Make Umbrella Lights

Enhance your patio with umbrella lighting.

Evening gatherings on the patio are enjoyable and relaxing, but the fading sun and onset of night brings the challenge of adequate lighting. Soft, glowing umbrella lights impart a magical feeling to your outdoor entertaining while serving an important function. Everything is easier to see and appears more attractive when bathed in ambient light. Several methods of making umbrella lighting for your evening entertaining are inexpensive and simple to create. The amount of light needed and the feeling you are looking to establish determines which umbrella lighting option is best for you. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Clamp a rechargeable or battery-operated patio umbrella light around the umbrella’s pole. These one-piece LED light units are adjustable and fit most umbrella pole diameters. These lightweight units provide an uninterrupted flow of light for up to 30 hours, depending on the style and manufacturer. Rechargeable patio lights come with an AC adapter and removable battery pack with charger. This type of umbrella lighting is especially good for reading and dining and makes an excellent source of light for camping or emergencies.

2. Attach strings of small LED lights to the ribs inside your umbrella. Many umbrellas come with thin openings cut along the structural ribs that allow you to slide light wiring into the opening, creating an invisible, secure fit. If the ribs do not have openings for the wires, simply string the light wires along the ribs, holding the lighting wire in place with string or wire. Use an extension cord to connect to an electrical source, if needed.

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3. Hang individual decorative lanterns from the ribs under the umbrella. The choices vary from round or cylinder paper lanterns to traditional metal lanterns. Another option is solar lanterns that are put out during the day to collect solar energy and then hung from the umbrella ribs to impart a soft glow in the evening.

4. Fasten a patio umbrella chandelier to the umbrella pole. These elegant types of lighting typically have eight tea candle holders around the rim of the chandelier, each with a clear glass hurricane to prevent the candle from dripping or being blown out. This sophisticated patio umbrella lighting style is excellent for formal gatherings.