a close view of one of the most affordable ideas on our list. These wireless light nodules are solar powered, so you can install and forget them, for the most part, enjoying the light without worry.
Here we have a balcony staircase, rising above the garden toward an elevated patio. With black metal and concrete construction, the stairs leave little room for a traditional light setup. Here, small wireless light sources are attached to the railings for a subtle effect.
This homespun step lighting idea is perfect for those with patios brushing right up against the garden or lawn. Subtle, small embedded lights sit within the vertical portion of the top step, illuminating the floor only.
Moving on from strict stairs, we see the garden here flanked by orb lighting along the path and driveway. The lighting helps define the space, highlight the greenery at nighttime, and creates a surreal glow when placed strategically next to shrubbery like this.
While the lighting pictured here is placed at an apartment complex, the principle will work in any sprawling yard. Slim, discreet light poles flank the walking path through the garden, providing a utilitarian and aesthetically pleasing glow throughout the yard.
In another elegant deployment of ultra-small light sources, this patio garden features single bulbs illuminating a red brick surface from stairs and a low surrounding wall. A pair of the lights flanks a small built-in fireplace.
While the garden itself runs the length of the yard in a raised, continuous container with built-in lighting, the wood path features blue LED lights within the very flooring itself, glowing just enough to illuminate the path.
Here we have another example of flat lighting built into the very path itself, projecting upwards and around. These concrete slabs form an asymmetrical and winding path, illuminating the edges.
The combination of traditional warm yellow lighting and moody blue bulbs makes for a mysterious yet elegant solution in this garden. With standard bulbs providing nighttime light, the downward facing blue bulbs add a subtle shade of the surreal.
Here we see the unique addition of vent-style lighting to a concrete staircase at the end of a garden path. These lights are normally seen in the hallways of homes or hotels, but make an excellent addition to any patio or garden.
Here we have a quartet of images showing off another set of solar powered, entirely wireless garden lights. With adhesive or screws, they can be mounted on virtually any vertical surface, providing eminently useful lighting at night.
Here’s one for the DIY enthusiasts. Using simple LED lights mounted within drilled holes in a hardwood deck, you can craft your own garden step lighting solution.
This concrete garden path features another example of LED strip lighting, using adhesive beneath the lip of the steps to create a sleek and simple lighting solution.
In an innovative twist on the built-in step lighting we’ve seen before, this project utilizes unique cut-outs to frame the light in a series of exciting patterns.
This traditional red brick patio hugs a rich garden of greenery, flowers, and trees, with a series of wall-mounted lights with downward-focused shades. The light spills across the steps without blinding anyone passing through and enjoying the garden at night.