State-of-the-art outdoor lighting is essential for safety and for style.
Whether you are grilling as the sun sets, enjoying a relaxing dinner beneath the stars with your family, or gathered around a table with friends playing a late night game of cards, your deck is home to some of summer’s most enjoyable activities. Strategically placed lighting will not only add visual appeal to your deck, but also make it safer. State-of-the-art outdoor lighting is key for safety and for style.
The Clear Choice
For any lighting you need to do outdoors, we recommend choosing an LED lighting fixture. LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, are the most popular choice for Landscape lighting because of their reputation for energy efficiency and long lifespans. LEDs have a lower wattage than traditional lightbulbs but produce twice the amount of light, which means that you get a brighter light and a lower energy bill.
Incandescent light bulbs have an average light time of anywhere from 750 to 2,000 hours. This is where LEDs really shine. With an average shine time of 20,000 to 50,000 hours, one LED light can last as long as 66 traditional lightbulbs. Your LED lights will be gleaming long after your neighbors boring bulbs have burnt out.
Start with the stairs
The first, and most important, place to being is with stair lighting. Stair lights will immediately set the mood and create a safe pathway for anyone walking up to your deck. Stair lighting typically comes in two different styles, recessed and open stair lighting. Recessed stair lighting is usually the best option for stairs because the lights will sit completely flush with whatever surface you install them on preventing them from taking up valuable step space, but whichever option you choose make sure that the lighting is directional. The beam of light should be directed downwards to light up the stairs and ensure that it is not in anyones eyes as they climb them. Stair lights are an essential part of deck lighting and a great place to start.
Here are some of our favorite stair lights:
DEKOR RECESSED STAIR LIGHT
These are a great option for any DIYers because everything you need to get these lights shining is included in the kit. DEKOR®, known for their innovation and product durability, also offers several different housing and face options so you can customize your lights to fit your homes style.
HOME DEPOT ROUND STEP LIGHT
Though on the more expensive side, the antique bronze finish of this stair light is perfect for more traditional homes.
KICHLER LOUVERED RECTANGLE STEP LIGHT
While this light costs more and loses some of the visual appeal of our other two options, its expected life span of 40,000 is nothing to scoff at, and Kichler is well-known for products that exemplify quality and value.
Create your atmosphere
Introduce the ambiance
Sleek and polished by day, luminous and dazzling by night. Post Cap Lighting is a beautiful, effective way to set to the tone of your outdoor spaces.
Use dimmable LED Post Caps to create a warm, relaxing glow or amp up the shine and light up your deck for a late night card game. LED Post Caps come in a large range of styles and finishes, from simple and elegant, to eclectic and eccentric, there is an LED post cap to match your style.
Choose one that compliments your house and deck to add flair, even in the daylight. Post Caps are often overlooked and forgotten, which makes them the thing that can distinguish your dream deck from all the other, average decks you have seen before.
Not all Post Cap Lights are created equal. Here are our picks:
TREX- LED POST CAP
This Post Cap Light sits discreetly beneath the post cap to give a warm, welcoming downward glow, and comes in two different styes. Trex also offers seven different finishes that perfectly match their composite decking for a completely harmonious deck.
AURORA DECK LIGHTING- IRIS LED POST CAP
This post cap comes in lit and un-lit versions, which is perfect if you plan on alternating which post caps you want to be lighted.
DEKOR LED POST CAP
For the king of durable post caps, turn to Dekor. They offer a post cap, so strong, that you can literally drive a truck over it. With this post cap, you can also chose which sides you light for a completely customized experience.
Amplify the ambiance.
After your stair lights and post cap lights are installed, what is the next step? Making your deck a backyard paradise requires commitment, so don’t stop just because you have the basics down. Add in-floor, recessed lighting to your deck for a smooth, seamless shine.
Recessed lighting, installed directly into your decking material, adds an ambient glow while blending seamlessly into its surroundings. They can also be used to create a subtle, yet natural division between your deck and and surrounding landscapes. However you decide to adopt in-floor lighting, it will provide your deck with a warm, welcoming glow.
DEKOR DECK DOTS
Dekor’s Deck Dots sit flush with the surface of your deck in a waterproof, sturdy housing. They are designed to be walked upon so embed them into wood, composite, and concrete, with no fear of damaging them. Deck Dots are a great option for those who want to make their deck shine without the added bulk of extra lighting.
DECKORATORS LED RISER LIGHT
This light was designed for step lighting, but can be used anywhere to add visibility and define the ambiance. The LED Riser Light produces a cool white light for a more energetic feel and is backed by a 25 year warranty.
Perfect the ambiance.
The final touch, post lighting. These lights serve not only an ornamental purpose, but a functional one as well. They highlight your deck railings and stairways reducing the risk of tripping and falling in the dark, while giving your deck a warm, comforting aura.
Here are some of our favorite options for post lighting:
TREX DECK RAIL LIGHT
This simple, little light is a great way to add a subtle ambiance to your deck without calling too much attention to fixture itself. Available in several different finishes, this light can blend in on any deck.
DEKOR TEAR DROP POST LAMP
For something stylish that stands out a little more, DEKOR® Lighting offers this Tear Drop Post Lamp. The lamp is made from heavy-duty die cast aluminum for durability and utilizes DEKOR®’s patented Plug-N-Play technology for a super simple installation.
TIMBERTECH ACCENT LIGHT
To add a more delicate light, try Timber Tech’s accent lighting. They produce a soft, diffused light that is ideal for areas, like stairs, where you already have brighter lights for safety and function.
Does your deck have a spot to grill? A wet bar? A built in fire pit? Any spot where you will be paying attention to detail deserves task lighting.
Similarly to task lighting in a kitchen, task lighting on your deck should be bright and adequate when needed, but undetectable when not in use. For this reason, we recommend recessed lighting; however, any light who’s housing has a low profile will work. Your needs will differ depending on what you plan to use the task lighting for, but we’ve listed some tried and true task lighting options below.
DEKOR UNDER CABINET, HIGH OUTPUT, LED DISC LIGHT
Dekor’s little disc spotlight packs quite the punch. With a low profile of only 0.33”, 42 individual LEDs, and a lumen output of over 250, this tiny task light gets the job done, and gets the job done efficiently.
TASK LIGHITNG- LINAIR LED 120V BAR LIGHT
If you need to add light to a larger space, an entire grill for example, a bar light might be your best option. The Linair LED Bar Light is available in three different finishes, two different light tones, and offers 50,000 hours of lighting.
Shed a little light on the subject…
Is there a particular architectural piece or decoration on your deck that you want to highlight?
Enter: accent lighting.
Accent lighting serves no purpose other than to direct attention to desirable features, so if there was an element of deck lighting to skip, skip accent lighting. However, if there is a part of your deck that you want to be seen, don’t let it sit unnoticed in the dark.
Choose accent lighting carefully and be conscious of the light tone. Extremely cool or warm tones may cast an unfavorable light on objects of certain colors. Opt for a light with a neutral tone to avoid any problems.
DEKOR- HOLLY POST LAMP
Two for the price of one. This post lamp features one LED Up light and one LED Down light, making it perfect for highlighting a large architectural piece or drawing the eye to an interesting area of your deck.
VOLT- ALL STAR SPOTLIGHT
For a true “spotlight,” look no further than Volt Lighting. This light was designed to cast an astonishing glow on the star of your deck, and comes with a glare guard to ensure that it doesn’t illuminate anything you don’t want it to. The All Star Spotlight is water-proof and backed by Volt’s lifetime warranty.
If all this light intimidates you, no worries. Take it slow and start with what you feel comfortable doing and what fits your style. Pick and choose elements that you want to incorporate until you feel the look is complete. Above all, make sure your deck and deck lighting are functional and represent your taste. After all, this is your dream deck, not ours.