Deck lighting is a great way to make your deck more attractive and useful. Follow our step-by-step instructions to learn how to install low-voltage lights. Deck lighting is a great project because low-voltage lighting doesn't usually require hiring an electrician. Installing deck lighting is similar to installing landscape lights.
You can choose from a variety of light posts, rail lights and stair riser lights. Most deck lighting systems are powered by a 12-volt transformer that is plugged into an ordinary wall outlet. Solar lights that are self-powered are available, and they don't require wiring or transformers. Always read the manufacturer's installation instructions and contact your local building department before starting the project.
1. Using a table saw, cut a 3/8" x 3/8" channel down the center of the top surface of the top rail.
2. After making your two outside cuts for the channel, move the fence closer to the blade to remove the center material.
4. Drill a 5"-deep hole in the center of the top surface of the rail post using a 1-1/2" diameter forstner bit.
5. Place the drill bit in the top rail channel and drill a 3/8" hole in the side of the 4x4 rail post to the center hole.
6. Pull your low-voltage wires through the center hole and leave 6" of excess wire above the post.
8. Drill a hole through the deck floor and run your low-voltage wires to the transformer.
9. Strip the wire ends back 3/4" with a wire stripper for connections. Align the wire polarity. The negative side is always marked with white lettering or identifying markings. The positive side is smooth black.
10. Use a weatherproof wire nut to connect the low-voltage wires to the correct polarity. Screw the post cap light to the side of the post with two screws.