Let’s face it, mother nature isn’t always so kind with having your outdoor BBQ, and there are times when a passing rain shower or the beaming hot sun can put a damper on your day. Especially if your outdoor plans call for grilling out with family and friends. When the sun starts to dip low in the sky, and night starts to fall, you might not want to go outside because it’s too dark outside. Yet blazing yard lights and the bugs they attract aren’t really the kind of guests you want.
For times like this, a patio umbrella with some lights installed can really save the day. They create the perfect ambiance and mood to your gathering as the sun goes down, allowing just enough light to see who you’re talking to, but not too bright as to feel like you’r sitting under baseball stadium lights. Patio furniture manufacturers are keen on this, and they’ve been quick to flood the market with LED patio umbrellas to fit every occasion and price point. Unfortunately, some of them cut corners in material selection, design, or build quality.
So, before you pull the trigger and invest in any patio umbrella with lights, you want to first think about a few key criteria.
Basic Shape Of The Canopy
While it might not seem like a big deal, a canopy that is the wrong shape for the table can leave you with a lot of uncovered precious square inches. Not to mention looking odd when viewed from afar. If you have a square table, it usually best to choose a square patio umbrella. If you have a round table, it’s best to choose a round patio umbrella. Also, some other features are the type of crank top raise and lower the umbrella, as well as the ability to tilt, which is a great feature to block the sun as it moves through the sky.
Size Of The Umbrella Canopy
Coming in at a very close second is the size of the canopy. This is a time when you want to take out the old tape measure and make sure that you’ve got a complete understanding of the size of your patio table. Especially if your patio table has a solid surface because even a few uncovered square inches could lead to a lot of runoff rain pooling on even the previously protected parts of the table. Ideally, you want to shoot for a patio umbrella that’s at least 20% larger than your patio table. That way you still have a little wiggle room to keep the patio chairs protected.
Fabric Of The Patio Umbrella Canopy
The fabric material of the patio umbrella’s canopy can be a factor in a few different ways. Right off the bat the water-resistance value or waterproofness of the fabric plays an important role in keeping the patio table dry. Especially if you plan to frequently use the patio to serve food for guests or as a place to play cards. The UV resistance is also an important factor in the long-term value of the canopy. Without proper UV resistance, the color can fade even over the course of a single summer of full exposure. Extensive UV damage can even start to compromise the stitching as the years go by.
Common Canopy Fabric Materials
Sometimes known as olefin, this is a hydrocarbon compound, which has superior waterproofing qualities. It tends to be more affordable than some of the competitor materials. Though it’s UV properties aren’t as good.
This is a synthetic fiber made from petroleum-based products and other polymers to create fibers that can be turned into a fabric. It relies on a chemical bond between specially formulated acids and alcohol compounds. It tends to be water-resistant on it’s own and will accept secondary waterproof treatments like camp dry. It also tends to have superior UV resistance.
This is a relatively new material that has been specially formulated to be ecologically friendly. To the point that they can even be easily recycled. It also has superior UV resistance compared to many other materials. Though the price can sometimes be a little higher, as it is a relatively new material with a higher cost per unit production. Still, it gives you a great chance for a maximum return on your investment.
This is a lightweight material that’s known for being soft. It is also microscopically porous as a fiber which means it can be dyed by the manufacturer in a wide range of vibrant colors. This amazing spectrum increasing the chance of finding the right umbrella to match your exterior color concept. Though acrylic
Probably the biggest advantage of vinyl umbrellas is that they tend to be very low cost. They’re also lightweight and easy to handle, which also makes a vinyl umbrella easy to store. Vinyl umbrellas also do a good job of blocking UV light, though color is a factor. However, vinyl umbrellas also tend to sun fade with time, so you might not see a robust return on your initial investment. Yet the low price tag of these umbrellas rarely leaves you with buyer’s remorse.
Tilting To Better Block The Sun
The Earth keeps turning, which means the sun is constantly on the move throughout skies. Sometimes the angle of the sun can be annoyingly low. To the point where it shines in your eyes even with the umbrella being fully deployed. Having the ability to tilt the pole in the middle to the top third will give you the opportunity to adjust the protection of your patio umbrella to your situation.
Lift To Control The Height
Different umbrella poles lift and deploy the canopy in various ways. If you’re a strong person with robust shoulder muscles, you might be able to save a few dollars on a patio umbrella with a manual lift system. If you aren’t exactly known for being burly or particularly tall, you might want to look for a patio umbrella pole with a crank or some other type of assist feature.
Base For Stability
With so much weight up top and the ability to catch wind like a sail, you want a patio umbrella base that has some weight to it. Ideally, a base that you can easily add water or sand to will let you change position easily. If the base is not secure or weighted down enough, guaranteed the entire umbrella will either take off, or at least lift up enough to knock over a table and anything on top it. So in short, don’t skimp on the base!
Type Of Lights For Outdoor Umbrellas
Battery, solar or plug-in electric are the choices available. Let’s face it, not all outdoor patios come with power conveniently available. Some might need a battery-powered lighting system, a solar-powered lighting system, or perhaps just a convenient way to conceal a power cord from view. Ideally, you want to choose a patio umbrella with energy-efficient lights like LEDs. There are some umbrellas that might not come with lights built-in, but have fasteners available to hang your own string lights.
Which Are The Best Patio Umbrellas With Lights We Recommend?
- 360-DEGREE ROTATION: Conveniently rotates 360 degrees by simply stepping on the foot pedal and turning the pole with your hands, while a smooth gliding handle and 5 tilt settings allow you to adjust the shade and block the sun at various angles
- BRIGHT, SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTS: Umbrella has 35 built-in LED rib lights (5 per rib) and a center light all powered by solar panels on top of the pole to save energy while maintaining perfect lighting in the day and night
- 24 SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTS: Use it day or night, with 24 built-in solar powered LED lights that can run for 6-7 hours
- HIGH-DURABILITY FABRIC: Made with high-quality water-resistant fabric to last for years of enjoyment
- ADJUST YOUR SHADE: Stay cool at all times, as the easy push-button tilt system gives coverage no matter what time of day, while a wind vent cools air under the umbrella
- CONVENIENT CRANK HANDLE: Easy open/close system puts the umbrella up in just seconds with minimal effort
- Sturdy Structure -- Frame with 48mm aluminum pole, all-iron umbrella bones and 8 heavy-duty ribs all with rust-free powder coated finish for extra strength. 32 built-in solar LED lights powered by an environmentally friendly rechargeable battery.
- High-Quality Canopy -- Made of premium material 180gsm fabric that can be waterproof and fade resistant, easy to clean. Guarantee the UV protection and grade 4 colorfastness polyester fabric to light.
- ☂☂【Feature 1----Two Lars Design for Ventilation and Windproof】--- Keep the Air Flowing ,Hot air or wind will flow through the multiple vents quickly Which will make you cool in Summer,Windproof in the wind.
- ☂☂【Feature 2----Beautiful Lights】--- The Patio Umbrella with 40 Lights can run 7-8 hours
- ☂☂【Feature 3----Waterproof & Sunbrella Fabric 】--- The Patio umbrella is made of Premium Polyester Fabric,Anti-UV, Wind Resistant & Waterproof.It can be for rainy days and the sun days.
5 used from $59.24
- [Energy-Efficient Lighting] 4 LED lights on each rib, 8 steel rib construction, solar-powered 32 LEDs provide energy-efficient lighting, help to light up relaxing night and create warm atmosphere. Overall Dimensions: 108"(Dia) x 98.4"(H); Dia.1.50 inch (38 mm) Pole for stronger support and durable Push Button Connector (NOTE: Umbrella BASE NOT Included)
- [Easy Tilt Operation] On and off switch for umbrella solar light, easy tilt operation with push button for more angles with hand-crank lift, easy set-up and take-down so you can relax within seconds.
1 used from $165.42
- 36 Pcs Led Lights, Elegant & Sturdy: Such a umbrella looks classic and elegant. Superior strength and durability with the rust-resistant 1.9"(48mm) steel pole and 12 steel ribs with 3 pcs LED lights on each ribs
- Extra Large Patio Lighted Umbrella: PHI VILLA this 15 ft large patio umbrella features a double-sided design, which gives you maximum shelter that brings you large shades for your outdoor enjoyment. Perfectly suitable for residential and commercial locations
- LED Lighting From the Sun: Dual switched hub light and 80 rib lights, more than most LED lights of patio umbrellas on the market. More rib lights provide a brighter view. Built-in rib lights are not easy to damage and aging. Powered by a solar rechargeable battery.
- 100% Non-fading Acrylic Performance Fabric: 100% solution-dyed acrylic, 10 years non-fading top, water resistance and oil resistance. Ordinary market and patio umbrella will fade in one month, while EliteShade patio umbrella is fadeproof.
- ★ Use day or night,with solar powered light bars on each 8 ribs, no electricity or power cord needed, last for 9-12 hours. ON and OFF switch for solar lights with solar panel on top powered by the Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery.
- ★ Convenient crank opens/closes system and handy push button tilt, keep the sun at the back in the daytime.
- ★ Made with high-quality water-, UV-, and fade- resistant fabric to last for years of enjoyment. Provide a perfect shade for your patio, garden, deck, pool and beach.