HomeOutdoor Living Blog14 Deck Lighting Ideas to Illuminate Your Outdoor Space

14 Deck Lighting Ideas to Illuminate Your Outdoor Space

February 28, 2023
A sunset view of a lakeside patio with post cap lights illuminating the space.

From conversations over drinks to relaxing with a good book, your deck is the perfect backyard retreat. All it needs is a touch of lighting to enjoy the view after sunset. Not only does deck lighting increase visibility after dusk, but it adds an attractive radiance to completely transform the look and feel of the space.

When it comes to deck lighting, the options are limitless. Whether you’re looking to add charm or make the space more enchanting and inviting, a little light can go a long way. No matter what deck style you envision, make sure lighting is a part of the design process

Read on to draw inspiration from different deck lighting ideas for your space.

In This Article:

Built-in deck lighting

Permanent or built-in lighting solutions are great investments, offering instant illumination and weather durability. After proper installation and wiring, you reap both functional and aesthetic benefits.

1.) Use in-deck lights

A deck walkway with lights installed in floorboards and risers for safe steps.

After sunset, it can be hard for visitors to navigate around your deck. With path lighting, you can indicate direction and safely guide guests around the space. Have a pro install in-deck lights within the walkways of your deck as a clever way to brighten the path.

TimberTech Tip:
Extend the in-deck lighting around the entire perimeter of your deck to enhance the architectural design of your outdoor space.

2.) Brighten the stairway

Outdoor deck stairs with riser lights installed in each step.

Use riser lights as attractive yet subtle stairway additions to prevent stumbles and ensure safe steps. Install them cascading down deck stairs or as a focal point to illuminate multiple stairs at once. 

3.) Add under-counter lighting

A deck with outdoor grilling and dining areas with illustrations highlighting the opportunity for under-counter lighting.

For outdoor kitchens or grilling areas, lights beneath the counters can help keep the workspace well-lit for eating. Install built-in lights or simple LED strip lights under the countertop edges to create the perfect al fresco dining scene.

4.) Consider post cap lights

Two lounge chairs on an outdoor deck with post cap lights providing a gentle glow.

Enhance the look and feel of your posts by attaching decorative post cap lights. These softly lit ring lights add a touch of elegance to railing posts while providing a line of sight on your deck. Opt for solar-powered post caps to skip the wiring and save on energy.

5.) Install under-rail lighting

Want to make your deck rails more distinct? Accentuate them with under-rail lights. These discreetly placed lights are an easy way to highlight rail designs while also increasing visibility of the floor below.

6.) Opt for recessed lights

A pergola over a deck and furniture features recessed ceiling lights.

Versatile and popular, recessed lighting works for any space size and design, such as covered patios. Since they’re installed directly inside the surface, recessed lights are protected from weather elements and require little maintenance. Install them anywhere your deck needs light, or use them to accentuate a dark material.

Decorative deck lighting

If you’re looking to level up your outdoor aesthetic, you can find lighting decor that complements the design and style of your deck. Ideally, these creative accents can double as both deck decoration and a light source. 

7.) Fire up the torch lights

Place torch lights on your deck and around the yard for quick and easy lighting sources. Fiery and festive, torch lights come in a variety of unique designs that are as decorative as they are functional. From backyard movie nights to evening cookouts, these lights provide visibility beyond the deck. Fill them with citronella oil — a natural insect repellent — to keep mosquitoes and other nighttime critters at bay.

8.) Use bistro lights

A backyard view of a townhouse with bistro lights above deck.

Do you have a covered patio feature or roof extension? Hang bistro lights to create a welcoming ambience for your family and friends. String them above your deck for an overhead twinkle, or extend them from the roof of your home to the trees for a soft glow across the lawn.

9.) Illume the umbrellas

If your deck boasts big umbrellas, adorn them with string lights. They’re inexpensive and easy to hang, creating a festive feel for the evening. Softly lit deck umbrellas are sure to keep the conversations going after sunset.

TimberTech Tip:
Look for lights labeled “weatherproof,” “weather-resistant,” or “suitable for outdoor use” to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

10.) Try a floor lamp

Even in outdoor living areas, floor lamps can serve as great statement pieces and focal points. From planters to ceramics, you can find floor lamps in many unique styles that both complement your deck design and add a gentle hue.

11.) Create candlelit ambiance

Deck seating area with candles atop a small, ornate table.

Working with a smaller space? A few candles can provide a warm, romantic flicker. Switch up the look by displaying various sized candles in different glasses, including battery-powered options for wind-resistance.

TimberTech Tip:
Anything with an open flame requires close attention and should never be left unattended, especially with children or pets around. Create a safe yet stylish look using enclosed candle holders made of heat-resistant material, such as metal or ceramic. 

Mounted deck lighting

Mounted light fixtures are an easy way to maximize space on your deck while still providing ample lighting for the evening. Since these lights are up and out of reach, there’s more freedom to upgrade or redesign your deck layout as desired.

12.) Light up the lanterns

Easy and portable, lanterns work well in both large and small spaces. Strategically place them around your deck to create a gentle, inviting vibe. They don’t require any installation, but be sure lanterns are placed out of reach for children and pets, or consider LED alternatives.

13.) Hang overhead lights

For covered patios or decks, overhead lights are the easiest way to brighten a space. You can suspend pendant lights from ceiling fixtures to provide a stylish and functional addition. Pendant lights come in various styles, with many remote-powered options for ease of use.

14.) Install a lighted ceiling fan

A ceiling over a deck features a ceiling fan and light fixture.

Keep your deck cool and breezy during summer evenings by installing a ceiling fan with a light. Ceiling fan lights are a practical way to increase visibility while also circulating air on warm, humid nights.

Now that you have deck inspiration to spark creativity, it’s time to visualize these deck lighting ideas in your own outdoor living space. Launch our 3D Deck Designer to customize every element of your deck — including lighting — and curate a cozy outdoor escape to enjoy after hours.

Turn your deck dream into design

Play with shapes, colors, lighting, and railing to bring your deck ideas to life with our custom Deck Designer tool.

Scroll to Top