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One of the key questions we see our members asking as summer approaches, is how best to light their outside decking in a way which compliments the space and doesn’t detract from the natural beauty of the great outdoors, yet still provides enough light for ease of use. More than that, members are always looking for ways to keep their outdoor space as safe as possible – and that means keeping it well-lit and highlighting any potential hazards. Of course, while candles and floor lanterns are aesthetically pleasing ways to light a small outdoor space, these are not always practical; nor are they young child or pet friendly. In these instances, we always recommend our members look at the benefits of decking lights.
Why invest in decking lights
First and foremost, decking lights are often bright enough to light a path across your decking – eradicating the potential hazard that guests could trip or stumble over the edge of your decking. With the wires built into your decking or buried into lawn grass, cables are hidden – again, supporting the hazard-free foundation of decking lights, as well as ensuring they look as neat and tidy as possible. Most decking lights are built into the decking during construction, allowing them to sit flush with the decking surface which protects both decking users and the lights themselves, with the outer casing of the lights protected and reinforced against regular treading. With most decking lights built into the ground beneath your feet, the atmosphere created once the sun goes down is one of romance – thanks to the lights not being shone directly at face level. Of course, most outdoor retailers and garden centres who specialise in decking lights will give you a choice between brighter white lights and warmer soft lighting, but on the whole no matter which light you pick it will create a welcoming atmosphere being shone from the ground up. Similarly, decking lights also have the power to shine somewhat of a spotlight on your key decorative features, for example any water features or ponds in your garden, high end garden furniture, or firepits. Other examples we have seen include decking lights which have been repurposed and built into walls, chairs, and even patio stairs to create a source of light from a variety of angles and levels.
Installing decking lights without replacing any decking
It is important to remember when installing your decking lights, that you need to create adequate holes and space to allow the light to fit snugly into your decking, with enough free space for the wires to run away from it and sit free from harm. Remember that decking lights work in the same way as any other lights and will need access to electricity. As such, make sure that you have a plug socket within at least 5m of your decking, and if you don’t call in an electrician to fit one for you. If you already have decking and want to add decking lights as an afterthought, the process is simple and can be found online through various tutorials – though we recommend making sure you have the right tools, and installing the lights on a dry day to keep the wires from getting wet. And finally, finding the best decking lights. The best options with the widest selection of off-the-shelf decking lights will be DIY and homeware stores, with some garden centres stocking various options which are built on aesthetics rather than practicality. If you’re fitting new decking, make sure that the designer and installer knows which lights you want and where you want them placed.