Whether you prefer an old-fashioned open flame, a lantern that will keep burning through the wind and rain, bug-repelling scents, or a modern “candle” powered by a battery, your garden, lawn, or patio will look cheerful and welcoming at night with the soft illumination of a few outdoor candles.
Traditional outdoor candles can be as simple as a bucket of wax with a wick, or as ornate as any sculpture. Candles specifically designed for outdoor use typically have a very thick wick which makes them a bit more difficult to light or extinguish but provides a bigger flame for more light and resists being blown out by the wind. Bucket candles usually won’t be filled to the top with wax. This further protects the flame from breezes, but also means that they have to be sheltered when it rains or the water dumped out afterwards.
A more water-resistant garden lighting solution is an outdoor lantern. These can be hung from tree branches or gazebos or can sit on the ground or a table. Some models include a matching pedestal, post, or hanger, so there are many styles to fit your garden. Many lanterns will accept standard outdoor or even indoor candles, but another popular option is the oil lantern. Probably the best-known example of an outdoor oil lantern is the tiki torch. For a more elegant look, lanterns with clear oil reservoirs can be filled with coloured oil. An adjustable wick allows you to choose just the right level of light.
Whether burning oil or wax, the addition of citronella oil provides an added benefit. Citronella oil, extracted from the leaves and stems of the lemongrass plant, is a non-toxic insect repellant that will encourage mosquitoes and other flying pests to fly elsewhere.
There is also a modern alternative to the common candle: outdoor LED lights which resemble candles and include circuitry to add an artificial “flicker” of flame. Solar or battery powered, these avoid some of the problems of an open flame like fire hazards, wind, and rain. However, they don’t have the option of adding a bug repellant.