Find the Best Outdoor Lighting for Your Backyard

Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner - and that means more backyard time! Outdoor lights are not only essential, but they can also transform your yard into a summer oasis where the whole family can kick back and relax. There are no rules when it comes to outdoor lighting; mix-and-match all the options below to create your own magical nighttime haven.

Candles are the easiest to set up and add instant charm. Just be careful of open flames. Also keep in mind that candles are only a temporary form of lighting - they can burn out and need replacing before the evening's over.

Colored Paper Lanterns are available in lots of different shapes and sizes, allowing you to use your own creative flair to personalize your outdoor area. Also consider glass lanterns, which although more expensive, can last through many summer seasons.

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Lighted Table Centerpieces are perfect for any themed event and can be fashioned out of different textures, colors, and materials. For the brightest light, place lanterns with clear, glass panes into the middle of your centerpiece. You can purchase an already completed centerpiece or save some money by making a visit to the crafts store and picking up supplies to do-it-yourself.

String Lights are so incredibly simple to install that there's really no excuse for sitting in the dark. Try hanging the lights along the border of your outdoor space to create a twinkling wonderland. Rope lights are another durable option since they have a protective plastic layer.

Solar Lights are as eco-friendly as they are practical. They require no upkeep and because they turn on by themselves at night, your yard will be illuminated regardless of whether you're outside. Personally, I love the Bambeco Soji Solar String Lights, which combine the beauty of strings with the practicality of solars.

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LED Lights last much longer and are a lot more energy-efficient that incandescent alternatives; a single LED light can outlive twenty traditional light bulbs. While they're costly, you can recoup your spendings over time and in energy cost savings. Check out one of my favorites, the OXO Demi Glow Set. For more information on LED outdoor lights, check out our tips for LED candles.
Which lighting style do you like best? Tell us in the comments.

-By Rachel Rothman

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