With the weather so warm and mellow here in Los Angeles, it's certainly now grilling and outdoor dining season. One of our neighbors kindly purchased a picnic table for everyone to use situated inbetween our buidings, but the area in which it sits is pretty dark. A solar powered lighting system like this solar umbrella might be a solution for bringing in some illumination without running cords...The umbrella sports a solar panel ontop providing 6 to 8 hours of lighting with 24 LED lights embedded in the six umbrella spreaders, plus another solar light in the center. The solar umbrella itself is made of Sunbrella awning-grade fabric, providing up to 98% UV protection with a 5 year warranty.
The one thing we'd worry about with this LED solution is the horrible quality of light it produces, at least from what we can see from the photo. The harsh white-blue lighting would make whatever we'd be eating look like institutional food. So for now, we think we'll stick to old fashioned candle lights and maybe string up some LED shoji lampsoverhead for ambient light instead.