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A deck or patio creates a great outdoor living space that you can make even better with the correct lighting setup.

The lighting of any space contributes heavily to the mood of the setting. After all, a night is only better when your living space is decorated with pleasant, warm tones underscored by colourful shades of red or blue.

To create such an ambience, you’ll need an outdoor lighting setup. With a properly planned lighting setup, you can highlight the features of your deck while casting a lovely glow over the rest.

We have created a complete guide on outdoor lighting to help you plan and create an ambience that suits your deck or patio. Read on to learn how you can improve the look and feel of your deck several times over!

Outdoor Lighting Types

Outdoor lighting is quite popular even among those who don’t have a deck for a simple reason: they are extremely varied. But broadly speaking, we can narrow that down to seven types that can be used to adorn an outdoor living space. These are:

  • Spotlights: A lighting type that points in a single direction
  • Flood Lights: Spotlights, but much larger and with a wide coverage area
  • Up/Down Lights: Used to highlight specific features from the top or bottom
  • Step Lights: Used to illuminate steps and stairs
  • Garden Lights: A downward-pointing light used for illuminating a garden
  • Bollard Lights: Lights that rest on a post and point in all directions
  • String Lights: A lighting type that enhances existing lighting setups subtly

String Lights Decking

Approaching Outdoor Lighting Installation

One of the most important parts of outdoor lighting is how you plan it. If planned properly, your patio would become the focal point of your home and easily be one of its most attractive features.

But the contrary is also true. A poor lighting setup can blend the deck into the house or draw attention towards it by being an eyesore. Of course, neither outcome is favourable for your deck, so plan your lighting setups carefully.

When looking for deck lighting ideas, you should factor in the area, what features you should highlight and which lighting types would suit it. Whether or not you want to highlight the surrounding space will also play a significant role in the design plan.

Let’s look at a few sample lighting setups to understand this better.

1. Seating Illumination

This lighting setup keeps the deck seating arrangement as its focal point, using a mix of under-the-counter light strips, dimmable spotlights and bollard lights. The result?

It perfectly blends contemporary and classic for an elegant patio arrangement.

Outdoor Lighting Night

2. Diffused Glow For Subtlety

Hide your lights! Indirect lighting can create a unique effect on the deck or patio architecture, enhancing the silhouettes of surrounding elements. The diffused glow can produce exciting results in plants, trees, furniture, or pillars.

A warmer glow works particularly well with plants, allowing you to capitalise on the unique shadows created by the leaves. The light remains in the deck, causing little to no pollution.

Deck Lighting Feature Wall

3. String It Up

Why complicate matters if simplicity does the trick? That is the very foundation upon which this lighting setup depends.

The lighting setup creates a striking scene for your deck, featuring a single spotlight paired with two-to-three string lights. Warm colours subtly bleed into the scenery, illuminating your space with a glow often seen in classy restaurants.

Deck Tables String Lights

How To Install Outdoor Lighting

Once you plan your desired lighting setup, it’s time to install it. Remember that each lighting type requires a slightly different installation when installing outdoor lighting due to how they must be positioned.

But the one element that each of them shares is that they only need low-voltage wiring to connect to the power source. And that is where we’ll start the installation guide as well. Remember, a licensed Sydney electrician must install and repair lighting throughout your home and business.

1. Connect To The Power Source

It would be best to lay down the wiring as the first step of each lighting setup.

Based on your planned layout, cut low-voltage wires into specific lengths and route them out of sight. After all, exposed wiring can make for an eyesore.

Run the wires under the decking and into the power source. If you’re worried about any wires left hanging, you can use insulated staples to affix them to the nearest corner. And if your wiring runs through a garden, bury the wire and waterproof connectors six inches into the ground. The idea here is to keep it as inconspicuous as possible.

It would be best to never work on an active circuit; the power source should be turned off until you’re done.

The only thing you need to worry about if you have solar-powered lights is where to place them. These lights require as much sun exposure as possible, so put them accordingly without worrying about wires.

2. Install The Lights

Position the lights in a manner that leaves their cables undetected. If placing them on the floor, consider positioning them close to a seam where you can tuck away the wire neatly.

For wall-mounted lights, you can create holes where they can fit in neatly. And if you’re feeling a little creative, you can create a faux decorative wall for the lights to fit correctly. That way, you won’t have to worry about drilling a hole directly into the brickwork.

You can install post lights like bollard lights by using a post-hole digger and setting the lights in the garden. And much like wall-mounted lights, you can create an additional layer of decking to fit these lights.

As for string and rope lights, you can rely on mounting clips or hooks to hang them up. The process is straightforward and takes very little time, provided you remain mindful of its position relative to the power source.

Connect to the power source using the wires routed in the previous step to finish installing the lights. Be sure to follow the instructions manual to cover all the model-specific installations.

3. Test The Lights

As the final step of lighting installation, turn on the lights to see if they function well. If you spot any lights that don’t turn on, you should turn all of the lights off to address the issue.

More often than not, the main issue in lights that don’t turn on is loose connections. So, check the wiring once more and see if it is damaged in any place. If so, replace the wiring and turn the circuit back on.

Another common issue with the lights is malfunctioning bulbs that require replacement. If a warranty covers your lights, feel free to have them replaced.

Test your lights at night to see the results of your handiwork as the final step of the installation process.

Illuminate Your Deck With Outdoor Lighting

A proper lighting setup makes all the difference in the mood and looks of a deck or patio. You can enliven the space with bright lights and varied colours or keep it warm and classy with a simpler setup.

No matter the type of outdoor lighting you choose, your deck will surely be the talk of the hour during gatherings and parties. The aesthetics you create will leave a lasting impression on your guests, making the night all the more memorable.

And should you run into a hiccup or two during the installation process, feel free to ask for help. In Sydney, you will require the assistance of a licensed electrician, which is when you can contact Bright Force Electrical! We offer all kinds of electrical services at a reasonable rate anywhere in Sydney. So, call us today to find out how we can help!

You can learn more about lighting in your home in our guide on cleaning and maintaining power points and switches. See you in the following guide!

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