Deck lighting sounds like a simple concept, but people often get these deck lights wrong. They don't execute deck lighting in an effective way by thinking about the correct places to have them. And a quick search for “decks” will return many ideas for decorating, including hundreds of thousands of ideas.
Consider planning for your deck lights before adding amenities to your deck. Here are the common types of deck lights:
Common Types of Deck Lights
Post lights come in both single and multi-head options. Multi-head post lights illuminate a larger area than single-head post lights. They are also wired directly to your deck and are popular for their durability and weatherproof qualities. They can be added to the tops of the posts that hold up your deck as post-mount lights.
Post lights are available in solar and LED varieties, built into the post caps themselves.
The contrast of a brightly colored post cap against dark railing gives the railing a more modern, bespoke feel. Recessed lights within the stairs themselves complete the look.
Rail lights are popular for a lot of reasons. This is the same with post lighting along with your deck’s staircase. Designed as LED strips, they're easy to install.
Many under-rail lights have a lifespan of almost 50,000 hours, so you won't need to worry about replacing them often. Rail lights clearly mark the border of your deck and the ground below and highlight your deck’s beauty. Using colored or color-changing rail lights can set the mood for different occasions.
Deck stair lights are designed to help you see your steps and reduce your chances of tripping or falling as you enter and exit the deck.
They can be installed directly onto your existing deck structure. You typically place them on each front corner of the step, closest to the ledge. Stair lights are great for larger decks and you can choose between solar, LED, and battery-powered options. There are also motion-detected options available.
Stair lighting is another great way to make your deck look both elegant and inviting. Using regular lighting options on stairs can draw attention to areas with little visual appeal, clashing with the rest of your deck.
Floor lights are great for decks and are installed to shine up into the floor, providing light at the base of a room's walls. They're great for decks without railings to mark a clear perimeter or to stylistically separate spaces with no clear existing separation.
These types of deck lights are available in both solar and electric models. The amount of sunlight that reaches your deck each day will determine which type of deck lights you need to achieve a well-lit deck at night.
Tips on Choosing the Deck Lights Perfect for your Home
Now that you are familiar with the types of deck lights available, we have listed these questions that you can answer that can help you along the way while choosing your deck lights.
What will your lighting be used for?
Like anything, you have to think about how they'll be used before deciding which ones are right for you. You may want to keep your needs and priorities in mind when answering this. Knowing the advantages as we list them below can be your guide:
Safety (walkways, entranceways) If you want your deck to be as safe as possible, you might want to make posts or stair lights on your top list.
Decorative (outdoor patios, hanging porch lights) Another benefit of deck lighting includes the ability to create varying levels of mood and ambiance as well as making your home a cozy place to be on a cold night. For homeowners interested in taking their deck lighting to the next level, sconces and wall lights are the perfect choices.
Provides extra security. Outdoor or deck lighting is important even if it never snows where you live. Motion detectors, solar lamps, or other interesting elements can make outdoor spaces safer and more secure. You are thinking of both functional and aesthetic for your deck lights but still not sure where to start? We are here to help you choose the perfect deck lights for your home.
How bright do you need your fixture?
When you're entertaining outdoors, your guests will want soft, indirect lighting that creates a pleasant ambiance while enjoying their meal.
People are using more outdoor lanterns, pendants, and ceiling fans equipped with light kits to illuminate their seating and dining areas, especially when they're cooking or prepping food. Use a dimmer to adjust the brightness of those lights, turning them to full light when you're cooking or prepping food and dimming them down for eating and relaxing.
Do you want to save on costs?
Low-voltage lighting is a great way to add safety and ambiance to your deck at the same time as being eco-friendly. LED deck lights are a long-lasting, energy-efficient way to illuminate your outdoor space.
Using these types of bulbs or lighting can save you money on your monthly electric bill, which is important when trying to make your home more energy efficient.
How much light does space require?
Before you go shopping for deck lights you'll want to figure out how much light your space needs. To do that, here’s a quick calculation that you can try:
Multiply the length times the width of the space or room to get the square footage.
Multiply the square footage of the area you want to light by 1.5 to get a rough estimate of the total wattage required. For example, 100 square feet of space would require 150 watts.
Are you buying a high-quality outdoor light?
While some might argue that the appearance of these beautiful fixtures is their most important feature, others will say that a fixture's durability and performance should be the priority.
Modern outdoor lights are made of a variety of materials such s wrought iron, aluminum, brass, copper, and pewter. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on where you plan to use it.
For example, brass and copper are one of the most durable finishes for outdoor lighting. You can choose raw brass or a dark, protective finish. Raw brass will darken with age, but it won't corrode.
Aluminum and copper are both beautiful metals but they can be easily chipped. Aluminum and pewter not only look great but can be etched to create remarkable decorative effects.
Do you need Wet or Damp Rated outdoor deck lights?
Outdoor fixtures come in two types, Wet and Damp rated. Here’s what each is used for:
Wet Rated fixtures are designed for use anywhere that is directly exposed to wind and rain. Outdoor wall lights, post lights, and motion sensor lights are wet location rated.
Damp Rated fixtures are designed for use in covered decks or patios, pergolas, and any place that’s not exposed directly to rain and moisture. Outdoor ceiling lights and hanging lights are damp use rated.
Deck Lighting Tips to Give More Highlight your Space
Try Out Pendant Lights
If you're searching for a unique lighting fixture for your outdoor space, consider hanging a pendant light. It can make it feel like your extended room rather than just a deck.
Pendant lights are best suited for tables and open pool houses, but you can also hang them off of a pergola. Make sure to choose one that can withstand the elements, so you don't have to replace it after a few seasons.
Use Layer of Lights
Even if you've already got built-in lighting in your deck, a layer of temporary lights can give the space an extra boost and serve as extra illumination in areas where you need it, such as tables, near pools or hot tubs, and next to nooks and seats.
You can add a pleasant glow to your outdoor space by using strands of bulb lights on the deck, in addition to orb floor lights near the deck chairs or cushions.
Add Lanterns and Candles
Lanterns and candles can dramatically alter the atmosphere of a room, with more candles creating a brighter and more vibrant space that's perfect for entertaining or relaxing with a book. A few candles can create a more intimate or relaxing vibe. They’re also cheap, and you can adjust the amount of light they give off by turning on as few or as many bulbs as you like.
There are many options to consider when choosing outdoor deck lighting. Some go for a more traditional style while others choose something more contemporary. Depending on your style, taste, and space, there’s a look that will work for your deck and budget. We are here to help you pick the best lighting product!
Zest Lighting has a collection of decorative and functional deck lights for your home's outdoor lighting needs. Available Australia-wide, all items in our collections can be shipped straight to your doors fast and with utmost care. Feel free to contact us for your inquiries.