A few years ago my in-laws moved into a new construction home in a new neighborhood. The house and yard are fabulous. Off the back of their house, they have a lovely covered porch that opens up to a nice deck. On the far end of the deck, there are a few stairs that lead out into the yard. It’s a great space to sit and enjoy a drink and some appetizers, but at night, it was a little unsafe. The neighborhood they live in doesn’t have a lot of street light that spills over into their yard, so when the sun goes down, it’s dark. You can barely see the stairs that lead to the yard, until we urged them to add outdoor deck lighting.
Sure footing is important in any space, but when it involves older people or children and changes in elevation, it becomes even more important. When we at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives visit our clients’ properties, we always look for the areas that need extra lighting, and decks are usually one of them.
There are a few options when it comes to outdoor deck lights. The most common is installed at the top of the posts or along the railings, like the ones seen here that shine down on the decking above. Depending on the amount of railing between posts, one light may only be needed for every two or three posts.
Another deck lighting option is LED rope lights, seen here lining this pool. These are easily installed along the underside of the railing for a more modern look. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we’ve installed this type of deck and patio lighting on a lot of residential as well as commercial properties with patios. The LED rope lighting is available in several colors if the customer wants something other than the warm or cool white.
One aspect of deck lighting our outdoor lighting designers pay particular attention to are the steps. Steps, not surprisingly, can be the most dangerous part of the deck. They need to be clearly visible to make sure that no one trips and falls. There are two ways we light stairs. The first is installing lights on the railings like we do along the deck in other areas. The second option is to install the light on the vertical part of the step.
Not only does deck lighting increase the safety of our outdoor living space, but it allows you to enjoy it at all hours of the day and night. A well-lit outdoor area is much more inviting that a dark deck or patio. We are firm believers that if you have invested money in your outdoor living structures, you should be able to use them!
If you have areas of your yard that need some extra lighting to be safe, please reach out to your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.