How to Install Hanging Deck Lights

What You'll Need
Lighting kit or individual lights
Low voltage transformer
Power drill
Wire cutters
Staple gun and staples
Several individual stainless steel hooks
Electrical tape
A-frame ladder
Tape measure

The addition of deck lights to your home can help you to create an outside area that is perfect for entertaining. You will find them easy to install by following a few steps.     

Step 1 – Choose Lights

Consider the deck to work out how many deck lights you need before making a purchase – do you want a mellow relaxing space or a bright space for socializing that is an alternative to your sitting room? Answering this question will help you determine how many lights you need.

Deck light kits and individual lights are widely available from home improvement stores. Using a string of lights that comes as part of a kit is often the easiest option if you have a rail, not least because you will get immediate confirmation of the total wattage. The wattage is required to enable you to get a corresponding transformer to enable the lights to work. Individual lights will need to be installed on posts.

Step 2 – Turn Off Electricity

Start by turning off the electricity to ensure your safety. You should also take the opportunity to check whether the indoor wiring extends to the deck; this is likely if some form of lighting already exists on the deck. The voltage that you use in your home should be sufficient for use with the deck lights. However, if the light’s instructions show the voltage to be different, you will need a transformer.  

Step 3 – Fit Hooks

Measure the area of the deck where you intend to hang the deck lights to ensure that they will fit. Fasten the hooks to the rails of the deck at regular intervals; depending on the hardness of the wood you may be able to screw these hooks directly into the wood. Otherwise, use a screwdriver to drill the screw into place.  

Step 4 – Hang Lights

Once the hooks are in place, arrange the lights on them as desired. Secure one end by wrapping it around the first hook. Trail the wire along an inconspicuous beam or beneath the lip of a canopy and staple them into place, making sure it can reach the existing power supply wires or the transformer. This step is important for the sake of safety so that you don’t end up with wires hanging down or with loops that anything can get caught on.

Step 5 – Connect Wires

Strip the end of the wires and twist it together with that of the existing power. If a transformer is required, fit this beneath the deck to protect it from the elements and trail the wire beneath the deck to reach it. Secure the connections by wrapping them with electrical tape. Switch on the power to test the deck lights and ensure they are in a position to provide the light that you require.