Really, one of the best ways we know to create outdoor lighting magic in warm months are with Shoji Solar Lanterns.
Hang them over a dining table and they float like moons, as in Ikea’s Livet Hemma’s rooftop.
Our friend Susan Dworski considers them an essential, inexpensive, mood-enhancing element that are, in her words “Pretty damned lunar at night”:
Ironically, I just replaced my tattered red Shoji solars yesterday with the familiar bluebird ones.
They are marvelous! I screwed the plastic stands (intended for tabletop use) on the bottom to stabilize them better in the wind. They add a certain Japanese gravitas.
They hang from iron shepherd’s crooks so I can distribute them among the sword ferns and not be dependent on a wire or tree branch for positioning.
Susan figured out a lovely end-use for when the lantern’s fabric finally shreds apart after 2 or 3 years outdoors:
I salvage the undamaged flat solar cells and hang them in the lemon tree where – inconspicuous by day – they continue to glow all night like tiny stars among the branches.
One of the most wondrous —and extravagant— uses of Shoji Solar Lanterns (or something like them) we’ve seen were for the suspended bubble effect French architects Marion Moustey and Alexandre Arcens achieved in their art installation “Sensual wave“, a few years ago, at top and below.
Set along the harbor in La Grande-Motte Harbor, France, it comprises rows of luminous lanterns carefully hung on string, tied from one end of a floating dock to the other.
We love this alternative way to suspend lanterns without hanging them overhead.
“Sensual Wave” photos by Paul Kozlowski via DesignBoom