This easy project will give your backyard an enchanting look every summer evening
Hanging tea lights
15 Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Enchanting Summer Evenings

15 Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Enchanting Summer Evenings 15 Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Enchanting Summer Evenings

Light shines through these thin paper sheaths, creating a gorgeous glow at your outdoor party.

No need to bring the party indoors after the sun goes down, even if your yard isn’t lit. String up lights to illuminate the festivities. Don’t have a place to hang them? Wooden poles anchored in flower buckets filled with garden gravel can be set up anywhere there’s level ground, and they help define an outdoor gathering place.

Bars and buffet tables must be adequately lighted, but they’re often located far from electrical outlets. An easy, inexpensive solution is to gather clear apothecary bottles and fill them with lamp oil and wicks. Arrange the bottles under a large hurricane for protection; we set these on a sturdy glass cake stand (make sure the bottles are evenly balanced on the stand).

Pottery Barn’s ornate, bronzed-steel Bolton lantern is sure to take outdoor dinners up a notch.

The table is lit with kerosene lanterns; easy to fill and light, lanterns provide the same shimmering glow as candles — but unlike candles, they won’t blow out. Lanterns can also be set down or hung by their handles at strategic points on the terrace or in the garden.

Flush-mount fixtures are another option for flooding dining areas with light. This aluminum and seeded-glass design from Sescolite has a fresh, nautical flavor.

Design editor Lauren Petroff shares her top picks for outdoor lighting this season. The most glorious thing about summer, hands down, is outdoor living. And while weekends let us enjoy seemingly endless hours of sunshine, weekdays are a different story. There are nights when I leave the office, look up at the darkening sky, and wish I could go back to a time when I’d linger on dusky residential streets until bedtime, soaking up every last ray of sun. Thankfully, there’s an easy decorating solution that helps me make the most of warm evenings after work: hanging pretty outdoor lighting. There are countless options on the market right now that will lend a dreamy ambience to a balcony, patio or yard, from hardwired options to seasonal accents. Here are just a few of my favorites…

Light up your outdoor space with these glowing tiki torches.

Source: Pottery Barn Products: Bolton Indoor/Outdoor lantern, $449US

Source: Union Lighting and Furnishings Products: Medium Rectangle Exterior wall lantern, $130

The grey-tinted shades on these string lights from Pottery Barn will diffuse light beautifully.

June 07 2016 15 Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Enchanting Summer Evenings

Any fabric can be used to create these candle sleeves. Those at left are inspired by American shirting materials and are perfect for Memorial Day or Fourth of July parties.

Source: RH Restoration Hardware Products: Vintage French Farmhouse sconce, from $249US

For a romantic effect, I’d suspend a few of these shapely Canadian Tire pendants at varying heights.

Your guests will love seeing their names in lights. These glowing place cards are votive holders wrapped in paper, inscribed on opposite sides. This way, others can read the names from across the table — helpful if people are meeting for the first time. Cut a piece of parchment to fit around a votive holder. With a ruler and pencil, mark two guides for the names, and then write them on with a felt-tip pen. Erase pencil marks. Wrap paper around votive, and secure with double-sided tape.

Hurricane vases are wrapped in layers of colored tissue paper for a glowing effect.

Though they’re a decidedly more permanent option, you won’t regret installing outdoor sconces. They’re useful all year round, and add instant polish to an outdoor space. This lantern-style fixture from Union Lighting and Furnishings is especially handsome.

Cast a warm glow from above. A midsummer night’s meal is served on the lawn under tall maple trees strung with lanterns hanging on chains from strong branches. Small and large, these lamps hold ivory tapers, their bases disappearing in a thick layer of fresh, fragrant rose petals.

Source: Canadian Tire Products: Canvas Pineapple Outdoor String Lights, $50

Source: The Urban Electric Co. Products: Baxter Wall sconce, price upon request

Flowers and candlelight are nothing new, but together they create tabletop decorations fit for relaxed summer entertaining. Place votive candles in tall glass vessels, and attach a flower (dahlias are shown here) outside each, trimming the stem to fit and tying with raffia that matches the flower. Set each display in a saucer of water to keep the flowers fresh.

Reflected in the liquid’s shimmering surface, the flickers of a candle’s flame appear doubly radiant and twice as beautiful. Floating candles add instant atmosphere to a casual summer table, and with our technique, you can create lots of them in only a couple of hours.

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…or go for something more dramatic, like a marquee-style fixture.

Lighting is one of the easiest (and least-expensive) ways to cast an enchanting spell on any outdoor space. Try these ideas when you want to illuminate a setting and create a distinctive mood.

You can use oversize shells to bring a touch of the seashore — and a bit of romantic atmosphere — to an evening at home. We used “lion’s paw” shells (Lyropecten nodosus), available inexpensively from online auctions and souvenir shops. Fill a shallow tray with sand, arrange pairs of your prettiest specimens, and place a votive candle at the center of each pair (leaving room for the flames to flicker safely). Set the tray on a low table, and enjoy a quiet drink on the patio.

One of my top picks, Design Within Reach’s Luau lamp glows for up to 10 hours between charges. It’s also dimmable, thanks to a simple dial built into its base.

Turn glass candleholders into stylish accessories by dressing them in decorative fabric.

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These lanterns hanging from bamboo poles are origami “balloons” fashioned around battery-operated lights and finished with ribbons.

Colored bands of sand dress up votive candles to make flickering lights that are cheerful and fun.

Source: Crate & Barrel Products: Patio Umbrella Globe LED string lights, $60

Source: Design Within Reach Products: Luau Portable LED lamp by Duane Smith and Stefane Barbeau, $199US

These antique brass-finished sconces from Sescolite are perfect for traditionalists.

I think sconces look beautiful flanking a doorway, or installed on the posts of a permanent structure like a pergola. A pair of these Baxter sconces from The Urban Electric Co. would make a particularly elegant statement.

RH Restoration Hardware’s French farmhouse-inspired sconces have charm to spare.

Source: Canadian Tire Products: Canvas Outdoor Lexington Metal lantern with candle, $50

Source: Crate & Barrel Products: Umbrella Marquee lights, $140

The shells that the ocean cast at your feet last summer — the ones you so fastidiously collected — make lovely remembrances of the season with candles formed inside them. Deep shells like scallops, clams, and quahogs work best and burn longest.

Source: Bed, Bath & Beyond Products: Summer solar wicker lantern, $14

String lights have been popular for a few years now, and I don’t see them going away anytime soon! In addition to strings of simple, round bulbs, there are lots of modern, unusual and stylish options to choose from. These clean-lined Bullet Lamp lights from CB2 really stand out to me.

Flower-petal votive holders cast a warm, festive glow over the table.

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Lanterns — whether solar-powered, candlelit or battery-operated — are a great option for illuminating dark corners and small outdoor spaces. The Lexington outdoor lantern from Canadian Tire even comes with its own flameless candle.

Colorful, pineapple-shaped string lights will bring a bit of whimsy to your yard.

Source: Sescolite Products: Northeast Lantern J73GZ – Barn Wall Dark Antique Brass Medium Base Socket, $460

To create this illuminating centerpiece, place a glass vase inside another that is slightly larger (secure them with floral adhesive), and then pour tinted water in between them. Pillar candles are best for this project; not only are they pretty, but their weight will further anchor the interior vase. For added light play, make a series of these centerpieces in different shades of the same hue (a few extra drops of food coloring will yield the desired contrast).

Cocktails at sundown are more memorable when you supplement the waning daylight with Asian-inspired lanterns. These tabletop versions consist of colorful sheets of vellum paper sandwiching tall votive candles in glass holders; chopsticks hold the paper in place.

Light up a table with this sand-and-shell centerpiece. Use candle adhesive to secure slender tapers to the bottom of a clear glass vase. Carefully pour in a few inches of sand, then arrange shells on top. Besides refracting the candlelight for added ambience, the vase will protect the flames from breeze.

Under-the-umbrella lights are great for creating a soft glow over an outdoor dining table. For an understated look, hang these bare LED bulbs from Crate & Barrel.

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Holiday strands trace every slat of a porch trellis; the bulbs are covered in shades made from chartreuse and turquoise vellum. The table is lighted by pillar candles, each protected by two vases (one inside the other); blue-tinted water fills the space between glasses.

Overhead fixtures, strung from trees or a trellis, set the mood. Hanging solar lanterns, such as the Soji Modern, that turn on automatically at dusk make alfresco dining elegant.

These flowers look like the prettiest climbing vines. But they’re not just sweet by day — they’re radiant by night. Despite their enchanted appearance, they are simply holiday lights covered with faux flowers (we chose flame-hued silk poppies).

Bamboo candles, which have built-in shelves, are a pretty way to decorate the table the next time you’re entertaining outdoors.

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Source: Sescolite Products: Sea Gull Canada 3063CRT – Single-light Sebring Outdoor Ceiling, $159

Geometric “topiaries” inspired by the paper sculptures of Isamu Noguchi stand on both sides of this swimming pool. A few white plastic beach balls tied to weighted lines float in the pool like pearls cut loose from a giant strand (for safety, never cover the surface of a pool with a large number of balls).

Source: Pottery Barn Products: Smoke Shade string lights, $79US

This string of votives will shed a soft glow over your Fourth of July celebration. Place tea candles in translucent red, white, and blue colored-glass votives, and tuck each into a tiny wire basket.

Faux candles and lanterns illuminate the table. OXO Candela DemiGlow Rechargeable LED Lights are a safer alternative to candles and stay cool to the touch.

These festive lanterns were made by weaving magenta satin ribbons through party-store paper lanterns. The colors reflect classic Filipino textiles.

Antique jelly jars are perfect vessels for scented candles, which make wonderful centerpieces.

This lantern from Bed, Bath & Beyond is solar-powered and super economical.

If you’re throwing a party for someone’s anniversary or birthday, the guest of honor will shine with a set of photo frame lanterns. They consist of three hinged photo frames set around votive candles.

Source: Canadian Tire Products: Canvas Kasbah outdoor chandelier, $100

Author: Lauren Petroff Tags: Lauren Petroff Outdoor Decorating Outdoor Lighting

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