Aug 29, 2011

Stay outdoors longer with these simple lighting ideas.

As the summer days shorten but the evenings stay warm, you can continue to use your outdoor living spaces by lighting them with some quick and inexpensive solutions. 

String lights and flameless candles make
outdoor dining elegant and romantic
1.Hang string lights. One of the simplest ways to bring light outdoors is with string lights that can be linked together to create inexpensive and effective lighting.  Many stores are offering discounts on summer style string lights that you can install now and keep for several years. You don't need to purchase the decorative covered style, but if you can, you'll have added ambiance.  Be sure to purchase OUTDOOR rated extension cords to reach from an exterior outlet to your outdoor space. 

2. Use flameless candles.  With safety as a number one concern for leafy outdoor rooms, the availability of flameless or battery operated candles makes it easy. Placing them on tabletops, next to benches and around your outdoor space will make it warm and inviting.  Use them alone or inside a traditional lantern or candle holder to suit your style.  You can often find them in sets of three for as little as $10, and they come in realistic waxy shapes to mimic the ambiance of candles.

3. Create jar candles.  A great way to add light - and recycle glass jars at the same time is to place sand in the base of jars - varying sizes are great - and create a hanger for the jar with old wire hangers or 20 gauge wire.  Simply wind the hanger/wire around the rim of the jar and secure it with a wire twist, then create a hanger (different lengths for a wonderful effect), and hang them under umbrellas, from fences and trees, and place around your table and walkways. 

4.Be creative with candles.  Rather than a standard taper holder, set them into a sand base in a tall hurricane, vase or even glasses and enjoy the look.  Place floating candles at each plate or in a large centerpiece.  Try making candle holders from seasonal items like seashells and beach buckets.  A simple bag luminary works well on walkways and tabletops.