17 Best Outdoor Deck Lighting Ideas for All Seasons

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Deck lighting is a stylish and functional method to illuminate your outdoor space for additional safety and appeal. Pick the best deck lighting ideas that complement your outside environment to create a unique nighttime atmosphere.

Types of Fixtures for Deck Lighting

The following are the most common types of deck lighting and sections to illuminate:

  • Surface mounts, flush mounts, path lights, and weatherproof LED strip lights are the ideal fixtures for steps.
  • Spot or uplights, for example, may brighten walkways and provide drama by accentuating plant features.
  • Downlights are fixed to walls, eaves, patio roofs, and trees.
  • Illuminated balusters for railings (balustrades) can be used to replace existing balusters or placed during the construction of a new deck.
  • Rail lights and post caps are decorative lighting devices that may be affixed to rails or posts.
  • Other light source alternatives, such as string lights, candles, lanterns, or solar-powered lights, can either strengthen established light or offer a more subtle approach, such as mounted and installed lighting.

Best Outdoor Deck Lighting Ideas

1. Pergola Lighting

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A pergola is a popular choice for providing a sitting area and some shade when resting outside. The poles and grid of beams and rafters in the construction may be utilized to hang lights and brighten the area at night.

Outdoor-rated lighting alternatives, such as these Indoor/Outdoor LED deck lights or paper lanterns, can be placed on a pergola. Lights can be wrapped around the pillars or draped from the rafters.

2. String Lights

Image Source: bobvilla.com

String lights are a popular outdoor décor item right now. They are really simple to set up. They may be installed practically anyplace if an outlet is available. Ideal for any deck lighting DIY project.

They don't last as long as other possibilities, which is a disadvantage. As a result, they must be updated more frequently than other solutions.

3. Deck Floor Lamps

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A floor lamp might be useful if you don't have the option of hanging or mounting a light. When illuminated, the Tango Outdoor Floor Lamp from Smart & Green brings fun and color.

The lamp may be used as a planter and includes glowing ambient illumination that can be changed via a smartphone app. This lamp may be adjusted to meet many various styles, whether the objective is all-white lighting or a mix of colors.

4. Cage Wall Lights

Image Source: stylebyemilyhenderson.com

If you're working with a smaller deck, you might not require as much illumination. Consider a set of wall lights, such as this Emily Henderson collection. The cage wall lights are attractive and fit seamlessly with the surrounding environment while providing exactly the proper amount of ambiance when required.

5. In-Floor Lighting

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If there are no acceptable overhead areas to install a pendant or sconce on your deck, your illumination may have to come from below. In-floor lights are built into the deck's surface and are especially beneficial for stairwells and around the perimeter.

Though their primary purpose is to improve safety, we can't deny that we like sipping an after-dinner beverage while surrounded by their soothing light.

6. Under Shades Lights

Image Source: bobvilla.com

Don't undervalue the effectiveness of well-positioned lighting. This outdoor area provides plenty of light with illuminating torches encircling the decking edge. The true light comes from the several rows of string lights set immediately beneath the sail shade.

During the day, the sail cover protects the sun from shining too brightly, and at night, it acts as a backdrop for the little lights to shine off, providing a well-lit environment for everybody to enjoy.

7. Spa Deck

Image Source: instagram.com/herzenstimme

Herzen Stimme created a wood deck with a cut-out area for an inflatable whirlpool hot tub. The end effect has a spa-like feel to it. The usage of numerous string lights strung across the walls and several portable lanterns illuminating the hot tub adds to the mood.

8. Star Lights

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Star lights are string or pendant lights shaped like stars that bring atmosphere to a dinner party or special occasion. Some star lights add a whimsical, distinctive, and mystical touch to the outdoor experience. Even if there aren't any real stars in the sky, string these lights across a table, ceiling, or umbrella to create the illusion of a starry night.

9. Pendant Lights

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Many homeowners prefer ceiling-mounted light fixtures for indoor spaces that require powerful lighting. Why not install a similar fixture outside? An outdoor-rated light fixture may be just the ticket for gloomy decks and porches if there is an above structure with mounting space.

Pendant lights powered by batteries or solar panels come in various forms, from rustic lanterns to sleek modern fixtures. Some outdoor pendant lights even include remote controls, so no more worrying about having to get out of your seat during an alfresco dinner party.

10. In-Stair Lights

Image Source: decksdirect.com

Installing deck lighting on your stair treads or risers improves both safety and beauty. By bathing your stair treads in the warm glow of an LED stair light, you can show your friends, family, and deck visitors how much you care by ensuring everyone has safe, solid footing at all times. The sharp staircase lines also make for a stunning look when lit up.

11. Linear Lighting

Image Source: barrielandscapedesign.ca

Lady Landscape's Melanie Rekola developed a lovely outdoor setting, with her deck and lounging sections flowing seamlessly into the pool area.

Downlights built into the pool's stone walls provide just enough illumination to provide some brightness without being too harsh while also guaranteeing no one needs to fumble around in the dark.

12. Deck Ceiling Fan with Light

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In addition to becoming hot, a deck may get gloomy at night. Installing a ceiling fan with light from an above structure can assist in accommodating both of these factors.

This is suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage and has a lantern-style light kit with weathered blades. It boasts a WhisperWind motor for silent, powerful cooling.

13. Overhead Deck Light

Deck spaces used for leisure and partying may be lighted similarly to inside rooms with an arching statement floor lamp to give any alfresco setup a sleek contemporary vibe. Choose deck lighting ideas like these to create a gorgeous focal point for your outdoor living space while also bathing it in light.

Some of the most recent adaptable designs have dimmable lights, built-in warmers, and Bluetooth speakers in the base, and they can be placed outside all year, making them a practical as well as an attractive alternative.

14. Solar Railing Lights

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Fixtures that connect to the deck railing are a low-key approach to adding lighting that merges smoothly into the architecture of a deck. The solar deck lights from Ideaworks feature built-in solar panels and turn on in the dark and off in the morning. The three railing lights are available in brown or white, and mounting hardware is included.

15. Shades and Pair Lighting

Image Source: instagram.com/ann.living

Never undervalue the impact of well-positioned lighting. With illuminating torches encircling the decking edge, this outdoor area by Ann Living provides plenty of light. The true light comes from the several rows of string lights set immediately beneath the sail shade.

During the day, the sail cover protects the sun from shining too brightly, and at night, it acts as a backdrop for the little lights to shine off, providing a well-lit environment for everybody to enjoy.

16. Wicker Park

Image Source: calimiahome.com

Although lampshades and covers may transform an interior area, they also offer advantages outside. Take, for example, this lovely set from Camilia Home—while hanging bulbs are elegant in their own right, the wicker shades take things to the next level. The good thing is that these hues are easily interchangeable if your décor changes.

17. Recessed Deck Lights

Image Source: decksdirect.com

Recessed lighting lights are ideal for deck lighting that requires no upkeep. Recessed deck lights are often used as stair lights, but they may also be utilized on fascia boards, posts, rails, deck boards, and deck ceilings.

Recessed lighting is distinguished by the fact that it is flush with the surrounding surface. That is the key to two significant benefits. To begin with, it's subtle; you'll hardly notice it throughout the day before wowing your visitors with bright illumination after the sunsets.

Second, recessed lighting within your boards is reasonably shielded, needing less frequent cleaning and making the cleaning procedure faster and easier.

Conclusion

Deck lighting is a fantastic way to add beauty, safety, and security to your deck. In addition, you may prolong the hours of fun in one of your favorite outdoor areas.

A nice environment is also created by good deck lighting. There's something for everyone, from bright settings for safe cooking and play to the tranquility of soft illumination.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.