Let’s talk about deck lighting! From solar deck lights to LED stair lights, the options are endless and can be a little overwhelming, right? Get all the info you need to improve the safety of your deck, as well as the ambiance.

While safety is an important part of any outdoor space, you also want it to look and feel inviting. Lighting helps create the warm and cozy ambiance in any room of your home – your outdoor living spaces included.

Deck lighting on white vinyl deck steps
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When we replaced the old deck at our lake cottage, we started to receive a lot of questions about the materials we chose. We’ve been thrilled with the results of this project!

I love chatting all elements of lighting and design with you. We’ve shared all the details of our vinyl deck, along with the glass deck railing. Find our teak outdoor furniture here, and if you’d like to see the full tour of our lake cottage, head on over!

Today, we’re focusing on deck lighting. If you’re getting ready to renovate or upgrade your deck, this post is for you! Learn about solar deck lights, LED stair lights, and so much more.

Throughout this post, you’ll see images of our deck during the day and at night. You’ll also find great sources for all the lighting you could need.

Use the drop down Table of Contents menu to navigate this post with ease, and don’t forget to pin and save for later!

White vinyl deck stairs with discreet deck lighting on every other step.

Why do you need Deck Lighting?

Outdoor lighting is important because it’s both beautiful and functional. Ideally, you’ll safely illuminate your most trafficked areas, and at the same time, enhance the beauty of your gardens and outdoor living rooms.

What areas should you illuminate? Consider the following options for your patio or deck:

  • Dining Area
  • Deck Steps
  • Deck Railings
  • Landscaping
  • Architectural Features

Of course mounted lighting installed by professionals will give you the most polished look. However, there are so many other options!

Consider string lights, lanterns, battery operated candle lights and solar lighting for added charm, affordability and ease of installation.

Deck lighting on white vinyl deck steps

Types of Deck Lights

Here are the most popular types of deck lighting.

  • Stair Lights: Consider options like surface mounts, flush mounts, path lights, and weatherproof LED strip lights.
  • Spotlights, Uplights and Downlights: Illuminate paths and walkways, feature special landscaping elements, anchor to walls, roofs and trees.
  • Post caps and rail lights: These are decorative fixtures that are attached at the top of posts or rails.

Why We Chose our LED Stair Lights

After much research, we went with these discreet Dek Dot lights (linked in the sources below). Why?

  • LED
  • Wet rated for locations
  • Low voltage
  • Rust resistant
  • Easy installation
Three little girls on white deck steps decorated with pumpkins
Read more about the best Deck Paint Colors here.


  • Weather resistance is very important – double check to ensure that your lights are rated for outdoor use.
  • It’s easy to match the finish of your lights to the finish of your deck for a discreet daytime look. In our case, we added white lights to our white vinyl deck stairs.
  • However, if you’d like to make more of a statement, that’s wonderful too! Check out the copper beauties in the source list below.
  • For deck stair lighting, consider adding one or two lights to every other step. In our case, this was plenty of lighting for safety!
White vinyl deck stairs with discreet deck lighting on every other step.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to light a deck?

The best way to light a deck is to use at least two different light sources to add to both the safety and ambiance. Consider string lights, deck stair lights, and post lights or flooring lights for a variety.

Where should decking lights be positioned?

A great way to ensure adequate deck lighting is to add post lights, since the spacing is already managed for you. You can also add stair lights to ensure safety.

How far apart should decking lights be?

To ensure that you don’t overdo it, it’s a good idea to position your new lights approximately four feet apart. On stairs, and areas where the lights need to be closer together, aim for a lower voltage light so that the space isn’t too bright overall.

Stair lights and string lights on a white vinyl deck


Dek Dot Plug-In LED Deck Light Kit

As seen on our deck stairs, a set of eight.

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