An evening in the garden is more festive when these colorful lanterns turn themselves on. A 10-inch-diameter globe of durable nylon, the Soji Solar Lantern contains a small photovoltaic panel, a rechargeable battery, and two LED lightbulbs. When darkness falls, a built-in sensor turns on the lights, which glow for up to eight hours. The lantern comes in five colors, hangs from sturdy stainless steel handles, and collapses for storage. $16; Allsop Home and Garden, 866/425-5767.
4 of 19Photo by Marion Brenner
For this small dining area, a simple candle chandelier from Ikea is more functional than pillar candles.
5 of 19Norm Plate
In his backyard ramada in Scottsdale, Arizona, artist Jeff Zischke houses candles in antique carriage lamps and ordinary mason jars; he supplements their glow with low-voltage lamps."There’s still no substitute for candlelight," he says. "That flickering glow just draws people in like moths."
Chinese lanterns stuffed with sparkling white lights dangle from arbors. A large dining patio radiates a warm glow from the back of the garden. And a dramatic fiery orange light bathes an ancient-looking wall relief.
For a festive ambience, hang little white string lights from arbors or suspend an outdoor chandelier over a patio table. This one was made by hanging vintage canning jars, beads, and toys from a wagon wheel.
10 of 19James Carrier
Dress up a few lanterns with ribbon, add some sunny fabric, and your plain canvas umbrella is ready to party.
In keeping with his rear deck's tropical feel, Joe Rivers Altieri strung Christmas lights in bamboo covers from Target under the bamboo awning.
15 of 19Photo by Thomas J. Story, story by Miranda Jones
Create romantic lighting for an outdoor dinner party by suspending votives (we used mini recycled-glass tea light lanterns) at varying heights from low-hanging branches.
Use clear fishing line and be sure to keep candles a safe distance from the leaves.
16 of 19Thomas J. Story
Cover chandelier lanterns with tissue paper to create a soft glow.
• Tissue paper
• Small foam brush
• Yasutomo Nori or similar paste
• Glass lanterns or jars
Step-by-step guide 1. Measure and cut tissue paper into desired shapes and sizes (we used long strips for easy application). 2. Dip foam brush into paste. Holding a piece of tissue paper against the outsideof the lantern, paint an even coat of paste onto tissue paper and adhere to glass. 3. Repeat until lantern is covered. Let dry overnight, then hang. Tip: Keep lanterns away from moisture.
17 of 19Thomas J. Story
For a soft glow at night, wrap tree trunks and branches with strands of white lights.