Patio umbrella lights are an essential part of many people's backyards, providing shade and protection from the hot sun. You wouldn't think that patio umbrellas would be useful after sundown, but they can be quite handy when used with patio umbrella lights. Umbrella lights are an unexpected and interesting way to provide the lighting you need to see at night. If your umbrella didn't come with light attached, don't worry. These patio lights can be bought at any time and attached with ease. Just like most other types of outdoor lighting, umbrella lights come in solar, rechargeable and wall powered versions. Within those types are two different kinds of light fixtures- pole mounts and the string lights. After reading this guide, you will hopefully be able to distinguish between the two.
Pole Mounted Patio Umbrella Lights
The most functional of patio umbrella lighting comes in the form of a pole-mounted light module. These lights attach directly to the center pole of your umbrella. Installation only takes a minute or two, as the light module simply clamps around the pole. They typically have several LED light bulbs that shine down on the table below. I consider it to be the most functional of the umbrella lights because it provides very uniform, direct light where you need it. Standard light bulb colors of white, blue or yellow are often used in the pole mounts. One nice feature in some models is the ability to turn rotate and/or swivel the light into the direction you need. LED light bulbs are used for their power efficiency. Solar powered patio umbrella lights get their energy from a solar panel which is usually placed on top of the umbrella or on the pole. Users never have to change batteries or connect an annoying extension cord. Some solar umbrella lights have rechargeable batteries which can be re-energized as they run out. If ultimate reliability is your goal, then a wall-powered patio umbrella light may be for you.
String Umbrella Lights
String-style patio umbrella lights are a bit different than the pole mounted varieties. These light sets come with a series of lighted strings, each of which attach to a vein on your umbrella (the stick-like structures on the underside). Each light string connects to a central power receptacle attached to the center pole. These light strings come in many beautiful and exotic colors, making these systems far more decorative and surreal than our previous example. If mood setting and creative expression is your goal, a string-style patio umbrella light set is the way to go. Assembly is easy- simply clip on each string to the umbrella's veins, plug each one into the receptacle and route an extension cord to the umbrella.
Lighted Patio Umbrella
If you do not yet own a patio umbrella and would like one with lighting, pre-lit umbrellas are available. If you are comfortable with not being able to customize your umbrella lighting, this may be the most convenient solution. These units have the lights already attached and ready to be plugged in. Trying out a floor model is recommended to get a feel for how much lighting the umbrella will provide.
When choosing a lighted patio umbrella, consider the size of the area that you intend to cover. If you are placing it within a table mount, ensure that the umbrella's diameter exceeds the table's width by a foot or two. This will ensure that the umbrella provides proper shade no matter the direction of the sun throughout the day. Deciding between a square or circular umbrella is mostly a matter of choice and deciding on what shape would best cover the backyard space. Keep in mind that there are both table-mounted and free standing varieties, each of which have different potential uses. For example, a free-standing umbrella can be moved around the yard to different places like a pool deck or a seating area. A table mounted umbrella may not be able to move around but provides excellent coverage of a table to dine and converse under.