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Practical Backyard Shed Lighting Ideas

by Dakota Storage Buildings, on May 31, 2017

Practical Backyard Shed Lighting Ideas

Are you looking for creative lighting solutions for both your backyard shed and  yard? We have some ideas—including battery, solar, and electrical options.

Whether you need light inside your shed so that you can work anytime (night or day), need a way to illuminate the perimeter of your home for security purposes, or are simply looking to create a warm ambiance, here are some ideas to consider.

Indoor Lighting Ideas

Think about the reason why you need lights inside your shed. Is it to ensure you don't bump into anything or is it so that you can stay past dusk to work on projects?

If you only need to see where you're walking (no one likes to stub a toe on a lawn mower), going solar or battery powered would be the easiest solution. If you're planning to work in your shed, more powerful lighting is necessary. While some battery powered LED lights might do the trick, you may need to consider running power to your shed so that you can utilize more powerful sources.

Here are a few indoor lighting ideas to consider—some are more powerful and more complicated to install than others.

Solar lights


This option produces low but dependable lighting. With solar lighting there is no risk of electrocution, and the lights are always cool to the touch. Plus, solar lights continue working even during power outages. Even better, this is a wireless lighting source that's easy for anyone to install.

Setting up solar lights can be as simple as mounting them to a workbench, wall post, or ceiling.

String lights

There's are differences between commercial-grade and standard outdoor string lights. Both boast a large variety of uses, bulb shapes and colors, and strand lengths, but generally speaking, commercial-grade string lights are more expensive than standard ones because they have a heavy duty wire and are weatherproof.

For indoor lighting, commercial-grade isn't necessary . . . you can use several strands of white Christmas lights which you may already have on hand. While string lights require a source of electricity, they're easy to hang. String them across your shed from one end to the other for wall-to-wall lighting.

Ceiling lights and wall sconces

Ceiling lights are, of course, the traditional way of lighting any room. The types of ceiling lights vary, and most require a source of electricity—but in almost every case they should be installed by a professional or someone with experience.

Another option that would work nicely is wall sconces—but again requires electricity. Practical and utilitarian options can be found at hardware and home improvements stores.

Battery operated LED lights

This is an ideal option. You can fill a shed with light sufficient enough to work by both quickly and easily using a battery powered LED light fixture. No electrical outlet is needed, and no professional installation experience is required. Many are powered by lithium-ion, lithium coin, AAA, AA, C, or D batteries.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas

If you're looking for ambiance, nothing sets the mood better than soft outdoor lighting. If you want to simply light a pathway so that guests can find their way to or from your back door (and away from your flower garden), outdoor pathway lights will do the trick. If you want outdoor lighting for security purposes, stronger lights, including flood lights, will likely be the best solution.

Here are a few outdoor lighting sources to consider—they range from soft and delicate to strong and powerful.

Walkway and path lights

One of the most underestimated aspects of landscape lighting. You can illuminate an outdoor path or walkway for guests or extend your outdoor living space physically as well as visually.

The lights that are best for this job shine a gentle glow downward toward your feet, providing direction without distracting glare. Options include solar powered, battery powered, and professional landscape lighting.

String lights

As mentioned above, commercial-grade and standard outdoor string lights boast a large variety of uses, bulb shapes and colors, and strand lengths. In this use case, it's best to use the lights that are made for outdoor use. Because they have their heavy duty wire and are weatherproof, they'll hold up better over time.

String them up from tree to tree, post to post, or structure to structure—or if you prefer, run them up tree trunks or along the perimeter of a fence.

Security lights/flood lights

Security and flood lights with timers and motion-detection lights that illuminate your home's exterior make it less of a target for crimes like vandalism or burglary. A criminal will hesitate to approach your home if key entrance points are well light and there are few, if any, dark hiding spots.

All lights used for the purpose of security should be mounted higher than other lights so that they can cover a larger area. And remember, any light fixture that's mounted outside your house—along with its components—must be designed for outdoor use. That is, they should be rated as either WP for "weatherproof" or WR for "weather resistant."

Here are a few lighting examples—indoor and outdoor—from our Pinterest board, Outdoor Living.

solar light mounted to a backyard fence

Bring ground lighting to eye level: here's one of several solar lights mounted to a backyard fence.

Creative perimeter lighting

Creative perimeter lighting: this DIY project repurposes cut wood by turning it into ground lighting. You can use small solar lights, tea lights, or waterproof battery-operated lights.

attach solar lights to your deck

Low light: attach solar lights to your deck, patio, or backyard fence without having to run electric wiring.

Indoor solar light

Indoor solar light: This LED solar ceiling light has a pull cord and comes with a remote control.

Before you decide on lighting sources—browse these helpful resources.

  • If you want a quick look at what each type of lighting has to offer and a reference sheet that shows the pros and cons of each, visit ZacsGarden.com.
  • Explore economical options at a trusted home improvement store. Look at landscape lights, lanterns, string lights, motion-activated lights, torches, and more. Before you buy, be sure to check the options available through a reputable online lighting store. Take the time to compare prices, material quality, and customer reviews.
  • Read this step by step guide to running electrical wiring anywhere, including sheds, gardens, and backyards.

Explore more great backyard ideas.

  • If you're looking to beautify your backyard, here are 54 creative DIY ideas courtesy of CountryLiving.com. The best part: these ideas won't breaking the bank!

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