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What to Look for in Patio Umbrellas and Accessories

Exterior Lighting and Mosquito Netting will Enhance Your Experience

© 2012 by John Garland; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.

A patio umbrella; photo courtesy John Garland

Most homeowners think that the patio umbrella is a standalone product in the sense that accessories are unnecessary. Patio umbrellas are compared with the personal umbrellas where the product itself is the be-all and end-all of the total package.

But this is not so, as patio umbrellas are often best bought with their accessories for many reasons. For one thing, accessories like the lights can add beauty to the umbrella, especially at night.

In fact, lights are recommended to add versatility of use for the umbrella from day to night. For another thing, these accessories can extend the life of the umbrella mainly by providing additional protection from the elements when it is not in use.

When choosing from these accessories, a balance between the costs of purchase and the expected benefit must be achieved.

Thus, if the patio umbrella will be stored inside the basement when it is not in use, then the cover can be dispensed of, thus, adding to the financial savings. In the end, it is your preferences and budget that will rule the day.

Umbrella Covers

Many will think that placing a cover on the umbrella is a ridiculous idea. After all, if the umbrella can withstand the forces of sun, rain and wind, then it does not require a cover to protect it from the same elements of Mother Nature.

Think of it as the blind leading the blind, if you will. Still, the umbrella cover makes sense in certain situations like during inclement weather, during times of non-use, and during times when the house will be empty.

In all of these instances, the cover can be placed on top of the patio umbrella and the job is finished. The necessity of pulling down the umbrella and then storing it, which are time-consuming activities, can be avoided with the cover.

Umbrella Lighting

The lighting systems for patio umbrellas provide for two benefits to the owner. First, the lights provide added dimensions of beauty to the umbrella and its surroundings.

Small LED lights can be hung on the ribs to add a romantic vibe to the area while chandelier lights are great for evening parties. Second, the lights are the best sources of illumination for the patio.

Yes, the moon and the stars are great sources of lights, too, but these are too far away to prevent family and friends from tripping over each other in the darkness.

The patio umbrella can be used for many purposes with the addition of lights. Romantic dates, intimate parties and family gatherings — all of these can be done on the patio with the beautiful umbrella to give shade.

Umbrella Netting for Mosquito Control

Yet another of the seemingly ridiculous accessories for patio umbrellas is the mosquito netting. Guests can just scamper back to the safety of the house when the insects, especially mosquitoes, start to attack.

But why retreat when you can still enjoy the great outdoors even when insects are present? Just attach the mosquito netting to the umbrella and you have extra protection against the pesky pests.

A patio umbrella can stand on its own as a product. But if there are ways to extend its functionality with the right accessories, then purchase these products today. For more info on patio umbrellas and accessories, visit www.patioshoppers.com.

Previous articles in the deck-building series:

  1. Wood Deck Design Fundamentals
  2. Three Outdoor Upgrades You Must Consider
  3. Get More Out of Your Garden with a Canopy
  4. Build a freestanding patio cover

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Article ©: 2012 John Garland; All rights reserved.