How often have you been enjoying a perfect day out in the sunshine only to find yourself having to pack up and head inside once night falls?
Sure, the weather is still warm enough to make the most of your garden, but let’s be honest:
Sitting outside in the dark isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of a good time, is it?
If such a scenario sounds even vaguely familiar, now might be an ideal time to consider searching for the best patio umbrella lights to brighten up your outdoor spaces and keep the good times rolling even after the sun goes down.
An attractive, affordable addition to your patio furniture, patio umbrella lights are an ideal solution for those nights when your existing outdoor lighting simply isn’t cutting it ultimately making it safe and practical to continue enjoying your garden long into the night while at the same time adding a whole new sense of beauty and style to your outdoor space.
Both practical and beautiful, patio umbrella lights can transform the way your garden patio looks while making it safe and enjoyable for you and your loved ones to enjoy your garden even after the sun goes down.
Still, let’s face it:
While investing in quality umbrella lights may solve one problem, choosing the right kind of lighting only raises more questions.
How much do patio umbrella lights cost?
How do you install them?
What happens to your brand new patio umbrella lights in winter?
Should you go for lanterns, string lights, or disc lights, and what’s the difference anyway?
Today, we’ll set out to answer all of those questions and more, as well as sharing our top five picks of the very best patio umbrella lights around.
Looking for more inspiration for lighting your patio? Let Martha Stewart Living show you how what a big difference umbrella lights can make to your patio.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Five Best Patio Lights in Brief
Later in this guide, we’ll share our in-depth reviews of our five favorite umbrella lights, explaining how we chose each brand and why we think they’d make a great addition to your garden.
Don’t have time for that right now?
If you’re in a hurry, here’s our quick overview of the best lights currently on the market.
1: AMIR Upgraded Patio Umbrella Light – Top Pick
The first umbrella light on the list is a great choice if you’re someone who gets tired of lights that break after a month or two of use. The AMIR umbrella light is something much more durable, and it has a very sturdy construction to it using ABS plastic that resists damage due to sunlight and lower humidity levels. There are durable LED bulbs that give you up to 50,000 hours of use before you see any changes in them, and it gives you a great illumination to light up any spot you prefer on your porch, patio, or out in your yard. It has a high setting that throws off 400 lumens and a dim setting that throws off 200 lumens, and this is more than enough light for one smaller area.
This is also a rechargeable umbrella light that can easily save you money over the span of its life. You can charge it for a few short hours to give yourself up to 18 hours of light on the high setting and over 50 hours of light on the dim setting. You can also quickly and easily change different lighting modes that match your needs. The dim setting uses 8 LEDs and the bright setting uses 20 LEDs.
- 50,000 usage hours
- LED bulbs
- Different lighting modes
- Newly upgraded design
- Dim setting
- Easy to install
- Not a high waterproof rating
2: LUXSWAY Patio Umbrella Light – Step-Up Pick
Sometimes, you may not want to get up to reach and find the switch on your light when it’s high up on your umbrella pole, and this is where this product comes in. This patio umbrella light comes outfitted with a remote control that is very user-friendly and simple. The remote has a wireless design, and it comes with a 20 to 25-foot range. So, you can operate it from your house if you have a clear shot of your umbrella and it’s closer to your home. You will need to have six AA batteries for this product to run.
With this patio umbrella light, you’ll get the choice of 16 colors, and it offers a medium 250 lumens with 20 super-bright LED lights. It puts out 3,000K warm white lighting that is perfect for patios, parties, and entertaining after the sun goes down. There are four possible modes you can flip through, including strobe, flash, fade, and smooth. This product will fit on an umbrella pole that is 1.1 to 1.78-inches in diameter to give you a very secure and snug fit, and you can adjust it to clamp over the pole to hold it in place.
- User-friendly design
- Remote included
- Six AA batteries
- LED lights
- 16 color choices
- Easy to install
- Snug fit
- Only fits poles up to 1.78-inches in diameter
3: Ywhomal Patio Umbrella Lights – Mid-End Budget Pick
Ywhomal’s string-style patio umbrella lights come with an impressive 104 LED lights, and you get 13 LEDs per string to give you evenly-spaced lighting. It’s a great way to decorate your umbrellas in your yard, your patio, tents, or any smaller area for a festive and safe look. This product runs on three AA batteries, and each string measures 4.3-feet from tip to tip. The wire is IP67 waterproof copper to ensure that there’s not any issues if you live in wet or humid environments, and they work well for umbrellas that come with eight ribs. The battery case has an IP65 waterproof rating, so you do have to take more care with this product to ensure it stays mostly dry.
You can set these lights to eight different looks, including wave, combination, slow glow, sequential, slow fade, flash, steady on, and twinkle to set the mood. You can also easily adjust the brightness levels to get a host of options. You can control the lighting style and brightness levels with the included wireless remote, and you can also use the remote to set a timer so the lights will automatically switch off to stop wasting batteries.
- 104 LED lights
- IP67 waterproof rating
- Sealed battery case
- 4.3-feet long
- Eight different looks
- Wireless remote
- Has a timer function
- Cord is very thin
4: Poocci Patio Umbrella Lights – Bargain Budget Pick
If you’re trying to add a small touch of warmth to your atmosphere for your next get-together or party, and it comes with eight built-in lighting modes with brightness adjustments that allows you to set the perfect ambiance. Each string of lights measures 130-centimeters from tip to tip, and you get eight of them to wrap around your umbrella’s ribs. Each LED light is parallel in the design, and this allows you to cut the cord according to size to get a perfect fit if you have a smaller umbrella and you don’t want to double-up on the lights.
There is a wireless remote control with this patio umbrella light set that allows you to easily turn them on and off, adjust the brightness, or change the lighting modes without having to get up. There is a waterproof battery box, and the light strips are also waterproof. The battery box has an IP65 waterproof rating on it to help it survive very humid or wet environments without shorting out. There is a 100% satisfaction guarantee on this product that ensures you can try it out for up to 12-months and return it at any point during this time if the lights don’t meet your expectations.
- Wireless remote included
- IP65 waterproof rating
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- 12-month return window
- Eight lighting modes
- Warm lights
- Easy to install
- Remote has a short range
Planning a big outdoor celebration this summer? The unique Texsens multi-colored patio umbrella light with Bluetooth speaker will keep the party going right through the night.
5. Yinou Solar Lantern Hanging Patio Lights – Best For Sunny Locations
You can host outdoor gatherings and barbecues after sundown with this quality patio umbrella light. You’ll get intricately carved patterns on each lantern that gives them a very unique and charming look. They also produce a flickering flame look that can wow your guests when they see it. The solar panel is on top of the lantern, and it’ll fully charge between four and five hours of direct sunlight. When it does, you’ll get up to 15-hours of constant sunlight. You need to press the power switch on the bottom of the lantern to enable it to charge through solar.
This patio umbrella light comes with an IP65 waterproof rating on it that will help it survive in different weather conditions and humidity levels. The warm yellow glow this lantern puts out creates a very welcoming feel and look, and you can hang them on the edges of your umbrella with the included clips. You get three adjustable flame modes on this lantern with different flickering effects, and you get the option to hang it anywhere you like along your patio, porch, or out in your yard.
- Intricate patterns
- Flickering flame look
- Offers 15 hours of light
- Charges in 4 to 8 hours
- IP65 waterproof rating
- Adjustable flame modes
- Easy to hang
- Needs a lot of sun to charge
6. GVSHINE Vintage Solar Lanterns – Best For Rustic Looks
You get four vintage-style lanterns when you order these patio umbrella lights, and they feature a clip-on design that goes nicely along the edges of your umbrellas. It’s a solar-powered option that needs four to six hours of direct sunlight to run for hours, and you get an automatic on/off feature to help conserve energy. The LED lights cast a warm yellow glow when they switch on, and they feature high-quality materials that are waterproof. You’ll get a 12-month warranty on this product when you purchase it, and this helps to protect you against defects.
- 12-month warranty
- Charges quickly
- Uses solar power
- Automatic on/off function
- Cute vintage design
- Soft yellow light
- Four per order
- Very thin plastic material
7. Frenda Umbrella String Lights – Best For Modern Decor
You get string lights with eight branches when you order these patio string lights, and they have 104 LED lights to them. They give you 16 colors with adjustable lighting, and it works well for umbrellas with eight ribs. You can connect it to a USB device or insert 3 AA batteries for it to work, and you can cycle through 12 modes for this light. There is a wireless remote control, adjustable lighting mode, and a timer so they automatically switch off. The battery box is waterproof, and they’re very fast and easy to install on your deck or patio.
- Colorful lights
- LED bulbs
- 12 modes
- Runs on USB or batteries
- Waterproof battery box
- Timer included
- Has a wireless remote
- Remote is flimsy
8. BIGMONAT Hanging Lights – Best For Big Umbrellas
This is a battery-operated patio umbrella light, and you get 12 colors with a warm lighting. It’s ultra-bright at 250 lumens, and there are four lighting modes. It’ll run for 70 hours on 3 D batteries, and you get a remote control to operate it with an 80-foot range. You can quickly and easily increase or decrease the brightness levels, and there is a timer button with 1, 2, 3, or 4 hour settings. You can either hang them along the umbrella or mount them right to the pole, and you get a hanging ring to attach to your umbrella. The user manual ensures that you’ll get them up and running quickly.
- 250 lumens
- 12 colors
- Runs up to 70 hours
- Multiple mounting options
- Timer setting
- User manual included
- Offers softer lighting
- Needs 3 D batteries
9. Horava Solar Patio Umbrella Lights – Best For Wet Environments
If you live in a wetter planting zone but still want patio umbrella lights, we encourage you to take a look at this pick. It’s solar powered, but you can also use 3 AA batteries to run them, and you get eight strings with a total of 104 LED lights at 13 lights per string. It features IP67 waterproof wire, and it’s easy to unravel and put up. You can cycle through eight modes to set the perfect ambiance, and you get a one-year manufacturer’s warranty that allows you to return or replace them if they fail or they don’t live up to your expectations. You get a very user-friendly design.
- 104 LEDs
- Works on eight-ribbed umbrellas
- IP67 waterproof rating
- One-year warranty
- Eight modes available
- Copper wire
- Two power sources
- Battery case is thin plastic
10. Crackle Glass Ball Lights – Best For Year-Round Use
The final patio umbrella lights on the list come with a built-in rechargeable solar battery, and they can run for 8 to 10 hours on a single charge. It features stainless steel with sturdy crackled glass that can survive exposure to the elements without showing any wear and tear. The panels are well-sealed to prevent leaks. They attach neatly to your patio umbrella with small metal clips, and they won’t slide down or off with windy conditions. You can space them out however you like for an eye-catching look, and they blend very well with a huge range of decors.
- Very chic and modern
- Crackled glass look
- Steel with glass materials
- Runs for 8 to 10 hours
- Easy to clip on
- Suitable for year-round use
- Get 12 per order
- May not last more than a season
Choosing the Best Patio Umbrella Lights: Your Complete Buyer’s Guide
So, how exactly did we decide which five patio umbrella lights made the cut out of all the countless options available?
Below, we’ll look at the different factors we took into consideration when making our choices.
What’s more, since we know that every garden -and every garden owner- is unique, we’ll also offer our top tips and suggestions on how to choose umbrella lights that are best suited for you and your space.
Patio Light Power Sources
Always thought that style was the most important factor to consider when it comes to adding lights to your patio umbrella?
While the look of your lights undoubtedly plays a big role in the type you eventually by, it’s perhaps even more important to decide which kind of power source you want to go for.
After all, you have several options here, each with their own pros and cons to consider.
Solar Patio Umbrella Lights
Solar powered umbrella lights absorb and store sunlight throughout the day, converting it into energy which powers your lights once it gets dark.
For the eco-conscious among you, solar lighting makes an ideal choice for your garden.
Solar lights generate their own power by using a special solar panel which soaks up the sunlight and stores it throughout the day.
Then, once the sun sets, the patio umbrella lights automatically turn themselves on, running on all of that stored up energy to provide a gentle, calming glow for several hours before gradually fading out until the patio umbrella lights run out of power.
Naturally, this is the most environmentally friendly way to add a beautiful ambiance to your garden patio. However, solar-powered umbrella lights are not without their problems.
For one thing, if you live in an area where you’re likely to get more grey and gloomy days than bright and sunny ones, solar power from the solar panel may not produce the kind of power you need to really enjoy your garden.
Though solar panels still work when it’s cloudy, they typically only produce 25% of the power they’d produce on a sunny day. On really cloudy days, the solar panel may even only produce 10%.
The other major disadvantage is that using solar-powered lighting means you have no control over when those solar powered umbrella lights actually turn on and off.
Yes, they’ll provide a wonderfully warm glow for a couple of hours, but they’ll provide that glow regardless as to whether you’re ready to sit outside or not, and may even fade out long before you’re ready to head indoors for the evening.
With that in mind, if you simply need a little extra lighting for a few hours after sunset, then solar energy is a great way to go. If you’re planning to keep the party going all night long, however, you might want to explore other options.
Mains Powered Patio Umbrella Lights
Mains electricity provides a constant source of power to your patio umbrella lights so that you can enjoy your garden for as long as you like.
If running out of power is a big concern, then this may be the best patio umbrella light solution for you.
Using a simple power chord that permanently connects your lights to your mains power supply, these are typically the cheapest option and guarantee that you’ll always have light whenever you need it.
Yet even this solution has its drawbacks.
For one thing, permanently running a cable from your umbrella to your mains supply can prove to be an unsightly blemish on your otherwise attractive garden design.
For another, that cable can present a real trip hazard, especially later in the evening.
Battery Powered / Rechargeable Battery
Using rechargeable AA batteries can often be the most cost-effective and eco-friendly way to power your umbrella lights.
Though standard, throw-away batteries are neither environmentally friendly nor cost-effective, selecting umbrella lights that run on rechargeable AA batteries can prove to be the most affordable and energy-efficient solution available.
In our opinion, rechargeable battery powered lights really do offer the best of all worlds.
Like electric-powered lighting, they provide all the power you need for many hours at a time while simultaneously negating the need for ugly power cables.
Much like solar-powered lighting, they also prevent the increase in energy bills that can come from powering your lights via the mains supply power source.
Umbrella Light Styles
Umbrella lights come in a wide variety of styles so no matter what kind of garden or patio you have, you’ll always find the right look to match.
Now that you’ve chosen the type of power you’re going to use, it’s time to consider style.
Here, you have several options available so that you can be sure you’ll find a look which best compliments your lawn and garden space.
These options include:
When most people think of patio umbrella lights, it’s usually strand lights that they think of.
Made up from multiple small bulbs, strand lights typically consist of a central trunk line which slots inside your main umbrella pole, with addition strands which attach to each rim of the umbrella frame.
Though it’s possible to buy these as a separate piece of equipment and attach them to your existing umbrella, people opting for strand lights tend to go for products such as the popular EliteShade Solar Sunbrella, which comes with the lights already in-built.
All in all, strand lights are a fantastic option for creating a beautiful ambiance around your patio, but they may not provide enough lighting for more practical purposes such as dining or late-night reading.
As the name implies, disc lights such as our number xx ranked xx are circular devices which latch around the top of your umbrella pole.
When turned on, the disc projects directly downwards, flooding your patio table with soft lighting.
The effect is quite the opposite of the one you get with strand lights, providing ample lighting for late-night al-fresco dining for example, but lacking the kind of aesthetic charm you may get with other styles.
String lights are pretty similar to strand lights in that they contain lots of smaller bulbs which can be fashioned around the main umbrella frame.
However, they’re a much more versatile option. You can use string lights in lots of different ways, such as placing them around the edge of your patio umbrella for a more delicate look.
Beautifully designed, lantern lights can easily be detached from your umbrella to add a rustic charm to other parts of your garden.
An attractive option which works just as well in a contemporary garden space as it does in those areas with a more rustic vibe, lanterns are perhaps the best choice if you’re on the hunt for lights which look just as gorgeous turned off as they do when switched on.
Depending on their size, your lanterns can either hang from the strands of your umbrella frame or be attached around the edges in a similar fashion to string lights, creating an altogether charming appearance.
If there’s one thing we like best about lanterns, it’s that options like these elegantly designed Retro Hanging Solar Lanterns from Maggift look just as beautiful in other parts of your garden too.
If you’re not planning to use your patio at night for a while, you may want to consider detaching your lanterns and placing them among your flower beds, rockery or shrubbery to add that quaint, traditional feel to your outdoor space.
Frequently Asked Questions About Patio Umbrella Lights
By now, you should have all the information you need to make a fully informed purchasing decision about the best patio umbrella lights for your garden.
Yet if there’s still something that’s left you scratching your head, then you may find all the information you need in the answers to these frequently asked umbrella light questions.
How easy is it to install patio umbrella lights?
For the most part, installing umbrella lights couldn’t be simpler. That said, the amount of time and energy you’ll need to put into that installation will largely depend on the type of lighting you buy.
Installing Disc Lights
If you opt for a disc light, then this is no more difficult than opening it up, slotting it around your umbrella pole and then tightening everything back up again. The only challenge involved here is ensuring that you buy a disc light that fits around the diameter of your umbrella pole.
Installing String and Strand Lights
If you decide to buy string or strand lights then you may find it a little tricky weaving them around the strands of your umbrella frame. In our experience, this is generally much easier when you get somebody else to help you. After all, many hands make light work.
What should I do with my lights in the winter months?
If you live in an area with heavy snowfall in the winter months then this guide to protecting your outdoor lights from snow may be helpful. However, if you live in an area that’s colder, wetter, or more prone to heavy snow than your average US state, then you might want to take extra steps to keep your lights in good working order.
What’s the difference between a warm and cool glow?
Lights with a warm glow create a soft, welcoming ambiance in your garden.
A cool glow gives off a bright white light which is generally better for practical purposes such as outdoor dining and entertaining. Conversely, a warmer glow gives off a softer light with reddish, orange colors not too dissimilar from an open flame. For the most part, these are generally better if you’re more concerned with aesthetic appeal than day-to-day functionality, creating a warm, welcoming ambiance throughout your garden.