Decking Ideas – Lighting for Your Deck
Lighting for Your Deck
Once you’ve completed your new deck, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible enjoying it. Quite apart from the safety aspect of illuminating steps and changes in level, lighting will dramatically extend the use of the deck and can create a magical ambience. Even when it’s too cold to be outside, you can still enjoy the view through the windows at night.
A little planning at the design and construction stage of your deck will not only make installation easier but also ensure that unsightlyis hidden away. Try to build in some flexibility so that through the evening you have the option to change the lighting to suit your mood. Avoid reliance on powerful halogen security lights.
The range of outdoor light fittings available direct to the amateur from shops is fairly limited but mail order companies offer a wide choice. The majority run off mainsand unless you have experience of fitting outdoor electrical appliances, it may be wise to call in a professional.
The effect of black mini-spot uplighters and downlighters is quite subtle and they are particularly useful for highlighting decorative trellis, ornaments, water features and plants. Dress trellis panels and climber-covered pergolas with tiny white fairy lights —lovely for creating a romantic atmosphere for an outdoor dining area. Another soft lighting technique uses recessed lights that are flush with the deck and safe to walk over. Their metal finishes offer a contemporary feel.
Ideal around doorways, there are several designs of wall light including those that match the period detailing of your house. You can connect these to an infra-red sensor so that the lights come on automatically when it gets dark. Use long-life bulbs where possible and, for safety’s sake, connect to a residual current device (RCD) or circuit breaker.
Low-Voltage Lighting for your
Low-voltage lights running off a transformer are easy for the amateur to install. The range is fairly limited — you normally buy a set of four or eight identical lights, e.g. spotlights on spikes to push into the ground or pots, globe lamps on a stem, or lights set into a column. Some come with sensors that switch them on automatically at night.
Solar-powered lights have come on in leaps and bounds and better brands now function quite reliably even in dull weather thanks to advances in rechargeable battery technology. They are similar in design to those that run off a transformer but have the advantage of being wireless, so can operate far away from an electricity supply.
Candle lanterns, garden candelabras and flares now come in a wealth of designs and are perfect for warm summer nights when eating outdoors. Choose from opulent, high-tech or rustic. Set them amongst the plants, floating on your pool, hanging from the pergola or at the centre of the table. But don’t leave naked flames unattended!
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