Adding Portable Outdoor Light For Games or Reading

Summary: Extra “temporary” lighting can extend the use outdoor areas and activities, allowing for more time playing games or just relaxing after the sun goes down.


Question: Our kids love to play outside even after dark during the summertime, what is the best way to add light outdoors on a patio area? Annie, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Answer: Annie, portable weatherproof lighting units are often used, like their indoor counterparts, for additional illumination near chairs or tables for reading, playing cards, and other light-demanding activities.

They use to have heavy bases to hold them in place during normal winds, now most are portable, folding tripod stands. All the better-designed units are shielded to provide glare-free indirect light.

Overhead reflector floods and spots can be aimed at specific chairs or tables but have the disadvantage of requiring the furniture to be always in the same location.

Also, when this type of lighting is used for a specific task, it may come from a direction that causes your shadow to be cast over your work.

Lighting For Lawn Games At Night

With the coming of darkness, most homeowners regretfully put away their badminton or croquet sets or other lawn games. But for little expense, it is easy to plan sufficient light for your family to enjoy these outdoor sports after dark.

If the play areas adjoin the house, the easiest method is to provide a number of floodlights mounted high against the eaves, where they can be swiveled to provide the maximum in coverage while still keeping the light out of the players eyes.

This is generally effective only for games that use a small, limited play area, such as darts, shuffleboard, and the like.

For sports that require much more space in the middle of the lawn, tall adjustable pole game or work lights are best. These have telescopic poles on a tripod base, placed where needed and raised till the lights are high above eye level.

There are lights at the top, and each can be individually tilted to provide maximum coverage of the playing area. Two of these units, each carrying 2 lamps, usually will provide adequate light for such games as croquet or badminton.

NOTE: Always make sure the manufacturers product instructions are read and followed. Use portable lighting units in approved areas only.