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Outdoor and Backyard Lighting We Love

Updated Dec 10, 2022
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Your phone’s flashlight app will work in a pinch, but if you’re spending serious time outside after sundown—eating an alfresco dinner, reading a book in your tent, throwing a beach bash—you need an outdoor light, or several. After 12 hours of research and 35 hours of testing, we’ve found the best packable lights, tabletop lanterns, flameless candles, string lights, and path lights for all of your outdoor adventures.

MPOWERD Luci Base Light, a bright, barely there lantern

MPOWERD Luci Base Light

A bright, barely there lantern
This inflatable light is highly portable and easy to use. And the Luci’s battery capacity, brightness, and weatherproof ratings were some of the highest among the packable lights we tested.
We recommend
Black Diamond Equipment Moji Lantern, a pocket-size lantern

Black Diamond Equipment Moji Lantern

A pocket-size lantern
The Moji fits in the palm of your hand and has two fold-up handles for hanging. Powered by three AAA batteries, it casts a strong, cool-white glow.
Another good choice
UST 60-Day Duro Lantern, a supremely rugged and bright lantern

UST 60-Day Duro Lantern

A supremely rugged and bright lantern
The lantern you picture when you hear the word “lantern,” this model is brighter and more ruggedly built than any we’ve tested.
We recommend
UST 30-Day Duro Lantern, the 60-day duro’s little sibling

UST 30-Day Duro Lantern

The 60-Day Duro’s little sibling
The 30-Day Duro is just as rugged and versatile as the 60-Day model. Plus, it’s smaller and lighter, so it’s more portable. It is not, however, quite as powerful or bright as the 60-Day.
Another good choice
Coleman OneSource 1,000 Lumens LED Lantern, a versatile rechargeable lantern

Coleman OneSource 1,000 Lumens LED Lantern

A versatile rechargeable lantern
This lantern’s rechargeable battery can be removed and used with many other Coleman products. It has a USB-C input port, a USB-A output port, and a 1,000-lumen bulb with six brightness settings to cast a soft, warm glow.
Another good choice
West Elm Indoor/Outdoor Flickering Flameless Pillar Candle, a cozy, fire-free candle

West Elm Indoor/Outdoor Flickering Flameless Pillar Candle

A cozy, fire-free candle
This flameless candle, which comes in five sizes, makes a statement in any outdoor space. Its plastic exterior has one of the most wax-like textures of those we tested, and its battery-powered light flickers like a real flame.
We recommend
Newhouse Lighting 48 ft. 11-Watt Outdoor Weatherproof String Light , a rustic-chic string light

Newhouse Lighting 48 ft. 11-Watt Outdoor Weatherproof String Light

A rustic-chic string light
This sturdy, lengthy string of Edison-style glass bulbs is the best we’ve found to illuminate (and dress up) any outdoor space.
We recommend
Smart Solar Charleston Pathway LED Lights (6 Pack), beacons to light your way

Smart Solar Charleston Pathway LED Lights (6 Pack)

Beacons to light your way
These solar-powered path lights have a sleek look that contrasts pleasantly with any outdoor environment. They’re ruggedly built and easy to assemble, and they stay put when staked into the ground.
We recommend

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