5 low energy tips to light up your night

Don’t wait for a special occasion to eat dinner alfresco. While daylight savings is still kicking around for most of the Eastern states in Australia, it’s a great time to take your cooking outside and enjoy a barbeque. 

Instead of using the oven or stove top to prepare your dinner, you’ll probably be saving energy and also have the added bonus of not heating up the house unnecessarily.

Eating outside also offers you an opportunity to get a bit creative with your mood lighting. You don’t have to rely on electricity or boring old candles. A little bit of creativity goes a long way, and will help you reduce your energy use even more!

1. Go stylish with solar

Solar lights have come a long way in recent years and we now have lots of stylish and affordable options available to us. Keep your eye out for stake-style sets that can light up pathways, or strings of lights to drape across your veranda roof.

2. Add some DIY flair

If you do find a set of solar fairy lights, but want to add some flair, consider using cupcake cases or ping pong balls. Simply place a small slit into the bottom of the ball or cup cake case and gently it slip over each globe. This will turn a plain set of lights into a work of art, and even better, you can change the covers from season to season without having to purchase a whole new set.

3. Upcycle old lighting

Upcycle an old chandelier to add a level of glamour to your outdoor dining experience. To make it as energy efficient as possible (and also more portable) swap out the traditional light globes for either a solar light or even a battery powered candle. Both should be easy enough to find at your local discount or hardware store, making it an affordable and easy makeover which delivers a big impact. 

4. Battery powered lights

Keep your eye out for strings of battery powered lights. Most discount and hardware stores will stock them these days, and they are perfect for thinking outside of the box with. Being battery powered they’re portable and will provide you with lighting on demand. Add them to wreaths, wrap them around trees, wind them through your table centrepiece, place them in jars and bottles or even twist them around your chairs. The options are endless and their soft glow adds a romantic touch.

5. Get creative with candles

If you decide that candles are the best option, don’t feel limited to candle sticks as the best way to display them. Try hanging tea light candles in mason jars, or placing them inside empty wine glasses along the centre of your table, or even getting creative with votive holders. Look out for battery powered tea lights to reduce any potential safety issues that will still provide the same effect.

While lights that look pretty are lovely, it’s more important to ensure they are safe. Be sure to keep them in good working order (look out for tangled cords, broken bulbs and frayed wiring) and throw them away if they look unsafe. If you’re using candles, always keep open flames and flammable materials away from children, and use with extreme caution at all times.

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