Whether brightening up winter nights or illuminating your summer evening soiree, the right deck lighting can really enhance your hardwood deck and outdoor living area. The beautiful chocolate red of cumaru (Brazilian Teak) is a perfect backdrop for the warm glow of evening lights. In the past 20 years there have been many innovations, which guarantees everyone can find the right way to make their outdoor space bright and lively. Even if you do not have a deck or patio, just putting a table and chairs outside with some beautiful lighting will create an impromptu outdoor living space. Deck additions are in demand this year as are outdoor kitchens, outdoor movie screenings, firepits, amongst other exterior additions. Here are a few lighting ideas you can mix and match that are a surefire way of making your hardwood deck even more stunning:
Deck Integrated Fixtures
Integrating outdoor lighting to your deck design is one of the best ways to showcase your home. The subtle lighting between deck stairs, strip lights and downcast lights are a great outdoor accent as well as a safety feature. There are various deck lighting options, including low-voltage deck lighting, solar-powered deck lights, and auto-sensing lights and more. With today’s technology, lights can be set directly from your smartphone, changing in intensity as well as color.
You can turn your deck into a disco floor! Remember to speak to your deck contractor about your lighting plans so that the decking boards can be cut accordingly. Be sure to hire a licensed electrician and expert deck builder to ensure the safety and best results for your deck lighting project.
Possibly one of the oldest forms to light an outdoor area, lanterns offer a soft and inviting light. Regardless if you use wick candles or battery-powered candles, lanterns placed along uneven surfaces help prevent accidents. Using a variety of lantern sizes can become a focal point. Mason jars create a country-chic look and add soft lighting along the patio when placed along the deck rails.
A great place to put them is along the deck’s edge or pool’s corners. Hanging lanterns from the porch beams can light a table or bar area creating a romantic feel. Lanterns can also be hung from the porch ceiling or a large tree. Outdoor lanterns create ambiance, provide safety, and are a great way to see how much light you need and where to best distribute it.
As an alternative to lanterns but still using real fire, tiki torches can be used to indicate a path or surround your deck and entertainment area. Although tiki torches conjure a tropical island vibe, they can be used even in the dead of winter and enjoyed from a glass porch. If you are in a warm climate though, tiki torches have the added benefit of keeping the mosquitos away when citronella fuel is used.
Keep Lights Downward Facing
One thing to always keep in mind when planning your outdoor lighting is how the lights will affect nocturnal creatures or your neighbors. In a world of light pollution, it is possible to reduce the negative effects of bright lights. One technique is to turn your lights to face downwards or put a protective shield over the top part of your lights (a hood or shield).
Placing the main source of light underneath the covered porch or decking area also reduces the amount of light sent out into space. Try to use low voltage lights to reduce the brightness and thus reduce the glare emitted by your outdoor lighting.