Whether you’re looking to brighten up a spring evening, help extend warm summer nights, or create your own winter wonderland, a garden lantern will help do the trick. They are great additions to your outdoor space and can be used to illuminate paths and doorways, frame dining spaces and water features, or simply provide a unique decorative addition to your garden.
There are a wide range of garden lanterns on the market with everything from solar options to hanging lanterns, and even oil-burning ones. Whatever garden space you have available there is an oil lantern which can help enhance it, but with so many out there, it can often be difficult to choose the right one.
To help, we’ve curated this list which covers a range of lanterns from sleek, modern, options to glass and ornate. Here you can find the perfect garden lantern for your garden. If you're still struggling to pick the right lantern after looking at our top picks we’ve also got some great advice on what to look for in a lantern to help you make up your mind.
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The best garden lanterns in 2023
Our top pick of the best garden lanterns:
Solar Powered Silhouette Butterfly Stake Lights
These solar garden lanterns can be secured straight into soft ground with their stake and feature a charming butterfly and flower pattern. Choose from white and colour-changing LEDs depending on the atmosphere you want to create in your garden. They come in a pack of six and rechargeable AAA batteries are also included.
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Buy Solar Powered Silhouette Butterfly Stake Lights at Ethical Superstore
This elegant lantern is made from a soldered metal frame which secures tall panels of glass for a classic and sophisticated design. Made by hand, each lantern is unique and you can choose from small, medium or large sizes.
Price: from £70
Buy Sia Lantern at Nkuku
Eva Solo Sunlight Bell Large Solar Lamp
This solar lamp is a contemporary take on the bell jar shape and is made from pressed, frosted glass. An aluminium handle allows you to hang it from a branch or fence or it can simply be placed on the table or floor. A full eight hour charge will provide up to 20 hours of light.
Buy Eva Solo Sunlight Bell Large Solar Lamp at John Lewis
Solar Lantern Outdoor
These star-patterned solar garden lanterns are powered by the sun, so you can simply hang them in your brightest spot and no wires will get in the way. Made from rust-proof steel the lantern is weatherproof so it can stay outdoors all year round.
Buy Solar Lantern Outdoor Amazon
Hanging Solar Mason Jar Lid Lights
These simple jam jar lanterns create a soft, magical glow that looks almost like fireflies. A compact solar panel on the lid of each jar harnesses energy from the sun to keep them powered by renewable energy. Six jars, lights and hangers are included.
Buy Hanging Solar Mason Jar Lid Lights at Amazon
Joyelle 2 Piece Ball Oil Torch Set
Oil-burning garden torches will offer a unique flair to any outdoor space. With a fixed stem that stakes into the ground, these unusual garden lanterns burn for up to 15 hours at a time to provide a long-lasting glow. Opting for citronella oil will also help keep any insects at bay.
Buy Garden Oil Torch Florence at Not On The High Street
Fermob Balad Garden Lamp
This modern garden lantern features a rechargeable LED with a choice of a cool or warm white glow, which is also dimmable. An anti-UV powder coating helps protect it from the sun and you can choose between five handle colours, including a bold honey yellow and storm blue. Each charge lasts between seven and 17 hours.
Price: from £79
Buy Fermob Balad Garden Lamp at Heals
JHY Design Set of 2 Black with Grey Brush Decorative Lanterns
These metal garden lanterns have a traditional, vintage feel. On top of each lantern is an ornate, cut out design and they feature tempered glass for a durable finish. The set includes a small and large lantern and would look charming displayed as a pair or standing alone in separate locations.
Buy JHY Design Set of 2 Black with Grey Brush Decorative Lanterns at Amazon
How to choose a garden lantern
When picking a garden lantern there are a few things to consider to make sure it’s the right fit for you and your outdoor space, here they are:
Type of lighting
Make sure you know what type of light you would prefer out of the three main types:
Solar-powered: This is an environmentally friendly option which is cost-effective as they power themselves with the sun. It does mean they vary on power based on how much solar energy they receive that day/week.
Electric: These lanterns are very reliable and provide consistent, bright lighting. They often need to be plugged in so think about whether your cable will reach them.
Candle-lit: This is the most traditional way of lighting a candle and offers a charming and romantic feel. You may need more than one if you need to light a sizeable area.
Design and materials
When choosing a lantern you need to consider the design and style of the lantern. This can include the type of lighting but also the material. Try and match the design to your garden's style (e.g. contemporary, rustic, traditional).
Also choose materials like metal, wood, or glass based on which one will complement your outdoor decor. If you plan on keeping the lantern outside for a long time ensure the lantern is weather-resistant and durable for long-lasting use.
Placement and size
Finally, consider where you want to put the lantern and what size you would prefer. Pick a lantern size that suits the scale of your garden, avoiding oversized or tiny options. Think about where you plan to place the lanterns: along pathways, near seating areas, or hanging from trees. The placement can also help you choose how big you want the light to be, for example, if you're hanging it on a tree but want the path to be illuminated by the lantern it will have to be big and have a strong light.
This Product Guide was last updated in September 2023 and we apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.