patio umbrellaDon’t pay through the nose for a patio umbrella then discover it’s not exactly what you need.

As with most patio equipment, the choice of the right patio umbrella for your needs isn’t always such an immediate process. The first thing to know is whether you really need or want one.


Best Patio Umbrella Reviews

Why would you need a Patio Umbrella?

If you are not convinced that you need a patio umbrella, let me try to convince you, right now. So, why do you need one?

1. Most importantly, a patio umbrella will protect you from the sun. In this day and age, with the hole in the ozone layer and the fear of skin cancer rising, it is important to protect yourself against the harmful effects of the sun. When you have a patio umbrella, you can spend quality time outside, without having to worry about getting burnt or shortening your life span.
2. A patio umbrella will give you shade on a hot day. It is a shame to stay indoors just because the temperatures have risen outdoors. If you have a patio umbrella, though, you can spend more time out of doors, and you can spend it in comfort.
3. As you can tell already, a patio umbrella will protect you against the heat of the sun as well as from its harmful effects. But it can also help protect you against the rain. Although patio umbrellas are generally not as waterproof as your typical umbrella, you can still remain outside, eating dinner or reading your book comfortably, even when it is raining.
4. A patio umbrella can also keep leaves and other organic and inorganic things from raining down and falling into your freshly BBQed dinner.
5. Finally, a patio umbrella looks great! In general, patio umbrellas do not detract from your patio décor – rather, they add to it.

So, I hope that I have convinced you that you do, indeed need a patio umbrella. Now, you need to decide what sort of patio umbrella you need.

Many patio tables come with a ready-made umbrella hole right through the center of them. It is easy to find an umbrella that fits directly through the whole and covers the entire table.

If you get this sort of patio umbrella, make sure that you get one that adjusts. In other words, if it does not adjust, then the umbrella will only shade the entire table when the sun is directly above. If you get one that tilts and swivels, you can be sure to shade everyone at the table, no matter what time of day it is.

Free-standing patio umbrellas are great if you want to shade other patio furniture besides just your patio table. Again, it is a good idea to pick up one that is easy to adjust. Also, be sure that you get a very sturdy base for your free-standing patio umbrella. And you may also consider attaching lights to the interior of the umbrella.

An off-set umbrella is great for many things. Because the stand is not directly beneath the canopy of the umbrella, you can set your patio table beneath it, or anything else that you want. You will find that an off-set umbrella gives you many different options.

When that sun is shining it’s the hardest it can get HOT!

How many times have you ever thought how nice it would be to have a large patio umbrella or parasol, also called Sun-umbrellas, to sit or lay under on those long hot summer afternoons?

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In Europe, especially around the Mediterranean coast, you’d have a difficult time finding a bistro, cafe, or even top-class restaurant without a number of parasols out front. They are not just for show but are very functional. In fact, there is nothing worse than sitting down at a table and having the sun burn a hole in the back of your neck.

Now across most of the country, you can find a Sunbrella on the deck, patio, or garden of the home of people that just love the pleasure of living outdoors whenever possible. patio umbrella

How long can you expect a patio umbrella to last?

That is simple to answer …

It depends on how you use your patio umbrella

If left open all year round, a normal quality outdoor umbrella will probably only last a year or two at the most. If you use it only when needed, then store it away or cover it when not in use, this way it will last you many years.

So, what should you know about YOUR patio umbrella before pulling out your credit card?
Let’s take a look …

The first thing that you should decide is about the frame. You can find your parasol in either wood or aluminum. For a wonderful selection of outdoor shaders at difficult-to-beat prices Patio and Market Umbrellas.


Aluminum frames are generally powder-coated for protection and are available in a number of different colors and finishes, such as white, black, and pewter.

Some resellers allow you to purchase the frame and cover separately, this can be useful if you want a particular design for your patio umbrella.

Many aluminum frame units allow for directional tilting, by way of a crank or push button. In the less expensive models, this feature should be frequently controlled, as it is a common stress point, especially if left open in the wind.


Wooden units are available in many different kinds of wood, ranging from the more expensive teak down to the less expensive pine.

The opening system used on wooded frames usually has a simple manual or pully lift and you are not able to tilt it. The poles of both kinds are frequently of a standard size, allowing them to be placed through the hole in your patio dining table.

What size patio umbrella is best for your needs?

We’ve looked at the materials, but what about the size. There are many different sizes to choose from and you don’t really need an umbrella that is too large for your needs, and you definitely don’t want an umbrella that can’t even cover your table.

Sizes are determined by the diameter of the open umbrella. The rule of thumb seems to be that your parasol should be no less than 5 feet (about 2,5 meters) bigger than the area you want it to cover. This little guide should help:

  • A 6 ft diameter patio umbrella is sufficient to shade a 30” bistro-style table
  • A 9 ft diameter patio umbrella is sufficient to shade a 48” table for 4 people
  • An 11 ft diameter patio umbrella is sufficient to shade a 60” table for 6 people

Garden umbrellas come in many different sizes, and most dealers also deal in quality market size umbrellas which are perfect for providing cool shade for larger areas. You’ll be able to find the right size, style, and price for your next Patio or market-style Umbrella – click here

Whatever finishing fabric you choose, it is better not to leave the umbrella open in the rain, even though most fabrics are water or moisture-resistant. If you do leave your umbrella open in the rain, make sure to keep it open until it dries.

Never store away a wet or damp umbrella.

It is also a good idea to clean the fabric once a year, more if needed, with warm soapy water and a sponge. Once again, make sure the fabric is dry before storage.

Most retailers are also able to provide you with a purposely made cover for your newly purchased patio umbrella, and this is something that you should seriously consider buying.

It will keep your umbrella clean and dry and you will find it in the same condition that you left it next year.

Depending on the fabric chosen and the type of frame, the amount you might expect to pay for a patio umbrella can change significantly. Prices range anywhere from $50 to $600.

Naturally, size is a factor and large frames sold separately may cost up to $200 – $300 and the canopy costing anywhere up to $600.

One last thing you really should consider is a base for your patio umbrella. Yes, the base is generally sold separately!

A good base will help keep your umbrella where you want it on a windy day … on your patio. Bases can be found in cast iron, stone, and plastic (which is usually filled with sand or water for ballast).

How Can Patio Umbrella Lights Improve My Outdoor Space?

Having proper outdoor lighting can mean the difference between enjoying your outdoor space and letting it go to waste. If you have one or more patio umbrellas, you can spruce up your backyard with patio umbrella lights.

Installation is easy – and they come in a variety of colors and types to make your backyard a center point for fun and relaxation. Whether you’re looking to let your creativity run wild, or simply want a quick way to spruce up your living space, the large selection of colors and styles allows for people of all tastes to enjoy a perfectly lighted backyard.

These lights offer a decorative and inexpensive way to extend your outdoor entertainment long after to sun goes down.

Types Of Mounts

arms. Most light systems never need to be removed from the umbrella, and allow you to open/close the umbrella as usual. The pole-mounted lights will require you to remove the umbrella from the mount. The light pod slides up the pole and rests just under the umbrella’s veins. Umbrella string lights work a little differently.

They are a series of lighted strings which each attach to an umbrella vein (The collapsible frame that holds the umbrella up). Each light string connects to a central plug center to power them. Choosing a light type depends on personal preference.

Pole mounted lights are good for situations where a no-nonsense light source is needed, say for reading and eating under. Vein mounted outdoor umbrella lights also provide excellent lighting but end up providing a more surreal, decorative effect.

Energy Efficiency And Lighting Effects

Whether you’re looking for the appealing subtle glow of soft light or bold colors, there is a patio umbrella light system for you. For basic lighting needs like entertainment, reading, cooking, and conversing, a standard color like white or yellow is generally the best way to go.

For special events such as birthdays, get-togethers, and pool parties, the color possibilities are endless. Systems that use LED-type lights can produce any color you desire.

LED lights are also far more energy-efficient and longer-lasting than their incandescent counterparts. The internet is a great place to find patio umbrella lights, so look around a bit to find the best umbrella light for you! Most patio umbrella light systems are quite energy-efficient, making them an economical solution to your outdoor needs.

Many multi-light systems include a built-in function that keeps the lights on if one bulb happens to burn out. This is a handy feature to look for when buying a set, as it can be a pain to have your lights go out unexpectedly during the night.

For people who have concerns with the lights drawing bugs (especially mosquitoes), look for outdoor umbrella lights that feature “diffused lighting ambiance”. They produce a specific type of light that does not draw as many bugs & critters.

Solar Technology

Solar technology has made its way into the patio umbrella light field, providing practically free lighting for patio umbrellas. Solar umbrella lights are available that gather energy from the sun during the day to power the lights at night. This system works well in areas that get full sunlight during the day.

The solar light kit will have a panel that can be placed either on top of the umbrella or anywhere else that receives sunlight. Some manufacturers are making umbrellas that come with the lights and solar technology built right in. Solar technology is often incorporated into the form of umbrella string lights that are powered from a single solar panel.

Additional Thoughts

Make sure that the umbrella lighting kit will fit the umbrella that you own. This is especially important for the vein-mounted lights. Pole-mounted lights will fit most umbrellas because they usually come with a series of adapters to ensure a snug fit to your umbrella’s pole diameter.

The best way to find a great patio umbrella for your deck or patio is to simply get out there and start looking! Be sure to think about what patio furniture you already have, as well as the space that you have, then find a patio umbrella that matches up.