19 outdoor lighting ideas

Candles, hanging lanterns, chandeliers, and string lights add magic to evenings outside

garden candle light

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Candlelit glow

Float tea candles in a water-filled birdbath to create a mini firepit. On windy days, set tea lights in clear glass votive holders in a dry birdbath so they won’t wobble.

Get the glow: Campania birdbath available from Potted ($89; 323/665-3801) 

 

Solar lanterns

Rob D. Brodman

Solar lanterns

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. 

Video:  Hanging solar lanterns

Plant green walls

Photo by Marion Brenner

Readymade chandelier

For this small dining area, a simple candle chandelier from Ikea is more functional than pillar candles.

More: Tour this garden of outdoor rooms

Summer lights

Norm Plate

Summer lights

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."

In the blogs: How to turn a jar into a lantern

QUICK IDEA

Rob D. Brodman

Turn a wire basket into a chandelier

Add a touch of romance to your garden or patio with a wire basket, canning jars tea lights, and crystals.

More:  Make an outdoor changelier

Exotic nights

Norm Plate

Exotic lights

At dusk, Richard Holden and Sandra Moll switch on the lights in their San Jose backyard, instantly transforming the tranquil garden into paradise.

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.

Full story

Cluster luminarias

Norm Plate

Cluster luminarias

Tin luminarias look as good during the day as they do when lit at night. They’re available by mail from Tin-Art New Mexico FolkArt by Celeste (505/345-7231).

More:  South-of-the-border style inspires a California garden 

Eclectic chandelier

Eclectic chandelier

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. 

More:  South-of-the-border style inspires a California garden

Party umbrella

James Carrier

Party umbrella

Dress up a few lanterns with ribbon, add some sunny fabric, and your plain canvas umbrella is ready to party.

The decorations aren't permanent, so you can change the colors anytime you wish.

Get the how-to

Tap-light luminarias

Thomas J.

Tap-light luminarias

Put your own spin on the classic luminaria using battery-run tap lights.

These simple fixtures ― flat, battery-operated lights that turn on when tapped on top ― are sold in packages of six for about $20 at hardware stores and general merchandise stores.

Add your own embellishment by wrapping a piece of translucent rice paper around the base and taping the ends of the paper together with double-sided tape to form a cylinder.

Mood lighting

Thomas J. Story

Mood lighting

Hanging lanterns that hold candles illuminate without the expense of wiring. Tall candlesticks, set on the ground, add romance in the evening.

More:  Design an affordable backyard Bali

Glowing tablecloth

Wendi Nordeck

July 4 decorating ideas

Secret garden night lights

Eden Rodriguez, owner of End Design in Santa Rosa and Mill Valley, places garden stake lights or a small battery-operated camping lantern under tablecloths.

To hide an electrical cord, she parts the grass, tucks in the cord, and stakes it with a U-shaped piece of wire. If you're using electric lights, keep fabric 2 feet from the bulb.

For extra shine, you can create a table covering from brightly colored ― and inexpensive  taffeta. Use fusing tape to secure panels together and tuck unhemmed edges underneath.

Tropical lighting

Thomas J. Story

Tropical lighting

In keeping with his rear deck's tropical feel, Joe Rivers Altieri strung Christmas lights in bamboo covers from Target under the bamboo awning.

Full story

 


Hang fire

Photo by Thomas J. Story, story by Miranda Jones

Hang fire

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. 

Stained glass

Thomas J. Story

Stained glass

Cover chandelier lanterns with tissue paper to create a soft glow.

Supplies
• Ruler
• Pencil
• Scissors
• 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.

In the blogs: How to turn a jar into a lantern

Add lighting

Thomas J. Story

White lights

For a soft glow at night, wrap tree trunks and branches with strands of white lights.

Define borders by placing small candles in glass holders along mow strips, walls, and walkways.

More:  Quick winter spruce-ups

Star lanterns

Make star luminarias

White bags and vellum stars make festive outdoor lanterns.

Use a star stencil and colored vellum to make red and blue stars. Glue them to white paper bags. For beautiful (and safe) illumination, use a small tap light instead of a candle.

Buy a lantern

Thomas J. Story

Buy a showstopper

Mood lighting, from rustic to refined (clockwise from top left)

Farmhouse-style Rustic wood lantern by Roost (small $56, large $76; velocityartanddesign.com or 866/781-9494)

Modern times Luau portable lamp ($198; dwr.com or 800/944-2233)

Moroccan nights Scrap-metal Misprint lantern (medium $39, large $59; vivaterra.com or 800/233-6011)

On the dot  NotNeutral’s Seasonal metal lantern (in black, white, yellow, or persimmon, $50–$180; velocityartanddesign.com or 866/781-9494)

Video: How to set an elegant outdoor table

Watch: How to set an elegant outdoor party table 

Go ahead ― bring your best stemware, china, and candles outside for an elegant garden dinner.

Video:  Sunset style editor Miranda Jones shows how

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/home/outdoor-living/outodoor-garden-lanterns-lighting-00400000050239/