You may have seen bottle lights when out visiting restaurants, at a wedding or even in photos of cities abroad where they instantly transform streets into romantic hotspots.
As the name suggests, they are bottles with lights in them and are either purchased ready to use or DIYed very cheaply.
They exploded in popularity when the price of LED strings lights dropped and you could easily pick them up on Amazon for less than $10.
Buyers would then take these strings of LEDs and squeeze them through the mouth of a bottle, typically wine bottles due to their size but some are spirit bottles (such as Jack Daniels) or even smaller beer bottles.
Bottle Lights Styles
Over the years the range of different styles that have been experimented with has led to some interesting bottle lights designs.
Various different bottles have been used as well as different types of lights inside of them.
In recent years a new trend has emerged for tiny bottle lights that are roughly the size of the miniature spirit bottles with one light in each with a string of wire connecting a bunch of bottles.
Some creators have placed Edison lights inside instead of LEDs which gives a more vintage look due to its pre-1900 technology.
Alongside different types of light technology people have also experimented with flashing lights with different patterns alongside colour-changing effects too.
You may find some bottle lights are sold with a theme in mind, such as Christmas or wedding – with varying bottle designs and flashing patterns as appropriate.
Many of the bottle lights are powered by an included battery that is recharged by either plugging it into a USB charger or removing and charging externally.
Typically the lights will be of the LED kind due to their low energy usage, low cost and impressive lifespan when compared to traditional filament bulbs.
Some of the best and lowest maintenance versions of the lighting gadget include a solar panel inside of them.
Solar-powered bottle lights can be sealed forever and once placed in the desired location could be left alone (although in reality, solar panels do not last forever).
Controlling the lights can be done by a manual switch, a day/night sensor or by a timer that helps reduce the risk of depleting the battery from leaving it on accidentally.
DIY Bottle Lights
Many retailers sell kits to help you make your own bottle lights at home which consist of a “cork” with a string of LEDs attached.
Inside the faux cork is a battery to power the lights and some sort of switching mechanism that allows you to manually turn the light on or allow the darkness to trigger it.
Another easy solution would be to buy bottle light stickers which are self-adhesive labels with the battery and LED lights built in but with a limited lifespan.
If you would rather go for an even more rustic technique you could simply buy a string of LEDs attached to a battery or solar panel and squeeze them into a bottle yourselves.
Where Can You Put Them?
When constructed properly you can leave bottle lights outdoors – with the obvious factor being a water-tight seal around the cork and the inside of the bottle.
If rain (or even just moisture) manages to squeeze its way into the bottle then it could easily short-circuit the system or cause metal parts to corrode and stop working.
Indoors you can find loads of interesting places to put the lights including by hanging them from a ceiling by a wire or string.
Placing them on floors can present a problem with guests, pets and children kicking them over and resulting in smashed glass so proceed with caution.
Where To Get Bottle Lights
Over the last decade, the number of retailers offering bottle lights in kit form or as a ready-to-go product has exploded thanks to the reduction in costs.
You can find budget retailers offering cheap versions that serve a purpose or you can go upmarket and find some really stylish alternatives if you are willing to spend the money:
As you can imagine there are a lot of sellers on eBay offering various grades of bottle lights in the form of ready-to-go products and kits.
There isn’t a category for bottle lights on the site but they dominate the fairy lights section.
Having a browse through that category will hopefully give you ideas for making your own.
Pricewise, eBay seems to offer many low-cost solutions but also has a range of premium options too if your budget can stretch to it.
Probably the cheapest retail solution for buyers of bottle lights in the UK is Poundland, they offer 2 fake corks with a string of LEDs on each for a mere £1.
Just find a bottle in your recycling that fit the cork and you have 2 amazing-looking bottle lights ready to use indoors or outdoors.
For £4 you can buy a battery-powered (AA-sized) bottle lights kit that includes the LEDs and wire ready to put into a bottle from Tesco.
It doesn’t include a fake cork like the Poundland version but does allow you to choose your own stylish stopper.
If you are going to be wanting a lot of these lights then you can find some fantastic deals on Amazon, such as this one for 16 bottle light kits in one pack for £15/$20.
This is a great way to save money if you are going to be creating a display of these amazing-looking decorations.