Spending time on a beautiful Texas day sitting on a patio or deck is an immensely rewarding experience. When you add lighting to the equation, you can also enjoy your deck or patio during the calm of the night. In this blog post, Creative Nightscapes provides information on how our experts install a variety of lights for decks and patios.
Please note: As dealing with electricity is highly dangerous, installing lighting is best left to professionals.
These descriptions are not intended to serve as a guide, but to help you better understand the work we do. Depending on the situation, our crew may do the steps differently.
There are a number of ways to add lighting to your deck. Lighting not only allows you to enjoy your deck after dark, but it can also enhance the beauty of your deck.
Deck Railing Lights
Deck railing lights offer a stylish way to bring lighting to your deck. They are a great option for people wanting more discrete fixtures so as not to take away from their home’s architecture.
When installing undermount LED railing lights, our team will follow these steps:
1: We locate the nearest power source. If one isn’t available, it will need to be installed. Given the danger involved, this should be done by a professional lighting specialist.
2: Once our team determines the location for the deck railing lights, we mark the location where it will go. You generally don’t want to see the light strip.
3: We mount up the track for the lights.
4: We apply an alcohol wipe so the light strip will adhere better to its mount.
5: We slowly attach the light strip to the mounting track.
6: We make the connections between the different light strips.
7: We position the wires out of the way and staple them to the rail. We take extra care not to pierce the wire when we are stapling it.
8: Towards the center of the light strips, we leave two wires unconnected. It is important not to connect them all, as voltage drop can lead to lights dimming towards the end farthest from the power source.
9: We attach the wire from the power receptacle to the light strips.
10: We connect the lights to the wire with brass barrel connectors. Then, we place a shrink tube around each of the connectors and carefully apply heat.
11: We hide the wire and secure it.
You love spending time on your patio. With the proper lighting setup, you can enjoy it after dark while enhancing its beauty.
Patio Wall Lights
1: Get the location ready.
Taking a marker, we’ll mark the location on the wall where the wall light fixture will be installed.
Given the danger of working with electricity, it is best to have a certified electrician handle the wiring.
2: Access the circuit wires.
Part A: Warning: We make sure the power supply is turned off at the circuit box.
Part B: Once we have the power switched off, we’ll locate the circuit wires. These will be in a group of white, black, and copper wires.
Part C: We reach into the wall electrical box and separate the wires. Next, we take wire strippers and take off about half an inch of plastic insulation from the white and black wires.
3: Connect the circuit wires.
Part A: We hold the light fixture near the wall electrical box.
Part B: Our team connects the wires from the fixture to the ones in the wall electrical box. We pair the black wire with the black wire and the white wire with the white wire. Next, we connect the light fixture’s green wire to the copper wire in the wall electrical box. We twist the ends of each pair of wires together, and cover the connection point of each pair with wire connectors.
4: Mount the wall fixture light into position.
Part A: We fasten a waterproof gasket to the light fixture.
Part B: We place the wires that we’ve connected back into the wall electrical box.
Part C: In the event the fixture has a mounting plate, we’ll attach it to the wall box with screws. Holding the base against the wall, we line up the screw holes in the fixture with the screw holes in the mounting plate or the wall, and screw in the screws.
5: Install the gasket and the light bulb
By using a waterproof gasket, you can better protect your light against the elements. Our team mounts the gasket. Then, we attach the light bulb to the light fixture using gloves or a soft cloth so as not to get fingerprints on it. We ensure that the light bulb is an appropriate type for the fixture.
6: Switch the power back on
Once the work is done, we reactivate the power via the circuit breaker. Then, we test out the light fixture by turning it on.
Deck Post Lights
Lights mounted on the side of a deck post are a great way to use an attractive fixture to bring light to an area.
In the following sections, we’ll describe how our team attaches a light to the side of a deck post.
1: We take off the cap at the top of the post. When it is off, we may see slots for running a wire down through the post.
2: Before doing any drilling into the post, our team figures out where the connections will be and how we will get the wiring out of the post. Retrieving the wire can be done with a coat hanger or a fiberglass wire pull rod (commonly available at home supply stores).
3: We take out the railing bracket screws. By doing this, we free up the sleeve so it is easier to access the wire.
4: We mark the location on the post where we will drill the hole. We are mindful that the wire will exit from the bottom of the fixture when determining the light’s height.
5: Using a ½ inch machine bit, we drill the entrance hole for the wire. The fixture will cover this hole when it is mounted up.
6: We take a wood auger bit, and begin to drill into the hole we made at a slight angle. The purpose of this is to core out an opening to connect with the other entry hole.
7: We take a flat spade or a shovel and slip it underneath the post. Next, we gently pry up the post to get a two to three-inch gap.
8: We cut off a roughly ten-foot piece of wire. We feed the wire down into the post until it hits the bottom. We then pull it through the gap at the bottom we made with the shovel or flat spade.
9: One of our crew members takes a ½ inch machine bit and drills a hole under the deck boards to make an access slot for the wire to run through. We take the wire and make a small bend at the end of it. The bend makes guiding the wire through the slot we just created easier. After the wire is run through, we pull out any slack in it.
10: One of our team members pushes the post down to make it flush with the deck.
11: We take off the deck light’s face plate so we can mount it on the post.
12: We put the end of the wire through the hole. Then, we feed it upwards through the post.
13: We check the position of the deck light to ensure that the top of it is facing upwards.
14: We screw in the two screws to secure the deck light to the post.
15: We install an LED or halogen lamp. Then, we place the faceplate back on the deck light.
16: We take the screws removed earlier and put the railing bracket back on the post.
17: We do the wire connections at the top of the post.
18: We put the cap back on the top of the post.
Patio Paver Lights
Adding paver lights to your patio is a great way to utilize your hardscape in lighting. While paver lights are commonly used around a border, they can also be used in other places.
Important: Be sure to wear safety glasses when installing paver lights. It is vital that you take care when handling power tools.
1: We mark the location we want the light to go.
2: We take a standard hammer drill that has a diamond bit. Then, we wet the paver. Next, we position the hammer drill at a 45° angle to the paver and get the diamond bit to “catch” the paver before we start to drill the hole.
3: After we get done drilling, we rinse off any residue so that the surface is clean.
4: We make a channel for the wire to go. Generally, the wire goes into the bedding layer.
5: We feed the wire through the paver hole we drilled.
6: Using a rubber mallet, we gently tap the light until it is in position in the paver.
7: We set the paver into position. Then, depending on the setup, we run the wire through either the channel or bedding layer.
8: (Optional) We can add an extender if the customer wants the connections to be outside of the paver.
9: We run the main cable over to the transformer.
10: We put the wire guild on the top of the cable. We set the connector. We twist it to attach it until we hear a “click” sound.
11: We cover the cable with paving stones.
12: We bury the outside wires into the landscape.
Patio Lantern Lights
A hanging patio light provides your patio with an elegant look. It’s a great way to bring light to an area where people eat.
It is important to select a lantern made for outdoor use that can handle the elements.
When installing a hanging lantern light on a patio, our crew follows these steps:
1: Getting ready.
First, we’ll need to ensure that the power is turned off at the main switch. This is vital for safety. To ensure the power is actually off, we use a voltmeter.
2: Inspect the outlet box.
We inspect the outlet box to make sure that it can support the weight of the new hanging lantern. For lighter light fixtures, we might be able to use a plastic box. For heavier light fixtures, we’ll need to use a metal box. It pays to be cautious.
3: Installing the mounting strap.
A mounting strap is optional unless the outlet box we are using does not have a center stud. If we do install it, we must ensure the mounting strap is securely fastened.
4: Assemble the lighting fixture.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, we assemble the light fixture.
5: Wire up the lantern lighting fixture.
We look at the new light fixture’s wiring and inspect the part of the fixture at the top that connects it to the outlet box on the ceiling. Our team studies the manufacturer’s wiring schematics. We make sure to carefully follow the wiring instructions.
Often, this step calls for the splicing together of the black wire from the lantern lighting fixture to the black wire on the outlet box. After doing that, we apply wiring nuts to connect them.
Next, we splice together the two white wires in the same way we connected the black wires.
After that, we connect the outlet box’s bare or green wire to the light fixture’s green wire.
Finally, we connect the bare or green wire to the ground screw or mounting strap.
We make sure that the wiring connections are secure by utilizing wiring nuts and that all the wires are inserted into the power box.
6: Install the light fixture.
We place the escutcheon plate onto the wire that is dangling from the ceiling. Next, we screw the light fixture to the ceiling.
Caution: Ensure the light fixture is secure against the ceiling before turning the power back on.
Once the power has been turned on, we test out the light by turning it on.
Lighting for Decks and Patios
Deck or Patio Step Lighting
Deck steps can be hazardous at night. By having deck step lights installed, you can increase visibility and add a stylish touch to your deck steps.
Supplies and tools: Our crew uses a level, demo saw with a wood bit, tape measure, carpenter’s pencil, and drill driver.
1: Determine the location of the step light.
After we measure and determine where the step lights will go, we’ll need to drill or cut a hole into the riser board. We place the transformer by the electric outlet.
2: Run the wires to the lights.
We begin at the light that is farthest from the transformer, and run the low-voltage wire to each of the lights. We leave a six-inch loop of wiring at each of the light fixtures.
3: Strip wires using a wire stripper.
We cut the wires at each light, then separate the wires into strands that are two to three inches. Taking a wire striper, we remove about half an inch of each wire’s sheathing along with the wires from the light fixtures.
4: Match up the polarity of the wires.
There’ll be a smooth black wire, and the other wire might have a ribbed design with white letters. While holding the ends together, we twist waterproof wire nuts to create a tight connection between the wires. Next, we wrap the connection with electrical tape.
5: Mount the transformer.
Important: We make sure to read the transformer’s instruction manual carefully. Our team ensures the on/off switch is in the off position. Using mounting brackets, we attach your transformer to the desired location. Once the wires have been run into position, we go ahead and connect them. Our team makes sure that the photo eye sensor is exposed to sunlight.
6: Test out the light.
Once we’ve plugged the transformer into the outlet, we turn it on to test out the light to ensure it is functioning properly. If needed, we’ll also set the timer. Next, we unplug the transformer. We cautiously attach the top cap to hide the low-voltage wires. We take care not to accidentally screw into a wire.
Deck and Patio Light Services in the Greater Dallas Fort Worth Area
When you want to install patio or deck lighting, go with the pros at Creative Nightscapes. We can design a gorgeous deck or patio lighting layout that will make you the envy of the neighborhood. We also install, maintain, and repair outdoor lights to keep them shining.
Founded in 2004, we are a family-owned and operated business. Our dedication to our work has won us many awards, and we proudly maintain an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. On top of that, we have received many five-star reviews from satisfied customers. Whether you need design, installation, or service for outdoor lighting, we are here to help.