Tag Archives | umbrella

Projector, Camera, Real Time 3D Mapping: The Internet Umbrella!

Internet Umbrella

Internet Umbrella

Here is another umbrella that lights up, this time using the internet. The Internet Umbrella aka Pileus, was designed by two students in Tokyo, Takashi Matsumoto and Sho Hashimoto, envisioning a more connected future. The Pileus has two main functions, real time 3D mapping and photo sharing. The umbrella is connected to a laptop that has Wi-Fi access. Onboard the umbrella there is a projector on the shaft which projects onto the underside of the umbrella, a camera, a digital compass, a GPS receiver and a motion sensor.

When switched to the 3D mapping mode, the person’s location is projected onto the umbrella using Google Earth. As the person moves, so does the Google Earth projection.

With a flick of a switch you can go into the camera mode. In this mode the person can take a photo and it will be uploaded directly to Flickr.

You can also project photos and videos from the internet onto the umbrella for a more entertaining walk in the rain. The photos can be scrolled through by simply twisting the umbrella as seen in the video below. – Site

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The Portable Light Show: A Programmable Umbrella with Lights

Imagine walking down the street at night or seeing this programmable umbrella with lights onstage at a concert. The Programmable Umbrella by huebner5000 was the winner of the Instructables Soft Circuit Contest. huebner5000 wanted to create a portable light show and so decided to do it onto a fold up umbrella. With the use of a clear umbrella, 64 LEDs, an Arduino pro mini, and a whole host of other materials, he was able to make the light up umbrella seen in the video below. You can follow along with the battery powered umbrella lights tutorial here.

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L&L’s Photo Guide To Outdoor Patio Lighting Ideas

Patio lighting creates a relaxing setting and can add value to your home.  Depending on the type of patio you have (some have solid roofing structures, pergolas, or just an open space), there are a number of outdoor patio lighting ideas that can be used to create a well designed space to be enjoyed in at night. We’ve included a lot of photos to help you get an idea of how the different lighting ideas fit into an outdoor patio space.

Patio Ceiling Lighting Ideas

If you have a patio with a solid structure covering it, then there is a range of ceiling lighting ideas you can use. Here you can have recessed or outdoor pendant lights fitted, including mini chandeliers.

patio lighting

A patio using outdoor pendant lights with wicker basket shades

recessed patio lights

A patio lit with recessed lights

patio chandelier

A chandelier hangs over a patio dining table

Outdoor fan light

There is also the option of having an all in one fan and light

There are other lighting ideas if you have a pergola structure over your patio, or you can create your own ceiling with string lights – both of which we later go over below.

Post Lights

Post lights that are usually used to line paths can be fitted around the perimeter of your patio like in the photo below. You can find post lights that are solar powered or electric low voltage patio lighting fixtures.

post lights

Post lights outlining the perimeter of a patio

Another option is to use tall street lights, like the solar powered one below:

street lights

Solar powered street lights can also be used to light a patio

Wall Lights

There are a number of ways to use wall lights to light up a patio:

wall lanterns

Wall lanterns hung around a patio

swimming pool and wall lights

Wall and swimming pool lights lighting up a patio

wall lights

Another example of wall lights lighting a patio

pillar lights

Patio pillar lights

Pergola Lighting

A patio pergola helps provide shade in the daytime, and is an elegant structure to have lights fitted onto to light up at night.

Some pergola lighting ideas include:

  • Attaching lanterns to the posts
  • Installing recessed lights into the posts
  • Having recessed floor lights pointing up onto the posts
  • Hanging lights from the overhead beams
  • Having string lights wrapped around the posts and the overhead beams
pergola lighting

Lights attached to a pergola lighting up a patio

pergola lights

Another example of pergola lighting

pergola lighting

String lights wrapped around the beams of a pergola

Patio Umbrella Lighting

A patio umbrella makes for a quick and simple lighting structure. There are a number of ways to fit umbrella lights:

  • One option is to hang string lights on the edges of the umbrella and wrap them around the pole
  • Another option is a solar light that uses a solar panel at the top of the umbrella while the lights are attached the pole [search ‘solar umbrella light’ at Amazon].
umbrella lights

Umbrella lighting lighting up a patio

umbrella lights

Another example of umbrella lighting

solar umbrella lights

Solar powered umbrella lights

Ideas Using String Lighting

String lights can be used to create an enchanting setting, are inexpensive and are versatile light fixtures. They also come in a range of different style (i.e. globe lights, mini lanterns) and can be electric or solar powered. As they are easy to install and are lightweight, there are a number of patio string lighting ideas and options. They can be:

    • Wrapped around railings
    • Wrapped around trees
    • Hung from the ceiling
string lights

Patio string lights

tree lights

String lights can also be used to wrap around trees and railings

patio lights

String lights strung from wall to wall to light a patio

string lights

String lights come in a range of styles

Or how about hanging a number of string lights side by side to create a curtain of lighting:

curtain of lighting

String lights creating a curtain of lighting

You can even create a ceiling of lights by hanging a number of string lights side by side overhead. You can attach them from the wall of the house to a tree, a fence or you can erect an arch or just a pole to attach them to, like in the 2 photos below:

string light ceiling

Create a ceiling of lights by hanging string lights side by side overhead

string lights pole

String lights overhead attached to a pole

If you use the small string lights, they will create a starry night sky effect:

starry night

String lights used to create a starry night sky

Fire Power Patio Lighting Ideas

Fire based options provide soft glowing tropical light, some can help keep you warm, and even act as a natural insect repellent.

One fire based lighting idea is to place tiki torches around the patio area. If you fuel the torches with citronella oil, it will act as a natural insect repellent. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to light each tiki torch then there is the option to have permanent gas powered torches that you can turn on from a central valve.

tiki torch

Tiki torches can be used to light up a patio

There are elegant fire pits that can light and heat a patio. These can come as propane gas fueled, wood or coal burning. Modern versions include fire glass pits and sculptural pits like the ModFire.

patio fire place

An outdoor fire place on a patio


ModFire: A modern outdoor fire pit

fire glass

A fire glass pit out on a patio

Table Lighting

One way to easily add outdoor patio lighting is to use table lights. Candles are a popular choice (while battery operated LED candles are a good alternative). Oil lamps are another option, as well as tabletop tiki torches – these can be fueled by citronella oil that acts as a natural insect repellent (DIY oil lamps).

table lights

Table top fire bowls are another option that are fueled by a small propane tank or non toxic fuel gels:

fire bowl

A tabletop fire bowl

Recessed Floor Lights

Recessed lights that are fitted into the floor are another outside patio lighting option. These can be placed to line paths, or can be installed up close to a wall for more decorative lighting. They can be solar patio lighting fixtures or electric powered.


floor lights

Recessed floor lights

Indirect Patio Lighting

Lighting other areas in and around the garden will provide indirect lighting for the patio deck. If you have a swimming pool, the soft glowing lights will spill over into the patio. Or wrapping string lights around nearby trees will provide indirect patio lighting.

pool lighting

The glow of the pool, softly lights up the patio

Other Patio Lighting Pictures

patio lighting

patio lighting

gazebo lighting

String lights lighting up a gazebo on a patio

image credits

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Design Guide: 10 Simple Wireless Deck Lighting Ideas

Wireless Deck Lighting Ideas It is great to have lights integrated into your deck. It is helpful to plan out the lighting while the deck is being built, but there is always the option to remodel the deck later on to wire and install lights. This can be costly and time consuming. Below are 10 deck lighting ideas that do not require you to modify the deck in any way or add any wiring.

7 Solar Deck Lighting Ideas

Using solar power is a great way to simply add deck lighting. Solar lighting has come to a point now where they provide bright light throughout the night, only needing a reasonable charge during the day. Because they use solar power, these light fixtures do not require any wiring. They are flexible to arrange around the deck and take a short amount of time to install. Here are 7 solar lighting ideas that can be added to a deck.

deck lights

Adding lighting with solar post caps

Solar post caps for decks are one of the simpler solar lights to install. These are light fixtures that simply sit on top of railing posts. The only issue here is to find caps that are the same size as the top of the posts. There is the option to screw them in place to make them more secure.

Posts Lights are simple light fixtures that attach to a side of a post. You will want to take note of the suns location during the day, and make sure the light isn’t shielded by the post. If you are planning on using post caps you can also find matching solar deck post lights.

An Umbrella Light will add lighting around a deck table or a seating area.  Here you will have two options. 1st there are solar umbrella light kits. These are light fixtures that you can attach to an existing umbrella, around the pole, while the solar cells are placed on top of the umbrella to absorb the sun. The 2nd option is buy an umbrella that has solar lights built into it.

Umbrella Lights Another deck lighting idea is to use Solar Powered Wall Lights that are attached to the walls of the house. There are a wide range of styles:  from Victorian lanterns, modern chrome lights, to Moroccan or more decorative wall lights.

Sun Jars are elegant Mason jars that contain a light inside. At night they light up like a little ball of sun within a jar. These can be placed on tables or on the floor around the edges of the deck. (Go here to see more on the Mason jar solar lights).

Outdoor string lights are common during Christmas for their green and red blinking versions. But they can be used year round when bought in yellow or off white colors. Solar outdoor string lights can also come as decorative light fixtures in the form of lanterns, such as waterproof solar powered Japanese paper lanterns. Or globe string lights are a sophisticated option, which mimics lighting from French cafes.

Outdoor globe string lights add decroating lighting to a deck

Advanced: Solar recessed deck lighting. All of the mentioned solar deck lighting options above require no or a little installation work – attaching them to a wall or post, etc. Solar recessed deck lights still require no wiring, but they need to have a groove carved out of the deck for them to sit into – a little extra work to add modern floor lighting.

3 Non Solar Deck Lighting Ideas

A small gas propane fueled fire bowl

Fire Bowls. These can come in table top sizes, or a much larger coffee table size that everyone can sit around. These help in giving off a little bit of light, but also provide heat for those slightly chilly nights. They can be fueled with either: a small table top gas propane tank, gel fuel, or oils. They can have the traditional rocks or a more modern fire glass top layer. There is also the option of a fire pit bowl where you can burn wood and charcoal.

Tiki torches are a great addition to exterior lighting. The dancing flames mimic the ambiance of a tropical resort. The most common kind are the stake versions where you plant them into the ground. These can be planted into buckets of sands and placed on the deck. Or there are versions that have an attachment so they easily be clamped onto deck railings or posts.  There are also mini tiki torches that can be used on table tops to add lighting to a deck. Don’t forget about citronella tiki torches that burn with less smoke and act as a natural and organic insect repellent.

Flameless Candles: Candles are great and all, but they don’t last long and can be messy to clean up. Flameless candles mimic real candles but use a small LED light – some even have wax bases. Some will even flicker, some are even scented. You can turn a group of them on with a remote, and there is no mess to clean up afterwards. (Go here to see more on flameless candles)

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Image Credits: Patrick, Tom