Can it get more romantic than sharing moments with your better half on the ipe outdoor decking under the moonlight? But what if there’s no moon? How about the moments you want to cook, eat, read, engage in all sorts of activities that would require some form of lighting?
It is in these moments when the value of proper outdoor lighting is highly appreciated. So, let’s start over. You can enjoy moments under the moonlight all you want, but you do need some deck lighting to make your life easy, the space safe, the ambiance suitable.
Ready to get deck lighting? Read these tips first
You will be happy to know that the deck lighting ideas are numerous. But here are some tips on how to choose yours.
- Consider the distance from the house to the outdoor decking. The farther the deck is located, the darker it will be. And so, you’ll need good lighting.
- Is the deck covered or not? If there’s a wooden pergola, it can also host the lighting. If not, you need to consider where to put the lighting.
- Is this a big cedar outdoor decking? A small deck? A multi-level deck? The size, the shape, the levels of the deck will also be taken into account when you are trying to decide on many lights you need, their layout, etc.
- Do you need lights for a particular spot on the deck? For example, you may have an outdoor kitchen, where proper lighting is required for cooking.
- Consider your habits and the activities you engage in. If, for example, you like to read outside, you need some bright lighting.
- Safety above all. Not all decks are the same or limited to one tiny area outside the home. Some decks are very large, have staircases, even go around the house. It’s a matter of safety to have lights on each step of the staircase, the pool deck area, on the sides of the house, etc.
Best deck lighting ideas and options
The beautiful wooden rafters of your custom pergola are the perfect spot to hang lights. You can use string lights or wired fixtures to create a nice design.
If there are trees around, they can also be used as the host of the deck lighting. You can even decorate the overhanging tree with Christmas lights and lit them whenever you want to get into the holiday spirit. Who said that Christmas lights are reserved just for the holidays? But don’t forget that such options are useful to create ambiance – not read.
String lights are ideal for nearly any surface, any spot around the deck. You can lace them around a tree or the pillars of the pergola, put them on the wall, place them at the deck railing, etc.
Under counter/rail lighting
Place lights under the outdoor kitchen countertop, under tables, under the rails – they will provide extra brightness and also, create a very nice ambiance.
Is there a roof over your outdoor deck? If so, the place is far more protected and so, the outdoor lighting choices innumerable. For example, you can use recessed lighting or even hang pendants.
In-floor lights work well for extra illumination and safety. They are perfect for the area around the railing – the edges of the deck. They are also ideal for stairs, the pathways, or around the pool deck area.
Can you imagine the outdoors without lanterns? They are inexpensive and portable – hence, an excellent solution for just about anywhere on or around the deck – on tables, on the outdoor kitchen counter, in walkways, on the edge parts of the deck – just name it.
Last minute tips to choose the right deck lighting
Don’t forget that no matter how secluded and protected, this is still an outdoor decking. Therefore, you need to purchase outdoor lighting – not just any lighting.
Then, choose different types of lighting – in terms of the brightness. Yes, the outdoors is best enjoyed in relaxed lighting and warm colors, but you will need some bright lights to read, cook, feel safe.
The outdoor lighting fixtures come in all sorts of styles and types. You can get strings, spots, downlights, rail lights, recessed, up-lights, etc. And it’s best to have a deck contractor take care of all the wiring and installation – to avoid a mess with the cables and most importantly, to avoid accidents.
Last tip but certainly not the least important, focus on your architectural style. The good news is that today there are lots and lots of deck lighting choices for all tastes and styles – mid-century, contemporary, classic…Why not lit up in style?