Solar deck lights – everything you need to know
There is nothing that quite sets off the natural beauty of classic wood decks like the right choice of lighting. Not only is deck lighting important for safety, but it also helps create a more relaxing and useful atmosphere for entertaining. Many advancements have been made in deck lighting options, but one of the most advantageous choices is solar lighting.
Every homeowner can benefit from reduced energy costs and new solar deck lights can be just as beautiful as traditional electric lights.
Advantages and other factors of solar deck lighting
- Solar deck lighting is growing in popularity, and for good reason. This versatile lighting has a number of advantages, including:
- Ease of Installation – Solar lights are typically self-contained units that are wireless. This makes them one of simplest lighting systems to install, particularly when it comes to adding lighting to an old deck. The overall easy installation also makes LED popular for DIY projects. Installing deck post solar light caps is a breeze and requires no electrical knowledge.
- Reduced Maintenance – Solar lighting requires less maintenance and is longer lasting. Typically you won’t need to do anything with your lights unless a battery needs to be replaced.
- Improves Safety – Deck lighting is necessary for increasing safety. Solar railing lights help create a visual boundary of the deck’s edge while lights strategically located near steps help prevent tripping.
- Expands Deck Use – A deck is far more useful when it can be used day and night. While you might already have a single outdoor wall-mounted exterior light, the simple addition of deck post solar lights could help illuminate seating areas or the railing around a jacuzzi tub.
- Adds Value to Home – A well-lit deck adds a boost to curb appeal in terms of increased safety and overall beauty. This means your home will not only be more valuable to you, but also to potential buyers in the event you sell.
- Variety of Brightnesses Available – Solar lights don’t just come in one brightness. You can find different brightness, which are lights that use more power and therefore glow brighter. This allows you to create depth in lighting. For example, you may have brightly light solar deck post lights and more subdued railing lights combined.
- Flexibility in Use
While solar deck lighting doesn’t have any significant drawbacks, there are two factors to consider when designing your deck lighting scheme – light exposure requirements and cost.
Solar lights naturally need sunlight in order to properly function. This may prove a bit frustrating for homeowners that either live in a region that experiences little sunlight throughout the year. You may find that cloudy, overcast days leave your lights looking a bit dimmer. That being said, the average homeowner will still get plenty of use from properly placed lights. Remember that solar light panels should be placed in a way that ensures maximum light exposure, so keep this in mind solar deck rail lights located recessed under the rail.
Solar deck lights lights tend to be a bit more expensive than other options. While at first this may seem a disadvantage, it is important to consider the money you will be saving by switching to solar. Many homeowners that invest in a solar lighting system find significant electric savings compared to what would have been added to their monthly bill had they gone with electric.
Designing a solar deck lighting plan
Before you rush out to purchase solar lights for deck posts you should first develop a design blueprint for what lighting you need.
Begin by sketching out a blueprint of your deck or work with a professional to help you do this. Once this is in hand, step out onto your deck and take a look around to see where you need lighting. It is most helpful to do this at dusk or at night as you will better be able to judge where you need illumination.
Common areas to focus on lighting up include seating, around a BBQ grill, hot tub or other outdoor feature, or to highlight containers plants, outdoor art, etc. On your deck blueprint you should accurately mark where your posts are located as well as the size of the posts. When buying solar light deck post caps you will want to buy the appropriate size if you are shopping by yourself.
If you’re on a budget you don’t need to go all out with solar deck lighting like you would need to with a wire electric lighting system. This is a great help for homeowners that can only afford a few lights at a time. Also, this makes it easy for homeowners to gradually switch to solar lighting over time by replacing old lights already installed on their deck.
Solar deck lighting for safety vs ambiance
One more thing to keep in mind when outfitting your deck with solar lighting is safety versus ambient lighting. As mentioned above, solar lighting is flexible and there is no reason you can’t combine solar with electric to get the right amount of light in the right areas. Solar lighting is naturally slightly dimmer compared to electric lighting, which means it tends to be better suited for ambiance than safety. Homeowners that enjoy the look of solar lighting may decide to focus on solar light caps for deck posts or along the railing, but use wired electric lights for safety sake recessed into steps.
Even the most beautifully constructed wood deck isn’t complete without lighting and solar deck lighting is the ideal solution.