Light up your deck or patio

The neighbours are over for dinner, admiring your new deck while you fire up the barbecue. As dusk falls, the solar-powered lights underneath the patio umbrella begin to glow. “Where'd you get that?” your neighbour asks. You flick the switch on the low-voltage spot lighting and your favourite CD starts to play over the outdoor speakers. “That would look great on our deck,” your pal whispers to his wife. As the evening grows chilly, you throw a few logs in the firebowl. “We really have to get one of those,” your friend says aloud.

Ornamental post caps

What's cool about this low-voltage spotlight (shown left) is it has its own transformer, so it will run on household current, great for your driveway, with no fade in brightness at the end (Hadco, Sescolite, $166)

It's OK to lead guests down the garden path when it's illuminated by solar-powered LED landscape lighting that's a cinch to install (Malibu, Home Depot, $18 for two)

Watch your step with 2'-long copper low-voltage lighting that goes under steps or railings (Hadco, Sescolite, $190)

Light it up and let it burn, with a 24" gas-powered firebowl that's not as heavy as it looks because it's made of fibreglass and concrete (LiteCast Celtic Gas Log Fire Pit, Canadian Tire, $300)

Are you ready to rock? These high-fidelity weatherproof speakers will blast the tunes at your next get-together (Rockustics, Kevro, 905-428-2800, $2,100)

Cap off your deck-building efforts with a post cap (6" x 6" copper and western red cedar, Maine Ornamental, Home Depot, $20; 4" x 4" copper and pressure-treated, PuirWood, Home Hardware, $10; 4" x 4" stainless steel and pressure-treated, Maine Ornamental, Home Depot, $13)

Extend your patio season with a propane-powered patio heater that gives off 42,000 BTUs and will keep everyone toasty for up to 12 hours (7' Propane Patio Heater, Canadian Tire, $300)

Some people prefer the crackle of real logs, but are looking for a more civilized burn. This copper and granite fire pit fits the bill (Veranda, Home Depot, $180)

Keep parties private with a new option from composite lumber. Besides the usual decking, Eon now offers fencing (shown left). Shown are Eon's 6' lattice-topped privacy fence panel ($160), post ($53) and post cap ($7), see Eon Outdoor Systems.

A solar lantern with a rustic finish adds a decorative (and portable) glow to patios and decks (Round Solar Lantern, Canadian Tire, $60)

An adjustable post spike is an easy way to plumb your deck post. If you insert it in the ground unevenly, you can easily true it, plus it's ACQ-compatible (Spytek, Home Hardware, $12)

The 9' patio umbrella shades you, and when the sun goes down, the solar panel on top powers the LED lights on the ribs (Solar Umbrella, $80; Steel Umbrella Base, $20; both Canadian Tire)


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