Tips on Adding Decks Lights to Your Virginia Deck

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

Deck lighting extends the enjoyment of this outdoor living space and adds value to your Virginia deck. But smart design and expert installation are required to make the most of this feature. Learn how to detect inferior products and consider the ideal type of deck lighting for your home before you hang up modern day patio lanterns.

Where to Install Deck Lighting

You can find several types of deck lighting on the market, and each style works well in different areas of the structure. Recessed low voltage lights can be mounted flush with the deck surface to create a well lit border or illuminate the stairs. Other styles fit into railing posts and overhead features. Check out this quick primer on possible locations for deck lights and the styles that suit:

  • Deck surface – recessed styles provide a low profile look that also prevents tripping, but higher fixtures can be installed around the perimeter of the deck surface without becoming an obstruction.
  • Stair tread and Stair face – Smaller recessed fixtures work best in both the stair face and tread, and should always maintain a smooth surface. Be sure to look for brands with high quality lenses to prevent breakage on this high traffic area.
  • Railings - Mount globe fixtures or rods onto the handrail or along the railing post to light up this section of your Virginia deck. Railing post caps also provide an excellent spot for deck lighting and many manufacturers offer solar cap lights and lanterns that add beauty with little to no additional maintenance.
  • Pergola or Roof – Overhead features provide plenty of space for deck lights, including recessed fixtures within the beams or ceiling, globe fixtures on the rim of your roof or hanging lanterns.
  • Walls or Privacy Screens – Mount light fixtures to your house wall or privacy screen for more substantial illumination. These fixtures can be sconces or extend from the vertical surface to provide overhead lighting. Consider units that combine deck lighting and heaters for year-round enjoyment of your outdoor living space.

Where to Find Quality Deck Lighting

Deck lights are available at most building supply stores and many specialty stores. Remember that you will get what you pay for, and products with a solid warranty offer the best value.
Pay attention to the specifications. Low voltage lighting requires a transformer, unless the system is hard-wired into your home. Look for transformers with photocells that power up as evening falls and turn off when natural light exists.

Solar lighting is a growing industry, and many big name manufacturers offer solar deck lighting in a variety of styles. Surface-mount, pillars, post cap lights and even lighting strands provide an array of selection for consumers looking to add low cost, environmentally friendly lights to their yard. You may have to bring solar lights in for the winter, although some of the more durable varieties can withstand the freeze and thaw cycle of a Virginia winter.

Add deck lights to your Virginia deck for more opportunities to enjoy this cozy space. Think about where to mount the lighting and find a good quality brand to enhance the value and comfort of your backyard.

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