Hanging out on your porch, deck, or by the pool area is a relaxing way to unwind and forget about everything else. Breathing fresh air under the night sky on a weekend can help you throw away the negative vibes and have a fresh start. Good lighting will set the mood and give you a tranquil environment! We bet you only lack a few deck lights to finish your setup! Do you know how to install decking lights?
Well, we bet not. Don’t worry; we will give you simple and easy guidelines to help you install your deck lights in the shortest time possible for you to enjoy the night sky!
Types of Deck Lights
Maybe you have thought that installing deck lights are quite difficult. Well, depending on the number of lights you want to install and the extent of your setup, that may be the case. However, the principle behind installation is quite easy and doesn’t even need a degree related to electronics!
But before we talk about installing your decking lights, let us first give you a few more information about the different types you may want to consider. Without properly defining what you want to get for your deck, you will be lost to the sheer number of designs!
1. Recessed Deck Lights
Recessed deck lights are commonly placed on the floor as they project lights upward to accentuate outdoor furniture or fixtures. And although they are made of resilient materials that would not easily break when stepped on, they sit flush on the deck floor so that people walking around would not trip on them. Furthermore, woodworking skill is required as you will need to punch your wooden deck to get them installed.
2. Accent Lights
If you want to emphasize walls, ornamental plants, murals, the bar area, or other roofed fixtures, accent lights are a good choice. They are usually pointing downward, and some models have joints to adjust the projection of lights easily.
3. Stair Deck Lights
Stair deck lights can guide you as you walk and help you avoid falling on the stairs while enjoying the night sky. These are usually small and emit gentle light just enough to illuminate the steps. They are installed at the risers of each step to make sure no one trips!
4. Post Deck Lights
As the name suggests, these lights are installed on posts to light your deck railings. They usually cast a wide light radius to cover the surrounding area. They are a great choice of lights on entrances and exits too.
5. Solar-Powered Deck Lights
These solar-powered lights are the easiest decking light you can install. They do not require wired connections and common switches. It is fitted with a small solar panel that harnesses and stores energy on a built-in battery. They are cost-effective and does not require extensive maintenance. Charging it for four hours would last about half a day.
6. Low Voltage Deck Lights
These lights utilize low wattage halogen bulbs. The bulbs used usually range around 10-12watts. They are a safe alternative that can accentuate, decorate, and illuminate your deck. These are smaller than the usual deck lights and can easily fit in tight areas.
How To Install Decking Lights
Before we get started, make sure you have a layout for your decking lights. Plan how you want to place your lights. Draw and measure the distances between lights to help you estimate how much wire and deck lights you need.
Make sure to gather these tools and materials to avoid frequent trips to the hardware!
- Hand Drill
- Drill bit
- Screw Driver
- 12- to 8-gauge outdoor cable wire with a socket
- Cable staples
- Measuring tape
- Deck Lights
- Locate your outdoor socket. This is where you will be placing your transformer. It’s important to have your deck light circuit connected to a transformer to give power to your lights with a lower voltage than the regular household requirement. Some smart transformers have many cool automated functions for your convenience.
- Locate the areas where you want to increase visibility. Make sure you have one for each step of the stairs to avoid accidents. Use recessed lighting to accentuate fixtures. Affix some low-volt lights on posts and rails to make them more visible.
- Place the lights in their designated location and start installing them.
- For recessed lights, you will need a drill bit that matches the size specifications of your chosen deck light to punch the right size of holes on your deck. You may need to remove the deck panels to install these lights properly.
- Once you have punched holes in your deck, insert the light on designated locations and attach them to your main line with pre-installed weatherproof sockets.
- Tidy up the wires and cables. You can do this by fastening them hidden on edges and corners.
- Finally, connect your main line to your transformer and test your lights. Enjoy socializing on your deck!
To make sure that your weekend project is a success and would not lead to frustration, here are some tips you may want to look at carefully:
· Layout your lighting plan.
Make sure you have a design ready ahead of time. Draw and measure the distance of lights you are about to install. Take note of the types of lights you will be installing and visit the hardware to ask more information about it.
· Prepare your tools ahead of time.
To avoid frequent trips to the hardware, make sure you have all the tools you need. Check if you have the right sizes of drill bits for your preferred lights. Replenish your consumable stocks to have everything within your reach.
· Have your lights tested.
These electronic devices often come with warranties. However, to avoid the hassle of returning a defective product and save you time, have them tested before bringing it home.
· Check for wire continuity.
These lights will be subject to the harsh environment, and the wirings will be carrying the power that the lights need. Carefully inspect them to make sure that they don’t have cracks, breaks, or weak points.
Now that you know how to install decking lights, time to go out and put those muscles to good use! You may even invite friends to help you out! Who knows, installing decking lights might be one of the best bond sessions you will have!