11 Deck Lighting Ideas for Illuminating Your Outdoor Space

String lights, pendants and other kinds of lighting can make your deck safer—and more stylish—when the sun goes down.

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Let There Be Light


When night falls, swimming and barbecuing is more challenging than it is during the day—as is simply finding your way around the deck and property. Installing backyard lighting makes it much easier to see the surroundings, so parties can last longer with less hassle. Not only does outdoor lighting help protect your property and keep everyone safer, but deck lighting also contributes to a stylish outdoor ambiance. Looking for new outdoor lighting to hang up in your yard? Allow us to illuminate you with 11 deck lighting ideas that are surefire ways to light up your life.

6 Simple Steps to a Refreshed Deck

Under-Umbrella Lights


If a deck is a source of pride and joy, and entertaining out there is preferred, a little thing like nighttime shouldn’t have to interrupt a gathering. Many decks have wide umbrellas to block out the sun during the day, and those same umbrellas can also help keep the party going after sundown: Festooning the umbrella with inexpensive string lights is easy to do, and gives your outdoor space a festive feel. OYOCO’s LED patio umbrella light, which snaps around the umbrella’s pole, is another stellar way to light up al fresco summer dinners.

In-Stair Lights

Home Depot

Maneuvering up or down stairs in the dark is a recipe for potential injury—adding integrated stair lighting makes after-dark time outdoors a whole lot safer. Hampton Bay’s low-voltage, full-brick deck lights, for example, project white LED light onto stair treads so you can see where you’re going. Their UV-coated black aluminum face plates will go with most any deck decor. 

String Lights


String lights or fairy lights aren’t just for the holiday season or a kid’s room. Hanging string lights across a roof or backyard is an easy way to create an ethereal and intimate backyard aesthetic. Plug-in or battery-powered, these outdoor-rated lights can be strung above a dining table, across a pergola, or along the length of a fence to add a soft glow during an evening cookout, a dinner party, or afternoon garden festivities.

RELATED: The Best Solar String Lights for Your Outdoor Space

Solar Railing Lights


If you’re looking to add lighting that blends seamlessly into a deck’s design, fixtures that attach to the deck railing are a low-key way to go. Ideaworks’ solar deck lights have built-in solar panels, and automatically turns on at dusk and off at dawn. The set of three railing lights are offered in brown or white and also come with mounting hardware.

RELATED: The Best Places to Install Solar Lights in Your Outdoor Space

Pendant Lights


For many homeowners, ceiling-mounted light fixtures are go-to solutions for interior rooms that need bright light. Why not try the same type of fixture outside? If there is an overhead structure offering a space for mounting, an outdoor-rated light fixture might be just the ticket for dark decks and porches. Battery- and solar-powered pendant lights (we like this one from Mlambert), come in a spectrum of styles, from rustic lanterns to streamlined modern fixtures. Some outdoor pendant lights even have remote controls, so no more worrying about having to get out of your seat during an alfresco dinner party.

In-Floor Lights


If your deck doesn’t have any good overhead spots from which to hang a pendant or sconce, your lighting may have to come up from below. In-floor lights, like these TimberTech LED In-Deck Lights, are mounted into the deck’s surface and are particularly useful on stairs or around the perimeter of the deck. Though their top function is to increase safety, we can’t say we don’t love having an after-dinner cocktail enveloped in their soft glow.

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Overhead Deck Light


For homeowners with a covered deck or patio, attaching a battery-powered flush-mount light, like this one from Honwell, to the ceiling is an easy way to incorporate a bright light that shines overhead. Some offer remote controls to make it easier to turn on and off, and others offer options for adjusting the brightness and setting timers. If hard-wiring a light is a possibility, there are more outdoor-rated recessed lighting choices to fit in with almost every design aesthetic.

Pergola Lighting

Pottery Barn

Many homeowners opt for a pergola to provide a seating area and partial shade while relaxing outside. The structure’s posts and its grid of beams and rafters can be used to hang up lights and brighten up the area at night. There are plenty of outdoor-rated lighting options that can be hung on a pergola, including paper lanterns and these Indoor/Outdoor LED String Lights from Pottery Barn. Lights can be hung from the rafters or even wrapped around the posts.

RELATED: 13 Beautiful Ways to Use a Backyard Pergola

Star Lights


Star lights, like these from ANJAYLIA, add a celebratory ambiance to a dinner party or special gathering. String these lights across a table, ceiling, or umbrella to make it truly a starry night, even if you can’t see any real ones in the sky.

Deck Floor Lamps


If your deck is situated such that there isn’t anywhere to hang or mount a light, a floor lamp might be the best way to go. Smart & Green’s Tango Outdoor Floor Lamp doubles as a planter and has glowing ambient lighting that can change colors using a smartphone app. Whether your goal is all-white lights or a mix of hues, this battery-powered chameleon can change your outdoor vibe with the click of a button. 

RELATED: The 8 Biggest Outdoor Living Trends This Year

Deck Ceiling Fan with Light

Home Depot

If you live in a climate where it’s both muggy and dark after hours, consider killing two birds with one stone by installing a ceiling fan with a light. The Hunter Key Biscayne Ceiling Fan is appropriate for indoor and outdoor use, and has a lantern-style light kit and weathered-finish blades.