How to Hang Outdoor Candle Lanterns

Written by marion sipe
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How to Hang Outdoor Candle Lanterns
Hanging your candle lanterns from the side of the building and in your trees can create a whimsical atmosphere. (lantern image by protagainst from

Hanging candle lanterns are a great way to light outdoor spaces like your yard, pool or patio. Their soft light creates atmosphere and can help to distract and ward off bugs. You can use them to create conversation spaces, light pathways so that you and your family and guests don't step in wet grass or mud and to set the mood for a party or romantic evening. Lanterns can be hung from the eaves or gutters, from lantern stands and even from trees, walls or fences.

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Things you need

  • Candles
  • Hanging lanterns
  • Lantern stands

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  1. 1

    Consider your needs. If you're throwing a party, you want light enough to define the space. This means light for people to see each other, the food and paths or safety zones. If your pool isn't lighted, surrounding it with hanging candle lanterns on lantern stands can serve as a way of fencing it off and keeping people from stumbling into it. However, if you're going for a romantic evening, you'll want softer lighting, nicely scented candles in your lanterns and a smaller defined space.

  2. 2

    Hang your lanterns where they will define the borders of your space. Candle lanterns can be hung in trees by threading cord through the top ring and securing it to a tree limb, along fences using nail hooks to anchor them or on lantern stands to create a border. This not only allows you to cordon off sections of your yard, but means you can use insect repellent candles to create a boundary for bugs.

  3. 3

    Define your areas. Use candle lanterns on hanging stands on your buffet or the centre of your dining table to create a base for a centrepiece and to illuminate the food and the area. Similarly, use nail hooks to hang lanterns from the walls or place them on the posts of your deck to define conversation areas or seating.

  4. 4

    Create paths into the house, out of the yard, to the pool or through the garden by hanging candle lanterns from lantern stands at alternating 3-foot intervals. This creates ambience and helps to keep people from stepping where they shouldn't.

  5. 5

    Use your hanging candles to create borders. If you don't want anyone stepping in your flowers, people have to be able to clearly see the boundary, even when you're not creating a path. Hang lanterns from trees within the garden, or on lantern stands along the border.

  6. 6

    Light entrances and exits. As well as creating paths to them, light the entrances and exits of your home and yard so that they are clearly visible. No one wants to walk into a fence they didn't see or a glass door they couldn't tell was closed. Use nail hooks to hang your lanterns to either side of a gate or door.

Tips and warnings

  • For a more whimsical feel, hang your lanterns at different heights and spacings instead of creating straight lines of light.
  • Never leave candles burning without supervision.

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