It is important to take into consideration the overall ambiance of your deck. Lighting can dramatically affect how it looks and feels, making it more vibrant, warm, or romantic. After considering the desired effect, there are many different lighting fixtures. Below are some tips when choosing the best type of lights for your deck:
1. Lighting Type: incandescent vs. LED vs. solar
During deck construction, lighting is essential. Incandescent lights produce a yellowish light that is not typically flattering and consume lots of electricity. LEDs produce a light close in color temperature to sunlight, making them good for illuminating decks and patios. LEDs also consume less power, making them more cost-effective over the long term. Solar lights are a good choice if you do not have easy access to an electrical outlet or power source. They are best used for accent lighting rather than primary lighting because they cast a much dimmer light than other options.
2. Brightness: bright vs. medium vs. dim
The deck builder should consider the brightness. High brightness is ideal for lighting walkways and paths on the deck and yard. Medium brightness can provide enough light to see but dim enough to create a more relaxing atmosphere. Dim lights are best if you want some light to illuminate your deck without being overpowering or harsh.
3. Lumens/Wattage: low vs. high
High-wattage incandescent lights are best used for lighting decks and patios at night. It is best to choose lights with at least 60 lumens per watt. Low-wattage incandescent light will typically produce an orange light and consume less electricity than high light efficiency options.
4. Lumen Output: high vs. medium vs. low
High output is great if you want to illuminate your entire deck or patio with only one light. Medium output lights are considered “high output” and will provide enough light for most purposes. They are often used as accent lighting around buildings, stone facades, and areas close to windows in buildings. Low output lights are best used for mood and accent lighting.
5. Fixture Shape: round vs. square vs. rectangular
Round fixtures are ideal for lighting decks. They can be hung from the rails, mounted on a tripod, or attached to a post. Square and rectangular fixtures are great for lighting walkways along the deck and around the yard. They can be mounted from a post or placed on a tripod.
6. Fixture height: high vs. medium vs. low
High-height lights are ideal for lighting walkways and paths on the deck and yard. They should be mounted from a pole or raised platform to reach the desired height. Medium height lights are used as accent lighting around buildings, stone facades, and areas close to windows in buildings. Low-height lights are best used for mood and accent lighting.
7. Spotlighting: directed vs. diffuse
It would be best if the deck builder considered spotlighting during deck construction. A directed spotlight is great for lighting up small areas that need to draw attention or emphasis (like a path through trees). The diffused spotlight is great for lighting up paths or walkways farthest from a power source.
8. Color: white vs. colored
The deck builder should take into account the color. White lights create the most natural and pleasing effect on a deck. Colored lights can be used to create certain atmospheres. For example, red, yellow, and orange hues are ideal for creating a romantic atmosphere on the deck. Green and blue hues can create an inviting atmosphere to enjoy the deck at night while watching the stars.
When choosing the best lighting for your deck, it is important to consider how the light will be used. Lighting can create ambiance and set the tone for entertaining and relaxation. Think about your specific needs to find the perfect lights for your deck as you consider different options. Then enjoy relaxing on your deck with a glass of wine in hand or entertaining guests when darkness falls.