10 best outdoor lanterns

Add some illumination to your outside space

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The Independent Online

Outdoor lanterns are the finishing element for cosy nights spent outside. Candlelight is the classic way to create some magic in the garden for dinners or parties, but LED lanterns are becoming more popular for their practicality and long life. Glass, metal, ceramic and bamboo options all feature in our list, each with its own benefits for lighting your outdoor space after dusk. 

1. John Lewis Canton Outdoor LED Lantern: £18, John Lewis 

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This practical outdoor lantern works with an LED bulb, made to look like a real candle. It may not deliver the glowing charm of real candlelight, but it’s much easier to transport indoors and out with the added bonus of not having to clean up the mess of melted wax. It takes two D batteries which give up to 30 hours of use. 

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2. Habitat Jexa Woven Bamboo Lantern: £12, Habitat 

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Following the trend for bright colours outdoors, Habitat’s woven bamboo lantern comes in a jolly yellow. The reasonably-priced lantern is made from woven bamboo with an integrated handle for carrying around the garden easily. A glass cylinder inside protects the candle’s flame from drafts of wind.

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3. Zara Home Fuchsia Lantern: £39.99, Zara Home 

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Zara’s Fuchsia lantern brings a burst of tropical colour to your outdoor set-up. The lantern’s outer shell is a metal cage wrapped in ribbons of plant fibres. The interior is a glass cylinder that holds a pillar candle. Style it in combination with other bright accessories dotted around the garden. 

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4. Garden Trading Cornbury Glass Votive: £10, Garden Trading 

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This sturdy lantern from Garden Trading takes the form of a large glass jar with a wire metal handle. Ribbed glass gives candlelight a pleasing glow from within. This rustic option measures 26cm x 18cm, and is a generous size for the price. 

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5. Marks and Spencer Marrakesh Lantern: £29.50, Marks and Spencer

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The classic Moroccan lantern is given a modern twist. Instead of the filigree detail common on more traditional styles, Marks and Spencer’s version is more geometric with an angular shape and a linear pattern that casts an intricate shadow when lit. The finish is a brilliant gold, and the lantern’s hinged door makes replacing candles safe and easy.

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6. Nordic House Teak Lantern: £64, Nordic House

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This tall, boxy lantern in teak has a minimal design that makes a candle the focus. The natural wood frame and leather handle seem made for the outdoors but its serene style makes it a good companion by the bath or bed too. Its slim proportions (20 x 40cm) and thin frame make it subtly striking.  

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7. Next Handblown Glass Lantern: £28, Next

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Next’s decorative lantern is a metal cage with a thick hand-blown glass vessel made to fit within. The unusual piece bounces candlelight around the interior to give the lantern a warm glow, enhanced by the bronze patina of the metal. As a lantern it suits a pillar candle but the piece would also look great holding fresh flowers.

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8. Bloomingville Grey Ceramic Lantern: £67, Amara 

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This ceramic lantern mixes a traditional glazed finish with a modern pattern of dotted holes that cast candlelight on the surroundings. The contrast of the unglazed top with the grey or black-finished body makes for a nice touch. Remember to bring this lantern in over winter, as ceramics don’t fare well when the temperature drops.

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9. True Utility LED Storm Lantern: £14.99, True Utility 

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Despite the many variations, the classic storm lantern still hasn’t lost its appeal outdoors. Whether you like its traditional looks, or find it practical for taking along on camping adventures, this versatile favourite has a touch of real nostalgia. This version has an adjustable LED bulb in place of the kerosene burner.

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10. Eva Solo Smokey Grey Glass Lantern: from £50, Houseology

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A bottle-shaped cover of smoke-coloured glass protects the candle in this stylish lantern. The looped handle goes all the way through the body of the light and attaches to the metal candle tray. This unusual feature makes the two parts easy to separate and clean. Comes in two sizes.

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Verdict

The Canton outdoor LED lantern is the most versatile – it’s practical to take along on trips but stylish enough for evening BBQs or parties. If only real candlelight will do, Habitat’s Jexa lamp casts a pleasing glow and brings a pop of tropical colour to the British garden.

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