Refresh Your Outdoor Style: Transform Lamp Shades Without Replacing

Outdoor lighting can make or break your home’s curb appeal and backyard ambiance. But over time, those once-vibrant lamp shades fade, fray, and generally lose their luster. Replacing the entire fixture is costly. Luckily, there’s an easy, affordable alternative – replacement outdoor lamp shade covers.

These versatile covers allow you to refresh the look of your exterior lighting in a snap. By swapping out the shades, you can update the color, pattern, and style without the headache and expense of installing new lamps. Keep reading to learn all about the benefits of upgrading your outdoor lighting with replacement lamp shade covers.

Replacement Covers Are Made of Durable, Weather-Resistant Materials

When shopping for replacement outdoor shades, pay attention to the materials used. The fabric needs to stand up to the elements including sun, rain, snow, and wind.

Sunbrella Solution-Dyed Acrylic is Tough to Beat

One of the most popular and proven outdoor fabrics is Sunbrella. This solution-dyed acrylic material is exceptionally fade, mildew, and rot resistant. The colors are saturated into the yarns before weaving, creating permanent, vivid hues that won’t wash out over time.

Sunbrella replacement covers have warranties up to 8 years and are easy to clean. This durable fabric comes in over 150 colors and patterns ranging from solids and classic stripes to modern geometric and floral prints. Sunbrella offers a refined appearance perfect for upscale patio lighting.

replacement outdoor lamp shade covers

Other Durable Outdoor Fabrics

In addition to Sunbrella, other quality fabric options include polyester, canvas, nylon, and Olefin. Compare features like thickness, water repellency, and UPF rating when selecting replacement cover materials.

Cheaper fabrics like cotton and linen should be avoided as they deteriorate quickly in outdoor conditions. Focus your search on performance textiles engineered for long-lasting weather resistance.

Covers Come in Diverse Shapes and Sizes

The key to a perfect fit is finding a replacement shade in the precise shape and dimensions of your existing lamp. There are a few standard silhouettes to choose from.

Common Shapes

Cylinder, trapezoid, and box pleat are typical outdoor lamp shapes. Drum and oval shapes are also options but less common.Ensure you select the same general shape as your original shade to ensure proper coverage and fit.

Measure Carefully

The height, width (diameter), and depth measurements of your shade are required to identify the right cover size. Use a soft measuring tape to carefully determine the dimensions. Refer to the product size chart and description to match your lamp’s specs.

Many manufacturers provide precise sizing down to the inch so you can zero in on an ideally fitted shade. Some may even offer custom sizing if you have an unusual shape or size.

Installation is Simple with Just a Few Steps

Installing replacement lamp covers is much easier than wiring and hanging entirely new fixtures. Here’s how to switch up your shade style in no time.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Turn off power to the lamp and let bulb cool completely before handling.
  2. Carefully remove the old cover by detaching any hardware or untying/cutting material ties.
  3. Slide the new replacement cover over the frame, pulling the fabric smooth and taut.
  4. Secure using the ties, elastic, or hardware included with the new shade.
  5. Turn lamp power back on and test that the light functions properly.

For an extra layer of weather protection, you can optionally spray the new shade with a UV and water repellant coating. This can extend the life of the fabric.

Tips for Trouble-Free Installation

To make the process even easier, keep these handy tips in mind:

  • Use a step stool or ladder for overhead reach.
  • Work slowly to avoid rips, tears, or damage.
  • Ask for help if the shade is large, heavy, or difficult to manage.
  • Align seams and edges smoothly to prevent wrinkling.

Get Creative with Colors, Prints, and Textures

The real fun starts when it’s time to select a style. Replacement covers open up endless decorating opportunities.

Coordinate Colors

Consider the existing color scheme of your outdoor space when choosing a shade. You can opt for matching solids to seamlessly blend the lamp into the decor. Or make the lighting a focal point with contrasting bright and bold hues.

Don’t be afraid to mix-and-match colored shades on multi-light fixtures. This adds whimsical personality to porches, patios, and decks.

Play with Prints and Patterns

From classic stripes to modern geometrics, printed fabric shades infuse outdoor lighting with eye-catching flair. Florals and paisleys paired with solids prevent patterns from feeling overly busy.

If you already have patterned pillows and rugs outside, repeat those fabrics on your lamp shades for a pulled-together look.

Textures Create Interest

Variegated woven textures provide visual depth when combined with sleek solids. A nubby cotton shade contrasts beautifully with the smooth finish of metal fixtures. Don’t overlook the design impact of different fabric surfaces and weaves.

Replacement Covers Provide Major Savings

The cost savings of selecting new shades rather than entirely new lamp fixtures may surprise you. Let’s break down the dollar difference.

Price Comparison

At $20-$60 per average-sized shade, replacement covers are drastically cheaper than even budget-friendly new lamp units starting around $100. For a 4-light outdoor fixture, you can refresh the look for under $250 with shades versus $400+ to replace the entire lamp.

Additionally, replacement shades come in sets for multi-light fixtures so you can upgrade all the shades at once affordably.

Savings Add Up

Beyond the initial purchase price, covers save you installation labor costs. Swapping shades is a DIY project, but hanging new fixtures often requires professional help and electrical work.

In terms of life expectancy, replacement shades may need swapping every 2-5 years compared to 10+ years for a new high-end lamp fixture. But the cumulative cost is still far lower.

Manufacturer Warranties Provide Peace of Mind

Quality replacement shades come backed by warranties to ensure you get lasting performance from the product. Here’s what’s typically covered.

Typical Warranty Coverage

Many manufacturers offer a 1-year general warranty on materials and workmanship. Sunbrella shades feature a 5-year or 8-year warranty guarding against fading. This protects against color loss greater than 5-8% respectively.

Warranties range from 1-10 years for shade tearing, sagging, or deterioration from normal wear. Just save your documentation and receipts for easy claims if issues arise.

Proper Care Extends Shade Life

Basic care like dusting, vacuuming, and prompt staining removal helps maintain the covers. Avoid harsh cleaners. Check for accumulated dirt and mildew periodically. Spot clean stains right away before they have time to set.

Let the manufacturer know if you experience tearing, excessive fading, or other warranty-covered damage so replacements can be expedited.

Replacement lamp shade covers make it easy to refresh the style of your exterior lighting. With durable, weather-resistant fabrics in an array of colors, prints, and textures, the possibilities are endless. Installation is a simple DIY project that provides instant revitalization. At a fraction of the cost of new fixtures, these versatile covers allow you to switch up your patio, porch, or deck ambiance affordably and with minimal hassle. Bring your outdoor lighting into the current season with replacement shades that protect your lamps while welcoming guests with eye-catching flair.

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