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What is an Umbrella Light?

Donn Saylor
Donn Saylor

An umbrella light is a lighting fixture that attaches to a patio umbrella. These types of outdoor lights are sold in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Umbrella lights create illuminated outdoor spaces that can generate shade and sun protection by day and enhance ambience and ensure safety by night.

Patio umbrellas are available with or without lights. If an umbrella is not equipped with an umbrella light, one can be purchased from any home store or online retailer. The installation process is relatively quick and easy, and users can have their patio lights up and running in a matter of minutes.

LED lights are available in many colors.
LED lights are available in many colors.

Umbrella lights come in three different varieties. They are manufactured as electrical units that plug into outlets, solar umbrella lights powered by stored sunlight, and battery-operated versions. The latter variety may be fueled by standard batteries or rechargeable batteries, depending on the capabilities of the individual unit.

An umbrella light can be mounted in one of three ways. Pole mounted styles are among the most popular and functional. The umbrella light unit is affixed directly to the pole of the umbrella, and certain kinds are even made to rotate and direct the light as necessary. Stringed umbrella lights attach to the inner spokes of the umbrella and link to a power source located on the pole. Pre-lit umbrellas are already equipped with the required lighting, though these styles are not easily customizable.

The lights themselves are typically either standard lights — like Christmas tree lighting — or light emitting diode (LED) lights. LED umbrella lights are popular for their small size, low energy usage, reliability, and longevity. Both standard and LED lights are available in an assortment of colors, the most popular outdoor colors being soft whites, yellows, pinks, and blues. Umbrella lights are rarely harsh; they aim to create a certain mood in outdoor spaces and traditionally emit a softened glow.

Umbrella lights can be attached to table-mounted umbrellas or freestanding umbrellas. With table-mounted umbrellas, the entire structure — umbrella, lighting unit, and table — usually stays fixed in one location. Freestanding umbrellas are easier to move around.

There are a few different accessories available for umbrella light units. Globes in different shapes and colors can be purchased to fit over the individual lights, creating a new look and feel to the patio or poolside. There are even lighted stereo systems on the market, which clamp on to the interior of an umbrella and provide not only light but music as well.

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    • LED lights are available in many colors.
      By: matteo NATALE
      LED lights are available in many colors.