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The Best Deck Lighting Ideas

Updated: 12/26/2023
deck lighting ideas

A really good decking area, with maybe a pool, grill area, and stairs, can be really important for the overall look, value, and enjoyment of your home and garden. When put together well, it will look simply stunning and provide an enjoyable outdoor space come rain or shine. But an integral part of the design should be a well-thought-out deck lighting scheme. Putting together all those deck lighting ideas is essential to get the maximum use and safety out of the decking area.

Most of the deck lighting ideas you can look at are really down to practicality, budget, skill levels, and your personal taste. Not everyone is an electrician who can easily put together great low voltage deck lighting, and not everyone can afford the latest designer LED deck lights either. But having said that, there are some great general themes, for outdoor deck lighting ideas, that we can have a look at first of all.

Why Pick Led Deck Lights

First of all, what kind of deck lights should you have? To my mind, the majority, if not all, have to be LED deck lighting. For deck lighting ideas, they are unbeatable, and the range of different designs on offer now is just incredible.

They range from functional and quirky to vintage and contemporary. LED lights are also much longer-lasting, use less energy, whether low voltage or solar, and don’t heat up if you have children around. You certainly won’t be short of LED deck lighting ideas if you choose them.

How to Power Your Deck Lighting

Here is a thorny subject amongst home and decking owners. There is little love lost or ground given in this discussion over low voltage deck lighting ideas and solar deck lighting ideas. To me, it doesn’t have to be this way. For a start, you can easily mix them up and have a combination of great deck lighting. I think that you have the reliability of low-voltage deck lights in areas where security and safety are a premium. Then buying the cheapest deck solar lighting in less critical areas can be a great compromise to use. Remember though, you will have to find somewhere for that low voltage lighting transformer if going for 12v deck lighting ideas.

You can’t have your solar deck lighting running out of charge and guests or family members taking a tumble. Similarly, deck solar lighting should be in areas where getting or arranging wiring would be a pain or dangerous, and around wet areas, such as pools and ponds. The in-between bit can be whatever is easiest and fits your budget. Certainly, if your deck lighting ideas come after deck installation, then solar LED deck lights will be the only really sensible option.

The combination of solar and LED of course means that you get the best of both worlds, saving money on bills and getting the charge in the rechargeable batteries to last longer into the night as well. Fortunately, the cheapest deck solar lighting is also usually LED driven lighting as well.

Deck Lighting by Type

So let’s have a look at some of the main ideas you can use in your decking to create an effect and really show it off properly.

LED Step Lights

These are available in a wide variety of styles. The more traditional lights, made mainly for safety, have shrouds and vents to direct the lights onto the steps themselves, to stop people going up the stairs from being dazzled.

But more modern designs are softer and have allowed a more striking and beautiful design. Simple round step lights in sets both in the risers and at the sides provide ample light and a lot of styles.

Post Cap Deck Lights

These post top deck lights are really best as solar designs. This avoids having to route your lovely decking posts for wiring. Styles vary from the cheap post caps made by Moonrays to classic vintage designs, even as far as coaching lamp classics. Obviously, the type of post cap will depend on your budget.

Most solar post cap deck lights come in a standard 4×4 size to fit a standard end or corner post. If you have a white wood decking, then you can get a white solar cap for that as well. Low voltage lighting ideas for post tops are just as fascinating and well crafted if you want to go that way. In fact, they can be even more stylish than their solar counterparts. Maxim lighting for instance, does a charming burnished aluminum design.

LED Post Lights

More subtle than their post top cousins, deck lighting ideas incorporating these downlighters really pile on the atmosphere. They can also function well for safety, usually being attached low down on railing posts or stairway balustrades. They are available in materials from plastic to burnished copper and wrought iron, and what you want will very much depend on your budget.

Kichler deck lights have some of the best-looking lights such as their half-moon low voltage lights, and the subtle yet charming 1w bronzed brass deck light.

Umbrella Lights

Umbrella lights are great for more intimate or relaxed gatherings or just for general use. As they are LED lights, they also don’t attract the insect underneath either.

Recessed LED Deck Lights

These are probably going to be the most prolific in your deck lighting designs, lighting the main decking areas as up lighters. The idea is to produce a soft, diffused light that illuminates without blinding as you walk across them. The cheapest recessed solar deck light kits come in sets of 20 or so, to give you the most leverage for your dollar.

Those really are the main types of lights you can look at for your deck lighting ideas. There are others, such as brick lights and paver lights which you can look at. Seagull and Kichler do a good range of these, but they are more of a fringe player light. Concentrate on getting the big boys right, and you will have amazing decking suitable for the best parties, the best relaxation, or both.

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