What Should I Consider When Buying Deck Lights?

Ken Black
Ken Black
String lights may be used to provide deck illumination.
String lights may be used to provide deck illumination.

For those who have ever have ever seen a properly lit deck, perhaps at a lake or overlooking a ski area, they may want to know how to recreate that effect at home. Doing so requires understanding deck lights and the type of lighting employed in certain situations. In most cases, the key to desired deck lights will be the light fixtures and type of lamps used.

The first rule of deck lighting is not to overdo it. Deck lights can create a dramatic effect if used but used sparingly. Therefore it is important to understand that soft light will do a much better job than harder light to really show off the features of the deck.

Deck lights need to have a cap that deflects the light in a downward or upward fashion. Most of the time, deck lighting will be directed downward. This not only helps to highlight some of the woodwork on the deck, it also helps from a safety standpoint. While aesthetics is a part of most lighting situations, the real purpose is to provide safer access in and around the area being lighted.

Having deck lights that are omni-directional is not recommended for a couple of reasons. First, it can provide too much lighting for the area as light floods and overlaps in some areas. This uneven lighting can be very unappealing and highlight areas in a haphazard way. Further, the lighting can reflect off other structures and create even more of an uneven effect, highlighting some areas that would better off be left in the dark.

Deck lights can be wired or wireless, depending on the needs. In most cases, the wireless will rely on solar lighting. These lights will have cells that charge during the day. That power will then be stored for later use. Using corded lines may be easier with deck lights than with some other types of lighting simply because the cords can be run under the deck, which is usually raised enough above the ground to allow good access. Still, for those who want the easiest possible solution, solar lights are a good option.

In the end, deck lights can be any number of different models or types. Most deck lights are affixed directly to the decking material. However, for those who want to keep their decks free of permanent fixtures, they may consider putting the lights on a poles just off of the deck. Following these simple guidelines for deck lighting will offer the best, most effective presentation possible.

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    • String lights may be used to provide deck illumination.
      String lights may be used to provide deck illumination.