Mild weather is an invitation to get outside and enjoy time with family and friends on your patio. It’s easy to enjoy your time when the sun is shining. But don’t let the sunset and darkness cut your fun short! All you need are some patio lights to illuminate your space, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors all night long.
Patio lights come in all shapes, sizes, and even power sources. This can make your decision process challenging when trying to choose the best lights for your space. So keep reading to learn about some lighting options that will help turn your yard into a glowing oasis!
Our Top Picks
Addlon 48 FT Outdoor String Lights
Brightown 25 FT Outdoor Globe String Lights
Best Floor Patio Lights:
Grand Patio Outdoor Solar-Powered Wicker Floor Lamp
Best Patio Lanterns:
Mlambert Outdoor Solar Lanterns
When decorating your patio area with lights, you can’t reach for any old Christmas tree lights. These types of lights will stick out like a sore thumb! Instead, you should try something like these Addlon outdoor string lights that feature large vintage bulbs. They’ll create a cozy space and will blend in well with your outdoor area.
Hanging them up shouldn’t take long, as each bulb has a hanging hook. And if you purchase more than one strand, you can easily connect up to five sets into one outlet. There’s no need to run all kinds of extra cords throughout your yard, which can create a tripping hazard.
These lights feature Edison bulbs, which reproduce the look of vintage bulbs. They’ll create a beautiful rustic look with their shape and slightly yellowed color. You can even dim them with a light dimmer if they’re too bright for your liking!
Not only do the lights look good, but they’re also durable and can withstand any weather that comes their way. The sun, heavy snow, wind, and rain are no match for these double-insulated patio lights! But even if an accident does happen, the lights come with three replacement bulbs and an extra fuse.
- Compatible with dimmers
- Attached hooks
- The bulbs are a little far apart from each other at about three feet
- You may need a few strands, as there are 15 bulbs on each one
Understandably, patio lights can get a little expensive, especially if you have a large yard. Luckily, there are budget-friendly options out there, like these Brightown globe-shaped string lights! Just one strand of these patio lights has 25 bulbs on it, with an extra two provided just in case. And the lights are waterproof, heat-resistant, cold-resistant, and windproof!
These dimmer-compatible lights allow you to connect up to three sets, offering plenty of coverage. They’ll keep your yard bright while providing an attractive, rustic, bistro-like vibe due to their shape and warm white color. The lights will give you the ambience you need without putting a dent in your wallet.
And you can quickly install them with two hook options. So they can adapt to any patio situation you have. Clip them onto a pergola, attach them to your house, or simply drape them on your fence. Whichever method you choose, these lights are bound to provide a wow factor to your outdoor space!
They’re also lightweight (under two pounds) and portable if you need to rearrange them or bring them to another location.
- Thickened glass bulbs to prevent breakage
- Two types of attached hooks
- The clips may break over time
- The bulbs can get a little hot to the touch
Best Floor Patio Lights
String lights aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay. There are plenty of other outdoor lighting options for you to try out, like these Grand Patio solar lamps.
Set-up is easy, as you don’t need to hang or attach these patio lights to anything. And they’re easily movable due to their solar-powered nature and the fact that they sit on the floor. So there are no wires to trip on, and you won’t be wasting electricity!
Simply put it in the sun while you go about your day. And when you return, you’ll have beautiful warm white light for hours throughout the night. You can enjoy this ambience with an automatic sensor or turn the lamp on with the push of a button. It’s that easy!
The intricate weaving of this resin wicker lamp provides a decorative feature to your patio even when it’s not lit. Not only does the weaving pattern provide a modern and sophisticated look, but it’s also highly waterproof.
This material has a plastic-like feel to it, which allows snow or water to roll right off. And the powder-coated steel frame is just as waterproof, keeping your lamp corrosion-free for many seasons ahead!
- 8-10 hours of nighttime light
- Weather-resistant solar panel
- They are a little dim
- It doesn’t come in multiple-pack options
Best Patio Lanterns
Lanterns are another excellent patio light option if string lights aren’t your style! These Mlambert solar lanterns provide a shining crystal look that’ll create the perfect nighttime ambience. The warm white light creates an inviting glow that’ll make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed when the sun goes down.
Along with the comforting light, the lantern cage has some stunning decorative features. It consists of a minimalistic coated black metal design that allows the light to shine through perfectly. And you can expect each lantern to stay this beautiful for many seasons ahead due to its weatherproof nature.
The cage is sleek and can go well with any style of patio or yard that you may have. These patio lights also come with chained hooks, so you can hang them freely throughout your yard.
One of the best features about these lights is that they are completely solar-powered! So, after a day of sunshine, you can have up to eight hours of ambient light when nighttime rolls in. Just be sure the solar panel has access to the sun for optimal charging!
- Made from heavy-duty waterproof metal
- Comes with hanging chains and hooks
- 1-year warranty
- They come in packs of two, so you may need to purchase a few sets
- They can’t fully charge unless they’re in direct sunlight
Do you enjoy the glow of string lights but hate the extension cords and the struggle of finding an outlet? Solar-powered string lights like these Brightech patio lights could be a perfect fit!
You’ll get approximately 20 feet of glowing ambience with bulbs that can last up to 20,000 hours. And the solar panel can handle about 1,000 charges, providing you with many enjoyable illuminated nights ahead!
Weather should never be an issue, as these patio lights are completely weatherproof. They can even handle -4 to 122ºF and 50 MPH winds! And the bulbs have a shatterproof plastic shell, which prevents breakage and sharp shard accidents. So there’s no need to take them down when a windy summertime thunderstorm rolls into town!
Hang these beautiful lights with their provided hook holes, or simply drape them over fences, a gazebo, and more. You can easily clip the solar panel onto an object or use the provided stake to stick it into the ground. Use whichever method collects the most sunlight to ensure you get the most out of your patio lights.
Not only is the solar panel set-up easy, but it has a light-sensitive automatic on-and-off mechanism. It uses a photoelectric cell, which associates light with producing electricity.
- Commercial grade weatherproof
- Has an auto on-and-off feature
- The bulbs are dim
- You’ll need a solar panel replacement after about 2.5 years
Patio Lights Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider
It’s easy to just throw any patio lights you see into your cart. But there are some things you should keep in mind before making your purchase. Evaluating your lighting needs, along with the size and structure of your yard can help make the right decision.
Length/How Many Lights Come in a Package
How big is your yard or the area that you want illuminated? You may want to measure it if you don’t have a general idea. Having a grasp of the space you need illuminated will help determine how many light sets you need to buy. This is especially true if you opt for string lights, as you’ll need the exact footage to ensure complete coverage.
If you decide on lanterns or floor lamps, it might also be wise to mark off where you want each one. Determining patio light placement ahead of time will help you purchase the correct amount.
Choosing the right materials is vital to the longevity of your patio lights. It’s best to get lights that have non-rusting components and strong bulbs that won’t break easily. If you opt for lights with metal on them, you should try to make sure they have a protective coating. This will keep water from stagnating on the light, which typically leads to corrosion.
Rubber or plastic-coated wires, wicker, and other waterproof materials are typically best if you get a lot of rain. The water will fall right off, and the materials won’t tear or break. These materials are typically flexible as well if you need to maneuver the lights in a specific way.
Do you have outlets outside that area easily accessible? Having outlets on your patio or in your yard is essential if you have plug-in patio lights. You’ll need a minimum of one available outlet to get your lights working.
You don’t want to end up buying a bunch of plug-in lights and then realize you have no outlets! Save yourself the headache by checking the light power type and evaluating your yard for power sources before purchasing.
If you don’t have any outlets, opting for solar-powered patio lights might be the best idea for you. Plus, you’ll save on electricity since they get their power from the sun.
Patio Lights Frequently Asked Questions
How can you hang patio lights without using nails?
Hanging your patio lights with nails can be damaging to whatever surface you’re using. And over time, the nails can get rusty and corroded. To prevent damage and corrosion, sticky outdoor hooks or zip ties can work just as well.
The hooks can stick to any surface, allowing you to hang your lights effortlessly. They also act as clips and keep the lights from falling off. Most zip ties are strong enough to hold up to 50 pounds and consist of plastic. So they won’t break or rust.
Is it safe to leave my patio lights on overnight?
You can leave your patio lights on overnight. However, if they’re plug-in lights, you should be aware that your electric bill will be higher. This is especially true if you do this often. There aren’t necessarily any safety hazards for leaving the lights on overnight.
What bulb color is best for outdoor patio lights?
Warm white is always best for patio lights. It tends to have a yellow tint to it, which creates a warm and inviting feel. This type of white is also easier on your eyes, which helps put you into a relaxing state. Cool white, on the other hand, is a little harsh and is similar to daylight, provoking a sense of alertness. So try to stick to warm white bulbs if you have the option.
Start Decorating With Some Beautiful Patio Lights!
The best overall patio lights seem to be the Addlon string lights. They are weatherproof, dimmable, and offer a cozy ambience when draped over your patio or yard. But if you’re looking for other patio lighting ideas, there are lanterns, floor lamps, and solar-powered options. You’re bound to find something you love!
Hopefully, these patio lights gave you some inspiration to help create a relaxing, ambient space to enjoy the outdoors.Are you looking for other ways to improve the look of your backyard? Take a peek at our Backyard Living page for fun ideas!
- About the Author
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Ashley Masiello is a home gardener, outdoor lover, video editor, artist, general freelance writer, and a writer for Minnetonka Orchards. She has a bachelor’s degree in film/media and two minors in writing and art.
She loves to tend to her plants, participate in all kinds of outdoor projects, and looks forward to planting a beautiful garden every spring.
Ashley loves sharing her knowledge about planting and fun outdoor DIY projects!
Ashley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.