Best Garden Lights for Backyard Memorial Gardens

Creating a memorial garden in your backyard to honor a loved one who has passed away can be a meaningful way to celebrate their life. Choosing the right garden lights for the space is important to create a tranquil atmosphere for quiet reflection. There are many garden lighting options to consider that can provide both practical illumination and symbolic meaning.

Benefits of Garden Lights for Memorial Gardens

Lighting serves both functional and symbolic purposes in memorial garden spaces. On a practical level, lighting allows safer navigation on garden paths after dusk. It can also highlight key features and enhance the overall ambiance. The symbolic role of lighting is to create a peaceful, contemplative setting.

Specific benefits include:

  • Highlighting memorials – Well-placed lighting draws attention to statues, plaques, benches or other memorial markers in the garden.
  • Creating a serene environment – Soft, warm lighting contributes to a quiet sanctuary for memories and introspection.
  • Extending garden enjoyment – Lighting allows the garden to be appreciated in the evenings as well.
  • Accenting plants and landscaping – Strategic lighting can showcase interesting plants and designs.
  • Adding symbolic meaning – Certain lighting, like votives, can carry significance and honor loved ones.
  • Guiding visitors – Pathway lighting provides direction and prevents tripping hazards.

With the right lighting choices, your memorial garden can be a beautiful tribute that family and friends can visit day or night for reflection.

Solar Lighting Options

Solar-powered lights are an excellent option for memorial garden lighting needs. They provide bright, renewable illumination without wiring or electricity. Here are some top solar lighting picks for memorial gardens:

Solar Path Lights

Low-voltage solar path lights are ideal to line walkways and illuminate steps in memorial gardens. They are stake or surface-mountable for installation flexibility. Opt for warm white LEDs. Some top choices include:

  • Brightech Ambience Pro – Waterproof cast-aluminum housing and durable polycarbonate lens in bronze finish. Customizable light modes.
  • Hampton Bay Solar Pathlight Kit – Adjustable and removable LED stake lights. Weather-resistant darkened bronze finish.
  • GIGALUMI Solar Path Lights – Sturdy thick steel housing in black or bronze. Flexible directional lighting.

Solar Spot Lights

Spotlights with solar power are perfect for shining directly on statues, plaques, signs or other memorial markers. Gooseneck designs provide angle adjustability. Consider:

  • Sunnest Solar Spot Light – Durable aluminum with adjustable gooseneck and 120° rotation. Waterproof IP65 rating.
  • Urpower Solar Spot Light – Cast aluminum housing in oil-rubbed bronze finish. 70° adjustable gooseneck.
  • Solarmas Solar Spotlights – Heavy-duty stainless steel spotlight with adjustable aluminum arm and 120° pivot rotation.

Solar Step Lights

Stairways and steps are safer to navigate with solar-powered step lighting. The lights install easily along the sides or tops of steps. Look for impact-resistant tempered glass lenses. Recommended options:

  • Liangzy Solar Step Lights – Durable polycarbonate housing in bronze, black or white finishes. Bright LEDs with 50,000 hours lifespan.
  • Aootek LED Solar Step Lights – Heavy-duty aluminum housing. Adjustable lighting angles. Waterproof rating.
  • Tamtex Solar Brick Step Lights – Designed specifically for concrete or brick steps. Aluminum housing and polycarbonate lens.

Solar Lanterns

Solar-powered lanterns add a classic, decorative touch. They work well placed along paths or accenting memorial markers. Consider durable metal and weather-resistant glass designs like:

  • Sunforce Solar Lanterns – Vintage-inspired black powder-coated steel body with glass panes. Complete with handle.
  • Moonrays Solar Lanterns – Intricate metal frame designs with LED illumination. Available in bronze, white or verdigris.
  • Brightown Outdoor Solar Lanterns – Whimsical cutout pine tree and leaf shapes. Durable iron construction and glass panels.

Hardwired Low-Voltage Lights

While solar lights are very convenient, hardwired low-voltage systems give you more control over the entire garden lighting design. Wires run underground for a clean look. Benefits include:

  • Greater placement flexibility
  • More powerful and consistent illumination
  • Ability to group lights on zones
  • Expanded lighting effects like glow and silhouette
  • Professional installation for optimal lighting

Here are some stellar low-voltage lighting choices for memorial gardens:

Path Lights

Like their solar counterparts, low-voltage path lights illuminate walking areas beautifully. Look for solid brass or copper construction. Recommended options:

  • Kichler Pathway Lights – Classic bell and lantern shapes. Mica shades create a soft glow. Available in bronze, copper or granite.
  • Hinkley Lighting Pathway Lights – Charming decorative designs like fluted columns or finials. High-quality brass in various finishes.
  • FX Luminaire Path Lights – Sleek, tapered cylindrical shapes in durable cast brass. Direct burial and well light types.

Step Lights

For maximum safety on stairs and steps, low-voltage step lights are ideal. Opt for metal housings and durable polycarbonate lenses. Top products include:

  • Smart Solar Simled Step Lights – Slim rectangular housings in neutral aluminum finish. 100,000 hour LED lifespans.
  • Kichler Step Lights – Heavy-duty die-cast aluminum housing. Tempered adjustable glass lens.
  • ETA Step Lights – Ultra low-profile 2″ size. Cast brass rectangular design made to last.

Accent Lights

Strategically placed accent lights can highlight sculptures, trees, signs and other key points of interest in your memorial garden. Consider adjustable luminaires like:

  • Kichler Accent Lights – Olde Bronze finish spotlight with tool-free positionable shade. Fully adjustable and lockable arm.
  • Hinkley lighting Accent Lights – Compact mini-spotlights on 6” stems. 180° vertical and 350° horizontal rotation.
  • Designers Fountain Accent Light – Hand-polished brass or verdigris spotlight. Tool-free adjustable shade for directed lighting.

A licensed electrician can help determine accent lighting needs and locate optimal transformer placement to power the lights.

Solar Landscape Spotlights

For standout illumination, solar spotlights are a great addition to memorial gardens. Powerful LEDs shine from adjustable heads for directed light. Features to look for:

  • Bright lumens – 2,000+ delivers brilliant light.
  • Adjustable angles – Look for tilt, rotation and height adjustment ability.
  • Sturdy stakes – Heavy-duty metal anchors properly in the ground.
  • Durable housing – Long-lasting aluminum or steel casing and lenses.

Recommended choices:

  • Signature Garden Solar Spotlight – Sleek black crosshatched housing. 3,000 lumen output. 180° adjustable commercial-grade spotlights.
  • D ’acme Solar Spotlight – Industrial-strength anodized aluminum body. 1,500 lumen output. Adjustable spotlight and stake.
  • Sunnest Solar Spotlight – Sturdy galvanized steel stake with black powder coated aluminum light head. Wide 240° rotational range.

Aim solar spotlights to highlight statues, trees, pathways or other meaningful elements in your memorial garden. The bright white light provides dramatic emphasis.

Hardwired Landscape Spotlights

For the highest lighting power, hardwired in-ground spotlights are the best bet. While requiring professional installation, benefits include:

  • Unlimited placement flexibility
  • High lumen output – 3,000+ for brilliant illumination
  • Precise optical control for highlighted focal points
  • Consistent light quality from electrical power source
  • Ability to group lights on zones
  • Sleek, integrated appearance without visible solar panels

Recommended hardwired spotlights for memorial gardens:

  • Kichler Landscape Spotlights – Die-cast brass housing. Lens seal for moisture resistance. Different reflector types like flood or accent.
  • MALibu Landscape Lighting – Stainless steel or copper spotlights. Tool-free adjustable beams from 10 to 40 degrees.
  • Vision3 Landscape Lighting – Powerful luminaires focused downlighting, wall washing or grazing surfaces. Color lenses available.

Consult a landscape lighting designer on spotlight placement. Factor in light angles, textures and optimal illumination goals for memorial markers and garden features.

Candle-Style Solar Lights

For symbolic significance, candle-style solar lights are a fitting addition to memorial gardens. The real wax pillar designs create an eternal flame glow. Features to look for:

  • Realistic molded wax or paraffin candle form
  • Warm white LEDs mimic a true flame
  • Weather-resistant for outdoor use
  • Timer or dusk-to-dawn sensor

Recommended candle lights:

  • Homemory Flameless Candles – Wax columns with inner LED filaments for a real candle effect. Warm glow. Weatherproof resin casing.
  • LinaMall Solar Candles – Realistic wax pillars with inner LED. 6-8 hours on one solar charge. IP65 weatherproof rating.
  • Aprchery Flameless Candles – Wax columns in ivory, amber or burgundy colors. Convincing real flame flickering effect.

Place candle-style lights along memorial garden pathways or clustered around statues. The warm ambient glow creates a peaceful memorial setting.

Memorial Garden Lighting Styles

Now that we’ve covered individual lighting options, let’s look at complete lighting styles for memorial gardens:

Subtle Accent Lighting

A soft approach uses minimal, low-wattage lights to create a gentle, reflective setting.

Strategies include:

  • Low-voltage path lighting to define the space
  • Candle-style solar lights for warmth
  • Spotlights on key features only

The goal is understated elegance for peaceful remembrance.

Dramatic Focal Point Lighting

Make important memorials and garden elements really stand out with focused, high-wattage lighting:

  • Concentrate spotlights on statues, plaques, signs, trees, etc.
  • Use flood or wide beam angles to illuminate large focal points
  • Employ luminaires with adjustable heads to get the light just right

This style ensures meaningful memorials are lit up in brilliant prominence all night long.

Balanced All-Over Lighting

Take a middle-of-the-road approach by lighting multiple aspects of the garden:

  • Pathway lighting for navigational safety
  • Spotlights on key memorial markers
  • Accents on trees and plantings
  • General ambient lighting for entire garden

The goal is to create an inviting, well-lit space conducive to remembrance and reflection.

Evaluate your specific memorial garden layout, focal points of significance and aesthetic preferences when deciding on lighting placement and styles. The lighting should match the commemorative purpose for your loved one.

Tips for Memorial Garden Lighting

Here are some key tips for successfully lighting backyard memorial gardens:

  • Highlight the entryway – Welcome visitors and guide them in with pathway illumination at the garden entrance.
  • Use lighting transitions – Dim lights lead to the brightest accents on key memorial markers for a guided experience.
  • Try uplighting – Spotlights aimed up at trees or statues create dramatic silhouettes.
  • Employ color sparingly – While colored LEDs are popular, single-color lighting is usually most appropriate for memorial settings.
  • Light vertical surfaces – Graze lighting on statues or plaques provides bold definition.
  • Mind light pollution – Avoid harsh glare into neighboring yards with shielded fixtures.
  • Place lights low – Light shining from ankle level is more intimate than towering poles.
  • Test effects at night – Preview and adjust lighting placement and angles after the sun sets.

With deliberate, thoughtful lighting choices, your special memorial garden can truly shine while providing a respectful space for remembrance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Memorial Garden Lighting

Here are answers to some common questions about lighting backyard memorial gardens:

Which solar light is best for outdoor memorial gardens?

For memorial gardens, low-profile solar path lights are ideal to define walkways. Go with subtle warm white lighting and durable metal housing. Spotlights can illuminate focal points.

Can you put solar lights on a grave?

Yes, small solar path lights or solar candle-style lights can be placed directly on grave markers or memorials. Choose weatherproof designs made to handle the outdoor elements.

Are garden solar lights good?

Solar lights work beautifully to add lighting ambiance to any garden space without wiring. The best solar lights have sturdy metal casings and quality LEDs. Avoid plastic designs which degrade quicker.

How to buy good solar lights?

Look for solar lights with strong lumen output, weatherproof IP65 ratings, aluminum or stainless steel housing, shatterproof lenses, and 1-year+ warranties from reputable brands.

What is a cemetery light?

Cemetery lights are permanent lighting fixtures illuminating roadways and walkways throughout the grounds. Styles include classic lanterns, path lights, and pole-mounted luminaires.

What is a grave light?

A grave light is a small-scale light placed directly on individual grave sites. Solar powered options like path lights, spotlights and votive candles are popular choices to commemorate loved ones.

What is used to light up the graveyards?

Graveyards are lit using both large-scale permanent lighting on poles to illuminate roadways, as well as smaller individual grave lights. Hardwired and solar options are common.

What is an eternal light at a cemetery?

An eternal flame is a light fixture, real or symbolic, designed to burn continuously at a grave or memorial site. At cemeteries, eternal flames commemorate veterans and others with perpetual illumination.

What do people light at the graves of their loved ones Why?

Candles, lamps and solar-powered lights are lit at gravesites to honor loved ones and symbolize their permanent place in survivors’ hearts and memories. Lighting also facilitates visits after dark.


Memorial gardens with personalized lighting create a unique sanctuary to mourn and honor loved ones. Thoughtfully designed lighting allows you to commemorate someone special with an illuminating tribute. Lighting serves the practical purpose of safe navigation, while also providing symbolic significance. With so many lighting options now available, you can craft a commemorative space that embodies what your loved one meant to you. Let their light continue shining bright.

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