No Outlets Required: Four Pretty and Practical Outdoor Lighting Ideas

Versatile outdoor lighting options can help you stretch your outdoor time well past the point when the sun sets. From backyard barbeques to garden parties, lighting plays a key role in brightening the atmosphere of any gathering. Take a look at some of the most charming options available, with no strings--or wires--attached.

Inexpensive Solutions

If you've been wondering what to do with all the mismatched jars you've been saving, now is the time to put them to work. Grouping jars of different shapes and colors together and placing tea lights in each is a beautiful way to illuminate a backyard gathering on the cheap.

Another inexpensive idea courtesy of Martha Stewart: create slipcovers for your existing candles by wrapping decorative fabric around each.

Lanterns Big and Small

Lanterns are a very practical way to use candles outdoors, because the lantern's purpose is to encase the candle and protect it from wind and other elements. Fortunately, this is also a fun option with endless possibilities, from five-dollar Ikea lanterns to beautifully embellished, hand crafted models. You can go big or small, with a string of small hanging lanterns, or one or more oversized standing lanterns.

Portable electric lanterns offer a modern variation on the classic lantern, with rechargeable batteries, dimmer switches, and versatile indoor-outdoor options.

For a Rustic Feel

Never underestimate the power of the tiki torch. Stagger tiki torches along the pathway into the party for guests to feel they are entering an exciting new realm, or place them strategically around the party area to add grounding to your outdoor lighting.

Floating Elegance

Floating candles are a classic way to draw attention to an area and make your guests feel a little bit magical. Better for smaller surfaces like tabletops, floating candles can be a creative way to add a personal touch to your gathering.

Solar and LED Outdoor Lights

Easy and green come in the same package with solar powered outdoor lights. The best models come in beautiful shapes and styles, and combine battery power, LED lights, and solar energy to create a long lasting, portable, and wire-free outdoor lighting source.

Make your evening gatherings magical, whether you are alone enjoying a peaceful night, or entertaining the neighborhood. Explore these outdoor lighting options and light up your nights in style!

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