Deck Lighting

4 Types of Deck Lighting and Their Advantages

Proper lighting not only makes your deck safer, it makes the space functional for entertainment and relaxation well after the sun goes down. Unlike one blinding flood light, these four distinct types of deck lighting described here serve a dual purpose; they add safety and beauty to your outdoor space.


1. Post, Rail and Stair Lights

Post, rail, and stair lighting ensure that you, your family, and your guests aren’t tripping, fumbling, or groping for support in the dark. Post lights, typically installed as a cap shining outward or downward, are a subtle way to add drama to your space as well as directing eyes towards handrails and borders.


Post, Rail and Stair Lights


Similarly, rail lights clearly mark the border of your deck and highlight it’s beautiful construction. Using colored or color-changing rail lights are an easy way to set different moods for certain occasions.


Rail Lights


Stair lights, typically installed on the vertical riser of the stairs, are the most functional of all three but can add grandeur and warmth to your space.



2. Accent Fixtures

There are countless outdoor fixture options that add drama and style to your deck. But for those that spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s nice to bring part of the indoors with them. Fixtures typically used indoors, like chandeliers for example, create juxtaposition and interest to your space, making it feel like an extension of your home rather than a separate part.


When choosing and installing an accent fixture, ensure it’s rated for outdoor use or has ample protection from the elements.


Accent fixtures


3. Floor Lighting

Installed directing into the floor shining upward, floor lighting is great or decks without railings to mark a clear perimeter. They can be used to stylistically separate spaces with no clear existing separation.  


Floor Lighting


4. Landscape Illumination

If foliage is a focal point of your deck that gets lost without sunlight, landscape illumination can show off your manicured greenery all night. Depending on the plant, landscape illumination can be wrapped around tree branches, placed in pots or installed into the ground. If your deck perimeter is created by shrubs rather than a rail, illuminating them may be an important safety precaution.


Landscape Illumination


The Bottom Line

Most of these deck lighting types are available in both solar and electric form. The amount of sunlight that reaches your deck each day may determine which type you need to achieve a well-lit deck all night.


The first consideration when choosing deck lighting should be safety. And just because it’s functional doesn’t mean it won’t add beauty, dimension, and drama to a dark outdoor space.