As a contractor, we spend a great deal of time with homeowners talking about large concepts for the overall design of a new deck, screened porch or other outdoor space.  These discussions involve topics such as layout, size, building materials, colors, function and flow.

Deck with Built In Lighting by Archadeck

Deck with Built In Lighting by Archadeck

But smaller design details such as lighting, are really important too.

And the best lighting will illuminate your whole deck including the steps and the rails to boost its style, safety and usage.

So as summer fades away and the days become shorter lighting is a way to invite visitors outside, extending the use of your outdoor space into the latter parts of the year.

But wait.

There are a few more details because outdoor lighting fixtures are available in various shapes, sizes, forms, shades and finishes; however, the most common models include:

Step and Stair Lighting

Built-in Deck Lighting for Rails and Steps, by Archadeck in St. Louis Mo

Built-in Deck Lighting for Rails and Steps, by Archadeck in St. Louis Mo

Deck step lights are rather unobtrusive but will prevent trips and falls.  Built-in lights are installed on the riser portion of the step and shine doward to illuminate each step.

Post Lighting

Deck post lights are sometimes called ‘down lights’ or accent lights because they’re installed directly on the railing posts and shine downward.

These fixtures offer general illumination for the entire deck and highlight sitting areas as well as traffic paths.

Rail Lighting

Deck cap lights are located on the top of the railing posts.  And there are two types.  The first style is built into the cap itself and isn’t very noticeable unless illuminated.

Cedar Deck, Vinyl Rails and Post Cap Lights in St. Louis West County, by Archadeck

Cedar Deck, Vinyl Rails and Post Cap Lights in St. Louis West County, by Archadeck

The second option sits directly on top of the cap and provides a decorative component too.

Rope or Strip Lighting

Rope or strip lighting is visually unique and is often installed to outline specific deck features such as a bench or rail.

Two other types of lighting worth mentioning include general flood lights and string lights.

For security and safety, we recommend at least one flood light that points outward toward the yard.

And if you prefer a DIY project, consider string lights instead of built-ins.  These can be purchased from Ikea, Target and many other retailers.

So don’t put away the lounge chairs or grill just yet!  Use lighting to highlight the best features of your outdoor space while illuminating walkways and steps to avoid trips or falls.  This way, you can enjoy your backyard in the evening and throughout the seasons.

Next Steps?

If you live in the Greater St. Louis Missouri region and you’d like to talk with a local deck builder, please reach out to us, Archadeck of West County and St. Charles County.  Our phone number is 636.227.0800 and our website address is

We’re locally owned and operated with decades of experience.  Read more at About Us here on the blog.

But if you’d still like to explore and discover ideas for decks, screened porches, pergolas, gazebos and more, you might find our new Pinterest page a great resource for everything ‘outdoor living.  Find Archadeck on Pinterest at

Sources:  Archadeck Outdoor Living, Beautiful Backyard Blog, The Family Handyman, Aurora Deck Lighting

Outside of St. Louis, visit