Do I Need Lighting On My Deck?
Local building codes vary on how much lighting they require. One standard, though: the International Residential Code requires exterior stairs to have a light somewhere on the top landing. Local building codes can sometimes require more stair lighting. We always recommend checking in with your city before starting a project to make sure you meet local and state building codes.
Deck lighting is an important safety feature - on a well-lit deck, your guests will always be able to see where they are walking, even at night. But lighting is also a huge upgrade to both your deck’s function and its appearance. A good outdoor lighting setup adds usable hours to your deck, allowing you to relax longer, keep your family dinner outdoors through dessert, or enjoy a hot cup of coffee on your deck even as the days grow shorter in fall and winter. Deck lighting also turns your deck into a grand, welcoming space, accenting the beauty you’ve already added to your outdoor living area. If you love the deck you’ve created, give it the perfect cherry on top with the soft glow of a carefully-designed outdoor lighting setup.
What's The Difference Between Solar Lighting And Low Voltage Lighting?
Low voltage lighting plugs in to your home’s electricity, while solar lighting operates on batteries that automatically recharge during the day.
Both solar and low voltage lighting can be great options to brighten up your deck and outdoor space. Thinking about your specific deck needs can help you find the right system for you.
Low voltage lighting is an extremely reliable setup that provides consistent light to your space. Wiring up low voltage lighting is easy - it’ll typically require a transformer that plugs in to any standard wall outlet and converts your home’s 110-volt electrical current down to a 12-volt level that’s ideal for outdoor lighting. Low voltage lighting will connect to your transformer. You can typically hide the wires in your deck railing. Low voltage lights can also use dimmers or timers to customize your light to your space.
Solar lighting is incredibly easy to install - you likely won’t need to do any wiring at all. Many solar lights - solar post caps, for example - include a solar collection panel built in and already connected to your lights. Solar lights usually operate on a photocell that automatically senses ambient light and turns your deck lights on at night and off again during the day. Solar light batteries charge in the sunlight during the day for steady illumination overnight. Solar lights are a very cost-effective option, they’re easy to install, and they make your deck eco-friendly and energy-efficient.
How Can I Tell If A Light Is Cool White Or Warm White?
It can be difficult to tell what color tone a light will have before it’s installed. One helpful hint is to look for the color temperature, measured in Kelvins:
A cool, bright white light
A warm white light with yellow tones
Are Deck Lights Worth It?
Lighting is an amazing upgrade to your deck space for both looks and functionality. Unlit decks and outdoor spaces are limited by daylight hours - no matter how beautiful and comfortable you’ve made your deck, no one can enjoy it in the pitch dark.
Adding lighting effectively buys you more time. Dinners on your deck can extend through drinks and dessert. You can enjoy late-night chats with family and friends within the soft glow of your deck lights under a grand night sky. You can watch the sun come up with a hot cup of coffee. For grillmasters, your outdoor kitchen won’t have to close at sundown. Even as seasons change and days get shorter, early sunsets won’t encroach on your deck time.
Lighting is also a showstopper that takes your deck from just beautiful to simply awe-inspiring. We love tailoring our selection of deck lights to your personal style. From the unique character of post cap lights to the visual appeal of under rail lighting to the focused, spotlight nature of recessed lighting and stair lighting, your deck lights are the perfect cherry on top of your desired deck look.
Can I Leave Deck Lights Out All Year?
Outdoor deck lights are built to withstand the elements. At DecksDirect, we only carry durable, high-quality products made to last through rainy and snowy weather. We include installation instructions and project guidance to make sure that your plan is built for your local climate, and that all your lights get installed properly. Give us a call at 1-888-824-5316 to get started on your personalized deck lighting designs!
Can I Install My Own Deck Lights?
Absolutely! For those of us who aren’t electricians, wiring can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, outdoor lights are simple to install, and getting even easier as more and more quick-install options appear on the market.
If you’re worried about installing your own lighting, we’d recommend picking solar lighting options, as they’re generally easier to install. You can also shop for low voltage lights that run on a “plug and play” system. If you give our team a call at 1-888-824-5316, we’d be happy to help you create a lighting plan that will be completely doable for you!
How Do I Wire Outdoor Lights?
What Size Transformer Do I Need For My Lights?
Each lighting transformer can only power a certain number of lights. Transformers will list “wattage” or “output wattage.” This is the amount of power the transformer can distribute to all the lights attached to it.
When you browse our transformers, you’ll find varying wattage levels. Here’s how to figure out what size transformer you’ll need for your project:
- Figure out how many lights you want to run off of this transformer
- Add up the wattages of each of those lights
- Take the total wattage of all lights times 1.1 to find the minimum transformer size you’ll need
If your wattage requirements are high, consider splitting up your lighting between multiple transformers. Our team, available by phone at 1-888-824-5316, loves to connect with customers and help design a lighting plan, so you can plug everything in with peace of mind that your setup will be safe and bright.
Can I Install Lights In My Deck Floor?
Yes, you can. It’s easy to recess lights into your deck floor to illuminate walkways and highlight the edges of your outdoor living space. Most recessed stair lights can also be installed directly into your deck surface. Our team is committed to the DecksDirect value of Real People, Real Service - give us a call at 1-888-824-5316 to talk with a real deck project planner who can guide you through recessed lighting installation.
Where Can I Install Lighting On My Deck?