Energy efficient. After six hours of charging in the sun, the faux candles will stay lit for up to 10 hours. Waterproof in rain or snow. Easy to hang. Can be used on a tabletop as well.
Some users thought they would be larger. Since they come in a set of two, may need several sets for a complete look.
Uses two rechargeable batteries, which can be charged via USB. Unit will snugly fit any standard umbrella pole. If highest setting is too bright – but you don't want to use dim setting – just flip it upside down to diffuse the light.
Some users would like to see a remote with the unit. Can't really close the umbrella without removing it from the pole.
Levels include dim, bright, and super bright, adjusted with simple button push. Super bright allows for reading and playing cards. No extra tools needed to clamp onto umbrella or tent poles. Four AA batteries – not included – power the light for a long time.
Not waterproof and shouldn't be exposed to the elements. Users have received light with no installation instructions and have to look them up online.
Users love how they flicker like real candles without the fire hazard. After charging all day, the lights will glow all night. Make great accents not only for umbrellas, but for garden paths, patio tables, and even hanging from windows indoors.
Not nearly as bright as lights that attach directly to poles. Designed more for decoration than functionality.
Light has two settings. Recharges with a wall plug or by using a USB charger and computer or phone. LED lights don't attract bugs like other types of lights and candles will. High setting provides enough light to cover even larger patio tables.
Have to remove from pole to close umbrella. Because the switch is high when in place, some users would like a remote included.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Nice weather? What a great time to spend time in a private outdoor space. To make your backyard, camping, or patio area the best it can be, you need proper outdoor lighting to keep your environment comfortable all day and into the night.
Patio umbrella lights come in different forms. The lantern variety may hang from the sides of the umbrella, while circular LED patio lights are positioned around the umbrella pole at the top. Some patio umbrellas come affixed with string lights. Indeed, there are plenty of options to consider. Where will you position your lights? How easy are they to turn on and off? What sort of environment do you hope to create?
We’re here to guide you through all the options. Read on to learn more about patio umbrella lights: what they are, what features you might enjoy (including colored lights and even those that recreate the look of fire), and how much you can expect to spend. We’ve also included our top recommendations for your convenience.
These are self-contained portable lights that can hang from underneath the patio umbrella. They are almost always solar-powered and come in a variety of sizes and brightness. While they are advertised as patio umbrella lights, they can move easily and work well in any outdoor space.
Umbrella pole lights are a unit of LEDs that are affixed around the top of pole of the patio umbrella. These may be circular or square in shape and are powered by electricity.
A third variety of patio lights comes already attached to the umbrella. They are string lights that adorn the ribs of the umbrella and are purchased as a single unit; they are not meant to be separated.
Lights powered by the sun are great because you don’t have to manually charge them. However, you can’t control them, either: if they’re charged, they’re staying on.
Patio lights can be functional, decorative, or both. Pole lights are utilitarian and tend to all look the same with the sole purpose of keeping the outdoor space light. Lanterns, however, come in a variety of styles that can serve as part of a design vision or specific ambience.
How bright do you want your patio umbrella lights to be? Lanterns tend to be fainter lights with only one setting, so the only way to make the space brighter is to buy more. Most pole lights have two or three adjustable settings for brightness.
Do you prefer warm lights or cool lights? This question comes up a lot around the holidays, but it’s also pertinent for summertime patios. Warm lights have a yellow or orangish tone, while cool lights are much whiter. Hanging lights or lanterns tend to be warmer, especially those emulating fire. Most affixed lights are cooler.
If you want a more natural backyard look, warm lights may be best. If you want a modern aesthetic, cool lights are usually preferred.
Check how the lights are powered before purchasing so you can figure out what additional work or investment may be required. Solar-powered lights are common and easy to deal with, but fickle weather can hinder usage over time, especially if you’re outside in the fall and winter months. Other patio umbrella lights have rechargeable batteries that can power up through USB cables. Many do not come with batteries, so you will need to buy them separately.
It may seem counterintuitive, but some patio umbrella lights are not weatherproof. That means that your lights would be among the items you take inside when rain is forecast. If you want your lights to stay outside indefinitely, make sure they can stand up to the weather.
The patio umbrella doesn’t have to be your only light source outside. Don’t be afraid to get some string lights, candles, pathway, and landscape lights to make the environment perfect.
Lantern-style patio umbrella lights often seek to recreate the look of fire. Some feature faux candles that emit a warm flicker. Others sport a larger red or orange flame. If you tend to use tea lights or candles in your outdoor space, having the warm glow of fake fire may complement your existing décor nicely.
Lanterns and hanging lights can be moved around your patio and taken with you if you’re ever outdoors and need some light — for example, if you go camping. This is also true for many umbrella pole lights, even though they may not come with the tools to make that happen. With a hook or string, these circular lights can hang from tents or trees, or you could place them on a high ledge to cast down.
Some patio lights offer a toggle between various brightnesses to allow for better mood control. The toggle is essentially a dimmer, so you’re not always stuck with the brightest (or dimmest) level.
If you embrace convenience and always want to keep on top of the outdoor ambience, a remote control may be essential. It is not a common accessory, but some companies do offer it with their patio lights, particularly those that have more options and intricacies than others.
Inexpensive: For under $20, there are many affixed pole light options. At this price point. you can still find rechargeable and dimmer options.
Mid-range: For $25 to $60, you will be able to purchase the lantern style of patio lights. They tend to come in groups of two or four, but there are a variety of different looks available.
Expensive: For over $60, you can forgo buying lights to add to your patio umbrella and instead purchase an umbrella that comes with preinstalled lights.
The term “waterproof” describes an item that is fully protected against water. The term “water resistant” denotes an object that can withstand some water, but it has a limit. Solar-powered lights should survive all weather, but LED pole lights will likely need to be removed during heavy precipitation.
If you’re opting to go the hanging lantern route but want a different style, then these solar light mason jars by Mason Jar Art will add a stylish, cool aesthetic to your outdoor space. They are solar powered, weatherproof, and have a unique look.
For those in need of a new umbrella, you could opt for Sunnyglade’s patio umbrella that comes complete with solar-powered lights and an on/off switch for convenience. And, for perhaps the more adventurous among us, Honwell offers a multi-colored umbrella pole light. It’s similar to other items, but it features 16 color options across the spectrum. Plus, it’s remote controlled.
Q. How long does the light take to fully charge?
A. There are two types of power sources: the sun and batteries. Solar-powered lights will take longer initially to turn on but will recharge whenever the sun is out. If you are using a USB cable to charge the batteries, the lights will be of use in a short time but need to be charged more frequently.
Q. How long does the charge last?
A. Fully charged with sunlight, solar-powered lanterns should last all night, from eight to ten hours. Battery-operated lights should last eight to ten hours as well. A larger set of solar-powered lights, such as those that come with umbrellas, may need more power to operate and therefore last only up to six hours.
Q. Does the light attract bugs?
A. Solar-powered lanterns likely will not attract any insects, but LED lights at a high setting may draw a swarm. Whether or not bugs are on the scene will also depend on the time of season and climate; incense or other candles may repel bugs.
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