Deck Ideas

Accent on Deck Lighting

©California Redwood Association This deck features a lighting system that's incorporated into the lattice-screened storage area underneath. Globe fixtures shed light in all directions.

For nighttime activities on the deck it is a good idea to have proper lighting to assist with tasks such as cooking and dining, to make socializing more pleasurable, and to increase safety, especially on stairs and at level changes. Often, exterior house lights will do the job, especially if the deck lies close to the building; but for aesthetics and maximum enjoyment, lighting specifically designed for the deck is a detail worth having.

On the deck, patio, or anywhere outdoors, low-voltage lighting is the recommended system. It's safe -- even wet or bare wires won't give off a shock -- economical to run, and relatively easy to install. Furthermore, there are a number of choices among low-voltage fixtures that can suit any style deck. Surface/deck lights, for instance, are low-profile fixtures that can be attached horizontally or vertically to a wood surface such as a railing, step, planter box, or bench. Tier lights, which spread light evenly around a given area, can be mounted strategically on the deck floor, at the top and bottom of stairs, and near seating to illuminate the overall space. Floodlights can be used in combination with other lighting to highlight a feature of the deck design, such as the pool or spa, or tie the deck area to the surrounding yard. In fact, like the versatile decks they illuminate, outdoor lighting offers endless possibilities.

For more decorating ideas outside the home, see: