No matter what your deck size or elevation height is, every backyard terrace can be transformed into a luminous retreat worthy of you and the elite company you keep by having outdoor lighting.
It is not only in the decor to make a warm and welcoming space outside your home, but also in choosing lighting that suits the space. One of the popular ways is step lighting.
If your outdoor space has steps, consider installing lights around them. Step lighting can make the space more attractive and inviting. With a well-designed lighting plan that minimizes glare and energy use, you can stay outside after the sun goes down and enjoy your deck and company.
But also, adding outdoor stair lighting to your home increases the safety of your space, not only for you and your family but also for any guests that come to visit. Falls on steps can be incredibly dangerous in the nighttime hours when people can’t see where they are going. And having step lighting on your outdoor space, there's a serious peace of mind factor involved with that.
Currently thinking of lighting for your exterior stairs or steps? There are a few things to consider. If in case you are interested, continue reading to know.
Step lighting is one of the lighting plans for outdoor use that creates luminous paths. Though you may be wondering whether or not you can add lights to your existing outdoor stairway, the truth is that there are many ways to do so — as long as you're willing to be creative with your design. But here are some good reasons for you to think about.
Extend the use of your garden
Step lighting, just like any other lighting fixture for outdoor space, adds to your enjoyment of the garden so this space can be used or viewed at night as well. Many people work long hours these days and only see their garden in the morning during the week. Then outdoor lighting is an essential ingredient to consider along with fragrant plants, outdoor heaters or fireplaces, and cozy seating.
Like hidden downlights, they help guide people as they move along boardwalks, driveways, paths, steps, and through changes of level. Look at our recessed downlights for this setting, Pico 7W Black Recessed LED Downlight
They can also be used to outline garden beds and decks. Make sure to avoid lights that glare or blind as people move around the garden.
Ensure safety for guests
You can make your outdoor stairs much safer by adding step lighting fixtures. Simply add lights between each step and make sure they are waterproof so they won’t be damaged by the rain. Try to match the color temperature of your lights to those of other outdoor fixtures (like porch lights).
Add unique accents and warmth
Step lighting illuminates a path and provides a warm glow between your stairs, attach mini lights to the supports beneath each step if you have an open outdoor stair. People will also be led by their feet and eyes along a walkway that may seem unremarkable during the day.
What you need to know before having step lighting for outdoor
When purchasing step lights, it can be difficult to choose the right type. Just like LED step lights are often overlooked, but they can greatly enhance a step while also providing a safe light for passersby.
Before you make the decision to buy step lighting fixtures, there are many things to consider and here, we will look at some of these considerations.
When choosing your step lighting fixtures, keep in mind that stairways are part of an exit path and must be lit for safety. So plan if you will have the lights for useful and practical reasons rather than being attractive or if you want both the aesthetic feel with safety purposes.
Recessed or Surface Mounted
If you are purchasing for your step lighting project, we recommend checking whether it is possible to recess the light, as this look neater when they are flush with the wall. As for light output, there is no real advantage as it is purely aesthetic. You can check our Recessed Round White LED Deflector Step Light as an example.
LED or Replaceable Globe
Some LED lighting products have the LEDs built in. This helps them last longer and be brighter, because they have a heat sink inside the fitting. As for LED step lights, there is no real difference; you don't require a high brightness.
When buying anything, practical and buying a light with a replaceable bulb is a guarantee of its longevity. So when purchasing integrated LED products, don't buy cheap and nasty - buy only from high-quality brands like Zest Lighting who will stand behind their products if one does fail.
An IP rating (International Protection Rating) is a standard test that tells how well an electrical enclosure protects against foreign bodies such as dust, moisture, liquids, and accidental contact. If you are looking to add step lighting fixtures to your exterior design, then choose an IP rating of 65 or higher to make sure that it is well-sealed. Know that you have purchased a quality step light if it is IP65 rating or higher.
12v or 240v
Once again, 240-volt wiring is the best choice for most installations as it's easier and cheaper to install; less components are needed to run 240-volt systems. But be reminded that this power source won't work well in wet areas such as near a pool. A lot of people think running 240V used more power than 12V but we guarantee that it is not true. Your monthly charges are from the wattage of the light itself not the voltage.
Color temperatures are important to consider when choosing step lighting fixtures because they affect the entire application. Warm white 3000k lights have the most calming mood and are ideal for outdoor areas just like Peko 6W 3000K LED Recessed Step Light.
Cool white lights in the 4000k to 5000k range are well-suited for practical applications, where you need more light to see where you're walking and go safely. Here’s an alternative to the step light product that we linked above, Peko 3W 4000K LED Recessed Step Light.
When choosing materials for your environment, think about where you live and what kind of weather conditions you're likely to experience. If you live by the beach or in a hot climate, look for fittings made from stainless steel or solid copper or brass—these won't corrode in salty environments. Fittings made from 304 stainless steel or aluminum are suitable for areas that aren't as humid or salty.
The amount of area that a single fixture covers will have a big impact on the total cost of any project. For example, putting a light fixture on the ceiling instead of on a wall can mean the difference between having one fixture or more.
Outdoor Electrical Wiring
Installing lights that are connected to wires and main circuit breaker in your home, you should use weatherproof or outdoor-rated electrical boxes, which safely hold the connection wires and prevent water from coming into contact with them.
You may be required to install your stairwell's electrical wiring inside conduit. Conduit is a type of plastic or PVC pipe, or it can be metal pipe that holds electrical wiring. Depending on your local building codes, you may need to run the conduit underground and from the house to the lights or install it near the stairs.
Automatic Lighting Option
If you don't use light switches, the stairway lights will have to be automatic or always on. Automatic lights may be on a timer or photocell lights that sense when it is dark outside and automatically turn on. Another option is to use motion sensor lights that automatically turn on when someone approaches the top or bottom of stairs.
We have a small selection of step lighting fixtures showcased here for you to choose from. If you are not sure what you will need for your outdoor space and need some help, you can always contact us for professional guidance.