5 Tips for Lighting Up Your Deck

Deck lighting helps take your outdoor space to a whole new level. It eliminates the risk of you and your loved ones or guests slipping or falling because of poor visibility. Since decks are ideal for hosting guests, lighting yours makes your property seem more inviting and functional while letting you enjoy your outdoor space anytime. Illuminating your deck keeps your property well-lit, discouraging intruders. Installing deck lights can help better your yard’s visual appeal. Outlined below are five tips for lighting your backyard.

Beautiful outdoor deck with lighting inspiration
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1. Leverage Recessed Lighting

View from the outside of a home with recessed lighting on the back porch and deck

Recessed lighting is one of the best options for illuminating your deck. You can illuminate steps, pathways, and other deck-level changes using recessed lights to highlight possible slip/ fall hazards and other safety concerns. When installed on the deck boards' flush, these lights help preserve this space while ensuring a clutter-free and sleek appearance. Leverage recessed low-level deck lights to create a gentle glow that doesn't create glare. You can have recessed lights customized to your steps or stairs.

You can also install these lights on your deck’s overhang or overhead to make it possible to enjoy the space at any time of the day. Setting colored or white LED spots into your deck area can help create a contemporary look while adding interest to the space.

2. Consider Step Lights

Shallow deck steps with step lights added to the center

Step lights' primary purpose is defining your deck's perimeter and illuminating stairs/ steps to lower accident risks when navigating the space at night. These lights are perfect for adding an aesthetically appealing element into your yard. Steps lights help create an inviting and warm atmosphere in your deck, letting you enjoy the space comfortably. These lights combined with other lighting options positioned at varying heights can result in a unique, layered lighting appeal that enhances your deck’s best features.

3. Use Post Lights

Beautiful post light on top of a stone post between two railings overlooking a lake.

Deck post lighting is an excellent way to define your deck’s perimeter, establishing a sense of security and boundary. The ambient lighting they generate contributes to your outdoor space's overall ambiance. Deck post lights usually light immediate surroundings to create an inviting area for relaxation or entertaining. They add a decorative element that elevates your outdoor space's curb appeal. Black textured deck post lights are ideal for adding style and ambiance to your decking area.

4. Try Lanterns and String Lights

string lights on an outdoor deck

Lantern-style lighting fixtures help create a rustic, endearing appeal. You can also drape string lights along the deck's overhead or railings to establish a cozy, festive atmosphere. The best thing about lanterns and string lights is that you can adjust and shift them to align with your needs for various occasions or at different times. Combining these lighting factors with other outdoor lights like post and step lights can help create a unique appearance and a fantastic layered lighting element.

5. Invest in Under-Rail Lighting

Under-rail lighting is a smart alternative for indirectly illuminating your deck. This lighting is discreetly added under your deck's handrail or railing to provide stylish, subtle illumination. Under-rail lights usually glow downward to create an inviting environment ideal for after-dark relaxation and outdoor gatherings.


Deck lighting helps enhance your yard’s aesthetic appeal and functionality. Consider implementing these tips when lighting up your deck.

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