Enhance Your Outdoor Living with Deck Lighting
A backyard deck is the place to be in the summertime – family gatherings and parties, barbeques with neighbors, and relaxing with a tall, cool drink are all favorite activities best enjoyed on an outdoor deck. But how do you keep the fun going when the sun sets and the stars and moon come out? The arrival of nighttime should not be the call to end your gathering or outdoor activity. Deck lighting, in its wide range of options and styles, is the solution to extending the hours of use you reap from your deck. Deck lighting that is well thought out and appropriately placed will provide soft lighting and illuminate surfaces where family and guests walk and gather.
A lit deck means improved safety for those moving around on a deck after dark. Deck lighting also enhances the look of the deck in general and sets off the area beautifully. You’ve already added to the value of your home by building a deck in the first place. That investment will provide an even greater return when you are able to use your deck more hours of the day because it is well lit and safer for everyone who uses it.
Types of Deck Lighting
In general, deck lights should be subtle in terms of the amount of light they give off and the overall lighting scheme should be carefully and thoughtfully designed for maximum benefit. When planning where to place your deck lights, keep these factors in mind: the size of the deck, how many levels it has, if the deck has steps, if the deck has a railing and railing posts, and the color of the home or deck itself.
Given the versatility in the types of deck lighting that exist, you will want to consider all options available. Lights can be configured and placed in different areas, depending on the effect you wish to achieve. Consider these:
• Deck lights for stairs and step risers – Recessed lights on deck stairs integrate directly into deck boards and risers to give off enough light for people to find and see where they are stepping. They emit a beautiful, subtle light that adds elements of both beauty and safety. An alternative would be to install lights under the stair treads for the same effect.
• Deck railings lights – Railing lights are installed on the bottom side of a deck railing and work well to both highlight the perimeter of the deck and also showcase the entire deck.
• Railing post lights – These lights are affixed to the side of the railing posts. When post lights are spaced evenly along the railing, the give off light that frames the deck and can be extended the length of the railing.
• Post cap lights – Post cap lights are mounted on top of railing posts. They can be used as standalone accent lights to highlight the railing or they can complement the railing lights.
• Landscape lighting to highlight the deck – Strategically placed lights in a landscaped yard or mulch bed provide lighting from the ground up that can frame your deck or lead people to the deck steps.
• Decorative lights – Built-in grill and bar areas and pergolas are other deck features you may want to highlight with decorative deck lights.
Once you have decided where to install your deck lighting, you’ll have several other decisions to make. For example, do you want to use solar lights? These lights are a good option on posts or other areas that receive a lot of sunlight. As they are exposed to the sun, they charge and build up power to emit low-voltage lighting after dark. Lights can also be installed on a timer so that you can choose when they come on and when they go off. A dimmer is another option that lets you control just how much light you want to emit and the ambience you want to set. And, because deck lighting will be exposed to the elements, you’ll want to include a transformer to ensure you use the appropriate electrical current for the wattage required for the lighting.
If you are handy and have the skills to install the lights and connect electricity yourself, deck and outdoor lighting kits are easily available. If you prefer to consult with a professional who has the experience and expertise to both design and fully install your deck lights, contact DC Complete, a full-service home renovating and remodeling company. Our contractors are available to answer all your questions about deck lighting and help you design an outdoor look you will love. Call us today at (810) 407-1771