Whether you’re looking to brighten up a spring evening or help extend the warm summer nights, a garden lantern will do the trick.
Garden lanterns can be used to illuminate paths and doorways or frame a dining space or water feature and there’s a wide range available, including solar lights, hanging garden lanterns and garden candle lanterns.
The latter can be used with either wax or battery-powered candles to cast a warm, flickering glow and bring a calming ambiance and could be table-top lamps brought out for dining outdoors, or hung amongst the branches of trees.
But if you need to mark a path or driveway, brighter LED lights are what you need. Dimmable options will allow you to adjust the light level and there are warm and cool ‘lighting temperature’ choices, too.
Many garden lanterns are weatherproof and robust enough to be left outside all year round, but others may not be so check before you buy.
Below, we’ve pulled together a selection of the best garden lanterns from sleek, modern glass and ornate copper casings to hanging garden lanterns and solar stake lights, so there’s plenty of inspiration to help you choose the best option for your garden.
Eating al fresco with your friends? Check out our test of the best charcoal BBQs, in collaboration with BBC Good Food.
11 of the best garden lanterns
Solar Powered Shepherds Crook Coach Lanterns
This pair of hanging garden lanterns are supported by a traditional shepherds’ crook and will softly light paths and walkways. Stylish enough to be a feature in their own right the lights are solar powered and should last at least six hours on a full charge.
This ornate lantern is copper coated and has intricate carving on every surface. Suitable for use with traditional wax or battery powered candles it will cast a warm, patterned glow across your table or patio.
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 are want to create in your garden. They come in a pack of six and rechargeable AAA batteries are also included.
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 £49.95
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.
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.
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 the renewable energy. Six jars, lights and hangers are included.
Altar Lantern with Rope Handle
This contemporary basket lantern would make a stylish table feature for outdoor dining or bring a soothing glow to any garden seating ideas you may have. The lantern is constructed from bowed wood which surrounds a glass cylinder in the centre and has a rustic handle made from thick rope.
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.
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 14 hours.
Price: from £84
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.