5 Ideas for Lighting Your Deck

by  Lauren Lockett-Summers
Last Updated: Feb 07, 2023
5 Ideas for Lighting Your Deck

A deck can be the perfect living space extension to your home without having to undergo expensive remodeling and additions. However, if you don’t have adequate lighting set up on your deck, you likely aren’t using it as often as you could be. To maximize the usage of your deck – at any time of day or night – consider adding one, or multiple of our below deck lighting ideas.

Option #1: String Lights

String Lights

This temporary lighting solution continues to grow in popularity thanks to the aesthetically-pleasing pictures posted by Pinterest users. The most popular type of string light right now are the ones with the larger bulbs – oftentimes using Edison light bulbs. String lights can be added to your deck railing or added above your deck, using trees or posts to support them. String lights are a nice option because they’re easily moved, so you can customize the lighting depending on what you’re using your deck for. On the other hand, the lighting they will provide will be minimal, unless you have dozens of light strings.

Option #2: Solar Lights

Solar Power Lights

Another DIY lighting option, solar lights are great for decks that don’t have easy access to power outlets. There are a wide variety of solar light options available, so you can truly add a solar light to every nook and cranny of your deck if that was your goal. The largest downside to solar lights is that they can be finicky. Because solar lights rely on the sun, if you had a cloudy day, you shouldn’t expect your solar lights to work that night. For similar reasons, the placement of the lights is essential to their function. If you have a shady part of your deck, the lights in that section won’t function, while the ones in a sunny area will.

Option #3: Recessed Lighting

Recessed Lights

Moving into the more permanent lighting options, let’s touch on recessed lighting. Not only used for the interior of homes, recessed lighting can be placed on deck posts or on any overhanging structure above your deck. Patio covers, pergolas, and second-story balconies can all play host to your recessed lighting. Of course, you will need to hire a professional to install these lights, especially if there is no previous electricity hookup. Recessed LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular because of the bright white light they emit and their longevity.

Option #4: In-Floor Lighting

In Floor Lighting
Photo: Courtesy of Samuel Nagle Landscaping Design Construction

Particularly useful near stairs, doorways, and other tripping hazards, in-floor lighting is another permanent lighting solution worth noting. These lights should be installed flush to the deck floor as to not cause tripping hazards as they brighten the space. Most homeowners that select this lighting option opt to stagger their in-floor lights every few feet, along the edge of the deck. The center portion of the deck can then be supplemented with an additional lighting source if needed. Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule; in-floor lighting is completely customizable.

Option #5: Under-Rail Lighting

Deck Under Rail Lighting
Photo: Courtesy of Samuel Nagle Landscaping Design Construction

If safety is your top driver in adding deck lighting, you can’t go wrong with under-rail lighting. Under-rail lighting illuminates your steps and railing to prevent any falls, while also providing a subtle glow for the rest of the deck. Under-rail lighting isn’t just used on staircase rails either! You can add under-rail lighting around the entirety of your deck, under the safety rails surrounding it.  As with in-floor lighting, under-rail lighting is typically supplemented with another light source when a lot of light is needed.

Adding a deck will truly give you that extended living space you crave, and when coupled with smart lighting solutions you can’t go wrong. To add a deck to your home, give our experts at Austex a call today!

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