Night lights IV – Fire

They’re actually not candles but rechargeable electric votive lights. But even at this close you really can’t tell can you?

Me likes fire. It’s elemental, basic and dangerous–lighting up a candle or a kerosene-laden tiki torch. Mostly the danger comes after I’ve just filled a tiki torch and have all that black greasy stuff on my hands when I go to light, what is essentially, a bomb on a bamboo pole.

Fire takes a couple forms on the summer-time deck/patio. Fire is more mood light than anything else. It doesn’t light paths or work as task lighting. And on a wooden deck with curtains, on the back of a 112-year-old wooden house in a tight-fitting neighborhood of wooden houses, we tend not to take too many chances. We can’t have a fire pit (city codes) although we can have a fire pit with a grill over it with hot dogs (cooking over fire is legal). A city fireman told me this. I don’t write the laws, I just abide by ’em.

This candle holder isn’t lit in this photo, but it’s a way cool, multi-tiered, and wraps around the umbrella of the umbrella table (I envision the wooden umbrella pole going up in flames). It was a father’s day gift the same year as the sand-cast candles that melted all over the tablecloth while sitting in the sun.

First is candles. I have, on each of the uprights to my arbor/trellis thingys, a votive candle holder. My disclaimer here? They aren’t real candles. They are rechargeable electric candles. I’m not stupid. Lighting candles outdoors and expecting them to stay lit is unreasonable and unproductive. For any candle holder not on a table or anywhere near where people can see them easily, I use the rechargeable candles. I do think they’re tacky on tables and near where people can see them. For that, I prefer real flame. There’s nothing better. But for the illusion of flame, without the frustration? I love the rechargeables.

The Moravian candles over the hot tub.

What’s better than starlight? Also using candles are the Moravian lights over the hot tub. The spa is a significant part of the evening deck and the stars add little light–but lots of mood. And we can’t have anything electric over the hot tub. Another city ordinance. This one makes sense.

Tiki torches (not lit) in front of the mirrors on the patio. If the guests are lit, I prefer the torches not to be.

I use the tiki torches, sometime by the deck to ward of bugs, but usually they’re across the way, on the patio, in front of the mirrors (photo at top), which looks cool.

Another fire feature I have, not in the garden, but indoors, is the “candelier.” It’s the light of my life. I’ve seen these in plenty of magazines over the years and have always wanted one. Another item added to the Christmas list (with links, product numbers & shipping instructions) a couple years back, found discounted and discontinued (thanks Mom).

Our candle budget is nearing TARP bailout proportions. But doesn’t it look cool…I mean…hot?

It’s above the dining room table, and, when lit, is all the light we need for dinner. We’ve gone as far as buying a candle mold and making candles, to keep up with our insatiable candle habit. this Throws off an appetizing glow for dinner parties. I have deemed only white, unscented, pillar candles are allowed for aesthetic (and asthmatic) reasons. No rechargeable electrics here. Since it’s my desire to own this, I am charged with keeping the glass base dust-free. I try. I installed it, so the other rule is there can be no swinging from it. I fully expect it to come crashing down during some dinner party as it is.

Dripped candle wax, fingerprints & dust. Fortunately you can’t see all that in these photos.

Any other lights incorporating fire I should be thinking of? Flame throwing dragons statues are out of the question.

Monday was the Safety Dance. Tuesday was Ambient Light. Yesterday was Tub Lights. Tomorrow? Fun Lights.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

4 comments on “Night lights IV – Fire

  1. Hi Jim,I saw the beginning of your post in my Google reader, and wanted to stop by so I could ‘see the light’ (he he).What interesting ideas here! I know about the battery-operated candles, as I’ve given a couple to my daughter who’s in college.What captured my attention the most, because it hit home for me–was the lighting over your hottub. Hmm, I have a long string of outdoor deck lighting hooked to the top of the pavilion that surrounds the hottub. I’ve not heard about any ordinances against that here, but it dawned on me that its ‘possible’ for that to be pulled into the hottub…not sure much elec. current is there but all it takes is a little, right? The lights are mounted on cup-hooks all around the inside of the roof of the pavilion and have been up there for years…no problems so far. However, you have me doing some serious thinking now!By the way, the lighting over your hottub looks amazing! Now THAT is an inviting look!! The whole post was interesting. I haven’t visited you in a while, so didn’t catch your previous posts in this ‘series’…so thanks for mentioning them!!


  2. I like the rechagreable candle for outside in the areas where the breeze continually blows them out.Thanks for the product info on the grill light, guess someone will be getting a Father’s Day gift this year!


  3. Jan,Thanks for the kind words. The lighting over the tub is something I'd thought about for quite a while. I had to do something with the white-painted, peeling, swelling ceiling that was there. It was originally a screened-in porch and needed to be made more weather resistant. Rather than reconstruct & repaint, I covered it up! Making room for the lighting between the two layers.Catherine,Oh, that will make a great Father's Day gift. Start there and maybe for Mother's Day, you'll get that hot tub.


  4. I'd love to be invited to a summer party at your house! I like the idea of the rechargeable candle. I could use it in our Cottage ornee. I also like solar lights in the garden.


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