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8 Lighting Ideas to Bring Style and Safety to Your Deck Stairs

Colored LED Recessed Lights from DEKOR® decorating a two-level deck with stairs

If you’re not lighting the stairs on your deck, you’re missing a vital opportunity to include a stellar outdoor lighting design that brings visibility to each outdoor step along your path. Outdoor stairs can be a tripping hazard for guests at night, especially if they’re not properly lit. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of the best deck stair lighting ideas to help you design the right plan for your outdoor space. 

There are countless options to make your deck stair lighting your own. First, think about the other lighting you plan to install on your deck or in other outdoor areas. Do you want your deck stair lights to match? Or should the design add some contrast or interest? Also, consider the materials your deck steps are made of (wood, composite materials, concrete, etc.) and the terrain that surrounds them; this will determine what kind of lights you can install.

While we’re talking specifically about deck stairs in this article, many of these suggestions will work for any type of outdoor stairs, whether they’re stairs leading to a pool area, porch or patio stairs, or pathway stairs. Let’s dive into the top deck stair lighting ideas.

1. Strip Lights for Stairs

A simple, classy way to light each step equally is to use strip lights below the lip of every stair. The strip lights add a glow to your staircase, so you see the light, but not the fixture. If you’re looking for something that’s subtle during the day and doesn’t take up space on the stairs, this may be your go-to option. Strip lights are also great for outdoor steps because they distribute light equally across the width of the step. Plus, they can often be cut to custom lengths, so they are easy to fit to the specific size of each step, even if your steps are not all the same width. 

If you plan to install strip lights, take a look at the No See Em Strip Light Kit from DEKOR®. These lights are built for outdoor use. At only 5/16″ in height, they are designed to illuminate but not be seen.

2. Recessed Lighting Along Stair Risers

Recessed Stair Dek Dot™ LED Lights installed in deck stairs

Recessed lighting is one of the most common ways to add lighting to deck steps. Each light fixture is installed flush with the surface of the stairs. These are most commonly installed in wood and composite materials (although we’ll discuss similar options for concrete, pavers, and stone later in this article).

Recessed lights can be arranged in a variety of different ways to create a design and distribute light across the width of your steps. If you have narrow stairs, one light installed in the middle of the riser of each stair is an option with clean, stylish appearance. If your stairs are wider, you may want to install lights along the outer edges of each stair or create an alternating pattern. 

DEKOR® has many different options for recessed lighting, but you can’t go wrong with our Dek Dots designed specifically for stairs. These lights shine down at a 30-degree angle, so the light hits each step in precisely the right place. 

3. Subtle Deck Stair Lights

DEKOR® Mini Recessed Stair Light with a faceplate

Sometimes the best stair lighting comes in the smallest package. If you’re trying to achieve that recessed, flush-mounted look on your stairs but want a barely-there fixture that still provides strong visibility, then keep an eye out for mini recessed lights, like DEKOR®’s Mini Recessed Stair Lights. There’s no chance of stairway obstruction when these are installed. These mini lights are also perfect if you want to install multiple lights per step, creating lines of light along the right and left edges of the stairway, for example.

4. Deck Lights with Faceplates

DEKOR® Outdoor LED Recessed Stair Light with a square louvered faceplate

Faceplates are an effective way to take your deck lighting ideas to the next level. They often come in a variety of finishes to match the aesthetic of your deck. They also come with different style options which allow you to control how and in which direction your light will shine. This is ideal for stair lighting because you can turn a standard recessed light into a bidirectional one or create a stylish lighting effect with a louvered faceplate. 

DEKOR®‘s Outdoor LED Recessed Stair Lights come with faceplates. Choose between eight different faceplate styles to find the right lighting design for your needs. 

5. Light up Your Deck Railing 

Adding lights to your railings is another way to brighten a deck stairway. There are many ways to approach deck rail lighting. You could choose to do something more decorative like string lights, but keep in mind that purely decorative lights may not be powerful enough to clearly light each step on their own. More effective rail lighting solutions include strip lighting, post lamps, and recessed lights installed underneath the railing. Read our blog post about the best deck rail lighting ideas to learn more.

6. Make Your Lighting Colorful

Colored LED Recessed Lights from DEKOR® decorating a two-level deck with stairs

Your outdoor lighting scheme doesn’t have to be all white light. If colors are a better fit for your personality and design sensibilities, then use light fixtures with colored LEDs to illuminate the path down your outdoor stairs. DEKOR® offers two different options in this category, including our Colored LED Recessed Stair Lights and our Colored Dek Dots designed specifically for stairs.  

7. Paver or Concrete Stair Lights

Step & Stair Paver Dot™ Lights from DEKOR® installed in concrete steps

Most of the suggestions in this blog post so far are best suited for installation in wood or composite materials. But that doesn’t mean you can’t install lights in concrete steps or stone stairways. Paver lights like DEKOR®‘s Step and Stair Paver Dots are specifically designed for use in hardscape materials like pavers, concrete, and stone. Like traditional recessed stair lights, they can be installed in the riser of each stair so they shine a light on the stair treads, illuminating the way down deck stairs or patio steps at night.

8. Landscape Lighting to Illuminate Stairs

If your stairs are built directly into your landscape on a hill, you have the option of using landscape pathway lighting along the sides of the stairway. Path lighting is frequently installed directly into grass, dirt, or gravel for an easy DIY lighting project. Check out our favorite pathway lighting options here.

As long as you keep safety and style in mind, finding the right outdoor stair lighting will be a breeze. And installation should be just as easy. DEKOR®’s products are designed with the DIY lighting enthusiast in mind. In no time, your outdoor living space will be elevated with new lights from DEKOR®.

 

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