The week after Thanksgiving was always a big deal growing up for me. It meant the trees came out of the box (yes, my family had artificial trees) and the lights went up outside. We decorated the front of the house, the walkway up to the front door, the bushes, and even the deck. The house was not complete until those red and green lights were wrapped around the deck railings.
During the design phase of a deck you can become lost in a sea of accessories, styles, and furniture. A quick image search for “decks” results in hundreds of thousands of ideas for adornments. It can become a headache. Before you think about adding these amenities to your deck, consider outdoor lights. Deck lighting provides safety by illumining stairs, posts, and other trip hazards.
The most noticeable and biggest fixtures for accent deck lighting are post-cap lights. Post-cap lights are ideal for lighting up stairways and deck entrances. They also act as indicators for middle posts along the edge of the deck.
Not only will post-cap lights enhance the look of your deck, it will add safety to your home. This is ideal for relaxing outdoors after hours!
Usually made to fit over 4×4 or 6×6 posts, some fixtures are made to fit both.
Lights come in many different colors and materials. Whether you want metal, glass, wood or vinyl, post caps come in an array of styles that will match your deck perfectly. You can even order unlighted post caps to match post-cap lights.
Post-cap lights will give your deck the warmth and a gentle glow you’ve been looking for. Check out AdvantageLumber.com for the best post-cap lights for your outdoor space.
A great alternative to too many post-cap lights are side-mount lights. Since they give off a warm glow that pairs well with post caps, side-mount lights are the ideal option to illuminate your deck without blinding anyone.
However, if you seek lighting that is bright enough for task lighting, then you will want to make sure to pair your side-mount lights with post-cap lights.
By using side-mount lights on your deck, there will be no worry of being eye level with a bright light when you’re sitting down. These type of lights mount to the side of the deck post. The ideal height of a side-mount deck light is about 32 in. to 34 in. from the deck surface.
Side-mount lights come in many different ornate styles to match the style of your home effortlessly.
Check out AdvantageLumber.com for our collection of fabulous side-mount deck lighting!
When it comes to your deck-lighting set, you will need to purchase quick-connect fittings to link each fixture to the central supply cable that runs from the transformer. To produce a connection, most connectors are made to perforate the outer layer of the supply cable with two sharp prongs.
Now which connector is right for your deck-lighting set?
Disk connectors are prone to coming loose over time. They sometimes let water get into the system. However, you can mitigate these issues by using electrical tape. We strongly recommend that you consult a licensed electrician if you have never dealt with this type of connector.
Silicone-Filled Snap Connectors:
If you’re looking for weather resistance, then silicone-filled snap connectors are ideal. Their minimal size gives you the ability to join wires without stripping the sheathing. Just keep in mind that silicone-filled snap connectors are only compatible with solid wires. And if you decide to use this connector for multiple deck-lighting applications, then you must use stranded cable.
Weather-resistant wire nuts are a great alternative to quick-connect systems. They come in many sizes to accommodate different wire sizes and combinations of wires. The only downside is that they sometimes don’t stay concealed when you try to run wire under a railing.
Barrel connectors let two wires to be linked together and then can be protected with a weather-resistant heat-shrink tube. They lie flat, which makes them a great option for spots where concealed connections are essential.
Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry! So please consult a licensed electrician if you are not sure what you’re doing!
Check out AdvantageLumber.com for our available deck lighting options.
You’ve bought your stair lighting package. Now where on earth do you install your lighting?
When it comes to lighting your deck staircase, proper installation is a must. Creating shadows or blinding light can lead to safety hazards. After all, tripping isn’t a good look for anyone, no matter how well you bounce back. Make sure to add extra lighting if your stairs are built with darker looking deck materials.
Recessed fixtures are the best solution to steer clear of stair accidents. You will want covered or louvered fixtures that direct light down so they don’t distract people walking up the stairs.
You also don’t want your light to overlap, which means you need to avoid placing fixtures on sporadic sides of a staircase.
Height placement of your fixture allows for wider illumination. Be sure to center your light fixtures over the riser, rather than the tread, so it will illuminate multiple steps and not just one.
If you follow these few guidelines, your deck will be well lit and safe! Check out the available deck lighting options today.
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect light fixture for your deck, you may be wondering what type of bulb is right for you.
Incandescent Bulb Pros:
Incandescent bulbs are light on your wallet with their low pricing. They even come in many different shapes and wattages. These types of bulbs also emit softer and warmer lighting than LEDs.
Incandescent Bulb Cons:
A downside to incandescent bulbs is that they only last for about 1,000-2,000 hours of use. Another disadvantage is that 95% of the energy they absorb is released as heat. Not only are they wasting energy, but it will cost you more money in the long run, since you have to replace them more often.
LED Bulb Pros:
Unlike Incandescent bulbs, LEDs have a much longer lifespan, ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 hours of use. LED bulbs do not burn out, but dim over time. This means that your bulbs can last roughly 400 to 4,000 days, or 1 to 11 years!
LED Bulb Cons:
If you do not use mirrors or reflective surfaces, the light emitted focuses in one direction and therefore might not be as warm on your eyes at night. Another drawback is that LED bulbs are more expensive because you pay for the bulb, the housing and the electric circuit. Despite the initial cost, many people choose LED bulbs because they value the environmental benefits and the long-term savings.
Whether you choose LED bulbs or Incandescent bulbs, make sure that they are covered. You should also purchase extra bulbs so you have back up, should you need them. Check out our deck lighting page to see your available options.