Even as the days get longer as summer approaches, you are still very much at the mercy of the night sky with regards to how long you choose to stay outside doing things with friends and family or spending time with that special someone. That is, however, if you don’t have a solution to the poor lighting that comes with the night sky.
If you want to say goodbye to always doing things based on what is happening up above, say hello to patio umbrella lights. These ingenious and attractive devices help to keep things lit up when the sun goes down.
As is the way with things these days though, it would be very easy to choose the best patio umbrella light, if there was only one of its kind available. As there is a lot more than just one model or brand of patio umbrella lights out there, you may be at a loss as to which is the best for you.
This is why you made the smart move clicking through to our humble little post, because we are going to take a lot of the guesswork and indecision out of your patio umbrella light buying experience and make things incredibly easy. How are we going to do that?
For starters, we are going to give an overview of what we believe are the top 5 best patio umbrella lights available on the market and then also discuss some of the important things you need to consider when choosing the right one for you.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Umbrella Lights
|No. of Lights||28 LEDs|
|Power Source||Rechargable Battery|
|Max Brightness||400 Lumens|
|Run Time||54 Hrs on Dim Light, 18 Hrs on Max|
|Glow Color||Bright White|
This is a very very well made piece of kit with a sturdy construction that emits a bright enough light for large parties and BBQ’s.
This patio umbrella light is a disc-style design that has a series of lights space equally apart on the underside. At full power, you have at your disposal the light from 28 LEDs, which can kick out a lot of light when on full power but can also be dimmed for more relaxed evenings.
It’s also incredibly easy to install by simply clipping around your patio umbrellas central pole, which means it’s also extremely easy to remove when you don’t want to use it anymore. It features a lithium-ion rechargeable battery will last up to 54 hours if you use it on the dim light setting – Which should be plenty as long as you remember to recharge it before every weekend!
|Light Type||Traditional Fairy Lights|
|No. of Lights||160 Bulbs|
|Power Source||Mains Powered|
|Glow Color||Warm White|
Although we have to stress that these are not LEDs and more like traditional Christmas lights. That being said, for the price tag, they offer a good affordable solution to lighting issues and look great whilst not being too overpowering like many modern LED lights. While the pictured model is for 8 rib umbrellas, there is also the option to buy one that will fit a 6 rib umbrella.
These lights are mains powered, meaning you will need a waterproof external power outlet but on the plus side, you don’t have to worry about the batteries dying half way through the night. It’s worth noting that these lights are not ultra bright, but rather a more subtle variety of illumination for a romantic dinner or playing cards under the starts.
|No. of Lights||140 LEDs|
|Power Source||Solar Powered|
|Glow Color||Warm White|
|Run Time||8 Hours|
The Yescom 40 LED is another set of string lights, though this time it is powered by a solar panel that charges an internal battery. So, you keep it up through the day charging away and then when the sun goes down, the lights start to shine – Perfect!
This particular model consists of 40 individual LEDs that produce a very warm and calming white light – perfect for subdued evenings with your significant other or when you just want to sit and enjoy a book as the day draws to a close. It is relatively simple to install and as it is not particularly feature-packed, it is also very affordable.
|Style||Full Umbrella Pre-Fitted with LEDs|
|No. of Lights||40 LEDs|
|Power Source||Battery & Solar Powered|
|Glow Color||Bright White|
|Run Time||8 Hours|
The Flame & Shade umbrella with LED lights combo is a little different from the other items in our top 5 best umbrella lights list. This product is a full patio umbrella complete with pre-fitted LED lights.
Whilst more expensive that simply purchasing LED lights you can attach yourself, when buying this umbrella you’re getting a high-quality, long-lasting powder-coated umbrella that comes with some nice features.
It includes a crank handle, allowing you to open and close the umbrella mechanically rather than having to use force to get the umbrella up. It also features a tilt feature, allowing you to angle the umbrella depending on the angle the sun is coming from. This is an extremely handy feature and one not often found in cheap patio umbrellas.
The other added benefit is it comes complete with the LED’s pre-fitted, which include both a rechargable battery pack and a solar panel which will charge the battery during the day. This saves you the hassle of trying to string your own LED lights up or getting them tangled when you open and close your umbrella that wasn’t designed to include lights.
|Style||Multi-Colored Light with Bluetooth Speaker|
|No. of Lights||64 LEDs|
|Power Source||AC or Battery Powered|
|Glow Color||RGB (Multi-Colored)|
|Run Time||Up to 6 Hours|
By far the best on our interesting list looking at the curious and good in umbrella patio lights is the Kingso Patio rechargeable LED light and Bluetooth speaker.
The lights give a reasonably bright illumination for any suitable umbrella, considering their size, but by far the biggest selling point is the addition of the Bluetooth speaker, meaning you can sync up your mp3 player, computer, tablet or smartphone and blast out your favorite tunes while enjoying a lit up evening after dusk. It also benefits from the rather fun party mode which syncs up with your music and puts on a light show with the 64 LEDs all dancing away!
Gimmicky, sure; but fun and practical too.
Best Patio Umbrella Lights Buying Guide
Now that we have taken you briefly through the list of what we believe are the top 5 best patio umbrella lights available at the moment, it is time to give you some further help.
In this section of the post we will look at some of the most important aspects you need to take into consideration when deciding which patio umbrella lights are best for you.
We will look at factors including:
- Type of lighting required
- Lighting styles
- Lighting Power Sources
Type Of Lighting Required
It makes a lot of sense before actually deciding to buy one of the patio umbrella lights mentioned above or another on the market, to sit down and think about what you need the lighting for in the first place.
Are you looking to just provide some accent lighting for your patio or create a calming and relaxing warm glow as the sun goes down and the moon comes up. If so, strand style umbrella lights may be the best for you.
However, if you are looking for lighting that will help you to complete tasks even when the natural light in the sky goes out, a disc style umbrella light may be a better solution. This will provide a brighter more intense illumination.
Best LED Lighting Styles
Primarily, as we are sure you realize from a quick browse of what’s available online and what we have listed in our top 5, that there are two main styles of patio umbrella lighting. These two styles are:
- Strand Lights
- Disc Lights
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, as you will see as we look at them individually.
Strand lights are very similar to, IE. exactly the same as, Christmas-tree style lights. They also work the same way, with a trunk line that often, depending on the model and manufacturer of a particular set of string lights, goes through the actual shaft of the umbrella, and then spreads out into the ribs on the umbrella. Therefore, spreading the light across the entire umbrella.
Strand lights are best suited to providing accent lighting and are generally quite relaxing, but will not help you to do anything like serve food and read.
LED Umbrella Light Setup
To successfully set up a strand light system, there are some things you need to consider concerning the umbrella you have:
- Umbrella Style – If you have a market or standard patio umbrella, most strand light systems will be compatible. However, if you have an offset or cantilever umbrella, you will need to find a strand lighting system that has been designed with these umbrella styles in mind.
- Ribs – If you have a patio umbrella, you need to count how many ribs you have. Normally there are 8 ribs on patio umbrellas, but there are numerous variations, some of which have 9, 6 or a different amount. As strand lights come in various numbers of strands, you need to choose the one that has the same amount of strands as your umbrella.
- Diameter – The diameter of your umbrella is essential information for choosing the right strand lights, as you need to figure out how long each strand will be. Take the diameter of the umbrella and divide it by 2 to calculate the umbrella’s radius and this is the maximum length any light strand can be.
Resembling a miniature spacecraft or hockey puck (we guess it really depends on what your frame of reference is), disc lights are specially designed to connect to the umbrella shaft and emit light downwards from the top. As the light is obviously more focused and brighter around the umbrella shaft, it can be used to better illuminate anything directly underneath.
These usually work best as lighting for specific tasks and very practical, but suffer from not being the best looking lighting solutions in the world. However, if you are looking to read as the night draws in or want to continue eating or doing other tasks around your patio umbrella, this is an ideal solution to the problem of the sky getting dark at night.
There is only one parameter you need to factor into your decision as to which is the best disc light and that is the diameter of the shaft of the umbrella. Usually, these fall between the 1.5 and 2 inches mark, and just about all of the disc lights available can be adjusted to fit whatever the diameter of your umbrella shaft is. It is important to note though, if your umbrella has an unusually large or awkwardly shaped shaft, you may need to look for a disc light with a more specialist design.
LED Lighting Power Sources
The final aspect of patio umbrella light choosing we feel is vital you consider, is the lighting power source. At present, there are four primary light power sources for this kind of lighting and these are:
- Batteries (Rechargeable)
- Batteries (Standard)
- Electric – Mains
We will discuss each of these lighting power sources individually, helping you to understand their benefits and downsides.
Solar Powered LEDs
Solar is a nice and green power source for your patio umbrella lights Normally, there is a miniature solar cell attached at the top of your umbrella that absorbs the sunlight during daylight hours. Then when darkness falls, the lights switch on automatically and they provide a relaxing glow for numerous hours until they gently dim until they run out of power.
Although solar is a great way to harness power from the sun to provide the necessary power to your lights. However, if you live in an area where there are more cloudy than sunny days; or are looking for a longer lasting type of illumination, you might be better looking elsewhere. Solar lights are great when the brightness of the light isn’t extremely important, such as in solar LED path or landscape lights but it can be a pain if you have to rely on it for a BBQ.
Furthermore, if you often use a cover with your umbrella, you may run into issues as to whether solar lights are compatible with it or not.
Rechargeable batteries are not only a very cost-effective and energy-efficient way but a very functional way to provide the power your umbrella lights need. While some utilize traditional AA rechargeable batteries, other umbrella lights feature built-in batteries that can be charged via a plug or USB cable.
This type of power source obviously has its environmental benefits, as well as being fairly cost-effective over a long period of time too.
Another major advantage of rechargeable batteries is even if you are using an umbrella cover, you can still charge your lights.
By far the best thing about standard batteries is that they are easy and the majority of people are familiar with them. However, their convenience is about the only good thing about them, as they are not really environmentally-friendly or economically friendly either. Particularly not in the long run or if you plan on using your umbrella lights regularly.
If that is the case, you would probably be better opting for the above option.
Electric – Mains
You may have noticed that some of the patio umbrella lights listed further up the page where powered by a standard electric plug connected to the mains electricity supply. What this basically means is that you will always have a power cord running from your socket tom the shaft of your umbrella, not only presenting you with a trip hazard, but an unattractive line of wiring running from your home to your patio umbrella.
While they are normally the least expensive lighting solution, they are not nearly the best overall.
Umbrella Light Review Summary
There you have it folks, our run down of the top 5 best patio umbrella lights and a helpful buying guide. We hope that this post has been and is helpful to you on your search for the best lighting solution for your patio umbrella setup.
By using the buying guide and the list above, you should have the very best umbrella light for your specific needs and requirements in no time – so that you are able to enjoy the benefits of staying outside in the fresh air, whether it is with company or not, after the sky’s lights go out!