Obviously you need a few lights on in your house. A few great table and floor lamps automatically make any room more interesting, plus, it’s kind of hard to get from point A to point B stumbling around in the dark—so there’s that. But don’t forget about your outdoor lighting, which can be key to creating an inviting space for cozy dinners and chats. As the weather starts to warm, it’s worth splurging on some luminescence for your next backyard shindig. For some, that’s a big, roaring bonfire—for others, it’s a few strategically placed outdoor lamps, which can be easily picked up, moved around and switched on and off as per the occasion. They’re more than just functional, though—investing in some less-than-aesthetically-pleasing lanterns won’t do your landscaped garden any favors. Here, eight of our favorites that make a real statement, and that will have you sipping wine with friends long after the sun sets.
andTradition Lucca Portable Lamp
This lamp is incredibly versatile. It’s battery-powered, so you won’t have to attach any clunky cords to get it to work, and you can carry it around a loggia or garden with ease. The light itself is soft and warm—the lantern’s opal glass shell diffuses it, giving it the vibe of a picturesque, coastal Mediterranean town, which the designers cite as its inspiration.
Cane-Line Lighthouse Lantern
Sometimes the simpler the design, the better. Cane-Line’s lamp is a no-frills option for those who just want their backyard to be a bit brighter first and foremost. Glass panels are on all sides of the teak frame, and the handle is made of aluminum, so you can easily pick it up and relocate it depending on where the party is.
Design Within Reach Bollard Lamp
A lot of outdoor lanterns are inspired by gardens and forests—this one from Design Within Reach takes its cues from the ocean. It’s modeled after a bollard, a sturdy post on a dock that ships are tied to. The glass that light is encased in has a ribbed texture, giving it an oil lamp look. Even if you’re not in close proximity to the water, this will make your next outdoor soiree feel a bit more like you’ve docked your yacht nearby.
URI Portable Lamp
First and foremost, URI is affordable—but it’s also one of the more colorful outdoor lighting options out there. Its handle comes in bright shades of red, blue or green—the base is available in blue, gray or pink. You can hang it from anywhere and carry it pretty much everywhere… just remember to charge it first.
Bevolo Coach House Lantern
Bevolo’s lantern has a more old-school, rustic look to it, evoking an antique oil lamp. It can run on many different kinds of fuel, too, depending on your preference: There are models available with natural gas, liquid propane or electric designs. All in all, it’s a fun throwback piece, and pairs well with Victorian-style manors or beachy Nantucket-style cottages.
Hermès Lanterne d’Hermes
Hermès’ lantern looks like part stylish carry-on, part lighting object. It’s adorned with the fashion house’s famous leather, and is available in an array of equally chic colors: gold, red, taupe and black. Its inspirations, meanwhile, are a bit adventurous and nautical—it’s reminiscent of lamps used on lighthouses and the high seas.
RH Ventana Lantern
You’ll have to buy a separate candle to get RH’s lamp to illuminate much of anything, but the frame itself is worth the splurge. It’s made up of two geometries—the innermost rectangle spins, so you can direct the light exactly to your preference. The teak material gives it a light, beachy look.
Les Jardins Roam Lantern
If you’re a more eco-conscious consumer, then Les Jardins’ offerings will be right up your alley, as they’re 100 percent solar-powered. This particular lamp comes in two different teak finishes: a weathered one and a more classic, straightforward one. Just make sure it’s positioned in a spot where it can catch a few rays during the day.