San Diego Outdoor Lighting Ideas to Brighten Your Backyard

San Diego Outdoor Lighting Ideas to Brighten Your Backyard

Preparing your San Diego area home for the summer?

Summer temperatures are on the rise these past few years. The heat leaves a lot of people too tired to do anything meaningful outdoors during the day. However, the clear nights make evening barbecues attractive.

Your exterior lights can play a major role in your overall experience. To get the most out of it, check out the following outdoor lighting ideas.


Security Lighting

Safety lighting is the brightest among your backyard lighting options. It aims to light up large areas while scaring off burglars or wild animals. It uses a standard 120-volt current power source.

You can install this outdoor lighting fixture in high spots above the garage of your San Diego home. It casts wide beams of light down onto your backyard fence entrance or walkways. It’s not as elegant as other options, but it does the job of illuminating your backyard.

Ensure that your night parties won’t have gatecrashers by installing motion-sensing floodlights. Mount them to exterior siding or wall surfaces. Their intense light prevents anyone from sneaking into your home.

Path Lighting

Path lighting gives soft to moderate bright lights. They come with lots of great designs that highlight your walkways. They blend well with greenery and other garden elements, making them more attractive.

Install path lighting on the ground on both sides of your main walkways. It should run from the back door to your fence door. You can also put them along with  steppingstones from your main walkway to a backyard attraction.

Do you have wonderful flower beds? Put path lighting around them since it emphasizes their contours.

Often path lighting options come in either low-voltage or solar LEDs. They have a decorative bulb housing unit attached to a short stake. Depending on your DIY skills, you can drive these fixtures into the ground.

If you pick low-voltage path lights, get a transformer. It decreases the 120-volt house current to 12 volts. However, it’s better to invest in solar energy since you won’t need extra wires.

Solar-powered lights can stay bright for many hours after dusk. It’s all thanks to a solar rechargeable battery somewhere in the yard. You can also invest in a solar panel station to get direct sunlight.

String Lighting

Like path lighting, string lights use soft lights and low voltage. It is accent lighting that evokes a warmer, more intimate ambiance. It’s especially desirable when you’re entertaining guests in the backyard of your San Diego area home.

Hang some string lights where the most activity is. Brighten your outdoor kitchen by hanging it on the eaves. Your outdoor areas will feel more homely and inviting if you hang string lights from the posts.

When looking for the best string lights, ensure they’re waterproof and rechargeable. You can choose between battery and solar-powered string lights. If you pick the latter, it usually comes with a remote solar panel.

Regardless of your choice, get LED bulbs because they last for a long time. They also eliminate the need for running extension cords. They won’t make the backyard unsightly and will ensure no one trips on cords.

String lights also illuminate the far corners of your yard. They need no electrical outlets and won’t contribute to your monthly bills. When it rains you need not worry about turning these since they won’t electrocute anyone.

For a more rustic feel, use LED string lights with vintage bulb designs. Some are Edison-style bulbs that give your yard a retro feel.

Outdoor Wall Lighting

These are low-voltage but brighter safety lighting options. These accent lights help people navigate certain areas of your yard. They’re especially helpful when they’re walking in recessed areas.

You can mount these fixtures on any vertical surface. Some of these include:

  • Pergola interiors
  • Stairways
  • Sunken seating areas
  • Pools
  • Low-lying spots

A better variation of outdoor wall lighting is wall sconces. They have an open-bottomed design. They also cast the most amount of light into recessed areas, banishing shadows.

If you don’t have enough space on your exterior walls, use semi-flush mount sconces instead. It attaches to a narrow arm and allows you to mount it to a wall plate, using less space in general.

Outdoor wall lighting has lots of variations. You’ll see a wide array of shapes, sizes, and metal finishes. It’s what makes them versatile when used for your backyard.

Regardless of the theme, you’ll find an outdoor wall lighting option that fits. They easily blend with other fixtures in your backyard. With that, you can throw a garden party without worrying about recessed areas.


Lanterns give soft accent lighting for a small area of your outdoor wall. It supplements your home’s architectural details. You’ll often find them somewhere near the backdoor to highlight things like:

  • Transom windows
  • Arches
  • Ornate wreaths

Most lanterns use a semi-flush mount. It consists of a glass and metal exterior attached to an arm affixed to a wall plate. You can also use a tabletop lantern to bring its visual effects closer to eye level.

Lanterns illuminate various elements your guests often reach for if you have entertainment. Snack bowls, beverages, and board games are some examples.

Pick lanterns with translucent glass. They give diffused, glare-free lighting compared to the clear glass counterparts. It won’t distract people from other outdoor lighting options.

Traditional wall-mounted lanterns have lots of variations. Most have hard corners because of their box-like shape. Never let these norms stop you from thinking outside the box.

For a farmhouse-themed backyard, caged lanterns are great. You can opt for affordable fixtures with seeded glass shades. Get those with modern twists to prevent making them look dated.

Get More Outdoor Lighting Ideas Today for Your San Diego Home

The important thing about outdoor lighting is to make it fit the aesthetic you want, while still being functional and not costing too much. The outdoor lighting ideas above should achieve all of these goals and stand the test of time. Never underestimate the power of outdoor lighting to highlight the backyard in San Diego.

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