Last weekend was a scorcher; and as someone who relishes tropical climates and often wonders why she hasn’t yet moved to one, I ate it up. But on Sunday night, as I was enjoying a glass of wine and a new book on my balcony, something tragic happened–the sun set. You might wonder why that’s tragic, but when you live in an apartment that has a small balcony that isn’t equipped with an electrical outlet, sunset means no light, and no light means no outdoor reading. So for those of you who, like me, have a small outdoor space, here are some patio lighting options that will ensure you can remain outside until you say it’s time to go in; or at least until you finish the chapter you’re reading!
Lümen Sphere Home & Patio Smart Light
Reminiscent of a snow globe, the Lümen Sphere Home & Patio Smart Light is a technophile’s dream. With the Lümen Sphere you can choose any one of 16 million different colours of light to enhance your outdoor reading experience; or if that stresses you out, you can also choose from a variety of pre-programmed lighting modes to suit your mood. Add to that the fact that you can control how bright the Lümen shines through the Lümen app, and the fact that it is both waterproof and wireless, and it’s pretty much the ideal light for anyone lacking electricity or space on their patio.
Fusion Bollard Solar Light
If you have a small patio that gets ample daytime sun, and you happen to have a green thumb, solar lighting like this two pack from Fusion is an ideal addition to your outdoor space. The fixtures are made of stainless steel, yet are light enough to be placed in a small hanging basket, herb garden, or any other planter you might have on your patio. Or, if you’re like me and can’t keep a Chia Pet alive, you can also just prop them in a bucket in the corner, or between the cushions of your patio furniture, and they’ll provide up to 8 hours of light after the sun goes down.
MiPow PLAYBULB Smart LED Candle
If you like the subtle light given off by candles, another great small patio lighting option is the PLAYBULB candle from MiPow. First, it must be said that the PLAYBULB does not play music, which is what I was led to believe by it’s name. However, what it does do is “colour your world” with eight million colour options to suit your mood. As a “smart candle,” the PLAYBULB is flameless, yet you can still get the satisfaction of blowing it out like a real candle when you are ready to retreat back indoors after a night spent outside reading. Perhaps best of all though is that when you are finished with the PLAYBULB outside, you can bring it inside, flip it over, and it doubles as a tea light holder.
You might wonder why “real” candles weren’t on this list. There are actually two reasons. First, if you’ve spent any time outside at all in your life, you know that bugs are attracted to natural light, including candlelight, and having mosquitoes and gnats buzz around you while you’re trying to enjoy your evening isn’t much fun. Are bugs still attracted to LED lights like the light that is emitted from the three products listed above? Yes, but much less so; and isn’t that better than “more so”??? Second, candles can be dangerous. Not only do you risk the chance of falling asleep while outside at night as a candle burns, but wildfires are running rampant right now all over the country, so opt for LED whenever you can
Just because your outdoor space is small doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it like it is palatial. All you need is a wireless, electricity-free lighting option and you can stay outside until the wee hours of the night should the mood hit you.
By Stacey McGregor, Technology & Lifestyle
Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. During the day, she works as Marketing & Business Development Manager for Vancity Credit Union … by night she writes, designs, builds WordPress websites, and fights crime.