Now that we’re starting to taste the warmer weather, with spring sunshine and brighter skies, our attention turns to the garden again. Smart use of deck lighting ideas means you’ll enjoy your space for as long as you want.
From a design perspective, you should give as much attention to lighting decorating ideas as you do to the lighting inside your home. If you have a terrace area, treat this space just like another room and use it for entertaining, dining and relaxing.
Depending on your choice of garden ideas, your garden deck can be placed against the back of the house, halfway up the lawn or down the end of its own enclosed area. Wherever it is, there’s a perfect way to light it right.
Deck lighting ideas
If you don’t have any decking in your garden yet and are planning to install one from scratch, now is the best time to get creative with your deck lighting ideas. Before embarking on a large build, think about where you want to get some light and what activities you will use certain areas for. Your new deck will probably include steps that could benefit from some spotlights. Or maybe you’ll have a dedicated barbecue area where a built-in pole lamp will come in handy.
If you already have a decked area, there’s a lot you can do to update the lighting. For some inspiration, we’ve put together our pick of the best ways you can add glow to your space. These range from decorative lanterns and hanging festoon lights to professionally installed spotlights.
1. Hang the garland lights at the top
One of the simplest deck lighting ideas you can bring into your outdoor space is to hang some festoon lights. Bend it from two anchor points, such as between fence boards in a corner, or from tree branches. If you have an external power socket, use that, but there are plenty of solar-powered or battery-powered versions available.
If your deck area is located in the lower part of the garden and needs more lighting, you can provide it via portable lanterns, candles and solar-powered decorative lights.
This is a great way to hide or liven up railway ideas as well. Always a plus!
2. Carry the lantern to the place you need
You will be surprised by how much glow a hanging lantern will cast. Original gas versions are not common these days, but you can get solar powered or candle versions fairly easily. Group them into groups of three and place them in the corners of your deck for an elegant look or place them above the dining table if you’re dining al fresco.
And don’t forget that you can hang them too. They will look great in a combination of colors and placed from the upper pergola at different heights.
3. Light up the underside of Broly’s garden
If you’re standing on your deck wondering where to hang lights — there’s no nearby tree, fence, or other high point — stop there. With a little smart thinking you don’t have to worry. We’ll have you glowing from above in no time.
Every outdoor space can have an umbrella, and you can use it to bring in additional garden lighting ideas. Wrap outdoor fairy lights around their pole and thread them through the canopy’s ribs and stretchers. Solar or battery powered, they are inexpensive and a great way to provide some light wherever you need it.
4. Install the permanent downlights on the wall
If your garden benefits from an external brick wall – either the back of the house or as a boundary wall – use it to install permanent downlights. A professional electrician will be able to install it and provide you with a switch inside your home to turn it on. It works well above a sofa seating area, lighting up the area for reading and relaxing as the night falls.
You can also purchase spotlights that can be installed in the same way and then moved to shine light wherever you want. Maybe you have special ideas for decorating your outdoor walls and want to enlighten them in the evening.
Team fixed wall lights with other options that you can move around your deck. Hurricane lanterns with candles or portable solar-powered designs are ideal.
5. Use a light strip along the edge of your deck
Whether you are installing a new deck area or have an existing one, adding a lighting strip or introducing permanent fixtures with mains power can create a focal point in certain spaces. “Deck lighting is the perfect way to finish off a deck space and gives the opportunity to showcase the garden paths and framing areas created in your outdoor space,” says Charles Taylor, Director of Composite Prime. Why not install floor level lighting on your composite decorating ideas around the seating area to create an ambient space for sitting and entertaining guests.
“Installing deck lighting is simple, but requires careful planning of placement of the lights,” continues Charles. ‘They can be inserted into the tops of panels, or placed into fascia panels to create an impactful finishing touch. A lighting strip can be placed under an overhang; these lights work best when illuminating steps and ledges.’
6. Light a fire pit for a warm glow
Fire pits are one of many great deck lighting ideas that make a great garden feature. Be sure to follow the proper instructions for lighting a deck fire pit. Not only will it give you more warmth allowing you to spend more time outside, even after dark, but it will also cast a beautiful twinkling glow.
Some options can be used for cooking as well, so if you want to double up, be sure to find the best grill for your space.
It may not be the brightest light source, so it is recommended to use additional lighting such as festoon lights, candles in lanterns and even a floor lamp. The long light will make a great feature for any outdoor area, creating a living room feel. You may need an electrical outlet for most designs, but you can find some that are solar-powered.
7. Place lights in flower pots
When you’re looking for deck lighting ideas, you can also trust a solar-powered option. Stake lights are a quick win in any outdoor space: porch, garden, patio, and of course patio ideas. Simply push them into plant pots or garden borders and leave them to light the way.
You can find them in all kinds of shapes and sizes but we especially love this design that mimics street lamps. They would work perfectly alongside a path or near some decking steps.
8. Area areas with different light sources
If you have several different areas in your garden, especially if it is a small space, you can use lighting as a way to create some definition.
If you can, it is a good idea to have separate switches installed to operate the lights independently of each other, this gives you the opportunity to close off certain areas in the dark and better control the ambiance at night. Always be sure to use a reputable professional for any electrical work and seek advice on what is possible in your outdoor space.
9. Navigate through the steps easily with perfectly placed points
If your garden has a large surface area, especially if it extends from the back of your house as shown here, you will find that you need several lighting options. Think about the areas of the roof you’ll use for seating, dining and planting, then bring in relevant roof lighting ideas. “By adding lighting to your decking, you naturally soften the space and make it more inviting and look very elegant,” says Carl Harrison, Trex landscaper and decorating expert.
‘Lighting a staircase or stairs is very important so you can see the steps in the evening; It is necessary to show people the way. Small spotlights in the step beams will cast an elegant glow, illuminating your deck while serving practical use.
“Another way to brighten up a decked garden is to add lighting to the planting areas,” Carl suggests. “A well-lit garden will make you feel more comfortable during the evening and adds a romantic touch.”
10. Hang solar lights from nearby trees
You don’t need to spend a fortune to beautifully light your garden. There are plenty of affordable solar-powered or battery-powered lights available – and you’ll find a variety of styles to choose from at your local garden center. Solar powered pendant lights are a great example of an inexpensive deck lighting idea.
Whether in a string of multiple lights or in single bulbs, hang them from tree branches, along fence boards or from the supports of a garden pergola. How beautiful these would look, dotted around a cherry blossom tree in spring.
What is the best way to light a deck?
If you don’t have a deck yet and are building one from scratch, the best way to light it is with some smart planning. You can incorporate lights into your deck construction, although this is not necessary. There is a lot you can do to retrofit lights into your deck, or even use options or portable lights that can be used with your patio, decking, garden, or flower beds.
The most important thing is to think about what you will be using the decking for, and where in particular. “Lighting is an important element of your exterior look, so plan your lighting placement carefully,” says Sanil Kuniyar, interior designer and founder of Interior Kollection. “Direct your light carefully.” If you want to create accent lighting, you don’t want to direct the lights at eye level. You want to create a soft, welcoming atmosphere, not make your guests feel as if they are in a spotlight.’
“Low-level lighting is also great for creating ambiance and can be used to guide guests along paths and steps. “There is a wide range of solar lights that are ideal for this purpose, and they can be moved to suit your needs and design easily,” continues Sanel.
How bright are deck lights?
The beauty of decking lighting is that you have the freedom to achieve a look that suits your decking needs. Mains-supplied light bulbs will provide a brighter, longer-lasting source than their solar-powered counterparts, which will dim as their power is exhausted throughout the evening; They are also less reliable during shoulder seasons when daylight is less than you would expect during the height of summer.
The more bulbs you have, the brighter the light will be, so think about where you want to place the light – festoon lights will spread the light into smaller pockets of glow while a spotlight or downlight will direct its glow more precisely.
For intimate, subtle lighting, why not try candles (faux candles are a great alternative to a real flame), lanterns or even a small fire or chiminea. “Heat sources, such as fire pits, heaters and table fires, allow you to comfortably enjoy your garden when the temperature outside is below freezing,” says Patrick Bridge, chief operating officer at Harbor Lifestyle. “Plus, these gorgeous flame displays provide illumination for those dark evenings.”
Our top tip is that if you choose to have a variety of light sources, just consider which ones you have turned on or are using, and when. You don’t want everything to be lit at the same time – otherwise you risk your roof looking like Blackpool Lights!