Things to Consider While Choosing Deck Lighting
When the weather is nice, you know you should spend as much time outside as possible. Having a deck is perfect for any kind of outdoor dining or entertaining, but you’re missing out on half the available fun if you can only use your deck during day time hours. With the right lighting, though, you can have your deck set up to enjoy well after the sun goes down!
1. Plan Ahead
If you’re just now planning on building a deck, you’re in luck! This is the best time to start planning your lighting needs. Adding lighting to your deck later on is definitely possible, but it can be more complicated. So, if you’re consulting with a builder now about your deck, mention your lighting plans to make sure things are all set up for installing a lighting system when the time comes.
2. The Basics
Once you’ve decided to install deck lighting, you’ll need to make choices about the system you’re setting up. Most outdoor lighting is low voltage and needs to be plugged in to outdoor outlets. This requires a transformer to convert your household voltage to a lower current. There are different sizes of transformer available depending on the amount of lighting you plan to set up, so take that into consideration before you make your pick.
The next step is to plan where your lighting will go. Most people opt to illuminate the deck and rails, though there are a range of additional areas you may wish to draw attention to. If you have a grill or a bar, for example, you may want to focus on lighting those areas so people can see what they are doing when they are flipping burgers or mixing drinks. Similarly, stairs or level changes are important areas to illuminate for safety reasons.
4. Lighting Type
Once you know where you want your lighting to go, you need to decide on the type of lighting you’ll use. Any lights you pick should be durable and safe from the elements—you can check their IP rating to be sure you’ve made the right choice. Also, make sure you are picking a rust-free and fade-resistant material. As for the lights, themselves, you have a range of options. If you’re looking for something energy friendly, solar lights are easily available and function well as long as you can ensure they’ll get a good amount of sunlight during the day. LED landscape lighting is another strong option, as it is also energy efficient but isn’t dependent on sunny skies.
Once you have the basics down, from picking your transformer and light types to deciding where the lights themselves will be placed, there are still some details to be worked out. If you want to have lights that operate on a timer, for example, there are systems you can purchase that have that capacity. Some even use light-sensing technology, so the lights know to turn on when it gets dark outside. Another nice feature you may want to consider is a dimmer, which can allow you to change the level and mood of the lighting by just turning a dial. You can even add different colored filters to your lights depending on the mood you want to create.
It would be a shame to waste the warm summer nights sitting inside when you could be enjoying your deck. You may have been intimidated at first thinking about taking on a whole new home improvement job, but now you can see how simple lighting your deck can be. Just keep these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to getting your deck well lit and ready for use day or night!