Lighting is as important outside as it is inside the house but because the interior of a home is a lot more complex than the exterior there’s not really that much variation when it comes to the different types of outdoor lanterns available for purchase.
When it comes to choosing an outdoor light fixture, the decision is influenced by lots of different factors which you may or may not be aware of. For example, location is very important.
Each fixture has a different rating which indicates where it can or cannot be used. The wet rating for example indicates that a certain fixture can handle intense rain as well as snow and ice as well as salty breezes if for example it’s placed close to the sea or the ocean. These fixtures are great for exposed decks, gazebos or pergolas.
The damp rating on a light fixture indicates the fact it can be used in covered outdoor areas where it’s not directly exposed to rainfall or snow. It can handle moisture but not lots of water. Such a light fixture would also be ideal for areas like a bathroom or a kitchen.
What’s left is the dry rating which is for light fixtures designed for indoor use only.
Size is always important for a light fixture, regardless of type. Determining what the right size should be is closely linked to the role that a certain fixture has. For example, if you want it for practical purposes or for security reasons, a bright and small light would be best because it wouldn’t get in the way and it would be useful.
If you’re looking to add some decorative lighting to a pergola or a porch for example it could be interesting to get something that stands out.
The size of a particular light fixture is also related to its placement. In other words, you can figure out how big it should be based on where you want to place it. A patio chandelier for instance which is meant to hang above a dining table should be 2/3 or ½ the width of the table.
Lamp posts for areas like the garden or driveway should generally measure ¼ the height of the mounting pole.
Similarly, if you want some lights for the front porch or the front door, these should generally be ¼ or 1/3 the height of the door. It also makes a different if you’re hanging the lights, attaching them to the wall or if you’re installing them on the ceiling.
Another important element to take into consideration when shopping for outdoor lights is the materials from which they are made. Some of the most common ones for this category include cast aluminum, solid brass and wrought iron. They’re durable and long-lasting and they stand up to the elements.
Even so, there’s still a wide range of different designs and styles to choose from. Below you can find some of out favorites.
Although made of plastic, this lantern gives the impression of being crafted out of rattan. It has a spherical frame and inside it holds a battery-operated candle. There’s a handle which lets you hang the lantern on a tree branch or a post but which also lets you easily carry it around. This little detail gives the lantern a lot of character. Find out more details on Wayfair.
This is also a very beautiful lantern. It has an elegant geometric design with faceted tinted glass surfaces and a metallic frame which gives it a vintage aesthetic. The handle is a very special design detail, being made of braided silk. Although the lantern is designed for outdoor spaces, it can look just as beautiful indoors. Check it out on countardi-italia.
Here’s another vintage-looking lantern, this time with a wooden frame and clear glass sides. Inside there’s a battery-operated pillar candle which actually imitates a real flame, making the lantern both safe and authentic-looking. Once again, the handle gives it a lot of character, this time being made of rope. Check it out on Amazon to find out about this product.
Solar lanterns are perfect for the outdoors and this one is a great example. It has a simple design and it looks quite chic. Inside there’s a string of 30 LED fairy lights which create a bohemian and very cozy ambiance when they light up. Once fully charged, the lantern turns on automatically at night and operates for 8 hours. You can check it out on Amazon.
Not all outdoor lanterns are small or meant to be portable. This one was designed by Jean-Marie Massaud in 2008. It has a metal frame painted white and a shell made of matte white high density polyurethane resin. You can place the lantern either vertically or horizontally. It provides great ambient light for gardens, patios and outdoor areas in general. Find out more details on Bebitalia.
You can get these two lanterns as a set on Amazon. One is large and one is regular and they both work with battery-operated candles. Of course, you can also put a string of LED string lights in there if you want to change up the style a little bit.
If you’re looking for a piece that’s as much a piece of art as it is a functional lantern, check out The Others, a collection designed by Stephen Burks. The designs in this series are playful and also sophisticated and they also feature a nice palette of colors mostly on the earthy side. You can use and display the lanterns individually or stack them to make totem-like structures.
This is another very stylish-looking outdoor lantern and this time the light is projected around it into a wonderful pattern. This design takes the concept of decorative lamps to a whole new level. Hang this beautiful lantern up on a tree, keep on the floor on your deck or patio or arrange several along the garden pathway. It will look amazing. Check out the details on Amazon.
These three lanterns come as a set. They’re in three different sizes, measuring 20”, 28” and respectively 37” in height. Their metal frames are very detailed, featuring this sort of lace-like design in the corners. The lanterns are designed to work with pillar candles inside. You can hang them, keep them o the floor or on tables. Check out the set on Amazon.
There’s something about outdoor lanterns, in general, that makes us think of rustic or vintage designs and that’s one of the reasons why we really love this particular product. It has a lovely wooden frame with glass side panels and an iron top. It has an antique vibe thanks to the distressed finish and the nature of the materials involved. Find out more about it on Amazon.
It’s important that outdoor lanterns are designed to be able to withstand the usual conditions outside and to not be damaged by the occasional rain or moisture. This particular model is fully weatherproof. It measures 14” in height, with a width and depth of 8”. The square-shaped base allows three pillar candles to fit inside. Check it out on Amazon.
Meet Tinka, a very chic and stylish outdoor lanterns with a simple, sculptural and modern design. It features a little solar panels at the top and it’s available in a variety of colors, including bright orange, red, yellow, blue and of course the classic black and white. The lantern was designed by Claude Robin and is ideal for gardens, pathways as well as cozy backyard sitting areas.
Speaking of colorful and cute lanterns, you should also check out the Agadir series designed by Paola Lenti. It’s a set of rope lanterns available in several different colors which look charming and beautiful on the floor as well as on tables. They’re battery operated and have an autonomy of six hours at maximum light input. You can dim the light to conserve energy.
The Meme 1 outdoor lantern is part of a series created by designer Davide Montanaro in collaboration with the Krilladesign team. The series includes three portable and rechargeable lamps with frames made of natural birch wood and bodies available in opal or transparent polymethylmethacrylate. They’re all highly versatile and able to adapt to a variety of different settings and contexts.
The last outdoor lantern on today’s list is the Marstrand designed by Martin Dos Santos. It’s made of clear glass and dark brown leather and that gives it a familiar and enjoyable appearance. The leather strap lets you hang the lantern on tree branches, making it perfect for cozy outdoor settings. Inside there’s room for a large pillar candle.
This beautiful outdoor lamp by Sterno Home is a very subtle light, best if you want to set a cozy or a romantic mood on a patio for example. It has a beautiful design with an intricate pattern which reminds us of Moroccan lamps. The turquoise color and the rope handle go really well together. You can use this lamp in exposed and wet areas. It works with 3 AA batteries and it also makes a beautiful decoration.
The Julissa lantern by Aspire is also battery-powered which gives it lots of flexibility and means you can place it anywhere without having to worry about a thing. It can be placed on a table or on the floor as well as hanged and it has a very elegant and stylish design. It has a metal structure with a beautiful mesh cover and a simple pattern of concentric circles. The warm light from inside highlights this beautiful pattern. The handle is very simple and has an antique brass finish.
This floor lamp is centered around a flickering LED candle which gives off warm and subtle lighting without any actual flames. Its design is simple and modern, aimed to have a timeless and classic appeal and to fit into a variety of different decors.
At the top, this beautiful lamp from Pure Garden has a small solar panel with a rechargeable battery protected by a stainless steel top. It also has a sturdy rope handle which adds texture to its otherwise simple design. There’s also rope accents wrapped around the plastic frame. The lamp can be safely used in exposed outdoor areas and is weather-resistant.
A table lamp may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of an outdoor area. However, it’s a really great accessory for making a space like a covered deck or a patio feel more welcoming, comfortable and more like an extension of the indoor living area.
The Bussard lamp has an elegant and organic design, featuring a curving silhouette with a lovely bird and leaf ornaments on it. Its body is made of weather-resistant powder-coated steel paired with a fabric shade. It’s suitable for wet locations exposed to direct water, rain and snow and it’s a plug-in type of lamp.
There’s another beautiful outdoor table lamp by Paradise Garden Lighting which has a particularly elegant design. It’s a plug-in lamp with a built-in LED light and a crystalline solar panel that gives a 25 lumen output. It doesn’t make the lamp particularly powerful since its role is to create a warm and pleasant ambiance. It’s all made of metal with a dark bronze finish and a scrolling shade design. It’s damp and wet rated meaning you can use it in both covered and exposed outdoor areas.
If you’re looking for a type of decorative light that you can hang outside, check out this design. The Speth hanging light by August Grove has an abstract look which plays around with various geometric shapes. It’s a solar-powered outdoor light which you can hang in various areas like patios, pergolas, decks or gardens. It comes in several beautiful colors including blue, amber, green and lavender and there’s also a clear version that you can get if you prefer to draw less attention to the lighting.
Floor lights are really great for all sorts of outdoor areas. For instance, you can take these cube-shaped lamps from HomCom in the backyard or in the garden, place them at the base of a tree, scatter them on the deck or put them in corners to brighten up the area. They give off a soft light and they’re designed to be very efficient. They have rechargeable LED lights which are solar-powered and last up to 12 hours when fully charged. They also change color and can be dimmed at different levels. Also, there’s 4 different transition effects to choose from.
This lamp from HomCom is fairly similar to the ones above except it has a spherical shape. This is a type of lamp that you can use in covered outdoor areas and other damp location but shouldn’t be left exposed and can’t withstand rain or snow. As such, it’s a type of decorative color-changing light that you can use as a decoration as well as a light source.
The Monford lamp has a rather unique and unusual design. It’s made of galvanized steel and it’s shaped like a giant pine cone. The light source is at the center and offers a soft and warm glow which looks especially great at night. It has a powder-coated finish both on the inside and the outside and it doesn’t require any maintenance or special care. It’s also UV-resistant, doesn’t rust and can be exposed to the elements. Pair it with flame-less candles for a beautiful lighting effect.
The floor lamp from MoonQuake has a particularly eye-catching look. It has a straight and slender metal pole which holds a shade shaped like a crescent moon with a miniature full moon light source in the middle. It charges during daytime when it gathers solar light and it automatically lights up at night. It’s easy to install without any wiring or extra accessories needed.