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Patio Table Umbrella

Do you have an outdoor space that has a sun problem. Getting a tan is a great thing, most people would like to use their sitting or dining area when the sun is up and not get baked. Having a shade option like a patio table umbrella is one option that I would choose.

In this post I will outline the most popular types of umbrellas and how they are used. You will have to determine the best umbrella for your situation, I will give you my full details and opinions.

Half Outdoor UmbrellaHalf umbrella

 

For smaller spaces that has a wall on one side, the half umbrella will work great. Most people have never heard or seen one of these items. The half umbrella is just what it sounds like, it is just like a full umbrella, just opens to a 180 degree instead of a full 360 degrees.

You can place this umbrella next to a wall with a half umbrella stand, they do make stand just for this model. Having some kind of support on the wall will help stabilize this type of umbrella.

The half umbrella works best on balconies or smaller decks. Most balconies do not have the space for a full umbrella, using one of these will get you shade without the high price of an awning.

Most half umbrellas will have a method to raise and lower the canopy. I have not seen many that will tilt to follow the sun for extra shade.

Pros

Less expensive than awning

Great for small balconies with a wall

Table does not have to have hole for umbrella

Cons

Must have special stand

Most will have to be secured to wall to keep upright

 

Mainstays Forest Hills 8 foot patio umbrella tan8 to 10 foot umbrella

 

This is the most popular type of umbrella found in back yards. Stick the post though the hold in the middle of your patio table and connect with a stand on the ground. You will find the biggest set of options for this type of umbrella.

Options will include tilt, powered lift, lights, size, color and design. Some will have Velcro straps on the ends of the ribs for lighting or other hanging options. Some will have built in solar or electric lights.

Getting the correct size and color for the table and outside space is where most of you thoughts should be when looking at this type of shade. The table must be able to support your umbrella in a moderate wind or you will risk damage to the umbrella and table.

See some of my examples of patio umbrellas here.

Outdoor Patio Umbrella Stand

Metal Patio Umbrella Stand

Pros

One umbrella can fit most tables

Easy to put up

Lots of colors and designs

Cons

Must fit umbrella size to table and stand

Cannot be used as a standalone umbrella

 

Coolaroo 10 foot Offset UmbrellaOffset umbrella

 

An offset umbrella is very popular around pools and conversation areas. The great thing about this umbrella is that it will standalone without a table or wall for support. My friend has one by the pool so that she can use the pool on the hottest and sunniest days without getting a bad burn

Most come with their own base that is very heavy, they are filled with sand or require cement stones when at the final destination. A crank will help raise and lower the canopy.

This umbrella type has the most adjustments of any umbrella. They will tilt and rotate on the base so that you can cover a large area with just one canopy.

See some of my suggestions on offset umbrellas in my post here.

Pros

Does not need table for support

Can be used anywhere the canopy can fully open

Lots of adjustments

Cons

Some bigger umbrellas can take more than one person to open

Can be very unstable in moderate to high winds

Must fill stand with weight to keep stable

 

Solar Powered Lighted UmbrellaAccessories-Lighting

 

Many types of lighting are available for umbrellas today. Some umbrellas have solar panels on the top for built in solar lights. Many have Velcro straps on the ends of the ribs to mount lights or other items. Solar lights are made to go around the pole, you can attach these at any height that is good for you.

I have used the lights that are attached to the end of the ribs, they run on house current. The big drawback I had from this is having to run an extension cord up the pole and to the fixtures. You can see my thoughts on this type of lighting by clicking here.

Solar lights will not be as bright, they tend to last longer than most house current lights. The rechargeable battery is the weak point, if you have trouble with rechargeable batteries see my post here.  The convenience of them are no wires to run, you can use in a remote location as long as you have sun during the daylight hours.  Solar light can be part of an umbrella like the one in the picture.  They last very well and have little to no upkeep.

Accessories-Stands

 

Half umbrella stand

Half umbrella stand

Offset umbrellas will come with a stand, most other types of patio umbrellas will need a stand purchased separately. There are several styles of stands for the regular market umbrella, metal or heavy duty plastic are the most common.  I prefer the metal ones over the plastic, they seem to last longer.

Metal stands do not normally require additional weight added.  The other thing I like about metal stands is that they can be quite decorative.  If you purchase one with a bold design, it could be something that people talk about when they come over to relax under your umbrella.

Plastic stands will need some medium to be added for weight.  If you add water, it may freeze in the winter, making the stand a throw away item.  Fill it with sand or gravel, it will last longer.

See my information on umbrella stands here.

Better Homes and Gardens Cabana stripped umbrella Velcro for lightsHow to take care of your umbrella

The two things that come to mind first on taking care of your umbrella is, storage out of the weather when not in use and making sure it is down when winds are high.

If you do not store your umbrella when not in use, you just put down the canopy, watch out for pesky insects that will build nest on the inside out of the weather. Wasp like to build in out of the weather, the darker the color of the umbrella the better they like it. Check carefully before just cranking it up after it sits for a while during the warmer months.

Getting rid of any droppings on your umbrella should be done with a mild soap and water mixture. Any strong cleaning chemicals will damage the color and fabric.

My thoughts on finding the right umbrella

I hope that you have gotten some help in finding the correct patio umbrella for your outdoor space. If you have a small space or large space, table or no table, there is a shade solution for your outdoor entertainment area.

If you have any information you would like to share or have a question, use the E-mail address below and I will get back to you shortly.