There's no better way to light up the night and enjoy the outdoors than with the glow of string lights. With a variety of options fit for any occasion, your patio space can become the perfect entertaining spot or simply a low-key place to relax on Summer nights.
When I know that I'll be returning home from work after dark, I always make sure to leave at least the entryway and porch light on. I hate to fumble with keys in the dark! I'm sure that if I didn't have a big dog inside the house, I'd leave even more lights on. How about you?
500 Days of Summer doesn't make its debut in theaters until July 17, but I've already got an eye on the sets. Here, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt stand on a rooftop in full Summer style. Of course, the pair look quite dapper in a beautifully patterned sundress and a sharp suit, but it's the paper lanterns that complete the scene. The concrete wall looks a little gritty but the lanterns instantly give the space early evening elegance. Paper lanterns are very inexpensive and easy to hang on a string of outdoor lights. Do any of you use these at home? If not, try replicating this look in your backyard or on your rooftop! To see where you can pick up some paper lanterns of your own, read more
Once you've decked out your patio or deck with an outdoor dining table and other furniture, it's time to make sure the space is well-lit. You could go the route of candles or standard light fixtures, OR you could go the route of earth-friendly LED lights . . . in your patio's stonework. Denmark-based company Stoneage Lighting ($100 and up) makes paving stones (cobblestones, flagstones, etc.) with built-in lights which are embedded with LED lights, 100 percent waterproof, "vandal-proof," "road-worthy," and energy-saving. The lights will be set directly into your driveway, walkway, or patio, so you can light up your living space from underneath. Since LEDs have a very long life and require little energy, there'll be no more changing bulbs or pricey electricity bills. And, you don't have to worry about hitting your streetlight when you're backing out the driveway — always a plus.
The Beau & Bien Smoon Ombrella ($1854) is a wireless and rechargable "light sculpture" for your indoor or outdoor space that acts a parasol in the day, and a lantern at night. But, to be honest, it looks more to me like an alien starship from It Came From Outer Space . . . kinda creepy! What do you think?