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12 Ideas for Lighting Up Your Deck

You've put in the work and now it's time to relax on your deck. When night falls, you'll need some lights to help create a great space to hang out with friends and family and enjoy the nighttime sky. Here are 12 ideas to bring some light to your deck.

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outdoor deck lightingIrina Mos/Shutterstock

Deck Stair Lights

Lights on deck stairs give subtle illumination and make your deck safer after dark.

If your deck stairs need some work or rebuilding, follow these tips to calculate dimensions and help with layout and assembly.

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outdoor string lights on deck christmas lightsSean Pavone/Shutterstock

String Lights

Who says LED 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.

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Under-Table Lighting

If you have an outdoor grilling or cooking area, consider putting lighting underneath your work spaces to help everyone see what they’re doing.

Don’t have an outdoor kitchen? Check out this compact backyard cooking station built by a Family Handyman reader.

Photo: Courtesy of Accent Lighting

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Recessed deck LightingEpic StockMedia/Shutterstock

Recessed Deck Lighting

If your deck has some overhead protection, recessed deck lighting work well because they are protected from the elements and don’t require constant cleaning.

Do you prefer recessed lights indoors? Here’s how to install them.

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Recessed Lighting

Deck post cap lights work well as accidents on your deck space. Available in both LED and solar-powered varieties, deck cap lights are available at most home improvement stores or online.

Follow these expert tips when building deck posts.

Photo: Courtesy of The Decksperts

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In-Floor Lighting

There are a variety of low-voltage options when it comes to lighting your deck floor. Place lights in deck corners or near steps and seating for the perfect decking lights combination.

Check out our guide on installing low-voltage deck lighting.

Photo: Courtesy of Samuel Nagle Landscaping Design Construction

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Under Rail Deck Lighting

Try using solar or LED-powered lights for under rail deck lighting to create a soft glow.

Do your deck railings need replacing? Here are some great options.

Photo: Courtesy of

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Spotlights Over Deck

This covered deck area uses spotlights to help direct light where it is needed most. You want to see what you’re eating, right?

If you’re not sure how to get started on deck lighting, try these beginner tips.

Photo: Courtesy of Britescape

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back porch with lighting fansGreg Henry/Shutterstock

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. In addition, we love how this home also features a hang out space under the deck, which is perfect for under deck lighting.

Learn how to install a ceiling fan with our guide.

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Hang Lights on a

Hang Lights on a Pergola

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.

No pergola? Here are the step-by-step instructions for building one in your yard.

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lanterns S_Photo/Shutterstock


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 candles!) are portable so you can put them where you need them most.

Here are more 14 outdoor lighting trends for 2018.

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Solar lights decktab62/Shutterstock

Strictly Solar

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—no wiring required.

For additional ideas, check out these 10 breathtaking outdoor lighting looks for your yard.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.

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