We used to use candles to light up our gardens, as well as backyard security lights (which added a less than salubrious or inviting glow to garden parties). Now, many of us are turning towards solar lights to illuminate parties or family evenings in our gardens and backyards.
The great thing about solar-powered lights is that they can cast many kinds of light so you can choose the colour, shade and intensity you want. They also need no matches and aren’t likely to set leaves (or partygoers) on fire.
While we’ve all seen the solar-powered stake lights lined up along garden paths, there’s many more ideas to bring some lumens into your outdoor lives, so here’s just a few of the best ones.
Hang up Mason jars
You can now get Mason jar lids, fitted with an LED light and a collector, on their own – you can use your own jars. This is great because you can choose different colours and swap the lids out according to your fancy, before hanging them up in trees or lining them up in glowing ranks on top of walls and tables.
Wrap string lights around trees
If you have trees in your garden, wrap solar-powered string lights around them so that when the sun goes down, you’re not plunged into darkness. There’s something magical about glowing trees.
Repurpose old wine bottles
Or, indeed, any sort of glass bottle… Use a collector and string light combo (easily available now) to turn an old bottle into a solar lantern by threading the string into the bottle. These glass lanterns can be hung, stood or even attached to your walls to bring a unique look to your evenings.
Build a tepee and attach clip-on lights to it
You can build your own tepee or you can order a ready-made one; then you clip on as many tiny solar lights as you can muster. There’s a few sorts available now, in the shapes of birds, stars, butterflies… This combo is perfect as a chill-out space for children.
Tips for maintaining your solar collectors
It’s important to place your solar collectors in places where they’ll receive enough sunlight to actually power the lights for at least three or four hours. You should also clean the collectors regularly with a soft damp cloth so there’s nothing stopping the sun getting through.