Our Backyard At Night


Last September, I revealed our backyard. Since then, I haven’t shared much about the space. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been using it. We’re out here almost every day and we spend lots of evenings back here too. While there are some things I would do differently (and I have an entire blog post coming about that topic next week), I sure do love the space, especially at night.

Our backyard at night

Today, I thought it might be fun to give you a glimpse into our backyard at night. While it’s great during the daylight, once the sun goes down and the lights go on, it truly is a magical place. Plus, I figured this was a good opportunity to discuss the importance of ambiance in an outdoor space.

Let’s Tour My Backyard at Night

Tour our backyard at night

I took these pictures from about 9 to 9:30 pm (past my bedtime) because I wanted to show you how bright this space is even when it’s dark outside. When all of our light sources are turned on, it’s so light back here! We have all of our lights on a timer so they are only on for a few hours at night, when we’re actually using the space. I highly recommend doing that. Here’s a smart plug we use so we can put everything on a timer or control via our Alexa.

How to Add Ambiance

Come tour our backyard at night

You can have a gorgeous backyard with perfect flowers and fantastic furniture, but if you don’t have any lights at night, it’s going to fall flat and you won’t be able to enjoy the space quite as much. Adding ambient lighting is my number one tip to create a backyard oasis that you can take advantage of, even at night. Here are some of the products we have in our backyard at night.

Solar Lights

Solar lights

About two years ago, after we installed our new fence, I added these solar lights to each fence post. Holy smokes, these quickly became a bestselling product. Many of you have purchased these solar lights and I can see why. They’re fairly budget-friendly and easy to add to your backyard. No electrical is required.

Solar lights in our backyard

They come with screws, but I ended up just using this outdoor mounting tape to attach all of our solar lights to our fence posts. They haven’t budged in two years. I made the mistake of not hitting the “on” button on the back of each of them when I installed them. That was a big no-no because they didn’t work! I had to squeeze my fat finger back there and press the button to get them on. So don’t make that mistake with yours!

Our tiki torches at night

These are powered by the sun and turn on when the sun goes down. However, if we have our tiki torches on, the lights near the flames don’t turn on because it’s too bright. So just something to keep in mind if you find that yours are flickering. I highly suggest getting the “warm white” because the cool light reads way too blue and will make your space feel sterile. Trust me on that one.

Tiki Torches & Fire Bowl

DIY tabletop fire bowl

Next up, a little fire back here! Last month, I shared my 5-minute tabletop fire bowl and it was a big hit. So many of you have sent photos of your own fire bowls and I love to see them! We light this every time we hang in the backyard and it’s beautiful, while keeping the bugs away.

Tiki torches in our backayrd

Finn also put some tiki torches throughout the yard. At first, I thought it felt like Survivor back here. But they’ve definitely grown on me. We use this fuel torch oil to keep the bugs away and they really help illuminate our space.

We also purchased this fire table before we even renovated the backyard. We don’t get it out during the summer, but I imagine we will set it up near the couch area when it gets cooler out. It’s a good one for s’mores and emits some heat to keep us warm at night.

String Lights

Our backyard at night

I’m a total sucker for string lights. Add them to any outdoor area and it instantly feels charming and adorable. Our local Starbucks just hung them outside their store and I instantly like the place even more. And I liked the place a lot, even before the lights. We visit often because of Rory’s love for their egg bites. Ha!

Our backyard at night

Finn and I installed these string lights last summer and they’ve been up ever since. Not one bulb has gone out and they’ve stayed looking great through every snowstorm and thunderstorm. I highly recommend these string lights because they’re so durable. The string lights kit we used worked wonderfully, so I would use that if you’re hanging your own! You can find the full tutorial right here.

Landscape Uplighting

Our landscape uplighting

When I revealed our backyard, we didn’t have our landscape lighting installed. We had our landscaper hardwire these, so unfortunately, I don’t have the information on how it was done or the lights we used. I absolutely love the uplighting that was added, though. The lights illuminate our trees and really brighten up the space.

Landscape uplighting to add more ambiance to your backyard at night

If you don’t want to hardwire your landscape lighting, then these solar lights are a good option that anyone can DIY!

Lanterns & Battery-Operated Candles

Our lanterns at night

Finally, here’s the easiest idea of them all. Add some lanterns with battery-operated candles and you’re good to go. The ones I have are on a timer, so they go on for four hours at night and then automatically turn off. They also come with a remote control so I can control them from afar. You’ll notice we also have lights on our deck. Our contractor hardwired these in too. We purchased them along with our decking materials.

My Fave Outdoor Lighting Products

Here’s a look at all of my favorite items to light up your backyard at night.

My fave products to add ambiance

Battery Operated Candles // Solar Lights // Tiki Torches // String Lights // Fire Bowl // Outdoor Lantern // Large Fire Table // Coastal Lanterns

Backyard Sources

Our backyard at night

Lanterns // Solar Lights // DIY Tabletop Fire Bowl // Tiki Torches // String Lights // Outdoor Smart Plug // Battery-Operated Candles // Garage Door Color, Benjamin Moore “Blue Note” // Pavers (color “Greyed Nickel”) // Composite Decking (color “Pecan”) // Black Contemporary Railings // Outdoor Dining Table & Chairs // Umbrella // Umbrella Base // Grill // Outdoor Sonos Speakers // Outdoor Sconces // Lounge Chairs // Side Table // Planters  // Outdoor TV // Chaise // Sectional // Coffee Table // Palm Print Pillows // Striped Pillows 

my best tips to add ambiance to you backyard at night

Next week, I plan to discuss what I would do differently back here if I had a do-over. I feel like it’s always good to revisit large projects and share what we learned so you can avoid my mistakes! Until then, have a wonderful weekend and go out and enjoy your own outdoor space.

Our backyard dining table at night

Catch Up On Our Backyard

Casey


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.