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Light Up Your Summer Nights!

Updated on March 3, 2014

Party Under the Lights

My favorite part of summer has always been pool parties that live on into the night. What I love most about these parties is the magical twinkle of the party lights in the night, as they dance in the warm summer breeze.

These sparkling lights add a festive, tropical and even romantic atmosphere to any backyard party. They sprinkle just the right amount of subtle, sparkling glow necessary for your outside entertainment decor. An added effect is the shimmer of the lights' reflections bouncing off of the ripples of the pool water. Your guests are sure to have a wonderful evening and they will be impressed. I had friends who fell in love with my backyard paradise from the first time they stepped into it. Within a month, they were having an inground pool put in their backyard and were building a tiki bar.

Even after all of my guests have packed up and left for the night, I love to sit under the little lights by the pool and listen to the tree frogs sing me a lullaby. It's definitely dreamy!

It's been about eight months since I've moved from my backyard paradise. I really do miss it now that summer is here, but I intend to create a new one at my new home.

Tell Me...

Do you use decorative outdoor lighting?

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What Kind of Lights are Best?

There are many different types and styles of outdoor night lighting to choose from. So, how do you choose?

It's actually quite simple! Just decide on the type of atmosphere you want to create and how much light you want. Then just go for it!

Read on for ideas!

My top picks...

My All-Time Favorite

Hanging Solar Garden Lights by Britta

I love these lights because they are great for hanging in the trees as an alternative to lighting a pathway. If you are like me, I need to see what might be lurking in front of my face. Personally, I want to see if there are spider webs in my way - so I can stay clear of them.

They provide just the right amount of clean, crisp, white light to brighten an area. There are no wires or strings attaching them together. This makes it easy to scatter them about your yard wherever a little light is needed. If you have no trees, just hang them from a shepherds hook. You can also use different hook heights to put light where it's needed.

These lights are well worth the cost. Each light requires a AA battery. They come as a set of 3 individual solar-powered hanging lights. The cone covering is made of a frosted plastic material. These lights give an elegant look to your backyard entertaining decor.

My Second Favorite Party Lights

String Lights

Small twinkling string lights give a magical feel to any outdoor evening party. I prefer the solar lights because you can wrap them around trees, hang them from branches and weave them inside bushes without worrying about electrical outlets and wires. Or if you prefer, just hang them from a gazebo, string them from the deck, or anywhere you want.

The white lights are my favorites. They remind me of twinkling little stars dancing in the night air. The slight blue hue of this set adds a cool crispness to the atmosphere and the long-lasting magical glow also adds a hint of romance.

This particular string set only has 30 lights and is about 20 feet in length, so depending on how magical you want to make your backyard paradise, you may need a few sets. However, they are bright and last well into the night. With longer string lights, you sometimes have too much left over, causing you to cram the rest of the set into a small area. This can create more light than you want. Also, what I like about them, is that the wiring is dark, so it blends in with the trees and landscaping.

You can also find longer string lights sets on Amazon.

Light Your Path

Westinghouse Set of 12 Premium LED Solar Lights w/ 3 Settings, Stainless Steel

The subtle glow of solar path lights is another great way to illuminate paths and give an enchanting and elegant ambiance to gardens and pool areas. You can scatter these about where ever you want a little extra light. These Westinghouse solar lights are sturdy, and made of metal - not plastic, and they hold up great in all elemets. They are available in bronze or steel. There are twelve in a set. These are lights I have and I highly recommend them.

What I love about these lights is that you can switch to different colors. When entertaining my guests, I prefer the white lights. They are brighter and more festive. However, when sitting out by myself, I prefer the soothing golden glow. If you prefer colors, you have that option also. Although, I don't really care too much for the changing colors - except at Christmas time.

Westinghouse Set of 12 Premium LED Solar Lights w/ 3 Settings, Stainless Steel
Westinghouse Set of 12 Premium LED Solar Lights w/ 3 Settings, Stainless Steel

Unfortunately, this particular product is currently out of stock. But you can sign up to be notified when available. 4 star rating after 128 reviews.

Westinghouse 802104-41OPMXR Mosaic Glass Solar Pathlight, Stainless Steel Finish and Silver Pearl Glass, 4-Piece Set
Westinghouse 802104-41OPMXR Mosaic Glass Solar Pathlight, Stainless Steel Finish and Silver Pearl Glass, 4-Piece Set

This is also a Westinghouse product. I haven't used this one - but it has a 5 star rating (only one review). Set of 4 for $29.95.


Add a Tropical Feel..

With Tiki Torches

Add a real tropical feel to your outdoor entertaining space with tiki torches. I love the classic bamboo style torch. You don't have to spend a lot of money to create the feel of an island luau! Put on a little Bob Marley music - and you're in paradise!

These torches are 48 inches tall and are refillable. Real fiery flames flickering in the air is not only beautiful, but can also be mesmerizing. I loved putting them between my tall ornamental grasses around the pool. The reflection in the pool was sensational. (Hint - I always had the filter on with the water nozzles turned slightly upward to create ripples. The light is magical when it shimmies off the gentle movement of the water) However, I didn't use my torches when it was too breezy.

The metal and ornamental torches also look beautiful, and produce a more elegant impression. I've seen them in other people's yards, but I have never bought any.

Bamboo Tiki-Style Torches - Set of 12 - 48" Length - Metal Oil Canister
Bamboo Tiki-Style Torches - Set of 12 - 48" Length - Metal Oil Canister

Gotta love the classic bamboo tiki torch. No need to spend a lot of money for the tropical ambiance. 4 star rating after 8 reviews. 12 torches for only $32.97


Subtle Lighting...

Doesn't attract the bugs!

I also really like these Chinese paper lanterns. They give off a subtle glow which is perfect for a quiet evening with friends or that special someone, without attracting the bugs.

I had these hanging from my lower deck. We had a little "outside room" under the deck - complete with a little bar and TV. These lights give off a comfy glow. This type is string lighting that plugs into an outlet. I prefer the electrical kind when using these types of lights in an area that is shaded for most of the day. What I like about this product is that you can connect several sets together, just like Christmas lights. You can also find solar powered sets.

You can find them in larger sizes and different colors if you prefer.

What is Your Favorite?

What type of decorative lighting is your favorite?

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Here are a few lighting options that I would love to try out!

Don't forget your rechargeable batteries.

Don't Forget Rechargeable Batteries - For Solar-Powered Lights

Solar powered lights require batteries to work. Since I seem to have bad luck with batteries dying too fast, I like to use rechargeable batteries. If you choose rechargeable batteries, don't forget to purchase a charger also. Make sure the charger is compatible with the battery type you use.

What's your Preference?

Do you prefer solar-powered, electric or fire?

See results

What are Your Thoughts?

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    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

      We used to have the solar path lights around our garden, but over the years some have been broken, I must do something about them!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Australia

      I love outdoor lighting - it creates such a special and relaxing ambience. Thank you for some wonderful suggestions.

    • DanceMomOnline profile image

      DanceMomOnline 4 years ago

      I love the cornet solar lights. Unfortunately, I don't have any good trees or any other place to hang outdoor lights. Maybe someday!

    • Fit And Fab profile image

      Fit And Fab 4 years ago

      Nice lens. I'm a fan of creating an outdoor experience with lighting.

    • FrancesWrites profile image

      FrancesWrites 4 years ago

      Lovely collection of lights!

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      Delightful Lens!

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 4 years ago from Here

      Wonderful lens!!! Now I have some new ideas for lighten up my garden.. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I LOVED your Lens and could imagine all those sparkling beautiful lights in your garden, amazing! I totally would go for the Tiki Torches if I had a garden. But I have a balcony. I do have some beautiful solar lights. You Lens is very inspiring, thank you!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I love these outdoor party light.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 4 years ago from Canada

      I use lots of path lights, a few lanterns and hanging string lights.

    • josietook profile image

      josietook 4 years ago

      I love the cornet shaped lights!!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Wow, this is a beautiful lens! Well we have our own traditional outdoor lights :)

    • sweett0609 profile image

      sweett0609 4 years ago

      I love this page! We bought our own house about 2 years ago and I have yet to find something to do with our huge backyard. You gave me tons of ideas! Thank you!

    • profile image

      Torrs13 4 years ago

      I don't have my own house yet, but I would like to get some solar path lights once I do get my own place. I've seen some solar path lights that change colors, so I think it would be cool to get those one day.

    • profile image

      LUMOSE 4 years ago

      Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Stopped this lovely lens again. I love my outdoor lights. :)

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 5 years ago

      I'm addicted to these rechargeable and solar powered gadgets. I use Led Candles to light dark corners in and out of the house, they last up to four days with luck before needing a recharge.

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      Love these fabulous outdoor gadgets and lights! I love decorating my backyard esp. in the Summertime using lights and candles. Outdoor lights definitely enhance the beauty of my backyard. Adding candles makes it even more "romantic. These garden gadgets also create a dramatic, uplifting feel to it. It's like "resurrecting" or transforming my boring backyard into something fabulous or therapeutic. Thanks for this great lens! God bless.

    • profile image

      JennySui 5 years ago

      Congrats on LotD!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      I love outside lights and the beauty they provide. And I live in the bush so I'm just as happy with starlight, moonlight and a glowing campfire. Lovely lens, d

    • profile image

      ShirleyStark 5 years ago

      I love garden lighting. We have a big forest in our backyard that eventually I want to put a lot of lights in, but we just moved in so we haven't even made any paths or anything yet.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I like natural living.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a very nice lens.

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      What a positive lens! i wish I had a garden to use some of these suggestions in. Blessed by me though

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. A great way to enjoy a warm summer evening and enjoy nature.

      Thanks for sharing. Blessed.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 5 years ago from Ohio

      SquidAngel blessings. An excellent and unique lens.

    • profile image

      kayla_harris 5 years ago

      It is very beatiful to light in the night! Very beatiful pictures!

    • themeaparty profile image

      themeaparty 5 years ago

      I'm a big fan of lighting. In the summer I'm into torch lighting but year-round we have path lights.

    • profile image

      linda-bleile 5 years ago

      great selection of ideas !

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I loved your lens. I've been trying to decide on what lights. This gave me some great ideas.

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      Really like the hanging ones and really need to get some soon.

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

      Nice lens with lots of interesting lighting options.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing some great ideas! ;-)

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      You really make a resource lens on lightning, I like it.

    • tslizzy profile image

      tslizzy 5 years ago

      love the lights. look amazing

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      summer lighting can be magical!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Lijep! Beautiful in Croatian, love the many options you suggest.

    • ionee251 profile image

      ionee251 5 years ago

      Your intro image look so romantic and I love your party lights ideas. I would love to try it them.

    • profile image

      Ladybird 5 years ago

      A great lens. I never knew there were so many types of lights.

    • profile image

      XtraBlessed 5 years ago

      Just love the idea of solar powered lighting but due to the amount of tree coverage in my yard they just don't get enough sunlight to power them.

    • profile image

      aiclogcabins 5 years ago

      I would love to have a back garden paradise like you have described

    • raelcalu profile image

      raelcalu 5 years ago

      We don't have a backyard but i think lighting up the patio and the little space in front it isn't bad at all...great ideas, i would suggest this to my mom.

    • dcosmato lm profile image

      dcosmato lm 5 years ago

      Awesome roundup of ideas for great ways to light up the outdoors! Congratulations on LOTD - you really did a wonderful job on this lens. We love our solar lighting for the garden and walkways.

    • AgingIntoDisabi profile image

      AgingIntoDisabi 5 years ago

      Love the look.

    • Keith J Winter profile image

      Keith Winter 5 years ago from Spain

      Great lens. I'm just landscaping my garden so it comes at the right time.

    • profile image

      TheResoluteWriter 5 years ago

      Wandering out to the deck right now to enjoy my lights - and consider a few new additions. Nice lens!

    • profile image

      sandi_x 5 years ago

      Nice idea for the next party.

    • profile image

      lillygordon 5 years ago

      Hanging lights are definitely great, not only it brings beauty to your surroundings, but also provides safety.

    • mindlessnin profile image

      mindlessnin 5 years ago

      nice lens...

      next time i'd be able to put up a wonderful night party

    • bordercollieluvr profile image

      bordercollieluvr 5 years ago

      Great information - gives me a project to start thinking about.

    • donaldwilson profile image

      Don Wilson 5 years ago from Yakima, WA

      I'm always looking for more ideas for outdoor lighting. Summer nights with lighted landscaping are beautiful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LotD, and well deserved. :)

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      Very nice ideas. Thanks!

    • markadamdouglass profile image

      markadamdouglass 5 years ago

      Cute page with lots of great ideas

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

      Congratulations on being LOTD - this is a fantastic lens! Thanks for featuring solar lights, once they're operating properly they're a wonderful lighting solution. No need to worry about power points or changing batteries. One warning: Sometimes the solar panels need to be wiped clean (try a damp flannel) so the sunlight can reach in. Thanks for sharing.

    • benny77 profile image

      benny77 5 years ago

      Fantastic Lens.... Makes me want to go shopping for pretty little twinkling lights :)

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Oops - that should be LotD :>)

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Love my solar powered lights at night! Congratulations on your well deserved Lot!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Thanks for the great tips. I am currently looking into outdoor lighting for a big outdoor party we have planned for November for my wife's 40th and daughter's 13th. Congrats on LOTD! :-)

    • nicks44 profile image

      nicks44 5 years ago

      Simple, efficient and good looking ... what more need you from a piece of light ?

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      These are all so pretty. I wish I had an outdoor area to enjoy outdoor party lights!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for all the great information!

    • InSearchOf LM profile image

      InSearchOf LM 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD, nice job.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Wonderful job of reviewing each light product. Congrats on your LOTD

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 5 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Congrats on LOTD and an awesome lens !

    • profile image

      lovemicheala 5 years ago

      Brilliant and very useful!

    • LadyCharlie profile image

      LadyCharlie 5 years ago

      Great Lens...congrats on LOTD. Blessed!

    • profile image

      soaringsis 5 years ago

      You covered it all, wonderful! Great lens. Congratulation on your LotD and also on Featured lens.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      Very informative and helpful for anyone wanting to beautify their backyard. Thanks for sharing this. Congratulations on making Popular Pages - Featured Lenses AND Lens of the Day!

    • Risa28 profile image

      Risa28 5 years ago

      You stated exactly how I feel in your first two paragraphs. Love little lights at night, great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A lot of really good lighting information. Congratulations on getting LoTD!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Very nice article and lighting options! Love the intro photo. Very magical. :)

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      Great intro photo, it really grabs your attention. I have seen some dramtic lighting in trees which really give a great look at night.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very nice! I did not know that there were so many types of outdoor lighting options. When we get our deck re-done I will be checking some of these out. I really like those bamboo stick things too!

    • MillBucks profile image

      MillBucks 5 years ago

      Congrats on LoTD, I prefer the solar lighting since these are more flexible to use.

    • MillBucks profile image

      MillBucks 5 years ago

      Congrats on LoTD, I prefer the solar lighting since these are more flexible to use.

    • profile image

      stillrunnin88 5 years ago

      Great lens.Good option for the 4th of July.

    • texan203 lm profile image

      texan203 lm 5 years ago

      Great information. I really like the solar lights best. Congratulations on LOTD.

    • nursingstudentb profile image

      nursingstudentb 5 years ago

      Great ideas! I have some solar lights in my yard for sure!

    • nursingstudentb profile image

      nursingstudentb 5 years ago

      Great ideas! I have some solar lights in my yard for sure!

    • profile image

      ScamsOfTheHeart 5 years ago

      I have only recently learned about solar outdoor lighting so this lens is very informative. I am confused, however. If the lights are solar, why are batteries needed? I was under the impression that the power comes from the sun. It seems to be more of a hassle than a pleasure if you have to use batteries.

    • MoniqueDesigns profile image

      MoniqueDesigns 5 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      congratulations on LOTD! great to see so many votes for solar power!

    • secondhandrose lm profile image

      secondhandrose lm 5 years ago

      Congrats on a great lens. It gave me lots of ideas for my backyard.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Twinkle Twinkle little lights, shine upon the yard so bright :)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD - well deserved, great lens

    • KittySmith profile image

      KittySmith 5 years ago

      Congratulations on LotD! I had wanted to do a lens on lighting because it is one of my favorite decorating methods too, but you really covered it! Good point about the small lights not attracting bugs.

    • profile image

      AngelDeanSquidoo 5 years ago

      Useful lens. Congrats on LOTD.

    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 5 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD. Great lens. I like the clear lights. I think that they look elegant!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      Lighting make a backyard look so festive. Congrats on LOTD.

    • Kae Yo profile image

      Kae Yo 5 years ago

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

    • Erebos411 profile image

      Erebos411 5 years ago

      I love the magic of lights in the garden at night. This is especially true in the summer. I love sitting in the garden after dark surrounding by hundreds of twinkling lights.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 5 years ago from Concord VA

      Great outdoor light selection. Congratulations on LotD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The theme fits this great lens perfectly!

    • profile image

      fryroost 5 years ago

      Great Lens! I love Garden's lighten up.

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Great lens! Outdoor and garden lighting is so great.

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 5 years ago

      great lens...Congratulations with the nomination of your lens as the LOTD...

    • caketech profile image

      caketech 5 years ago

      I love outdoor lighting as well. I don't have many right now though, because we have a lot of work to do in our yard first. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on LOTD! I know you already have angel blessings, but I am adding my SquidAngel blessing as can never get too many! :)

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Great lens and lens theme! I live in an old rented condo and the exterior outlets and lanai walls are not conducive to hanging lights or electric anything. When it's cool enough to sit outside in south Florida, I light a few candles for ambience. Inside the house, I use Christmas lights year-round for effect.