When designing and building a deck, lighting is an essential part of the deck that is often neglected. Proper deck lighting is the only solution to using your deck after the sunlight fades and the party goes on. But not all deck lighting is the same. Use this guide to help you sort through the mumbo jumbo of deck lighting. This way, when you hire an electrical contractor to install your deck lighting, you'll know exactly the solution that your deck needs when it comes to lighting your deck properly.
120V Voltage Lighting
This common current runs direct from your home to your deck for the ultimate in bright and well lit decking. Spot lights, flood lights and other high pressure bulb lighting can be just the thing to get your deck illuminated as bright as you need it. Other options include hanging lanterns, colored string lights and post lanterns.
Wiring for 120V is typically done during the framing process of building a deck. A rough electrical installation is completed, the decking is installed and the electrician will then install the final fixtures. However, most wood and composite decking can be easily removed to install electricity after a deck has long been built.
High Voltage Downside: 12V lighting pulls a direct current from your home. A dedicated GFCI circuit is needed for the safe operation of any outdoor fixture. A new circuit and underground conduit adds to the labor and material costs of these products.
Low Voltage Lighting
This deck lighting is probably one of the most common outdoor lighting solutions for landscaping and decking. This type of lighting uses a 12V electrical connection versus the typical homes powerful 120V electrical connection. Low voltage lighting is safer than conventional lighting and costs much less in both materials and labor costs per linear foot. And because low voltage lighting is only running a small load, it's safer, more energy efficient and is easy to maintain versus conventional lighting methods.
Low voltage lighting is easy to expand in the future as well. Additional lighting can be added at a later date if budgets are restricted at the time of initial installation, making low voltage lighting a budget friendly solution both during and after installation.
In-deck lighting is a very popular deck lighting feature that uses low voltage built-in lighting that rests flush with the decking surface. This can create the perfect path lighting on steps, around railings and just about anywhere you can run wiring for a safe and attractive lighting solution.
Solar powered lighting is the ultimate in low voltage lighting solutions. By charging batteries from built-in solar panels throughout the day, lights automatically run all night long, wasting no energy, making them the greenest of all low voltage deck lighting options.
Low Voltages Downside: As its name states, low voltage lighting is just thatâ€”low. Lighting options are typically dim and distant when candlepower is measured. If you're looking to light up your entire deck, you'll need to add a higher voltage electrical line to make it bright and comfortable during the night.Posted by: TrustedPros