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10 Deck Lighting Ideas to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space

Are you looking for deck lighting ideas to add more flare to your deck or patio? Lighting makes a huge difference in how you use your backyard. It's no longer a wasted space during dark evenings.

Add lights and your deck or patio instantly becomes a cozy outdoor room. Today's lights are energy-efficient and much kinder to the environment. Check out these imaginative deck lighting ideas for your outdoor space.


Deck Lighting Ideas to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space

10 Outdoor Deck Lighting Ideas For Your Outdoor Space

1. Fairy Lights

One of the easiest ways to add sparkle to your outdoor decking is a string of fairy lights. They are often available in a mixture of colors such as red, green, and blue.

One of the easiest deck lighting ideas is a string of fairy lights

Alternatively, choose plain white and they'll match the stars in the sky. They cast a subtle, low-level luminosity. Ropes of tiny lights are informal, fun, and versatile. You can wind them around pergolas or overhanging trees. 

They also look attractive when simply placed above your seating area. There are several choices when it comes to power, including battery-operated and solar. They can also be plugged into your home's main electric supply.

2. Directional Spotlights

For a more powerful lighting solution, consider overhead spotlights. They are ideal if you have a covered verandah or porch. Isolated spotlights appear discrete for evenings, but they are also useful for boldly illuminating an outdoor dining area.

Spotlights also make it bright enough for you to read a favorite book while relaxing on a warm summer night. As one of the more permanent deck lighting ideas, spotlights work best when wired into your home's electrical circuitry.

For even greater convenience, choose a model that's compatible with remote control via a smartphone.

3. In-Floor Illumination

You can make almost any decking look chic and sophisticated with low-voltage, in-floor lights. They fit securely in the timbers, so you can't stumble over them.

In-Floor Illumination is a great deck lighting idea

They emit upward beams of light that are soft and diffuse. The most practical options are wired, or battery operated. Lights running on solar might fail to recharge if they are shaded by your house for too long.

This form of illumination is mainly designed to highlight the perimeter edge of your decking. It helps you find your way in safety without disturbing the natural ambiance of a peaceful night.

4. Integral Overhead Lights

You'll create a streamlined image for your outdoor space by installing individual lights above your deck. They are similar to in-floor lights, so they'll need to be fitted into a sturdy canopy or pergola.

Options include hard wired or battery powered. The soft glow from this lighting adds a comfortable, cozy atmosphere. The lights are ideal for enhancing informal occasions when you're relaxing with family and friends.

5. Table Edge Lighting

Adventurous deck lighting ideas combine style and practicality. Thanks to tiny LED bulbs arranged in a long, flexible ribbon, you can add illuminated edging to any item of outdoor furniture.

It's very effective around tables, worktops, stools, and chairs. The lights are bright without being too intrusive. You can use battery or solar energy to make your patio take on a novel appearance as the daylight begins to fade.

6. Pendant Lighting

When you live in a state such as Florida, it's warm enough to spend most of your leisure time outdoors throughout the year. Your patio could be used as an outdoor dining area nearly every evening.

Pendant lights are perfect for concentrated pools of light. For ultimate reliability, they should be permanently fitted

Pendant lights are perfect for concentrated pools of light. For ultimate reliability, they should be permanently fitted. But they'll need to be installed in a secure structure such as a canopy where they'll be protected from adverse weather. 

Choose contemporary designs for a modern home or vintage charm to complement the historic architecture.

7. Solar lanterns

It can be fun to introduce seasonal changes to outdoor lighting. When maintaining your winter garden, why not rearrange the lighting at the same time? It's easy when you invest in portable solar lanterns.

Solar lanterns can be attached to posts, pergolas, or even placed on the decking itself

They can be attached to posts, pergolas, or even placed on the decking itself. You can easily move them as often as you like. The lamps will need to spend several hours each day in direct sunlight to provide an evening of softly glowing illumination.

8. Railing Marker Lights

Elevated decking platforms usually have a protective railing around them. You can turn the barrier into an elegant evening feature by using imaginative patio lighting.

Small LED lights could run along the entire upper edge of the railings. Their soothingly soft glow should soon increase the coziness of your decking area.

Choose a color to compliment your patio furniture. Alternatively, add some fun to your decking with lighting that continually changes color.

9. Illuminated Ceiling Fans

In some states, the heat and humidity of the day never seem to lessen. But an ideal solution could be fitting illuminated ceiling fans into an overhead canopy.

Illuminated ceiling fans is one of the most utilized patio lighting ideas

The fans might need mains electricity. Integral lights save space while creating a streamlined, sophisticated appearance. Position them at either end of your decking to effectively disperse the warm air currents.

10. In-Step Lights

If your home has an elevated deck or porch, it will inevitably have a few steps. You can ensure they look stylish with small lights inserted into each one.

They'll provide clearly defined safety markers when the sun goes down. Use recessed LED lights on the extreme edges of the stairs. They can be set into horizontal panels for direct illumination.

For a more discrete glow, they can be placed in the vertical boards. The light fittings can be powered by mains electricity, battery or solar energy.

Which Power Source is Best for Deck Lighting Ideas?

You need to consider the power source you'll use for your deck lighting. It's an important part of patio design styling ideas. Your plans may be compromised by the architecture of your deck.

Which Power Source is Best for Deck Lighting Ideas

For instance, if your patio doesn't have a sturdy canopy of a pergola, you won't be able to use heavyweight overhead lighting. Safety must always be a major priority when choosing deck lighting ideas. 

These are the main power options:

Hard Wired Lighting

This is one of the patio lighting ideas that's permanently connected to your household electrical circuit. It's a long-term choice for suitable lighting designs.

These could include illuminating a covered, outdoor dining area that might be used throughout the year. It's also ideal for permanent security lights.

Plug In Lighting

It can be an advantage to choose when to plug outdoor lighting into your home's electricity supply. It gives you the freedom to use different forms of lighting such as lamps or strings of fairy lights.

In return, you gain the reliability of constant power. However, safety legislation means the correct socket must be installed by a fully qualified electrician.

You'll need a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet. It must be positioned at a height of 6.5 feet above the ground. It must also be fitted with a waterproof cover that still protects it from rain even when your lights are plugged in.

In addition, when it's specifically for a patio area, you must be able to reach it from inside your house.

Battery Operated Outdoor Lighting

Lighting powered by batteries is versatile and independent, particularly if your decking is located some distance from your property. The lights are initially less expensive than having sockets or hard-wiring installed.

However, there are ongoing running costs as your lighting will only be active for as long as the battery lasts. You can use regular or rechargeable batteries.

NiMH batteries can be recharged up to 2,000 times during their estimated five-year lifespan. Lithium batteries can store more power during each recharge and can be rejuvenated approximately 500 times.

One of the best deck lighting ideas is to choose solar lights

Solar Powered Outdoor Lighting

One of the best deck lighting ideas is to choose solar lights. They are sustainable, renewable, and free of carbon emissions. Solar lighting can be used in any location in your backyard.

There are no plug sockets or electrical cables to worry about. Whenever you want to create a new look for your patio, solar lights can easily be moved or updated to the latest designs. 

Most importantly, there's only the initial purchase cost, as the batteries are recharged by nothing more than the sun's rays. Amazingly, your patio doesn't even need to be in full sun. 

If it's shady, simply place portable solar lamps in a sunny position in your yard during the day, then bring them to the patio when twilight starts to descend.

For more on solar lights, check out our best solar light reviews for 2021

How Does Solar Outdoor Lighting Work?

Solar energy is easily the most versatile and flexible of outdoor deck lighting ideas. You can use it with a clear conscience, as it's environmentally friendly and won't release harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

On average, each solar lamp needs around six hours of bright sunlight to recharge itself. It's usually enough power for up to eight hours of illumination.

But how does this sustainable, renewable lighting work?

How Does Solar Outdoor Lighting Work

Photovoltaic Cells

Inside every solar light, there are miniaturized photovoltaic cells. They'll look similar to the dark gray solar panels fitted to the roof of an increasing number of American homes.

Each tiny cell contains several layers of crystalline silicon. They have the unique ability to actively absorb sunlight and transform it into electrical energy.

Generating Electricity

The power is generated when the warmth from the sunlight activates electrons full of negative energy. In their animated state, they collide and push each other into tiny spaces within the photovoltaic cells.

These empty spaces are positively charged. It's the power of opposites attracting that causes the electrons to produce an electrical charge. It quickly becomes attached to the wiring inside the solar light.

Battery Recharging

The electrical energy passes as a direct current along the wires and enters the battery. It continues to build up at maximum capacity while in direct sunlight.

If it's a cloudy day, the cells can still absorb power from the sun's invisible, ultra-violet rays. However, power storage will be at a reduced level of around 25%.

Automatic Activation

Once evening approaches, your outdoor solar light will automatically switch itself on. It does this through a photoreceptor that is sensitive to light levels and their reduced temperatures. 

The stored power then activates a collection of bulbs known as Light Emitting Diodes (LED). These have a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours, making your solar lighting long-lasting and virtually maintenance-free.

Author Bio 

This post was written by Martin Desmond of Wizer Energy. Martin and his team provide comprehensive Domestic and Commercial PV Systems installation services across Ireland. 

Enjoy Your Outdoor Spot with these Deck Lighting Ideas

Imaginative deck lighting ideas can give your patio an amazing atmosphere at night. There are so many choices to suit every design and purpose.

Plan carefully for permanent, hard-wired, and plug-in lighting, and always have components safely installed. The convenience and versatility of solar lighting are hard to beat.

It enhances your patio with a beautifully soft glow. It's one of the best deck lighting ideas, as it's inexpensive, safe, and environmentally friendly.

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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