Brighten up your back deck with some light. Better Homes & Gardens Local Services connects you with deck lighting professionals near you. Whether you need a deck designer or electrician, we can help. Get your project started today with a free quote!
If you're installing a deck for the first time, the deck lighting would be installed by the builder or a subcontractor.
If you are adding lighting to an existing deck, the job could be handled by: Deck builders – who include lighting installation as an add-on service. Outdoor lighting companies/pros – whose focus is on residential exterior lighting. Lighting design companies/professionals – who provide both interior and exterior consulting, design and installation services. Local handyman services – with experience in electrical installations. Local electricians – with experience in lighting installations.
Are you ready to light up your deck? Just fill in the form on this page to start finding local pros.
"Can I install deck lighting myself?"
If you have sound knowledge of residential electrical systems including sourcing, wiring, fittings and fixtures, you may be able to install a new deck lighting system on your own.
You'll need to choose a deck lighting system in a design you like, and that can be installed in or around the existing deck, without compromising the integrity of the deck.
You will also need to know what kind of lights you want (e.g., fixtures, LED lighting strings), and where the new lighting will be placed (e.g., on posts? under rails? cut into the deck boards? other?)
Some deck manufacturers and lighting companies offer deck lighting kits, with detailed installation instructions, which could make design selection and installation easier.
Answering these questions will help you determine if you’re ready to install the deck lighting on your own: Will the new lighting be hard-wired into your home's electrical system or plugged in to sockets around the deck? Do I have an available outdoor electrical source near the deck? Will I need to install new electrical lines, boxes and/or sockets? Will a new fuse need to be added? If so, is there room in the fuse box? And, is there enough capacity being supplied to the home? Am I comfortable drilling holes, channels, fasteners and lighting fixtures into my deck, stairs, posts?
Before starting, check with your local building department for any building codes related to deck lighting.
"What kinds of deck lighting design choices are there?"
Deck lighting manufacturers offer countless design ideas. Broadly speaking, your options include: Post lights – anything from down-facing lights on posts, to cap lights, Deck floor up-lighting – uplights cut into the deck boards, usually around the perimeter of the deck, Indirect deck lighting – often accomplished with LED lights which are placed under railings, benches or outdoor tables, Stair lights – which can be built into steps or attached to posts when there are stair railings, Fairy lights – subtle LED string lights hung from, or wrapped around, deck rails can create a magical effect, Overhead hanging lights – strung above a deck, or around the perimeter of the deck, Wall lighting – some decks are connected to buildings, or have decorative walls on one or more sides, which allow for the placement of spot lights, accent lights, outdoor sconces, or other outdoor wall light fixtures, Recessed overhead lighting – if the deck is fully or partially covered, Free-standing lanterns – used to add a personalized touch to any deck, Well lights –to illuminate foliage and landscaping adjacent to a deck can add a touch of elegance to any deck environment, Fire pits – which provide their own special kind of lighting and atmosphere.
Deck lighting can be standard voltage, low voltage, or solar-powered.
"Should I install standard, low voltage or LED lighting?"
LED and low voltage outdoor lighting systems are increasingly popular, but ultimately the decision should be based on what is best for your situation and goals:
LED: the most energy efficient choice, very long lasting, easy to install, somewhat limited design options, though that is changing.
Low Voltage: energy efficient, long lasting, inexpensive to buy and install, easy to install.
Standard/Line Voltage: least energy efficient, omnidirectional (casts light 360 degrees) used for lighting larger areas, allows for brighter lights, may involve building code requirements (conduit, trench depth).
"How long do solar deck lights last?"
Solar lights store energy in batteries that typically last around two years, at which point the batteries need to be replaced.
In cold areas, storing solar lights indoors during winter prolongs battery life. Switching lights to the "Off" position during cloudy/rainy periods also prolongs battery life.
Also, homeowners report a noticeable difference between higher quality solar lights and inexpensive solar lights, both in lifespan and functionality.