The addition of a deck, or balcony, can be a valuable addition to almost any home. When designing such an addition the use and traffic flow often influence the placement and size of the structure. One aspect often overlooked when designing a deck is lighting. The use of solar deck lights are not only cost effective, but can enhance the design with ease.
There are nearly as many styles and sizes of solar lighting as there are styles of architecture. Ranging from post cap lights to stair lights to hanging lanterns, there is no end to the impact that can be achieved. A trip to a home improvement center, wholesaler or department store will provide you with many choices in style, color and function.
Copper-topped post caps add a lovely craftsmen style touch and are ready to apply. Just place over the top of a 4×4 post, tack in place with brad nails or wood glue and presto! A 1920’s craftsman-style look with a modern function. Post cap lighting comes in a variety of finishes and styles, everything from Tiffany glass to mission style, providing down lighting or radiant lighting or a combination of both.
Pole and hanging lantern-style solar lights can be used in planters along the edges of a deck or balcony, or attached along railings, creating a soft, radiant illumination to guide the footsteps of guests as they move from one area to another. They can be as decorative, or as low-profile and unassuming as you wish.
Another style of solar lighting for a deck that packs an architectural punch is stair lighting. These can be mounted along the lower inside portion of the handrail, or on the stair riser itself. Placement affects the amount of light that will be cast. If the sun shines on one side of the railing for the better part of the day, or there is a ledge that may obstruct sun exposure to the solar element, be sure to test the placement before installing. Once you are sure the amount of light cast on the stairs is sufficient for your purpose, go ahead and install according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
LED lighting has become popular in outdoor lighting. When using lighting in an outdoor space warmer, more glowing light that gives the space a welcoming atmosphere may be best used as background and mood lighting, while larger, or brighter lights can be used for task lighting. This type of lighting may be best used for an outdoor kitchen or food preparation area.