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Gotta Have it: best outdoor party lights

If you want to nail alfresco entertaining, you need lights that can move with the party, whatever the weather. Here's our pick of the best solar, battery and rechargeable lights including some beauties from brilliant local stores

Anyone else finding hosting alfresco a little challenging in this four-seasons-in-one-week weather we’re having? We’re huddled round the firepit one day, then hosing out the paddling pool the next…

With that in mind, we need lighting that can follow the party, wherever it is in the garden – patio, gazebo, hunkered down in the shed? We’ve found the best ‘hang anywhere’ outdoor lights that don’t need a socket and can glam up any occasion, whether it’s martini sundowners or boozy hot chocolate in the snow…

Globe trotter

The Fatboy Bolleke Light in Industrial Green from Sue Parkinson, a fabulous boutique in Cirencester, has a flexible cable that can be looped around a tree branch, gazebo frame, garden arch or hook. It gives out a warm, ambient glow and is easy to move if you need to take shelter in a hurry.


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Lightbulb moment

The beauty is in the simple design but clever functionality of this take-anywhere outdoor light from Bicester-based Rosara. The Aplo Lamp Nutmeg has two brightness settings and can be set to cool white or warm white depending on the vibe. It will also last between 7 and 15 hours between charges, which should be long enough to see out even the die-hard party crew.


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Talk of the table

These table lamps give out a gentle green or teal glow and can be clustered for a little drama or spread singularly along a table for extra glow. They are battery operated and work inside or out. And frankly, where else to go for your outdoor lighting that Buckinghamshire’s Sparkle Lighting?


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Inside out

If you can’t host in your living room, take your living room to your guests, with this stylish solar floor lamp from Cox & Cox. Perfect for lighting a dark corner and easy to move around with the party.


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Bright sparks

This set of six solar-powered allium lights from Sarah Raven are a bit special, and will look spectacular poked in pots or flower beds around your outdoor party. Especially useful for taking the attention away from your flowerbeds if the extremes of weather have got to the best of your blooms.
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Tiki time

After that beach/tiki party look, but don’t want to be relighting flaming torches all night? We have your answer – a solar-powered bamboo torch that’ll stick in your lawn, flowerbed or pot. From Yarnton Home and Garden in Oxfordshire, they’re so reasonable, you could light the whole terrace or garden path with them.
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Spring bulbs

This cluster of festoon lights is a bit different from the usual string and look rather fabulous hung from a parasol or garden arch. It just needs four AA batteries and something to hang of. Ta da!
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More ideas for alfresco nights…

15 must-have accessories for outdoor dining in style
58 glam garden buys
Don’t fancy hosting? 96 ultimate outdoor meet-ups

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