String Lights are Easy Lighting for Your Outdoor Living Spaces
String lights are inexpensive, simple to install, and add a festive look to your deck or patio. There are a variety of options to suit any decor and many are solar-powered. You can find globe lights, small lanterns, and styles that use Edison-type bulbs.
When purchasing string lights make sure they are rated for outdoor use. Have a friend or family member help you install them safely; a ladder or step stool will probably be required. Unplug the lights when you head inside for the evening. You’ll save electricity and reduce the risk of fire.
Look for candles or torches that are fueled by blends of oil. Some of the fuels are unscented while others have oils or scents added to deter insects. Citronella oil is available in most hardware and home improvement stores. You’ll find torches in tabletop models and set into stakes that push into the ground.
When lighting the yard or patio, space the candles 6 – 8 feet apart for perimeter lighting. As with any live flame, keep the torches at least 10 feet away from trees and structures, including your house, outbuildings, and the patio umbrella. Fully extinguish the torches at the end of the night and store them in a sheltered area to prevent metal fuel containers from rusting.
Lighting for the Stairs
If the deck or front porch is accessed by stairs, make them safer with good lighting. It’s helpful to light stairs from multiple angles. For instance, you might use small LED lights set into the risers combined with overhead or railing lights.
Hire an electrician to add strips of LEDs to the edge of each stair, or to install lights on the wall beside the staircase. For a quick and easy DIY option, set clay pots filled with soil on the steps and push a solar-powered stake light into each one. Add bright flowers or plant greenery for a burst of color.
Deck Post Lighting for Your Outdoor Living Spaces
Post lights are another option to illuminate your deck. Some are solar-powered and others will need to be wired into the post by your electrician. Post lights are easy to use; the electric ones simply flip on with a switch. If you opt for solar-powered lights, make sure your deck is in an area that gets several hours of sun each day to fully charge the lights before dark.