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Installation & Maintenance

Deck Lighting Ideas to Brighten Up Your Outdoor Living Space

DIY Decking Series – Part VI

January 21 2020
deck lighting outdoor lighting DIY deck lighting
TimberTech deck lighting ideas kona composite feature image.png

In part six of our DIY decking series, we’re shining the light on permanent outdoor illumination, discussing the benefits of different kinds of lighting, and breaking down important tips for installation.

If you’ve been following our DIY series, you’ve learned all about the benefits to bringing a capped composite or polymer deck to your backyard, ideas for designing and installing your own DIY deck, as well as the premium performance of our composite and metal railings. At this point in the planning stage, you’re almost ready to put the finishing touches on your outdoor oasis, but there’s one more important element to consider: outdoor lighting.

Picture it: It’s a warm summer evening, and you and the family have just finished dinner. You’re relaxing comfortably on your new TimberTech® deck, enjoying crisp lemonade and fresh berries with guests while the kids play soccer in the backyard. The sun is sinking, but you don’t want the party to stop.

Thanks to TimberTech deck lighting, it doesn’t have to.

Read on to learn about the different types of lighting you can install to complement your new deck, then start building inspiration around deck lighting ideas to brighten your space.

Keep the Future of Your Deck Bright With Upfront Installation

Even if you don’t want deck lighting right now, it’s important to pull the wires to keep the option open for future enhancements — wiring your deck for lighting at the onset will keep the installation much easier down the road. While installation will vary based on the type of lighting you choose, there are still some important considerations and safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Turn off/unplug all wiring during installation.
  • Do not operate a luminaire fitting with a missing or damaged cover.
  • Building codes vary by locale, so please consult all applicable codes before beginning a project.
  • Modifications must be made to railing components during assembly to accommodate wiring and fixtures. For lighting that involves railing, be sure to read all lighting instructions carefully before assembling.
  • A maximum of 40 watts can be applied to a single circuit, and no more than 90 watts should be applied to the transformer. Please refer to the chart below for the wattage of each fixture.
  • The 16AWG secondary supply wire can be buried to a maximum of 6 inches for routing under deck or other obstacles. The luminary (unit secondary) wires cannot be buried underground.
Swipe within the table below to compare
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____
Fixture Wattage
Accent 2 watts
Mini Accent 1 watt
In-Deck 1 watt
Lighted Island Cap 2 watts
Post Cap Light 4 watts
Stair Riser 2 watts
Under Rail 2 watts

For the installation of TimberTech lighting, you will need the following, in addition to a basic tool set:

  • Spade bits: 5/8-inch, 3/4-inch, 1-inch
  • Allen wrench: 2.5 millimeter
  • Drill bits: 3/8-inch, 7/64-inch, 1/4-inch

For more details about lighting installation, please review our Lighting Installation Guide.

Accent Deck Lighting Ideas

TimberTech deck lighting ideas accent light.jpg

Accent lights are just one of the many lighting options available to you as the owner of a composite deck. Starting with accent lighting, this section breaks down the compatibility of our luminous product lines with different railing and deck features, highlights the benefits to each, and underscores installation best practices.

Works With

Composite railing posts, Impression Rail Express® 

Benefits to This Lighting

Subtly highlights posts and transition points to boost safety while evoking a gentle atmosphere

Installation Notes

  • To provide clearance for wiring between the post and post cover, you must create a wire channel. Remember: Do not route a wire channel where a rail is to be mounted.
  • If you plan to install a post-mounted accent light, you must route a slot down the post to the desired fixture position.

In-Deck Lighting Ideas

TimberTech deck lighting ideas in-deck light.jpg

Works With

Capped composite and capped polymer decking and fascia boards

Benefits to This Lighting

Flush mounting promises unencumbered steps, and the gentle glow cultivates an inviting atmosphere

Installation Notes

  • Locate and mark the centerline of the deck board where the in-deck light will be mounted.
  • On the desired point of the center line, use a 1-inch spade it to create a through hole (taking care not to drill into the substructure).
  • Guide the light’s wire into the through hole.
  • Push the lighting fixture into the through hole until the flange touches the deck surface.
  • The wire connections can then be made under the deck’s surface.

Lighted Island Cap

TimberTech deck lighting ideas Lighted island cap.jpg

Works With

Premier Railing®, RadianceRail®, Trademark Rail™

Benefits to This Lighting

Showcases the craftsmanship of your railing while lending a warm glow to all four sides of the cap

Installation Notes

  • The Lighted Island Cap is preassembled. Installation simply requires the wires to be properly connected and the unit placed onto the post.
  • When running wires through the post, be sure to run wires up the corner voids created by the post cover ribs.

Post Cap Light

TimberTech deck lighting ideas post cap light.png

Works With

Premier Railing®, RadianceRail®, Trademark Rail™, RadianceRail Express®, and Impression Rail Express®

Benefits to This Lighting

Elegantly brings a softly glowing halo of light to the start of stairs and railings

Installation Notes

  • Post cap lights must be installed after the rail assembly has been completed.
  • When routing the main wire around the deck, leave a loop of extra wire at the top of each post to allow for splicing connections.
  • Use silicone-filed wire nuts with corrosion protection and which are intended for outdoor use to make all connections. They should be copper, copper alloy, or the equivalent.

Riser Light
TimberTech deck lighting ideas riser light.jpg

Works With

Capped composite and capped polymer risers

Benefits to This Lighting

Enhances safety while lighting the steps of your deck while keeping the illumination gentle and discreet

Installation Notes

  • Locate and mark vertical and horizontal centerlines for the Riser Light location. Level the back plate and then use the back plate as a template to locate the center of the hole for the wire.
  • Securing housing to the back plate using the set screw with a 2.5-millimeter Allen wrench.

Under-Rail Lights

TimberTech deck lighting ideas under rail and post cap lights.jpg
Works With

Premier Railing®, RadianceRail®, Trademark Rail™ and Reserve Rail™

Benefits to This Lighting

Traces a warm, glowing border to your outdoor living space and is conveniently hidden on the underside of your top rail

Installation Notes

  • Choose the location for the Under-Rail Light so it is centered in the balusters.
  • Drill a 3/8-inch hole to feed the wire through the support rail.
  • Feed the wire and mount the light to the recessed support rail, making sure the light is tilted in at 15 degrees.
  • Trim excess wire length and make a wire connection to the main circuit wire using the nuts provided.

Whether you’re looking to bring a warm glow to your evening gatherings, increased visibility to your stairways and transition points, or underscore the clean of your composite deck, we have the deck lighting ideas you need. It’s just how we’re wired.  

Spotlight Your Vision

Design — and illuminate — your dream deck with Deck Designer’s lighting options.