Installing Deck Lighting

Deck lighting can be installed with a low voltage lighting kit or your own hand selected low voltage transformer, cables, and lights. You will only need a few simple tools.

  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Pair of pliers
  • Saw to cut holes in deck
  • Sharp knife or cable cutting/stripping tool
  • A piece of sturdy cardboard for each type of light
  • Graph paper
  • A pencil

With these tools, you're ready to get to work.

1. First, draw a schematic of your deck on a piece of graph paper. Note where you want the deck light fixtures to be placed. Fight the temptation to over light. The fixtures should generally be at least three feet and as much as five feet apart.

2. Install the low voltage transformer next to the wall socket but as out of the way as possible.

3. Connect the low voltage cable to the transformer.

4. Run the low voltage cable from the transformer around the edge of your deck where you want the lights to go. Be sure to leave some slack at each connection and enough slack beyond that to allow you to hide the cable beneath or at the edge of the deck.

5. Trace the outline of the bottom of your deck light onto a piece of cardboard. Cut this out into a template.

6. Using your newly made template, saw through the place where you want to put your fixture.

7. Insert the deck light so it fits snugly within the newly made hole. Most deck lights will have a means of tightening the light so it's secure once it's in place. Don't do this until all the lights are installed.

8. Attach the wires from the cabling to each light as you install it.

9. Plug in your transformer and test your installation.

10. Unplug the transformer and conceal the low voltage cable under the deck or at the side in the grass. Bury it or staple it as appropriate.

11. Plug the transformer back in and enjoy your new lights.

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