Deck lighting is one of the best ways to create a beautiful deck or porch that you can enjoy around the clock. A number of different styles give you plenty of design and lighting options to choose from, and since almost all deck lighting is low voltage, you can rest easy knowing your new lights won't drastically affect your energy bill. Here's a few tips and suggestions towards creating the best possible lighting for your outdoor recreation needs.
There are a few basic rules for deck lighting that you'll want to polish up on before you start choosing your fixtures, and safety concerns top the list. Your new lighting system will do a lot to beautify your deck, but it will do just as much to make it a safer place to pass the time. When considering where to put lights and which types are going to be best to use, be sure to take into account stairways, entryways, doorways, edges and railings. These are the most important areas to light up in order to avoid injuries and other mishaps.
Glare is Bad!
Traditional outdoor lighting has consisted of a blinding overhead light shining down on your deck or porch. This lighting technique can restrict vision and be just as unsafe as a poorly lit deck. New deck lighting strives for just the opposite effect. By installing low voltage fixtures at regular intervals around the base of your deck, you'll ensure that neither you or your guests will suffer any cornea damage after the sun goes down.
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Mix It Up
The best way to provide low intensity light that maximizes both safety and your "porch sitting" experience is to utilize a number of different fixtures when you design your new low voltage deck lighting. Here's a list of the most common fixtures and their most popular uses.
Accent Lights are lights that focus their light downward to illuminate decking, stairs, and edges. They can be installed on posts, railing or stairs, and come in a large number of styles to fit just about any personality.
Post Lights sit on top of deck posts or railings. They provide the largest amount of light to the greatest amount of space, making them ideal for use at the top and bottom of stairways, steps, and other potentially hazardous areas.
Recessed Lights are lights that are actually installed into the floor of your deck. These small, low intensity lights are excellent for installation around edges and on either side of stairs to clearly illuminate where your deck ends and the rest of the world begins.
Rope Lights are a string of low-intensity lights fitted into a clear pvc tube. Rope lights are perfect for installation on the underside of railings, down stairways, or any other place you want to accent a run of your deck.
By incorporating all these different styles of lights into your deck lighting plan, you'll ensure a more pleasant deck experience and a safer place to spend your time. Talk to a lighting retailer or a contractor about designs, planning and installation, and enjoy the warm, comforting atmosphere your new lights will provide for years to come.