The most popular lamps for lighting the American yard are electrified versions of the candle, gas, or oil fixtures that have illuminated the outdoor living areas for centuries. Take a look at this array of interesting lights.
For as long as Americans have been getting home past dark, lanterns have been there to brighten the path that leads homeward.
This classic brass lantern demonstrates the importance of choosing a well-proportioned fixture. Measuring a full quarter the height of the granite pillar on which it sits, the lamp not only balances the impressive pedestal, but casts sufficient light to illuminate the entry area effectively.
Recalling the striking form of the gas lamps that lit Paris and London in the 19th century, this electrified cast-iron beauty features frosted glass panels that cut down on glare.
Beveled-glass panels, fleurs-de-lis, and an urn-shaped finial embellish an elegant copper-framed fixture.
Come evening, a Gothic Revival-style lantern fitted with amber glass casts a warm glow on this home's stern, cut-stone façade.
Translucent glass diffuses light, while an opaque "cap" deflects it downward, providing safety while cutting down on the light pollution that threatens to banish the stars from suburban skies.
A red-enameled lamppost becomes a focal point in this rustic garden by day. After sunset, the lamp's yellow incandescent light bulb does its best to thwart the attentions of night-flying insects.
A fanciful gooseneck bracket supports a wall-mounted beauty of European ancestry.
Opalescent art glass lines the panels of a pyramid-roofed lantern that lends itself to both Modern and Craftsman-style landscapes.
A slender cast-metal post boosts a refined four-sided fixture, doubling as both street sign and homecoming committee.
Mounted on an ivy-clad wooden post, a rustproof cast-aluminum lantern supplies an undeniable note of nostalgia in a carefree cottage garden.
This hanging lantern's antique-bronze finish and geometric grid effectively underscore the straightforward simplicity of Craftsman or Prairie-style dwellings.
All lanterns—including the acorn-shaped charmer shown here—play a dual role outdoors, making poorly lit areas brighter and safer as they inject a degree of beauty into the landscape. The best examples complement the architecture of the house, defining key areas in the landscape without calling undo attention to themselves.