Exterior Lighting For Decks
Adding external lights to your deck can make it both more attractive and safer. Fortunately, you have a huge range of different outdoor light fixtures to choose from. Different models are designed to be mounted on posts, railings, stair risers, and other locations to provide the illumination you’re looking for. In many cases, the manufacturers of decking and railing systems have even provided lighting options specifically designed to be integrated with their products. A lot of outdoor lighting options are very simple, electrically speaking, and wiring up basic lights shouldn’t present a challenge to most deck builders.
As noted above, poor deck lighting becomes a genuine safety issue at night. There are plenty of ways to solve this problem! Lights directed downwards are the best solution to the safety issue, as they illuminate stairs without throwing any glare into people’s eyes. Directional lights aimed at the treads are another very effective safety solutions.
Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
Light fixtures mounted on railings or positioned around the perimeter of the deck are useful for making the boundaries of the area clear. This, too, can be a form of safety lighting, warning people about the edge of the deck and the proximity of unsafe areas. Fixtures mounted on post caps put out the most light in every direction, providing plenty of illumination. They also tend to be close to eye level, though, which raises a potential problem with glare.
Lighting fixtures designed for use with decks are mostly wired for 12-volt current rather than the 120-volt line current that is standard for indoor lighting. This minimizes the risk of electrical shock — many deck light installers go so far as to say that injurious shocks are actually impossible with low-voltage lighting. Low-voltage lighting is easily integrated into an existing deck. In most places, an electrician’s license is not required to install it. This means the project is within the reach of any builder and many homeowners. Low-voltage lights don’t produce a large total volume of light, but they also draw a very low amount of power.
Outdoor Solar Lighting
Today many owners elect to go with solar-powered lights on their decks. These fixtures have a number of advantages, with convenience being their strongest. Solar lights have onboard batteries that charge throughout the day. They also don’t need wiring of any kind. Solar lights will need regular battery replacement — roughly every 18 months. Their light output is also even lower than low-voltage lighting, and it can drop even further during extended periods of overcast weather.