There’s no denying the magical effect a little candlelight has on an otherwise sultry, warm summer night. That glow—be it from fire or bulbs or LED lights—may remind us of tented weddings, catching fireflies in mason jars, or roasting marshmallows by campfires. For your next deck dinner party, patio barbecue or stoop-and-a-bottle-of-wine soiree, create instant ambiance with 10 of my favorite outdoor lights. Not able to entertain alfresco? These will all look elegant indoors, too.
Palm Springs-based notNeutral is known for its fun, bold colors on metal. These lanterns, available from 2modern, are no exception. The pinholes create a dreamy effect.
When I used to cover home decor trade shows, Blomus was the go-to source for super-sleek outdoor lanterns and torches. I love the simplicity of these portable Lumbra lanterns.
Many brides-to-be know Beau-coup as a source for wedding favors--but the site also offers plenty of cheap-chic, colorful paper lanterns that, either solo or in multiples, will add some punch to your dinner under the stars.
Talk about kicking it up a notch. Botanist makes eco-friendly products, but they don't sacrifice design. These Epigram lanterns are made of powder-coated steel, making them outdoor safe (though also great inside).
I recently discovered Pigeon Toe Ceramics, and I'm obsessed. This sweet riff on the classic mason jar lantern is perfect for summer.
When in doubt, cb2. (Maybe that's just my motto for the reliable favorite.) In any case, the affordability of these ceramic lanterns make buying a series a bit easier.
There are lots of manufacturers who make portable LED-lit lights (great for parties with kids, windy nights, you name it), but Vessel was the first on my radar years ago.
Think string lights are only for Christmas trees and dorm rooms? Think again. Etsy seller David Boyd sells lights in all varieties of flower motifs. With some artful arranging, these would look amazing encircling a patio.
Aluminum, plexiglass and a shocking dose of orange complete this modern Farol horizontal lantern by Jose Gandia (available from Orange Skin).
Not a lantern, but still a great way to add some romance and drama to your outdoor table--these votives from West Elm are stylish and easy on the wallet at $5 each.