How to Install Lights on a Deck Railing

deck with railing surrounded by trees
  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Drill with power cord
Low-voltage transformer
In-deck lighting kit/individual deck lights
3-inch drill bit
7/8-inch spade or drill bit
Electric tape
Low-voltage transformer

Having lights on your deck railing is a perfect way to improve the ambiance of your deck as well as increase your home security. Deck lights are placed on deck floors conspicuously and fused with the structure of your floor deck. You do not need to hire a professional electrician to install your deck lights. Here you will find the materials you need along with the instructions on how to install lights on a deck railing.

Step 1 - Purchase a Deck Lighting Set

Acquire from hardware stores a set of in-deck lighting. The set of deck lights normally consist of lights, wires, and connectors. Determine the amount of wattage of the in-deck lights by consulting the manual that comes with the purchase of the deck lighting set. After determining the total amount of lighting wattage, purchase a low-voltage transformer that can accommodate the wattage needs of your deck lighting.

Step 2 - Position the Deck Lights

Position the lights on your deck according to your lighting plan. Take note that you should consider where your power transformer is located. Do not place a deck light too far from the power transformer or if there is any obstruction between the deck light and the power transformer such as a wall.

Step 3 - Measure the Wire Length

strand of decorative lights

Measure the distance between each deck lights and the location where your power transformer is located. Cut the wires according to the measurements using a pair of pliers. Allow an extra length for any adjustments you may have to do during the course of the wiring job.

Step 4 - Drill

Drill three-inch flat holes on the deck floor using the drill bit at the area where the lights will be installed. Position the drill upright on the deck floor during the work to ensure that the drilling does not penetrate the wood all the way. Then, drill around the middle of the three-inch flat holes a 7/8-inch hole to go through it using a spade or a drill bit. The holes will be utilized for wiring purposes of the in-deck lights.

Step 5 - Install the Deck Lights

The lights are now ready to be positioned in the holes drilled. The lead wires of the in-deck lights should be attached to a 12-volt outdoor lighting wire from underneath the deck. For safety purposes, insulated any exposed wires with electrical tape.

Step 6 - Wiring

The wires should go through the deck and connected to the low-voltage transformer. For stability, the wires should be stapled to the base of the deck so it cannot be seen from the surface.

When installing lights on deck railing, make sure there is an available outdoor power outlet for your power transformer. The location of your power transformer should as much as possible be equidistant to the position of your deck lights so as to save money on wiring. Use a power transformer with a little higher in wattage capacity than the total lighting wattage of your deck lights in case to compensate for eventual low voltage power supply.