Chic & Easy Valentine's Day Lighting Ideas

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Think about your favorite romantic scenes in television and movies- they’re always dimly lit with flickering candles and a romantic glow. Take advantage of this easy to create (and flattering!) lighting for your Valentine’s Day activities with one of these simple to create lighting ideas.

Start With: String Lights

The string lights that adorned the Christmas tree can be brought back to life during Valentine’s Day. String lightsare an easy way to create overhead lighting and set a romantic atmosphere, not to mention they’re cheap to purchase and power.

Try using string lights to:

  • Create a starlight night by hanging clear or frosted string lights over dining areas and beds.
  • Fill glass vases with string lights for unique homemade lanterns to light tables, shelves, pathways and more.
  • Illuminate a romantic outdoor dinner by stringing lights under a porch roof or pergola, around tree branches or across shrubbery.
  • Attach strands of string lights around a bed frameand headboard.
  • Frame a full length mirror in string lights.
  • Tie bows around string lights using strips of tulle, tissue paper, lace or other fabric remnants.
  • Wrap string lights in sheer curtain panels before hanging for a gentle glow.


Start With: Tea Lights & Votive Candles

Small tea lights and votive candles can be used in any room and are perfect for small spaces. Tea lights work equally well at the dinner table or next to the bathtub. If you’re worried about fire danger, just use battery operated versions.

Here are some ideas for displaying votive candles and tea lights:

  • Hang votive candles in small glass globes or candles holders. Hang in a scattered pattern at varying heights over a table, or, if battery operated, from tree branches outside your dining room/living room windows or around an outdoor table.
  • Place votive candles, tea candles or glow sticks in Mason jars and use as small lanterns to light the room or illuminate a pathway.
  • Create a candle shade for the Mason jar. Cut four trapezoid shapes from a non-flammable material and join the sides together to make the lampshade.
  • Set clusters of candles on bedside tables or fireplace mantles. Place them inside hurricane vases to protect from wind, dripping wax and accidentally being bumped into.


Start With: Pillar Candles

An arrangement of pillar candles along a staircase or in a centerpiece is a romantic way to add soft light. If you want the light of a pillar candle without the flame, consider flameless pillar candles that light up with the flip of a switch, or even operate on a timer.

Here are some ways to display pillar candles:

  • Set candles in baskets decorated with ferns, roses and baby’s breath. Line the baskets along one side of a staircase or around the edge of a porch.
  • Convert a cake platter into a candleholder. Arrange three different size pillar candles on the platter. Decorate with dried or silk flowers.
  • Wrap candles with vintage jewelry and satin ribbons. Set on bedside tables.
  • Fill the bottom of a glass hurricane or cylinder with candy hearts and place a pillar candle in the center. Instead of candy hearts, you can also fill with cranberries, pearls or glass beads.
  • Set candles in plain glass containers and arrange on a fireplace mantle.
  • Place pink pillar candles on a bamboo tray accented with orchid flowers. This makes the perfect accompaniment to a selection of romantic bath soaps and oils.
  • Use pillar candles in the fireplace instead of starting a fire.
Last Updated: February 22, 2013
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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