Gardens by night: Shedding new light.

Picture yourself sitting outdoors by the barbecue, glass of wine in hand. We get enough artificial light during the daytime, so when we spend the twilight in the garden or on the balcony, we prefer to light candles – perhaps in pretty lanterns and table lights. Solar lamps provide an up-to-the-minute source of outdoor light and radiate a cosy charm. This trend offers fine design with clean lines and coloured glass. We present our favourites from among the shining examples of the genre.

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  • Tea lights from:
  • 1 Philippi
  • 2 Serax
  • 3 Eichholtz
  • 4 Applicata
  • 5 Iittala

A gentle glow. The new lanterns.
Lanterns are something of a garden lighting classic. They’re not only extraordinarily practical, since they use glass to shield the flame against the wind, but they also bathe the garden table in restrained festive lighting. In the summer time, gardens and balconies double up as a second living and dining room, picking up and enhancing the colours of the real flowers nearby for night-time viewing. These lights will also look great if you bring them indoors in autumn and winter. As there’s more emphasis on safety for indoor use, lanterns with tea lights are the safest option. The latest products combine pared-down design with a hint of vintage. The old style is heightened with a goblet-shaped glass, or a body like an old oil lamp. Contoured structures on coloured glass provide a more playful alternative.

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  • Solar lamps from:
  • 1 dfp Design
  • 2 Eva Solo
  • 3 Fermob
  • 4 Little Sun

Solar under starry skies
What if you’re not allowed an open fire and are a long way from the nearest power point? Then solar lamps are by far your best option. Their soft LED illumination, charged by the sun, will set the ambience for any garden or beach party. There’s enough variety in shapes and materials, frequently featuring wood and glass, to satisfy your heart’s desire. The solar cells are concealed, there are no cables either. It often takes a second look to see that the power source is solar. Nostalgic glass jars with solar lights can hang nicely from the trees once the sun’s gone down. Alternatively, Danish artist Olafur Eliasson has produced a portable solar lamp in flower form. From five hours of sunlight, this lamp can store up to ten hours’ night light. It’s fun to take camping, and not just for the children!

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  • Lanterns from:
  • 1 Hübsch
  • 2 Affari
  • 3 Eichholtz
  • 4 House Doctor

Light to go
In days gone by, night watchmen never went out on their rounds without their lanterns. Nowadays, a portable light makes a balmy summer’s night or chilly winter evening that bit better, bathing it in a warm, friendly glow. Much of today’s mood-enhancing lighting stays close to historical precedents from a bygone era, with carry handles, glass fronts and metal frames. More modern contrasts of light and shade are created by models decorated all over with perforations, or where cords grip the glass like a puffer fish in a net. By contrast, opulently cut glass lanterns herald an oriental dream of 1001 nights. Anything goes, you might say of these magnificent and fashionable products.

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  • Outdoor candles from:
  • 1 Engels Kerzen
  • 2 Affari
  • 3 Lambert

Melt my heart: XXL candles
Luxury outsized candles are ideally suited to a roof terrace, or gather by the lounge pool like moths around a flame. The ritual and elemental atmosphere they create cannot compare to any other home accessories. In lofts and hotel lobbies, these candles glow with a gentle welcome. Whether they’re set into artificial stone pillars or poured into terracotta pots, they really draw our attention. The new tree candle in a Chinese lantern net is a romantic tour de force! Its layers of flame-resistant parchment are perfect for an open-air wedding. Giant floating candles will go down swimmingly in the pool at your holiday home. It’s worth noting that candles are gregarious. Feel their full magic by grouping candles together, and using a variety of sizes.