During warmer weather, it is so disappointing to not be able to enjoy your outdoor space due to a lack of lighting. Permanent outdoor lighting can be expensive, and if you live in a place where your outdoor space is not enjoyed for a good part of the year, you may not want to invest in a year-round setup. Tiki torches are great a budget or a seasonal solution that will add light to your life in a classic and simple way. Almost everyone is familiar with tiki torches, but not everyone has hands on experience with adding them to a yard. How to pick a tiki torch, how to place a torch, and how to put out tiki torches are all important considerations when adding them to your home DIY plans.
Picking Your Torches
Classic: When you think Tiki Torch, you think the classic bamboo style that we all know and love. These torches bring a bit of beachy fun to a backyard on any night and a particular fun to a backyard barbeque.
Modern: If your outdoor space lends itself more toward opulent realism than traditional beachy tiki torch style, no worries! Tiki torches come in more than just the classic bamboo, now available from multiple brands in finished metals and modern designs. Try this spherical chrome torch from PureGardens to light up a concrete walkway or adorn a manicured backyard behind your minimalist modern home.
Solar: If you are looking for low-cost, low maintenance torch options for you back yard, you are in luck! Solar torches are now an option. This particular torch features LED lights instead of an open flame. Instead of your traditional wick and lighter fluid, this torch lights up at night after charging all day in the sun. No plugs or need to replace batteries or refill fluid, a solar option is low maintenance (and high safety!). These may be a higher initial cost, but they won’t cost any money or time in additional upkeep
Placing Your Torches
Once you decide which style of torch is best for you, your next step is to plan out and place your torches to your liking. From lining a front walkway, to creating a lovely patio space to enjoy during cool nights, any outdoor space can be enhanced by a little outdoor lighting. Hunker suggests to keep in mind your family and guests when planning out your torch layout and making sure not to overcrowd a space in order to keep it safe with open-flame torches. Once you have a proper layout that highlights your yard according to your needs, how do you get the torches in the ground properly?
- Make sure that the torches you have chosen will work with the terrain you want to put them in. Some styles are best for a grass backyard and others are specifically designed for beach and sand.
- Make sure your ground is soft, but not too soft!, and level. Torches stake into the ground, and you want to make sure that the steak will go in and stay in. Ground that is too soft or unlevel will lend itself to leaning tiki torches.
- When you purchase your torches, check to see if they come included with stakes. If not, you may need to purchase them (available on Amazon). Once you have your stakes and have laid out proper placement, you can place them into the ground. Tiki Brand suggests using a rubber mallet to make sure you get your stake in securely, and making sure it is level in the ground before finishing. Torches placed crookedly will lean, looking sloppy and making them hazardous.
- According to Reddit user, FreakPatriot, the most stable way they have found to put their tiki torches in the ground is to DIY a torch anker from PVC piping. This method is a little more time consuming, but will make your tiki torches last longer and have less of a chance of toppling over if the ground gets a little soggy. For more information on this method, see the original post here.
- Once your stakes are safely in the ground, it will be time to add the rest of the torch. Make sure you follow the directions on the specific torches you have purchased, as different brands construct their torches differently.
- Time to Light!
Safely Lighting Your Tiki Torch
If you have decided to go with a torch that requires torch fuel or propane, there are a few tips you need to follow to keep yourself and those around you safe. Here are some tips for safely getting your torch started.
- If using a torch with refillable canisters, make sure that you fill your torch the recommended amount. Overfilling can lead to dangerous situations.
- When filling a canister, if it is removable: Remove It! You can refill on a flat surface, reducing the risk of spilling fluid. Fluid spilled on the torch itself can cause the whole torch to catch fire.
- Once you have a safely filled torch, make sure your wick is placed properly and has a good amount of length. A too-short wick will be difficult to light and a too-long wick will be hazardous.
- Use common sense when lighting the torch and make sure that you don’t have anything flammable near the flame when lighting. Keep an eye on sleeves and any surrounding shrubbery.
Putting out your Tiki Torch
Once your night is over, you are going to want to extinguish your tiki torches both for your safety and your budget. Open flame tiki torches should never be left unattended and should be extinguished before packing it in for the night. Leaving the torches on for too long will also quickly burn through fuel, causing you to have to replace fluid more often than you might like.
Torches can be extinguished a few different ways, but one should always make sure to look at the instructions of your brand before doing so.
Some open flame torches come complete with caps to help you snuff out the flame. You can also use a candle snuffer if your set did not come with its own cap. Propane torches can be shut off manually and will not require a cap. Solar torches will not require you to extinguish them as they won’t be hazardous or costly to keep running.
Tiki Torches are a fun and unique way to add some trendy outdoor lighting to your home without expensive wiring and landscaping. So many different options exist to fit your desired budget, style, and level of maintenance. If you decide torches are the right lighting option for your backyard, make sure you keep safety in mind when placing and using them.