A really good decking area, with maybe a pool, grill area and stairs can be a really important for the overall look, value and enjoyment of your home and garden. Put together well it will look simply stunning and provide an enjoyable outdoor space come rain or shine. But an integral part of the design should be a well thought out deck lighting scheme. Putting together all those deck lighting ideas is essential to get the maximum use and maximum safety out of the decking area.
Most of the deck lighting ideas you can look at are really down to practicality, budget, skill levels and your personal taste. Not everyone is an electrician who can easily put together great low voltage deck lighting. Not everyone can afford the latest designer LED deck lights either. But having said that, there are some great general themes, for outdoor deck lighting ideas, that we can have a look at first of all.
Why Pick LED Deck Lights For Your Deck Lighting Ideas?
First of all what kind of deck lights should you have. To my mind, the majority if not all have to be LED deck lighting. For deck lighting ideas, they are unbeatable. The range of different designs on offer now is just incredible. They range from functional and quirky to vintage and contemporary. LED lights are also much longer lasting, use less energy, whether low voltage or solar and don’t heat up if you have children around. You certainly won’t be short of LED deck lighting ideas if you choose them.
Here is a thorny subject amongst home and decking owners. There is little love lost or ground given in this discussion over low voltage deck lighting ideas and solar deck lighting ideas. To me it doesn’t have to be this way. For a start you can easily mix them up and have a combination of great deck lighting. I think that you have the reliability of low voltage deck lights in areas where security and safety are a premium. Then buying the cheapest deck solar lighting in less critical areas can be a great compromise to use. Remember though you will have to find somewhere for that low voltage lighting transformer if going for 12v deck lighting ideas
You can’t have your solar deck lighting running out of charge and guests or family members taking a tumble. Similarly, deck solar lighting should be in areas where getting or arranging wiring would be a pain or dangerous, and around wet areas, such as pools and ponds. The in between bit can be whatever is easiest and fits your budget. Certainly if your deck lighting ideas come after deck installation, then solar LED deck lights will be the only really sensible option.
The combination of the solar and LED of course means that you get the best of both worlds. saving money on bills and getting the charge in the rechargeable batteries to last longer into the night as well. Fortunately I have found that by searching around online a bit then the cheaprst deck solar lighting is also usually LED driven lighting as well.
Deck Lighting Ideas by Type
So Lets have a look at some of the main ideas you can use in your decking to create an effect and really show it off properly
These are available in a wide variety of styles. The more traditional lights, made mainly for safety, have shrouds and vents to direct the lights onto the steps themselves, to stop people going up the stairs being dazzled.
But more modern designs are softer and have allowed a more striking and beautiful design. Simple round step lights in sets both in the risers and at the sides provide ample light and a lot of style.
These post top deck lights are really best as solar designs. This avoids having to rout your lovely decking posts for wiring. Styles vary from the cheap post caps made by Moonrays to classic vintage design, even as far as coaching lamp classics. Obviously the type of post cap will depend on your budget. You could also have a look at a fantastic stained glass model by Pine Top or the Dekorators pewter post cap with a cedar base
Most solar post cap deck lights come in a standard 4×4 size to fit a standard end or corner post. If you have a white wood decking, then you can get a white solar cap for that as well. Low voltage lighting ideas for post tops are just as fascinating and well crafted if you want to go that way. In fact they can be even more stylish than their solar counterparts. Maxim lighting for instance do a charming burnished aluminium design.
More subtle than their post top cousins, deck lighting ideas incorporating these down lighters really pile on the atmosphere. They can also function well for safety, usually being attached low down on railing posts or stairway balustrades. They are available in materials from plastic to burnished copper and wrought iron and what you want, will very much depend on your budget.
Umbrella lights are great for more intimate or relaxed gatherings or just for general use. As they are LED lights, they also don’t attract the insect underneath either.
In fact the Rite Lite LPL1040BX Wireless 40 LED Umbrella Light is one of THE biggest selling and best rated garden lighting items on Amazon.com.
These are probably going to be the most prolific in your deck lighting designs, lighting the main decking areas as up lighters. The idea is to produce a soft and diffused light that illuminates without blinding as you walk across them. The cheapest recessed solar deck light kits come in sets of 20 or so, to give you the most leverage for your dollar.
|Those really are the main types of lights you can look at for your deck lighting ideas. There are others, such as brick lights and paver lights which you can look at. Seagull and Kichler do a good range of these, but they are more of a fringe player light. Concentrate on getting the big boys right and you will have an amazing decking suitable for the best parties, or the best relaxation, or both.|
Its summer. It’s hot. It’s time for outdoor parties and fun. Get your patio or decking lit up with some cool outdoor disco lights and you’ve got a winner.
Now depending how old you are depends what your disco ideas are. Is it the great days of afros, platform shoes and the 70’s or the thumping house tunes of the twentieth century or a mix of both? Whatever is your flavor having great disco lights really turns a party into great disco with little effort and expense.
So what we have done at The Outdoor Lighting Guide is find you 5 great ideas for disco party lights that will do the business
Lighting to the music beat that fits in the palm of your hand. Its bright laser lights can be set to change with the beat and provide a simple colorful show. Works especially well if you have a bit of dry ice or a fog machine to set the atmosphere
2 year warranty portable and fits in the palm of your hand for less than $30
Now you just can’t have a disco outdoor or otherwise without having a mirror ball. As outdoor disco lights go, it’s just a totally must have.
This one is 8 inch diameter, good reviews and the motor can run on batteries which is perfect for your outside disco party. Comes complete with pin spot and 4 color gel filters. So good to go straight out of the gate. You can even put it on a tabletop if you don’t have anywhere to hang it
Okay so this isn’t exactly outdoor disco lighting but I saw it and thought…Yes!!. If you really want a super atmospheric party then this is the baby. It will really set the mood and set off the lights you use.
Great bargain as well. At the time of writing this it’s at 62% off so comes in under $30. You’ll have to get in quick though
This is where it gets down to basics. 10m of waterproof LED strip lights with 3M self adhesive backing. It has multiple colors and these can be changed with a remote. Perfect for framing the dance floor.
Use in long strips for great effect. If you do cut it note you will need an additional controller box. You can buy shorter lengths which can be added. See the FAQ in the details for these
For those of your who don’t want to go the full hog on the big 8 inch mirror ball above then this could be for you. 10 mini mirrorballs each 2 ¼ inch with foot spacing between them. Each one has led lights which shine through the mirrored tiles and change colors.
They are also battery operated making them flexible, portable and perfect to whip out quickly as disco party lights or just for general decoration
Part of the decision making game, when planning any deck lighting design, is whether to go for solar deck lighting or low voltage deck lighting options. Each has there merits and supporters. Each has there advantages and disadvantages over the other. Now I am not here to definitely tell you to choose one over the other. That would be insulting your intelligence. Instead let’s have a look at some of the basic principles and let you make your own choice based on the facts.
Safety Of Deck Lighting
The safety of your deck area should be your number one consideration. For a start there is the welfare of you, your family and visitors to consider. Secondly you have to think about meeting the various building code requirements. Finally there is your liability and your insurance coverage to satisfy.
Now many home owners out there worry about this and especially the chance of any outdoor solar deck lighting failing. By failing that usually means the fear of the solar powered deck lighting running out of their charge that has been built up in the daylight hours. Now this would be rare, providing the panel was exposed enough, but it could happen. Low voltage deck lighting does not have this worry, except in the event of a power cut.
Let’s consider a new installation. If you go for a low voltage deck lighting installation, then things are a lot more costly and complicated. There is the issue of voltage drop to calculate and account for. Then there is planning all the wiring and where it will go safely. Finally you have to think of what type of low voltage transformer you will choose and where you will site it. All of these tasks are a job for any experienced and certified electrical contractor, who will cost money. All of the equipment will also cost you extra cash from your budget.
With solar deck lights there is none of these issues and costs. Installation is very simple and the chances of being denied approval or insurance are a lot lower. After all if you have no wiring there is no chance of electrical shock, short outs or fire.
The Costs of Running Low Voltage And Solar Deck Lighting Fixtures
This is a complete no brainer. The calculation is very simple. Deck solar lighting is free to run. That’s an easy fact, powered as it is by the sun. Not even the Federal or my State government has found a way to charge me for using the sun yet. On the other hand, although lower voltage and power drain than your main house electricity, low voltage outdoor deck lighting still costs money. When you add up all your fittings over the course of one, two or five years, it is still money you might prefer to have rather than spend on lighting.
A Solution To The Power Problem In Deck Lighting
My solution is simple and really marries the two power options together. For critical areas of safety or for security, install a limited low voltage deck lighting arrangement. This could consist of outdoor wall lights and maybe some of the step lights that you will need on your deck build by law. By reducing the amount, then you simplify the amount and costs of wiring, transformers and avoid voltage drop problems. You also get the peace of mind you need over important areas. If you keep things small in this portion of the deck lighting low voltage fittings are not such an issue to you or your insurers
Then for the rest of the deck lighting solar powered options can be easy used without the worry. This will give you more flexibility overall and allow easier extension at a later date.
Of course this is just my take on the whole argument, but I think it s a sensible and practical approach to what is a much debated problem when building a lighting design for a deck in your back yard or garden.
For a more detailed look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various options when installing deck lighting you should look at some of my earlier posts such as: