Tips for a Toasty and Bright Backyard


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Crackle. Pop. The flames whimper a moment, then grow steady and strong. Suddenly, the backyard isn’t so barren anymore. A beacon of warmth emerges, and the family gathers close. You’ve reclaimed the part of your home winter tried to take away, and it feels amazing.

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The best thing about the fire pit above? Maybe that building it took a weekend and less than 200 bucks. Or perhaps it’s the countless outdoor gatherings spent gathered around it, sharing stories.

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  • Fire pits aren’t always blazing and big. They can be, as in the case of this 22-inch beauty, compact and elegant. Most convenient of all, they can go where you go. And again, that’s all for under $200.

    Winter or summer nights benefit from the light a fire pit provides. But if the visibility in your yard ends 5 feet past your fire pit… let’s hope there’s nothing out there someone could trip over. So while the fire pit can serve as a center point for an outdoor gathering, you also need to find ways to light the areas your home’s lighting and the fire pit cannot.

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    Here’s where solar lighting wins, and by a healthy margin. Light enough to hang anywhere, solar outdoor lanterns‘ mightiest attribute has to be their blissful independence. Hang them once, never think about them again — except to enjoy them on a pleasant evening outdoors.

    They don’t simply charge during the day — smart sensors detect sunlight to automatically turn off and on as nightfall comes and goes. You still have the option to manually turn them off and on, of course.

    That being said, remember to always manually turn your fire pit off, rather than letting it automatically burn itself out. Safety first. Finish what you started. Yes, there’s a feeling of ownership that goes with building a flame. You’re proud of the warmth you created, just as our caveman forefathers were. And similarly, with a combination of accent lighting and a central fire pit, you’ll be proud of a well-lit backyard worth welcoming friends, family, and neighbors to.

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