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12 Ideas for Lighting Up Your Deck

When night falls, you'll need these deck lighting ideas to help create a great space to hang out and enjoy the stars.

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outdoor deck lightingIrina Mos/Shutterstock

Deck Stair Lights

Lights on deck stairs give subtle illumination and make your deck safer after dark.

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outdoor string lights on deck christmas lightsSean Pavone/Shutterstock

String Deck Lighting

Who says LED Christmas lights are just for the holidays? Hanging deck lights or string lights of various colors can invoke a fun, festive atmosphere on your deck year-round.

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Under-Counter Deck Lighting

If you have an outdoor grilling or cooking area, consider putting lighting underneath your work spaces to help everyone see what they’re doing.

Photo: Courtesy of Accent Lighting

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Recessed deck LightingEpic StockMedia/Shutterstock

Recessed Deck Lighting

If your deck has some overhead protection, recessed deck lighting work well because they are protected from the elements and don’t require constant cleaning.

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Deck Post Cap Lights

Deck post cap lights work well in a deck space. Available in both LED and solar-powered varieties, deck cap lights are available at most home improvement stores or online.

Photo: Courtesy of The Decksperts

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In-Floor Lighting

There are a variety of low-voltage options when it comes to lighting your deck floor. Place lights in deck corners or near steps and seating for the perfect decking lights combination.

Photo: Courtesy of Samuel Nagle Landscaping Design Construction

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Under Rail Deck Lighting

Try using solar or LED-powered lights under the deck railing to create a soft glow.

Photo: Courtesy of

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Spotlights Over Deck

This covered deck area uses spotlights to help direct light where it is needed most. You want to see what you’re eating, right?

Photo: Courtesy of Britescape

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back porch with lighting fansGreg Henry/Shutterstock

Under Deck Lighting

If your deck is technically a balcony, ceiling fans with lights are ideal. They look great, plus the air circulation and light make the area more functional. In addition, we love how this home also features a hang out space under the deck, which is perfect for under deck lighting. To inspire you, we’ve rounded up the most breathtaking outdoor lighting looks to take your backyard oasis to the next level.

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Hang Lights on a

Hang Lights on a Pergola

If you have a pergola, you can install string lights or wired light fixtures in the rafters. These hanging deck lights accentuate the architectural elements of the structure.

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lanterns S_Photo/Shutterstock


If you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive way to bring light to your deck space, try outdoor lanterns. Lanterns with battery-operated or solar bulbs (or candles!) are portable so you can put them where you need them most.

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Solar lights decktab62/Shutterstock

Strictly Solar Deck Lighting

Sometimes a well-placed solar light is all you need. Solar lights are easy on the wallet and can be placed on deck posts, walkways and even in planter boxes—no wiring required.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.