Outdoor Lighting

What Are The Top Five  Outdoor Lighting Fixtures On The Market Today?

No one likes to sit on a deck or patio in the dark. You can increase the amount of time you enjoy your deck by turning on a few lights. This can be as simple as lighting a few candles or installing low voltage outdoor lighting. Another advantage of an outdoor light is that it makes your deck and patio look more romantic. We all like the look of city lights and your outside space can have the same effect.

To understand what is available on the market today I’ve created a list of the top five lighting fixtures available. Once you’ve reviewed the list and know what is available you can determine what kind of outdoor lighting you should purchase for your deck.

Outdoor Lighting Low Voltage

Low voltage outdoor lighting has become one of the top ways to light your deck. It is safe and very easy to install. It is easy to install because you plug the transformer into a standard 120 volt outlet. The transformer converts the 120 volts to a safe 12 volt DC supply. Then you use standard low voltage wire to connect the lights.  If you want to run more lights you use a larger transformer.

Since this low voltage lighting has been around for awhile there are a lot of different styles of these lights available. Here’s a partial list of the different styles of outdoor lighting fixutres that you can buy on the Internet or in your favorite garden store:

  • Deck post lights
  • Flood and Spot lights 
  • Flush mounted lights 
  • Landscape lights 
  • LED lights 
  • Path and walkway lights

Outdoor Lighting Solar

Solar outdoor lighting is one of the easiest styles of lights to install. This is because there is are no wires to install. Energy is naturally transferred from the sun to solar panels and then the energy is then stored in batteries. When the sun goes down the light can automatically turn on. This is great for a natural ambiance and security.

The big consideration for solar lights is to ensure you place it in a sunny spot if possible. The longer and more intense exposure to the sun the longer and brighter the light burn. Since there is no wires required, these are perfect lights where it is hard to run wires or you don’t want a permanent light. You can set it up for awhile and them move it to a new location if you like.

Motion Outdoor Lighting

An outdoor lighting motion detector is very useful for safety and security and reasons. If you want to conserve power but want the light on when someone is in the area this is the perfect solution. When the light detects motion it will automatically turn on. This is handy for yourself to ensure you can find your way in the dark. And also useful if you want to scare off a person that shouldn’t be around your house at night. 

There are multiple ways to power these lights, including: your houses main power, low voltage outdoor lighting or solar lights. I recommend you determine where you want to install these lights and then determine which is best power source and outdoor lighting fixture to use.

Outdoor Light Post

If your deck uses wood posts or poles you will want to consider installing these kinds of outdoor lights. Lights mounted on all of your deck posts provide a great source of light to enjoy your deck at night and also make it look awesome from a distance. Since the lights can be at eye level when you are sitting down you want to make sure that they are not to bright and that they have covers to direct the light down.

They are available in low voltage or solar powered. If you are installing the low voltage outdoor lighting model you will need to use wood posts or poles on your deck. This is because wiring is usually run through the posts and railing. This is not a concern for the solar outdoor lighting because they just attach to the top of the post and there are no wires to run.

When you purchase these kind of deck lights make sure it will fit the size of your deck post since there are several sizes available.

String Outdoor Lighting

There is nothing better than patio light outdoor string lights to add ambiance and get a party started. I’m not sure why these are so cool, but everyone likes them and they are inexpensive. You need to make sure the lighted string is long enough for the area you want to light or purchase multiple strings. Also, make sure that there is a 120volt outlet you can connect the lights too.

There is a wide selection of patio lights available. No longer can you just find the square colored lights, yes I have a set of these 🙂 You can now purchase lights in the shape of palm trees, jalepeno peppers, birds, paper lanterns, the list is endless. Just make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use. Patio string lights are also a big hit when you are camping. They provide good light at night, let me people know you are up for a party and they are easy to install on your awning. I have a few sets and an extension cord that I keep with our trailer.

Final Note

One question I hear a lot, is it okay to combine the different styles of outdoor lighting?

Not only is this okay, but it can be a good idea depending on your outdoor lighting needs. It may not be possible to run wires to a location on your backyard and you can install solar outdoor lighting. And in another location you may only want the light to come on for security reasons and in this case an outdoor lighting motion detector is perfect.