Five Smart Ways to Light Your Deck this Summer

Fifteen Smart Ways to Light Your Deck

Five Ways to Spruce Your Deck this Summer

Lighting can extend the use and pleasure of an outdoor deck, increase safety and security, and make the space more attractive and inviting. As the sun sets, you can still stay outside and enjoy your deck and company with a well-designed lighting plan that minimizes glare and energy use.

What to Illuminate

Deck lighting can be practical and used for safety purposes, shine on an outdoor dining area, used at different levels–on steps, along railings–and to highlight landscaping, architectural features or a pool, spa or fountain. It can also create a certain mood or atmosphere for special occasions.

Step and deck path lights have a distinct function: to safely illuminate traffic throughout the deck and yard. They also help to enhance the view from indoors at night.

Call an Electrician or DIY?

Unless you have worked with lighting before, it’s best to work with an electrician. Most outdoor lighting is low voltage, using 12 volts of electricity. A transformer will be needed to power down the 120-volt current indoors to 12 volts outdoors. But before buying one, you will need to figure out how many outdoor lights will be attached, plus their wattage. A suitable transformer will be able to handle your current wattage needs along with an estimated 25 to 50 more so it isn’t operating at full capacity and it will be able to handle more wattage if you add more landscaping lights in the future.

Many modern fixtures use LED bulbs, which are energy and cost-efficient. Solar lighting has improved but is usually not strong or reliable enough to provide adequate illumination.

Types of Fixtures

The most popular types of deck lighting and areas to illuminate include:

  • Steps: The best fixtures include surface mounts, flush mounts, path lights and weatherproof LED strip lights.
  • Well, Spot or Uplights: These can be used to illuminate paths, create drama by highlighting plant forms, etc.
  • Downlights: Designed to be anchored to walls, eaves, patio roofs or trees.
  • Balusters: Illuminated balusters for railings (balustrades) that are designed to replace existing balusters or be installed during new deck construction.
  • Post caps and rail lights: Decorative lighting fixtures that can be attached to posts or rails.


While most landscape lighting is contemporary and works with a variety of architectural styles, specialty fixtures are available for certain types, like colonial, craftsman, Mediterranean, and mid-century modern. When it comes to lighting, resist the urge to go for an eclectic look, unless it reflects the character of your home’s interior and exterior.


These are some inspiring projects to fire your imagination:


Linear Lighting

Smart Lighting Deck Solutions

Wicker Park

Smart Lighting Deck Solutions

Al Fresco Dining

Smart Lighting Deck Solutions

Adding Security and Safety

Smart Lighting Deck Solutions

Summers go fast, so enjoy every moment outdoors. Call the experts for making this an ideal summer experience.