How do I light my decking area?: 10 stylish decking lighting ideas

Don’t hide your beautiful decking in the dark if you’re lucky enough to have one. Illuminating your decking space is a fantastic opportunity to create a warm and welcoming place to relax, entertain and enjoy your garden. It will also allow you to stay in your garden past sunset and even enjoy your decking into the autumn and winter months. 

But where to begin and what lights to choose? Here is our guide on why you need lights on your decking, including how to illuminate your deck area in 10 different ways with stunning decking lighting ideas.

We always recommend designing your decking lighting scheme and choosing and installing your lights before you build your decking. If you want built-in and recessed lights, fitting them after you’ve completed your deck can be costly, damaging and time-consuming.

However, if you already have a decking that doesn’t have lights, there are plenty of ways to add lights that don’t require complicated wiring. Discover ten stunning ways to illuminate your decking. 

Table of contents

How do you light a deck at night?

When deciding on your decking lighting, pre-planning is crucial. Every deck is different, so you must use your creative licence to create a lighting scheme that complements your unique deck. 

Certain deck areas require illumination for safety, including the decking boundary and any steps. However, there are also lights to enhance the mood, like festoon lights and outdoor lamps. 

Certain lights can highlight and accent plants, features and boundaries, while others can be installed to create general ambient lighting, helping you enjoy a stylish outdoor setting at night. 

The best way to create a fantastic decking lighting system is to combine these lights, strategically placing your deck lights to create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere without overdoing it. 

Use features around your decking to your advantage. If you have a beautiful red brick wall, illuminate it with wall lights. If you have trees surrounding your deck, hang festoon or tree lights from the overhanging boughs. Your options are endless.

Should I put lights on my deck?

Should I put lights on my deck?

There are a few reasons why you should put lights on your deck. Here are the most important reasons:

Visibility and safety

One of the best reasons to get deck lighting is to increase safety in your garden. If you have outdoor furniture, decking stairs or decking that can get slippery when wet, it’s better to have lighting so any hazards are visible. 

Deck lighting can help prevent you from tripping over objects, slipping on the decking and falling down stairs in the garden at night. 


Any additional lighting in your garden will always increase the security element on your property. Lights on your decking or garden will deter intruders from entering your property or commercial space. 

Indoor-outdoor living

Lastly, decking lighting helps create a beautiful, inviting space to relax in. Adding lights to a deck creates an outdoor living space, even after the sun has set. Make it your outdoor living room where you can entertain, unwind and spend time with family and friends. 

What lights should I use on my decking?

We’ve created a top ten list of the best lights to use for decking lighting to help you decide on the right lights for your deck. 

Hanging Festoon lights and string lights for decking area

1. Hanging Festoon lights and string lights

One of the most popular ways to light a decking is using festoon or string lights. These versatile lights transform an old decking into a cosy, welcoming outdoor seating area. One of the best things about outdoor festoon lights is that they are portable. Often battery or solar-powered, they don’t require lighting design, pre-planning or an electrician to fit them, so they’re perfect for upgrading an existing decking.

Hang any festoon or string lights from fence posts or railings, or you can hang them from above from tree boughs or pagoda slats. 

Festoon lights are currently on-trend. The vintage-style bulbs can give a classic charm to your decking area, and the warm white light temperature provides a warm and cosy atmosphere. Why not browse our complete range of festoon lights in our collection today?

Lanterns for decking area

2. Lanterns

Another way you can illuminate your decking is to add a collection of lanterns to your decking. Strategically place them to offer ambient light or highlight an entrance, step or design feature. Traditionally, lanterns burn oil to produce light, but now you can get battery or solar-powered lanterns to match a modern decking.

Like string and festoon lights, you don’t need to pre-plan where lanterns will go; they can also help illuminate your existing decking. Effortlessly place and move them wherever you need extra light; the options are endless. Place them on the floor to mark the way or on the railing posts to illuminate the perimeter. You can also place them in the middle of an outdoor coffee table to create a cosy atmosphere, or hang them up high and let them illuminate your outdoor seating area on your deck from above.

Downlights for decking area

3. Downlights

If your decking backs onto a garden wall, you might want to consider wall downlights. Downlights are an excellent choice for decking lighting, as they provide indirect illumination, which creates a mellow and calming atmosphere. As they cast light downwards onto the deck perimeter or flower beds, you can enjoy the warming glow with no dazzling glare.

If you have flower beds, plant pots or shrubbery beneath your downlights, this is also a fantastic opportunity to highlight your flora and fauna as part of the deck lighting scheme. Discover our complete collection of wall downlighters in our online collection today.

Strip lights for decking area

4. Strip lights

You might want to experiment with modern-style lighting if you have modern-style decking. Strip lights are a fantastic way to add a contemporary touch to your deck lighting scheme. Use strip lights to light the underside of seating areas or the step fascia board for a futuristic lighting design. Get everything you need to set up strip lights on your decking from our garden strip lights collection

spike lights for decking area

5. Spike lights

Another way you can illuminate your decking is by highlighting your potted plants or flower beds. Garden spike lights highlight flora and fauna from the ground, creating a fascinating lighting scheme between light and shadow amongst the leaves and foliage. Spike lights are easy to install, especially if they’re solar lights.

Highlighting your decking plants creates a subtle lighting scheme where your plants are the focal point rather than the deck. Glance at our complete range of garden spike lights in our collection online if you’re a keen plant lover and are incorporating plants on your decking.

step lights on decking area

6. Step lights

If your decking has steps, it’s a good idea to illuminate them for safety reasons. Recess step lights into the step risers to light each of the steps. You can place pairs of step lights at either end or get creative with placement to incorporate them into your landscape design while keeping their safety function. 

We offer step LED deck lights in many designs to suit your taste and deck style. 

Ground lights for decking ares

7. Ground lights

Recessed deck lighting is a stunning option for decking lighting. You can recess them into the wooden slats during the deck construction to perfectly illuminate the perimeter. However, some worry that ground light creates a harsh upward glare and doesn’t help contribute to a cosy decking environment. 

Alternatively, you can opt for covered ground lights, which cast light outwards, creating a more mellow lighting scheme. Browse our complete range of ground lights in our online collection today.

outdoor lamps for decking area

8. Outdoor lamps

One of the great benefits of having a deck is the indoor-outdoor living lifestyle. Treat your decking as an outdoor living room. However, no living room is complete without a homely lamp or two. We offer an extensive range of outdoor table and floor lamps to illuminate your decking area and create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. Choose between solar or battery-powered table or floor lamps or one you can hard wire to suit your set-up and lighting landscape. 

spotlights for decking area

9. Spotlights

You can also get creative using spotlights to illuminate your decking. Point their adjustable heads towards design features or use them to create separate lighting zones to distinguish your decking from the rest of your garden. Spotlights don’t have to be dazzling. Use them to wash surfaces with light for an indirect lighting effect. The washing light is most effective on textured walls around decking to create a play between light and shadow on the uneven surface. Why not look at our spotlights for multiple lighting design options?

outdoor pendant lights for decking area

10. Outdoor pendant light

You could add an outdoor pendant light if you have a pergola or an overhead structure over your decking. Bring the comfort of your living room and overhead lighting outside by adding a stylish focal point to the centre of your decking area. 

An outdoor pendant light can add general light to your decking and create a cosy living room-style feeling to your outdoor space. Discover our range of outdoor pendant lights here at Moonlight Design. 

Decking lighting at Moonlight Design.

We hope you now have a few ideas on how to light your decking in our list of ten types of deck lighting. Choose one way of a few to create the perfect lighting balance on your deck. 

Remember, you’re trying to create a welcoming and cosy atmosphere and enhance the safety of your deck with deck lighting. So use deck light to illuminate heavy footfall areas, but don’t overdo the lights, or it will be too bright. 

Always pre-plan how you want to illuminate your deck. Even if you have pre-existing decking, you will still need a good idea of where you want to light the space. For any lights that need wiring to the mains circuit, employ a professional electrician to install the deck lighting.

Check out our complete collection of deck lights for more deck lighting inspiration. 

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