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Design & Planning

Best Lighting Solutions for Outdoor Decking

August 28 2017
Lighting Design & Planning

If inadequate lighting forces you to head indoors after dusk, chances are you’re not taking full advantage of your deck. Incorporating lighting options into your deck design or adding lights to an existing deck isn’t difficult to do, but the difference in appearance and functionality can be dramatic. With proper lighting, your deck will not only look beautiful in the evening, but it will also provide you with several additional hours of enjoyment per day. Here are six lighting solutions that will quickly add beauty and functionality to your deck. 

Landscape Lighting 

One way to add a sense of enchantment to your outdoor living space is to use railing lights and uplighting for trees planted near the deck. These types of lights are low-voltage, meaning they rely on a transformer to convert your home’s standard 120-volt current into 12-volt current. Most outdoor low-voltage lighting is packaged with an appropriate transformer, but if adding one to a new system or replacing an old one, confirm that the new transformer is sized appropriately for the wattage. 

 String Lights 

String lights are inexpensive, and they offer an easy way to add some style and charm to your deck without having to call an electrician. While white lights provide an elegant, traditional look, there are now many inexpensive string-light sets that allow you use a television-style remote to easily choose anything from a soft white to a full spectrum of colors at the touch of a button. Please note: Any lights, extension cords, and any other electrical accessories rated for outdoor use will clearly state that capability on the exterior packaging. Never use any electrical accessories that are not specifically approved for outdoor use.  


Like string lights, stringed lanterns lend a festive feel to the deck and there’s no need to conceal the wiring. Each of these options comes in a wide variety of styles and sizes, including both standard lights that plug directly into an outlet, and low-voltage lights that use 12-volt current. Solar-powered lanterns are also available, but they tend to be more expensive than the plug-in variety, and many do not glow as brightly or for as long as hard-wired options. 

Stairway Riser Lighting 

One part of the deck where lighting often comes as an afterthought is the  step risers  leading up or down from the deck surface. Lighting your stairs makes the path to your deck all the more inviting. More importantly, adding riser lights to your deck’s steps makes your deck a safer place for everyone. Some municipalities require them as they are considered essential safety features. Even if your deck wasn’t designed and constructed with built-in step lights, you can add motion-activated, battery-operated lights on each step landing. The batteries typically last for up to a year. 

In-Deck Lights 

Although most deck lighting is designed to illuminate the deck area from the top-down,  in-deck lights  are installed  flush withi n the deck boards themselves, thus providing soft, ambient light from the ground-up. In order to set up these lights, the power cord is strung along the bottom of the boards and light emitters are inserted into tiny holes which are drilled into the boards. These lights are cool to the touch, and because they are housed in waterproof fixtures, they’re safe and protected regardless of the weather. 

Accent Lighting 

The vast range of styles available for deck  accent lighting  allows you to have full control when it comes to highlighting your decks best features. From low-voltage on-post fixtures to  under-rail lights, there are endless options available for adding accent lights to an existing deck. The cost of the project will depend on the size of your deck, how many lights you’ll be installing, and whether or not you are hiring a professional to do the installation. 

 Post Cap Lights 

Post cap lights  are built-in to the posts on the deck, where they provide much-needed illumination at the edge of your deck. These lights produce a slow glow so they are easy on the eyes, but bright enough to make your deck safer and more elegant at night. 

TimberTech has a complete line of high-impact, low-energy lighting solutions for your deck. To learn more about our products, simply visit your nearest  TimberTech dealer,  request a catalog, or give us a call at 1-877-275-2935.