One thing I desired for my balcony was a "evening look". Sort of a "Moonlight at the Oasis" feeling.
Luxurious. Indulgent. Private.
Back at one of my favorite stores, Home Goods, I found a string of indoor/outdoor lights with a pseudo-ceramic white housing. The white ceramic goes with my candle lantern and blends nicely with the white iron railing. I checked for UL safety rating on my purchase. My only disappointment is that I purchased just one string. Too bad. Maybe, just maybe, it would have been effective, or more interesting, with another string.
I nestle the string of lights in the lower tier planter as the sun begins to set (see photo 1). I like it! I'm sure a string of "christmas" lights or rope lighting would work equally as well -- be sure to use Outdoor rated lights only!
My co-op complex provides lighting along the walkways and on the building entrances. The owner of each unit has the ability to add his or her own source of lighting for evenings outside on the balcony/patio. Some of my neighbors have installed outdoor sconces of varying designs and degrees of brightness. Personally, I just do not care for the look. If I want to read in the dark, I will move indoors and use "real" lights.
For my personal outdoor space? I prefer lighting that is more soothing, subtle and romantic.
I add my ceramic lantern (yep, Home Goods)and light up that candle (photo #2).
If you don't have one of these lanterns available, try a round goldfish bowl from your local pet store or a decorative round bowl from Crate & Barrel or similar store. Add a 3" wide, 3" tall pillar candle and about 2 inches of sand to hold the candle. I'd recommend that you not use a candle taller than 3" as the wind may effect the clean burning of the flame (or blow it out).
Additionally, sometimes a high flame causes an uneven burning of the pillar candle wax. For fun, you could add some marbles, sea shells, or other non-flammable decorative items to the bottom of the glass bowl. The sand will hold the candle steady.
Step Three -- Enjoy
As dusk turned into darkness, I loved the look of the lights peeking through the plants. These little lights were showing just on my side and would be nearly invisible to the outside viewer.
Here is a view of my final effect (photo 3). Nice!
Schlumbergera seedling no. 120
7 hours ago