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Best Placement Ideas for Deck Lighting

If you are spending all this money on a deck, you might as well get the most use for your money. Most working people only have a few hours after work to relax on a deck with a cup of tea or a glass of wine before the sun goes down. And of course there are weekends when you might have a few people over or do an al fresco family dinner. But don’t limit your deck activities to day hours—your deck can be just as usable after the sundown with the help of outdoor lighting. Take a look at these deck lighting ideas from our Maryland deck builders.

The Benefits of Deck Lighting

  • Usability: your deck is just as accessible and usable after dark.

  • Safety: all areas are illuminated reducing the risk of tripping and falls.

  • Look & Feel: add ambient lighting and highlight deck features

Where to Use Lighting on Your Deck

There are many places where you can install deck lighting—some of them are obvious, while others you might not initially consider. Also, keep in mind that not all types of lighting can be added to an existent deck. Some of them, specifically any built-in or recessed lights, have to be implemented at the time of deck construction in order to achieve the desired look and functionality.

Around the Perimeter

Placing lights around the perimeter of your deck will help create a visual outline of the space. It’s especially useful for low platform decks that are not required to have railings. In this case, you can evenly space small lights and install them along the outer boards.

If your deck has railings, you can opt for a more elegant solution, such as post cap lights that are placed on top of the railing posts. Or you can go with under-rail lighting placed discretely under the lip of the railing facing down.

On the Stairs

This is probably the most important spot for deck lights. Stairs can be dangerous after dark, especially if there are many steps involved. To make them safer, you can install lights on the back board of each step or illuminate the railings.

Next to the Grill

If you are grilling on your deck, don’t stop because you lose light. Add task lighting around the grill area to be able to entertain your guests into the wee hours or cook a late-night meal for your family.

On the Side of the House

The side of the house where your deck is attached is the only area where you can install surface-mounted lights. Not every deck needs them, but if you have a seating or a dining area against the wall, lights can be very useful.


To add something extra to your deck design, install overhead string lights spanning from the side of the house across the deck. You may need a few tall poles to connect the lights to on the other side of the deck, so that they are high enough not to get in the way.

The types of lights you use is also important: you don’t want the lights to be too bright and too white, making it look like you have a mini sun. The key to effective and attractive deck lighting is to add function without taking away from the night’s ambiance.

Contact Custom Deck Builders today if you are looking to incorporate deck lighting in your new deck design.


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