5 Ideas for Using Rustic Lighting in the Backyard

Design

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Rustic chic accents were practically made for the backyard, as their bucolic feel fits well with a natural setting. And if you want to add some instant rustic ambiance and class to your backyard, the fastest way to do it is to add outdoor rustic lighting using string lights. Immediately, this may strike you as fairly unclassy. You might picture plastic tiki string lights or out-of-season Christmas lights.
But backyard lights can bring subtle mood lighting and still keep things looking thoroughly rustic chic. You simply need to know the right styles of lights to use, which we’ll cover below.

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Rustic Lighting Bulb Style

Rustic exposed bulbs can add plenty of soft light to a backyard. Image: funkyteddy/Shutterstock

An instant way to get a rustic chic look is to opt for a classic exposed filament bulb style, like the rustic lighting in the photo above. Old-style bulbs give off something of an antique look. But they still add plenty of ambient lighting, thanks to the softer glow of their light source versus certain LED types.

You can see in the photo above how great classic bulbs look when used as string lighting outdoors. You could easily hang them from trees to juxtapose the natural plant life with the industrial-style light source. They could also look great hanging over eating areas or patios to light up where people socialize.

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Rustic Lighting String Lights

Combine light styles for plenty of visual interest. Image: Steven Robertson Photo/Shutterstock

Combining Light Types

Another idea for rustic lighting is to go for an exposed bulb style combined with more traditional string lighting. You can see in the photo above how the idea was used to maximum effect by stringing bulbs to the tree. Then, that light source is accented with small string lights around the branches themselves. The whole style leads to an enchanted forest feel.

This idea works best with small string lights in either white or a cool color like green. Bolder colors like multicolor styles, red or orange might look too seasonal, like they belong on a Christmas tree. But white and cool-color lights will give a timeless, clean feel to your outdoor rustic accent lighting.

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Rustic Lighting Cage Style

String light styles fit well with classic items like these birdcages. Image: Amlan Mathur/Shutterstock

Use Rustic Accents

You could also combine your outdoor lighting with other rustic-inspired accent items. An example is the old-style wire birdcages in the photo above. The white string lights around the tree light up the area beautifully. And the lighting on the tree draws attention to the rustic accent of the birdcages hanging nearby.

Another classic idea that fits into rustic chic styles is an old-style lantern. These can either hang next to string lights or be their own light source. Lanterns with rustic lighting in them, like flameless candles, are also popular for outdoor rustic chic styles. These fit well hanging or on table settings as accents.

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Rustic Lighting Globe Lights

Hang rustic light sources from plant life for added natural appeal. Image: Oleksandr Kavun/Shutterstock

Combine Natural Elements and Rustic Lighting

Another idea is to combine rustic lighting sources with accents from nature. An example is the hanging globe lights with tea candles in them in the photo above. Candles are great for adding an instant classic appeal and the globe design shows them off well. And hanging those globe lights from a natural garland design is a classy way to bring in the rustic appeal of natural textures.

You could do this in a few different ways. You could go with a natural arch and hang the globe lights from the top, like in the photo. Lights like these could sit within natural wreaths on a table setting. Or you could hang lights like these along the length of a garland.

Something like this would work especially well for an outdoor wedding. And if you have fire hazard concerns, you can always use LED tea lights.

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Rustic Lighting Distressed Wood

Distressed wood and exposed bulbs give the perfect rustic vibe. Image: Alex Levine Photography/Shutterstock

Hang Rustic Lighting Close to Natural Wood

The photo above shows how great exposed bulbs look when hung along a rustic wood item, like a fence. The old-style bulbs and lightly aged wood combine to look delightfully bucolic and classic. If you can, it can also help to include an accent of plant life nearby to further add to the rustic, natural look.

You can use this idea in a few different ways, as well. For instance, you might hang exposed bulbs like these outside a barn-style shed. Or you might hang string lights over a distressed, reclaimed wood patio table. This idea allows for creativity and personal inspiration.

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