Last Updated August 20, 2020
Looking for great outdoor deck lighting ideas?
Good deck lighting will enhance your home with:
You’ll also be able to enjoy your favorite outdoor spaces for much longer.
Deck Lighting Ideas
From bright a outdoor kitchen for safe cooking, to a well light space for outdoor play, or just the ambiance of subtle soft lighting. There are many applications for your outdoor deck lighting.
Here you’ll find the 8 best deck lighting applications for your home.
Deck Stair Lighting
Lead your guests safely from the ground to your deck with deck stair lighting.
There are safety regulations specifically for lighting your outdoor deck stairs. Make sure you check for your city’s code before you plan for a deck lighting project self install.
Deck Post Lights
Deck posts are a great place to mount your lights, and often easy to install.
They are often a more affordable option for deck lighting. Usually, the light points downwards at the deck. This provides lighting to the rails and a subtle ambiance to the surrounding area.
Deck post lights come in many different shapes, colors, and styles. You can find them in:
- stainless steel
- and more
The wide variety allows you to meet any budget or preferences you may have. Adding a very attractive decoration to your posts even during the daytime.
Deck post lights are placed higher than other options. Since they are mounted on top of the post. So keep in mind they do create more light pollution.
Deck Railing Lights
Compliment the post lights with subtle deck railing lights.
Like your step lights, deck railing lights help provide safety. Install the lights directly under railing itself if you like. Hiding the bulbs to those that are seated.
Recessed Deck Lighting
Recessed deck lighting is a great choice for a combination of safety and style.
Recessed lighting is not for just decks that have ceilings though. They can also be used to sit flush to the deck itself. Combining form and function for an interesting new deck feature.
String lights are very popular for outdoor lighting right now.
Very easy to install, while providing a stylish flair to your outdoor deck lighting. Their versatility allow them to be installed almost anywhere. You just need a power source. They are a perfect fit in any DIY deck lighting project.
The drawback is their lifespan. Unfortunately, they don’t last as long as the other choices for deck lighting. So you’ll find yourself replacing the lights much more often than other options.
Pool Deck Lighting
Lighting your deck is a must if you have it located near a pool.
Bright lights will be necessary for everyone to be safe in and around the pool.
While there are a variety of options to choose, we recommend recessed and deck posts lights. They provide clear demarcation.
Make sure to check local ordinances for requirements.
Rope lighting provides an easy install and inexpensive for your deck lighting.
Unfortunately, rope lighting doesn’t give you the unique look of other options with individual fixtures. However, it is still an attractive option. Keep in mind you’ll need to install in a manner that will conceal the bulbs.
Loooking for Low Voltage or Green Deck Lighting Ideas
We covered your style options, now you need to choose a lighting option.
Low voltage deck lighting is very common. It offers both a quick installation and a wide variety of styles to choose from.
Low voltage lights usually give you a welcoming environment for your deck with the soft light they produce.
Low voltage lights tend to have higher costs for the installation when compared to other deck lighting options.
This is often because you may need transformers to step down the voltage. Going from the standard 120 volts to 12 volts. However, the long term costs are less. As the maintenance thereafter much less. So you’ll see a return on the investment.
Only consider LEDs if expect to be in your home for five or more years. That way you’ll be able to benefit from the long-term cost savings.
LED Deck Lights
LED lights provide a great green deck lighting option. Producing less heat and 75% less lighting than incandescent bulbs.
These lights are very durable. Their lifespan doubles that of traditional lights. Making LED lights are a great fit if looking for lights that will last a long time.
Solar Deck Lights
Solar lights of all kinds are becoming very popular for outdoor lighting. Available in a wide variety, you’re sure to find ones that suit your specific needs and your preferences.
The advantages of solar deck lighting are:
- Low maintenance costs
- Work without need of a plug
- Don’t require new wiring
- Easy to install
If you choose solar lights they will need plenty of light during the day. They work by charging the battery in the daylight. The charged battery then provides the energy for the lights at night. Batteries will provide light for up to 10 hours.
If you are thinking of deck post cap lighting,
Solar lighting is a great option for deck post cap lighting. As they negate the issue of having to hide wires.
Your greatest issue with solar deck lighting is you will usually not have an option to turn the lights off. They’ll usually switch on automatically by the photocell. So if and on/off option is necessary, make sure you carefully check the details of the fixtures.
Deck Lighting for Safety Too
Your deck is one of your most-used outdoor spaces.
It is used to entertain, to relax, and even cooking outdoors.
Beyond lighting these areas at night for use, lighting will also make your deck safer.
In the dark, the risk of stumbling, slipping, and falling is much higher. Especially on your stairs. Increasing the risk of injury. Not only do you want your guests to be safe, but there is also the potential for legal liability for injuries.
While bright floodlights will illuminate your outdoor spaces, you can’t create a relaxing atmosphere.
The use of subtle soft lighting on your deck can fix that. Make sure you use enough soft light to safely wander your outdoors. But find a balance to still create a relaxed mood.
Deck Lighting Designs
Be sure that you are efficient while executing your outdoor deck lighting project.
Before you begin, decide where to place your new deck lights. This also allows you to focus on what you want to highlight with your lighting. Plan the locations of your lights by drawing a simple sketch of your deck.
Subtlety key in effective and enjoyable outdoor deck lighting. Avoid using blazing spotlights. They will only overwhelm your outdoor experience at night. You will also avoid disturbing and annoying your neighbors.
Most home improvement stores have DIY outdoor lighting kits that are pre-packaged.
By no means will these give you the custom beauty, look, and feel of a professional lighting job. However, they may work if you have a simple project.
If you have the expertise and time to do a custom lighting design and install yourself, be sure to buy all the necessary materials. Including but not limited to:
You will most likely need to set up a power source for your lights. As it isn’t as simple as plugging your lights into the wall like a house lamp.
If you do not have experience with these decisions or equipment you should not attempt the install. You are safer and better off hiring a professional.
Condisderations for Your Outdoor Deck Lighting Installation
Some of these deck lighting ideas can be easy to install and be done by yourself.
First, you will need to consider the type of power source of your deck lighting system. Low voltage lighting is much safer and easier to self-install if you have experience.
However, some low voltage applications require additional skills that will keep you from doing a self-install.
For example, on post cap lighting you will need to drill a hole through the center of the post. Hiding the wire. This requires drilling through the length of each post.
For some installs, you will need a qualified electrician. Such as systems that use a standard 120-volt household current.
This is why for custom projects it is better to hire a professional. Providing a safe and quality install of your deck lighting. For both standard 120-volt household current or low-voltage lighting.
A professional will assist you with:
- outdoor lighting selection
Bottom Line on Outdoor Deck Lighting Ideas
Outdoor deck lighting offer beauty, safety, and security to your outdoor spaces. They also allow you to enjoy your favorite outdoor spaces for extended hours.
You can also create a pleasant atmosphere with well done outdoor lighting. For anything from bright spaces for safe play and outdoor cooking, to the relaxing ambiance of subtle lighting.
Save yourself time and money in the long run by planning ahead with all the options for your deck lighting.
Be sure to take into account the power sources required and how long you will be in your home when making your decisions.
The variety of outdoor deck lighting for railings, stairs, posts, and others are limitless, and ever-expanding. A professional’s guidance can you help you make the perfect decisions for your vision and needs.