Surface and Deck Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting
There are a number of different low voltage options for surface and deck lighting. These lights are generally installed low to the ground. They're either attached to the deck railing, a nearby low wall or to the surface of the deck itself. For this reason surface and deck lighting needs to be both durable and compact.
Surface and deck lighting needs to be durable because it's likely to get stepped on or kicked. It needs to be able to withstand a certain amount of punishment. And this lighting needs to be compact for at least two reasons. First, deck lighting will often attach to the railings of the deck. This is easier to do if it's no wider than the railing to which it attaches. This minimizes the risk of having it accidentally knocked off. The light is protected by the rail. Second, surface and deck lighting gets bumped into constantly. You can minimize that by having the lights not jut out too far. A low profile will make these lights safer.
Because of their size, these lights don't provide a lot of illumination. Their purpose isn't to flood the area with light. Rather, they're used to define the perimeter of a deck or other surface, or to point out hazards for those who are walking. They generally have 7 watt bulbs which are quite up to these tasks.
Half Brick Lights
One basic design is the simple half brick light. Sized and shaped just like the half brick it's name after, this light can safely attach in a variety of places. If you're using it on a horizontal surface, or even on a vertical surface that's likely to get bumped into a lot, you'll want the kind that comes with a protective louvered face plate. This will protect the light from harm. And when mounted vertically, the louvers will direct the light downward so that it doesn't glare into your eyes. If neither of these precautions is necessary, you can find a half brick light with a simple prism lens. This will allow more of the light to shine through and may look prettier as well. Either way, these fixtures can provide a measure of safety without getting in the way.
If rectangular isn't what you're looking for, try a round surface light. These can be quite compact as well and are easily affixed to a deck railing. Many of them come with hoods that direct the light downward. While shallow, these hoods do provide enough of a bump that you probably won't want to put them on horizontal surfaces, at least not where there's likely to be foot traffic.
Other designs are available as well. One popular option is the mariner light. This has a translucent white oblong lens encased in a decorative black frame. The frame goes around the perimeter and protects the surface of the light with a grid pattern that leaves plenty of room for the light to shine through. A simple mariner light can bring a touch of the sea to your deck or patio.