If you’re looking for a creative way to add lighting to your outdoor space, look no further than the classic tiki torch. These pieces come in a variety of materials and styles, and easily stake into the ground wherever you need extra light or want to fend off insects. Read on to learn everything you need to know to select the perfect tiki torch for your outdoor space.
Tiki Torch Styles and Materials
When most people think of tiki torches, they think of the classic woven bamboo design with stakes in the ground; however, torches come in a wide variety of styles from small tabletop tiki torches to bold hanging styles, nature-inspired designs, and wall or deck-mounted models. Some torches offer a variety of configurations including adjustable poles with stakes, removable fuel canisters, and deck mounts so you can customize them to your exact needs.
Bamboo tiki torches are cost-effective but can succumb to the elements over time, whereas metal tiki torches can often withstand weather changes more effectively, providing a longer lifespan. Glass tiki torches can add extra color and visual interest to your outdoor space with removable fuel vessels. Designs featuring built-in bases can still provide the height and drama of a staked torch with the extra flexibility to relocate it or bring it indoors during the off-season or inclement weather.
Tiki Torch Fuels and Wicks
Most people fill oil-based tiki torches with a citronella-based fuel that’s known to repel mosquitos; however, you can also use kerosene or paraffin if insects are not a concern. There are also propane tiki torches and designs fueled by natural gas – though these are less common. For those averse to flames, solar tiki torches provide a warming glow that turns on automatically at dusk.
With classic torches, over time, the wick of your torch will burn away and will need to be replaced. Wicks are most often made from fiberglass, but cotton wicks, which burn down quicker, are also available.
Where to Put a Tiki Torch
Tiki torches are a great option to provide dramatic lighting along a pathway or around your patio or deck. Place multiple torches 6 to 8 feet apart to allow guests to move freely, and be sure to leave 6 feet of space between a torch and your home or other structure.
You can also bring extra lighting to your outdoor dining area with a hanging torch chandelier or tabletop model. Be sure torches are placed in a space with plenty of ventilation where umbrellas, overhangs, or branches above them will not be burned by the flame.
How to Install a Tiki Torch
You can install traditional-style torches by pushing the spiked base into the ground. Be sure to get the base at least 6 to 8 inches in the ground for stability and consider using a torch stake or stand for extra safety. Permanent weatherproof torches can be staked into a hole in the ground that is then filled with cement. For torches that include a base, be sure to place it on a flat, hard surface.
How to Use a Tiki Torch
Most fuel-filled torches are filled by removing the cap that holds the wick and then pouring fuel into the vessel using a funnel. Fill the torch about 2/3 of the way and then replace the wick and secure the top. When you’re ready to use your torch, just light the wick. Be sure to never leave burning torches unattended, and don’t move or handle a lit torch.
To extinguish your torch, place the snuffer cap over the wick and leave it until the flame goes out. Uncap it and allow the wick to cool completely, then replace the cap to protect the wick from the elements until its next use.
Whether you’re looking to supplement other outdoor lighting, or you just want to keep the bugs away, tiki torches are a glowing addition to your outdoor space. Find a variety of models and accessories to get started at Hayneedle.