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Outdoor Lighting Trends for Decks

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It’s summer, which means warm evenings under the stars. You've put in the work and now you want to relax on your deck. But warm summer evenings melt into summer nights, which means you’ll need stunning outdoor lighting. A high-quality outdoor lighting company can help you create a great space to hang out with friends and family and enjoy the nighttime sky. 

To help you start planning your dreamy deck, we’ve collected some of the top outdoor lighting trends for decks. Here are 20 ideas to bring some light to your deck design!

Deck Ceiling Fans

Depending on where you live, your deck might get quite warm. Installing a ceiling fan with a light can give you double the punch, as it can provide a breeze and light up dark nights. There are tons of different styles to choose from, and many come with remotes for easy use. 

Deck Floor Lamps

If there isn’t an option to hang or mount a light, a floor lamp can be effective. This is an especially great option if you happen to be renting a home with a deck where you can’t make permanent changes. Some higher-end battery-powered lamps even double as a planter with glowing ambient lighting.

Green Lighting Options

If you’re trying t be “eco-friendly” with your outdoor space, there are several options (see LED and solar lighting options below). You can also opt for “smart” lighting features that will use less energy. 

When deciding on the style of lights for your deck, you may also want to consider the type of light. Low voltage deck lighting is a common option for homeowners. It has the advantage of quick installation and there is a variety of styles from which to make your choice.

Depending on the type of bulb used, low voltage lights tend to produce a soft light. Creating a welcoming environment for your deck.

In-Floor Lighting

In-floor lighting is a sleek way to create ambient light and keep people safe from tripping hazards in the dark. Place lights in deck corners or near steps and seating for the perfect decking/lights combination.

Lanterns

If you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive way to bring light to your deck space, try lanterns. Lanterns with battery-operated or solar bulbs (or even candles!) are portable. That means you can put them where you need them most, and store them away during summer storms.

LED Deck Lights

LED lighting is a great eco-friendly deck lighting option. LEDs use more than 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and produce less heat. They are very durable, having a lifespan that doubles that of traditional lights. Since LED can be more expensive upfront but last a long time, you may only consider investing in LED if you plan to live in your home for a while. 

Low Voltage Lights

Depending on how your home and deck are wired, you may need transformers to step down the voltage from the standard 120 volts to 12 volts. This can mean higher costs for the initial installation compared with other deck lighting ideas, but the maintenance thereafter is less costly and you’ll see a return on your investment. An experienced lighting company can help you plan out this upgrade. 

Overhead Lighting

For homeowners with a covered deck or patio, attaching a battery-powered outdoor-rated flush-mount light to the ceiling is an easy way to incorporate a bright light that shines overhead. Some offer remote controls to make it easier to turn on and off, and others offer options for adjusting the brightness and setting timers. If hard-wiring a light is a possibility, there are even more outdoor-rated recessed lighting choices to fit in with almost every design aesthetic.

Pendant Lighting

When light is needed indoors, many will often switch on a ceiling-mounted light fixture. If there is an overhead structure offering a space for mounting, an outdoor-rated light fixture could be added to brighten the backyard. Battery- and solar-powered pendant lights can easily add a bright light to a deck, whether it’s a lantern-inspired light or a streamlined modern fixture. Making it even easier to light up a deck during a dinner party, some outdoor pendant lights have remote controls.

Pergola Lights

If you have a pergola, you can install string lights or wired light fixtures in the rafters. These hanging deck lights accentuate the architectural elements of the structure. Make the most out of your pergola by adding lights!

Post Cap Lights

Post cap lights work well to integrate lighting into your deck design. They are typically available in both LED and solar-powered varieties. Post cap lights add safe guidance and illumination to your entire outdoor space with the flip of a switch. And solar post cap lighting can increase the security and beauty of your nighttime space without any electricity required! Keep energy costs and installation time low while having consistent brightness with post caps that will help your deck glow.

Recessed Deck Lighting

If your deck has some overhead protection, recessed deck lighting works well. That’s because they are protected from the elements and don’t require constant cleaning. This might even allow you to install more lights without worrying as much about upkeep. 

Solar Lighting

Sometimes a well-placed solar light is all you need. Solar lights are easy on the wallet and can be placed on deck posts, walkways, and even in planter boxes with no wiring required.

Spotlights

Covered deck areas can utilize spotlights to help direct light where it is needed most. You want to see what you’re eating and who you’re socializing with! Spotlights can help highlight specific features of your deck and the surrounding landscape, as well. 

Stair Lights

Lights on deck stairs give subtle illumination and make your deck safer after dark. If you have stairs that will see a lot of use after dark, this is a must-have feature. 

String Lights

Who says Christmas lights are just for the holidays? Hanging deck lights or string lights of various colors can invoke a fun, festive atmosphere on your deck year-round. There are tons of options on the market that won’t look like you’ve recycled holiday lights. From dainty twinkle lights to more robust bistro lights, these string lights can add magic to your deck. 

Under Deck Lighting

If your deck is technically a balcony, ceiling fans with lights are ideal. They look great, plus the air circulation and light make the area more functional. You can also get a little funkier with under-deck lighting to create a hang-out space under the deck.

Under Rail Deck Lighting

Try using solar or LED-powered lights for under rail deck lighting to create a soft glow. This ambient lighting will make your space seem more welcoming and can help add a bit of safety near your railing. 

Under-Table Lighting

If you have an outdoor grilling or cooking area, consider putting lighting underneath your workspaces to help everyone see what they’re doing. Remember, lighting can be a visual feature, but it should also be practical. 

Under-Umbrella Lighting

If your deck is a source of pride and joy, you want to get the most out of entertaining out there. While many decks have wide umbrellas to block out the sun during the day, you might not realize that the umbrella also can be used to hold battery-powered or electric lights at night. These relatively inexpensive lights can hang inside an umbrella or all around the edges to illuminate your deck. 

Update Your Deck with These Lighting Trends

Now that you have an idea of all the options for outdoor lighting it’s time to get planning! Consider what your space needs and what barriers you have to lighting it. For example, does your deck already have power running to it? Does your deck get a lot of summer rain?

Start taking notes and collecting images from magazines and websites to bring your vision to life. And then reach out to one of our TrustDALE certified companies. Because when you use a TrustDALE certified professional, you're always protected by Dale's trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right Guarantee. So start looking for a trusted outdoor lighting professional in your area today!