Outdoor Candle Lanterns

colorful outdoor lantern

Investing in outdoor candle lanterns allows you to add a soft glowing light and a decorative touch to your outdoor areas. Since there are multiple choices available, there is sure to be something that fits your home's style and your needs.

Hanging Lanterns

Hanging lanterns allow you to have lighting from above. Pendant lanterns can be moved from place to place, while chandeliers typically stay in one area.


Pendant lanterns are easily moved from one area of your lawn, garden or patio to another. Install hooks onto the outside of your home or deck for hanging, or hang them from a shepherd's hook in your garden. The lanterns can also be hung from trees, but be sure to use only LED lights to avoid a fire hazard.

Pendant hanging lanterns are very affordable and can cost anywhere from $10 to upwards of $50, depending on the size and style you prefer. Decorative designs on the pendants allow you to pick out the perfect design for the season, holiday or your home décor. Just a few pendant lantern options include:

hanging lantern

Pendant lanterns typically use tea light or votive candles. Due to their small size, you may need to have several lit at a time in order to get adequate lighting.


Chandeliers add elegance to any outdoor living space. They typically use pillar candles, although some may also use taper candles. The beautiful lighting from a chandelier candle outside is beautiful, but they need to be adequately secured from above, making them possible only on a covered patio. Outdoor chandeliers tend to be more expensive than their hanging pendant counterparts, running around the $100 mark and above. The black flourish details on the Spandrels Hearth Candelabra adds a decorative touch that matches virtually any décor scheme.

Freestanding Lanterns

Freestanding lanterns do not need to be hung up. Instead, they can be placed anywhere with a flat surface.

Tabletop Lanterns

outdoor tabletop lantern

Similar to pendant lanterns, tabletop lanterns are easily moved from one area to another and come in a variety of decorative options. Unlike hanging pendant lanterns, these do not have to be hung (although they may still have a hook at the top), and may have a sturdier bottom, with or without feet for standing. Their cost is affordable, in the same range as pendant lanterns - around $10 to $50, depending on size, style and material.

Selections for tabletop lanterns include:

  • Hyannis Table or Path Lantern: Shaped similar to a mason jar, this lantern looks lovely on a table top but can also be hung from its rope handle
  • Dragonfly Tea Lantern: The unique design of this tabletop lantern with its dragon fly accents adds a bit of Asian flair to your decor.

Figurine Lanterns

garden monk candle

Garden decorations sometimes include candles. These are usually small figurines of animals like frogs, dragons, or butterflies with a candle element in them. They can be placed at the edge of a raised bed garden, near a stepping stone pathway or by a step so they can be seen. Just a few options include:

Small figurines cost much less than larger ones, so they range anywhere from $15 to upwards of $100.

Functional Lanterns

Functional outdoor candle lanterns offer buyers an additional benefit besides the glow and ambiance of a candle. For example, some are meant to repel bugs. A couple functional candle lanterns include:

The cost of these lanterns will vary greatly, depending on their size, style and intended purpose.

Outdoor Lantern Safety

Despite their beauty, candle lanterns can be dangerous if used inappropriately. Follow these safety tips to get the most enjoyment from lanterns while minimizing risks:

row of hanging lanterns
  • Only use appropriate candle sizes in each lantern.
  • Mount candles securely in the lantern base. Some models may have a well or spike for the candle, while others may require sand or other material used to keep the candle stable.
  • Hang lanterns a safe distance from leaves, umbrella fabric, and other potentially flammable material.
  • Ensure that debris cannot blow into the lantern at any time.
  • Lanterns are only suitable for illumination and should not be used to toast marshmallows, light fireworks, or other potentially dangerous activities.
  • Lanterns should be hung securely with proper hooks to minimize the risk of tipping or falling.
  • Handle lit lanterns cautiously - the metal or glass frame may become very hot.
  • After use, remove lanterns and candles so they do not pose a hazard for birds or animals.
  • Keep lit candles out of reach of pets and children at all times.
  • Do not leave burning lanterns unattended.

If you feel the fire hazards are too great, look for LED or flameless candle lanterns for your outdoor area.

Outdoor Lighting with Candles

Planning your outdoor lighting scheme with candles allows you to choose the best styles and options for your home. Mix and match the different types of outdoor candle lanterns to come up with the best design for your space.

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Outdoor Candle Lanterns