When it comes to backyard party decorations, few items create a retro, tropical vibe as quickly as the classic tiki torch. There are countless outdoor party lighting options on the market today, and while bamboo tiki torches might be the old standby, it’s worth taking a look at some new alternatives.

Citronella Torches

close-up of lit citronella tiki torch

It’s almost inevitable that an outdoor party held during the summer months will be visited by a mosquito or ten, so offer your guests some protection from those biting pests with outdoor torches that use lamp fuel infused with citronella oil. Each citronella torch contains its own fuel supply, so these types of torches can be moved around with relative ease—provided they’re extinguished before moving and then relit in the new location.

Gas Torches

metal natural gas tiki torch with a tropical background

If your preference is for outdoor lighting options that are both festive and permanent, gas-fueled tiki torches could be a good option. Instead of lamp fuel, these metal torches use either propane or natural gas to produce a flame. Installing gas torches requires some digging—gas lines must be run to the location of each torch, and then the torches themselves must be anchored into the ground, usually with the help of concrete. Propane and natural gas torches are known for their bright, beautiful flames.

Electric Torches

garden at night illuminated by electric torches

Traditional tiki torches use combustible fuel to bring light and ambience to a get-together. But if your guest list includes kids, pets, or both, lining your garden with live flames might not be ideal. Consider electric torches instead. Battery-powered electric tiki torches use energy-efficient LED lightbulbs to light up your outdoor space. These torches are typically made from a durable plastic and don’t require any wiring, so they’re easy to install and maintain.

If you choose a fuel-powered tiki torch option for your outdoor gathering, follow some basic safety tips to ensure that you and your guests have a fun, relaxing time. Make sure that your torches are installed on the perimeter of the gathering space, away from spots where your guests will congregate in large groups. Before installing tiki torches, be sure that the space around them is free of close plants, trees, or decorative objects. Don’t leave lit torches unattended—snuff out the flames before you go inside. As with any oil-fueled flame, never try to extinguish the fire with water.

A quick spin through your local home improvement store will give you a glimpse of some festive garden party decoration ideas to choose from as you plan your next summer soiree. Although tiki torches are often used to lend a tropical feel to a space, it’s easy to find garden torches in a variety of materials and styles to suit both your party theme and your decorating taste.

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