My goal was to have outdoor lighting and also shelter from the summer sun. 
Where we could enjoy the holidays, parties and barbecues.
I have a concrete area that is 6 meters long by 4 meters wide. 

At the moment I cant afford to build a patio over an outdoor concrete area.
I thought about installing shade sails, but I was concerned about the strong winds in our area and pergolas with vines growing over them would mean more water and a long wait.

So I have come up with two very large outdoor umbrellas, which can be lowered easily when strong weather is on the way, or when not in use. I found two at my local Bunnings store. They were reasonable and looked like they would last.
The umbrellas are both 4 m x 3 meters, I purchased two for the 6 x 4 meter area. 
They look stunning for shelter from our hot summer sun in Western Australia, but the next big issue was outdoor lighting.

I started my search looking for LED lights that would do the trick, everything I looked at online seemed to be bright and ok for the job, but after purchasing a few LED lights over the years, that promised spot light ability, I wasn't satisfied.

So I thought  I would try something myself and started looking at LED waterproof strip lighting.

Step 1: Equipment Needed.

I have purchased:   ( Prices in August 2013) 

2 x Umbrellas 3m x 4m          ( 149.00 each)
2 x 5M 300led 5050 LED SMD Flexible Strip Light 12V Waterproof White + Dimmer   (17.00 each) 
2 x 5 In1 Splitter Power Cable For CCTV Cameras DVR LED Strips    5050 12V DC     (5.80 each)
10 X Pieces of 10 mm PCB Board Connector Clip with DC female for 5050 Led Strip  (8.99 for 10)
1 x 5M (16Feet) DC 12V 2.1x5.5MM Power Extension Cable              ( 6.98 each ) 
1 x 3M (10 Feet) DC 12V 2.1x5.5MM Power Extension Cable             ( 5.25 each )
2 x  DC male & DC female 2 Pin Connector for LED Light Strips 3528 5050     (7.99 for a pack of 10 )

- Already had a 12v – 7AHr Non-Spillable Sealed Rechargeable Battery   ( Purchased for $29.95 )
A meter of Red and Black wire and some cable ties, already had in shed. 
Hi Stitchiner, <br>With the one umbrella (because i hadn't finished the two yet) the battery was still going strong after 4 hours (7pm - 11pm) on the brightest setting.. <br>Both umbrellas together i only tested for about an hour or so to make sure they were working and everything was fine. <br>I wont be able to see how long they both last till after the Christmas break, where i have had enough chance to really test out the longevity of the battery.
great idea but how long does the battery you used last ?
Thank you so much for the great reviews, I'm so please you guys like my instructable. <br> <br>I think you can also buy coloured LED strips with remotes, but i went for the simple white lighting, although the dimmer that came with the strips, does have settings that are on or off, flash slow, medium or fast and it also notches down in brightness i think from memory about 5 settings which lower the light all the way down to a very faint dim mood lighting,
Nice one. You've given me an idea for my family tent.
Try hooking it with a RGB light with IR receiver. Cost will shoot to some extent but one can choose the color on mood !
This is fantastic for late night party's in the summer. Why hasn't this been a thing until now? Great job!!
Great job and good design.

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