The 7 Best Outdoor Lanterns

Whether you’re hosting an outdoor dinner party or planning a camping trip, the right lighting is crucial. Using lanterns as decor pieces can elevate your space instantly, and having a trusted light source to illuminate your path is also key to prevent stumbling in the dark. The best outdoor lanterns […]

Whether you’re hosting an outdoor dinner party or planning a camping trip, the right lighting is crucial. Using lanterns as decor pieces can elevate your space instantly, and having a trusted light source to illuminate your path is also key to prevent stumbling in the dark. The best outdoor lanterns are designed with enough lumens for your purposes and meet strict weatherproofing standards.

The number of lumens — which is the measure of visible light — for outdoor lighting will vary, depending on whether you’re relying on it for decorative purposes or to light your yard. Generally speaking, a lantern with 700 to 1300 lumens provides flood lighting that is bright enough for an entire campsite, while a lower lumen number range of between 12 to 700 lumens works best for outdoor lighting, with path lights falling around 100 to 200 lumens. Keep in mind that the lower the lumens, the less bright your lantern, and some of the options on this list have just 6 lumens, which gives off faint mood lighting. The Ingress Protection (IP) number of a lantern is also great to know if you want to guarantee that it can withstand weather conditions. IP numbers range from IPX0 (no protection) to IPX8 (which can protect against continuous submersion in water) Most lanterns on this list fall within the IPX4 range, which protects against splashing water and is considered the minimum IP you’d want for lights in exposed areas.

In terms of style considerations, I’ve included tabletop options, as well as some lanterns you can hang to create your own outdoor oasis. Other features to look for in an outdoor lantern include multiple brightness settings, a long battery life, timers, and the ability to run via solar power, which saves you from having to change batteries.

Amazon is home to a number of great outdoor lanterns in different styles to suit a variety of needs. Keep reading for outdoor lanterns that satisfy every budget and purpose.

1. A Vintage-Inspired Set Of Solar-Powered Lanterns

Add ambience to your backyard with these hanging vintage-looking solar-powered lanterns. The LED lights feature six lumens, which allows them to give off soft mood lighting, and are made of sturdy iron with plastic for a rustic-looking light that’s both stylish and practical. When charged, the lanterns automatically turn on at dusk and can run for eight hours before turning off, although each lantern comes with a AAA battery in case it doesn’t get enough sunlight. This pack of two lanterns — which has earned more than 2,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon — has convenient handles that make it easy to hang, carry, or display the lantern around your yard. The IP Rating is not listed for this pick, so it might be better to bring it inside for storage out of the rain. It also comes in brown for an antiqued bronze finish.

Helpful Review: “I wanted gorgeous, magical lanterns that I wouldn’t have to fuss with as far as turning them on, charging batteries, etc. […] First of all, the SOLAR factor — best invention of mankind. Wow. During the day these lanterns hang gracefully and look delightful on my balcony […] — but once the sun sets — the lamps show their ‘true light!'”

2. A Tall Lantern With A Built-In Flameless Candle

This outdoor lantern provides the same cozy mood as a real candle, without the flame. It features a built-in LED candle encased in a 14-inch tall lantern that has a classic shape and a vintage look. The door does not open on the lantern, keeping the light protected from water and other outdoor elements — plus it boasts an IPX4 rating. This lantern has a timer that can be set to run for eight hours, then turn off for 16, then turned back on for another eight hours, or you can simply use the on/off switch. The light it gives off is described by reviewers as soft and subtle, though a lumen number is not provided. It has a 4.3-star Amazon rating and is designed with a small hook, so you can set it on a table or hang it. It operates on three AAA batteries, which are included.

Helpful Review: “Love the style and finish…looks like I paid way more than I did for it. Candle looks like it has been burned not flat cut, flickers so it looks like a real candle. Timer is great so it comes on automatically on my deck table. I like that it is not super bright..it gives a great ambience. Would definitely recommend this for both indoor and outdoor use […].”

3. This Powerful Lantern That Can Run For 60 Days

This camping lantern is pricier than the other picks, but has everything you need for your next adventure. The LED light puts out 1200 lumens, making it the brightest choice on this list, plus it can run up to 60 days on a single battery charge. It features four settings: high, medium, low, and SOS — which flashes in emergencies. One reviewer noted that it’s ideal for when you lose power in a storm. It has an IPx4 rating, which makes it water-resistant, and you can remove the top globe for a direct light in case you need a flashlight. A built-in hook at the bottom of the lantern allows you to hang it upside down for overhead lighting. This lantern boasts a high 4.7-star rating. This pick requires six D alkaline batteries to operate, but they aren’t included.

Helpful Review: “Oh, how I love this little lantern. It is lightweight, packable, and durable, and boy is it bright! I bought it to help act as a non-electrical light source for my 13′ camper, as well as a camping lantern. I will never, ever use a gas lantern again for camping. This has three different settings, and on the two brightest it lights up the room enough to read with. Additionally, the batteries last a very long time […] I will definitely buy another one of these if mine ever kicks the bucket.”

4. A Decorative Lantern For Boho Vibes

This decorative outdoor lantern is the perfect addition to any boho backyard. It doesn’t come with a light source, but it has room for tea light, votive, small pillar candle, or an LED candle. This Moroccan-style lantern comes in 12 colors including green, silver, and yellow, and has over 3,500 reviews. Stand this lantern up on your table or porch, or use the small handle to hang it from a tree branch or a hook. It’s not advertised as being weatherproof, so you may want to bring it indoors when not in use to prevent against rust. For less than $20, this highly rated lantern is a steal and will add ambiance to your next gathering.

Helpful Review: “I was very pleased with my lanterns. I bought three different ones a blue, green and an orange one. They look great in my stand. They arrived promptly and were well packed. I put a battery tea light votive candle in them. I love the vibrant color. They look beautiful when the sun hits them.”

5. This 360-Degree Lantern With A Rechargeable Battery

This rechargeable lantern saves you the hassle of keeping up with batteries. After a full charge, this 360-degree lantern can run for up to 110 hours (on the dimmest setting). When it’s time to charge, just plug in the micro-USB charging cable. It features 450 lumens and adjustable brightness. IP information is not available and many reviewers say it’s not waterproof, but it is lightweight and has a carrying handle, which makes it ideal for enjoying a drink on the porch or adding some light to your backyard hangouts. It has a sleek and minimalist design that blends with any decor style for indoor use as well.

Helpful Review: “Portable and sturdy, with a sleek design, I use this all the time – from checking on dogs and children without waking the rest of the household up, entertaining outdoors, to night time picnics and stargazing. I typically use the lamp on its lowest brightness and the battery lasts for ages.”

6. These Mason Jar Lanterns With Fairy Lights

This pack of charming outdoor lanterns consist of six mason jars with lids, each containing 30 LED string lights that give off about six lumens, according to reviewers, for soft, ambient light. The solar-operated lanterns have durable hooks for hanging, though they can also be placed on tables or on the ground, and will run up to eight hours on a charge. Although an IP rating is not provided, the manufacturer claims that they are waterproof. These lights have a 4.6-star rating and more than 2,000 reviews.

Helpful Review: “These mason jar lights is exactly what my back yard needed! They add just the right ambiance to my garden that I have been looking for. They are well built and require no assembly. I received the six pack of lights already on their jars and ready to put on my hangers in my garden. I have to say that getting both the solar lights and the jar together is so much nicer than buying them separately or trying to find jars that will fit. I have tried both ways and have always been unable to get them to fit right which allows water to get in and eventually ruins the lights. Not with these!”

7. A Pocket-Size Camping Lantern

Don’t let this pocket-size lantern fool you — it’s earned a 4.7-star rating because it’s so versatile and functional. It features an LED light that gives off 100 lumens, making it ideal for illuminating small spaces like tents, and has an adjustable brightness setting and a memory feature that allows it to recall your last setting. It can run up to 70 hours on one set of three AAA batteries — though batteries are not included —and has a collapsible handle that doubles as a hook for hanging. If you’re backpacking and concerned with weight, this is a great compact option. It has an IPX rating of 4, and it comes in seven colors.

Helpful Review: “Love this little baseball sized light. Fits easily in a tent bag for storage. Provides plenty of light to see in your tent at night and has a dimming feature with memory so it remembers the dim setting when you turn it off and on again. […] I haven’t used it at all outside a tent but I imagine it would work well as a flashlight in a pinch. Though you wouldn’t be able to see too far with only 100 lumen max output.”

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