Outdoor Lighting Ideas To Enhance Your Deck And Patio


The gentle fall breeze has taken over our evenings. What better time to crack open your favorite brew or a nice bottle wine and get outdoors. A few outdoor lighting upgrades in your backyard will transform your landscape to play host to some of the cosiest and intimate time with family and friends, all year long. Below are a few of the best outdoor lighting ideas that’ll help you set up the perfect outdoor living space:

Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Deck

Adding outdoor lighting is a great safety measure for you and your family. There are a few ways to light the deck properly depending on the style and material of your deck. The easiest and many times the most effective deck lighting is installing lighting into wooden deck posts. This type of installation allows for a clean look and broadcasts light close to 8 feet wide.  The higher the fixture is placed, the softer more gentle the effect is created allowing for a more realistic and natural look. Space every 7 to 8 feet apart for adequate lighting.  If your deck has posts on both sides of the steps, alternate the location from one side to the other as you go down. This will allow the light to overlap and look more natural. Any time you have an elevation change, outdoor lighting should be present in order to deal with safety concerns. Deck lights and rope lights can also be used in benches and seat walls.

Deck lights come in many different finishes and colors: copper, brass, aluminium, and plastic. Professional grade outdoor lighting fixtures can even be customized to match the color of your deck, delivering the perfect match with an attractive finish.

Lighting up the Bistro

Inspired from a small café setup, these globe shaped lights better known as string lights can do wonders for your patio or deck’s ambience.  Incorporating this type of outdoor lighting on your property will help create the mood and give the outdoor living space depth and height creating a more natural scene.  String lights allows you to light certain aspects in the landscape that you may not have otherwise lit due to a lack of structure to mount to, such as a pool, large patio, dinner table, outdoor kitchen, or restaurant.

The lighting designer should utilize the correct wattage for the lamps according to how you plan on using the space: soft and subtle or brighter and upbeat for parties.  Adding a dimmer switch will allow you to choose and change the setting depending on your particular use that evening. You see this type of design many times used in weddings or special occasions showcasing the elegance of the event.  Bistro lights are becoming more popular and included in more lighting designs now as designers understand that they can be used in a residential setting and incorporated into the overall design of your outdoor lighting system.

Seat Wall Lights

Many times, the only way to light up your patio is to utilize your seat wall.  Outdoor lighting incorporated into a seat wall is an excellent way to hide fixture during the day and illuminate your patio in the evening. Seat wall lights can work well on steps as well if the style of steps can accommodate them. The height of the seat wall (usually 18-24” tall) will determine the light spread.  Spacing these types of fixtures about every 7 to 8 feet is recommended.  This arrangement should illuminate an adequate amount of light even for these low profile areas.

Seat wall lights are an outdoor lighting designers friend as these fixtures are now able to be utilized in an area that otherwise would be difficult to light.  Small spaces can be well lit without the bulb being visible or distracting. It’s highly recommended that you incorporate seat wall lights into your hardscape walls during the time of construction to limit the cost and to create a seamless flow of your outdoor lighting ideas and designs.

Step & Staircase Lights

Illuminating stairways is necessary to avoid unwanted accidents from happening in the dark. Don’t be another statistic for your insurance company to raise your rates due to a claim.  Enjoying your deck or patio at night is one of the best times of the day to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that the evening brings. Apart from considering the primary safety issues, lighting your steps can also add a touch of class to the surroundings. One of the few ways to set up this outdoor lighting variant is by using an LED tape light over the staircase and railings. You can also opt in for a seat wall light to add up to your deck and patio decor.

Hiding the fixtures within your hardscapes give a touch of ambiguity to the lights which seem to appear from nowhere. Mixing up the types of outdoor lighting fixtures within your landscape brings more of a natural look to your lighting design.

Why us?

Why Us? Because Southern Lights not only specializes in outdoor lighting installations, but in the design process as well where the expertise of an experienced eye is necessary in creating the correct and desired effects that lighting can offer. We have the ability to take a concept design and turn it into a true lighting masterpiece for you to be captivated in a way that caters to all aspects and senses found in the landscape such as; different styles of decks, patios, architecture, landscape, and water features. Whether it’s a  simple deck setup with few chairs or a giant patio with large outdoor living space, we’ve been there, designed, installed it, and maintained it all before.

Southern Lights thinks about the 3 main functions of every lighting system – SAFETY. SECURITY. SERENITY. We build a system that will stand the test of time for years to come with lifetime warranties and service that’s 2nd to none.

Our experienced team is well-equipped to guide you to formulate the best outdoor lighting ideas and plan for your deck and patio.

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Located in Summerfield, NC Southern Lights- Architectural and Landscape Lighting serves properties and property management companies throughout the state of NC including Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Charlotte, High Point, Jamestown, Burlington, Reidsville, Oak Ridge,  Brown Summit, etc.
Southern Lights has installed hundreds of outdoor landscape lighting systems and carries more certifications than anyone in the state. With attention to detail and a solid knowledge of design, Southern Lights is the leading outdoor landscape lighting firm in the state of NC. See why our clients choose us. Contact us today by web (online form) or phone 336-451-4969.

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