Loading

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Ready to Start Your Project?

How to Install Recessed Stair Lighting

Stairway illumination is required by the IRC code R314.7. One method for meeting this requirement is to install low-voltage stair riser lights. You can either purchase these units preassembled in a number of designs or build your own. 

1) Determine the locations of your step lights. Make sure the stair stringers will not interfere with the step light locations. Cut or drill an opening on the riser board to place the recessed step lights. Step lights come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for cutting the correct size opening. Place the transformer next to the electrical outlet.

2) Run low-voltage wire from light to light, starting with the light farthest from the transformer. Leave a 6" loop of wire at each step light location.

3) At each light, cut the wire and separate the wires into 2-3" strands. Use a wire stripper to remove about 1/2" of sheathing from each wire and the wires from the light fixture.

5) Match the polarity of the wires. One wire will have a smooth black wire and the other will have white lettering and ribbing. Hold the wire ends together and connect them by twisting waterproof wire nuts to create a tight connection. Wrap the connection with electrical tape.

6) Read the instructions for your transformer. Make sure the on/off switch is turned off. Secure the transformer using mounting brackets to its desired location and run the wires into place and connect. Make sure the photo eye sensor is accessible to sunlight.

7) Plug the transformer into the outlet and turn it on. Test the lighting and set the timer as needed.

8) Unplug the transformer and secure the top cap to hide the low-voltage wire. Be careful not to screw into the wire.

Deck Stair Landing
Deck Stair Landing

These wraparound stairs feature recessed lights to provide illumination to prevent tripping after dark.


Popular Features Articles
Benches, Planters & Skirting

Deck Skirting and Fascia

Skirting can be an attractive feature that can be added to any low-level deck.

Outdoor Ideas

Hot Tub Deck

Hot tub or spa decks should always be "overbuilt". The average 8' x 8' hot tub weighs over 5,000 lbs when filled with water and people.

Outdoor Ideas

Best Outdoor Patio Umbrellas

These are the best outdoor umbrellas for your patio or deck to keep you cool on those sunny summer days. Check out our top umbrella picks at Decks.com.

Next Step: Design Articles
How to Design a Deck

10 Tips For Designing A Great Deck

This is an introduction to design. Start here to get some fresh ideas before designing your dream deck this year.

How to Design a Deck

How to Build a Pergola

Pergolas add a level of elegance and shade to your landscape. Follow our step-by-step instructions for building a pergola on a deck or patio at Decks.com.

How to Design a Deck

Zipper or Hearing Bone Decking

Learn how to install a herringbone zigzag decking design by installing blocking to the deck frame.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox
More Helpful Resources

Explore Articles by Topic

Create a free account and get instant & exclusive access to all that Decks.com has to offer:

Checkmark 1,000+ How-To articles
Checkmark 80+ Free Deck Plans
Checkmark Deck Planning Calculators
Checkmark Free & Simple Deck Design Tool
Lighting

How to Install Recessed Stair Lighting

Stairway illumination is required by the IRC code R314.7. One method for meeting this requirement is to install low-voltage stair riser lights. You can either purchase these units preassembled in a number of designs or build your own. 

1) Determine the locations of your step lights. Make sure the stair stringers will not interfere with the step light locations. Cut or drill an opening on the riser board to place the recessed step lights. Step lights come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for cutting the correct size opening. Place the transformer next to the electrical outlet.

2) Run low-voltage wire from light to light, starting with the light farthest from the transformer. Leave a 6" loop of wire at each step light location.

3) At each light, cut the wire and separate the wires into 2-3" strands. Use a wire stripper to remove about 1/2" of sheathing from each wire and the wires from the light fixture.

5) Match the polarity of the wires. One wire will have a smooth black wire and the other will have white lettering and ribbing. Hold the wire ends together and connect them by twisting waterproof wire nuts to create a tight connection. Wrap the connection with electrical tape.

6) Read the instructions for your transformer. Make sure the on/off switch is turned off. Secure the transformer using mounting brackets to its desired location and run the wires into place and connect. Make sure the photo eye sensor is accessible to sunlight.

7) Plug the transformer into the outlet and turn it on. Test the lighting and set the timer as needed.

8) Unplug the transformer and secure the top cap to hide the low-voltage wire. Be careful not to screw into the wire.

Deck Stair Landing
Deck Stair Landing

These wraparound stairs feature recessed lights to provide illumination to prevent tripping after dark.


Popular Features Articles
Benches, Planters & Skirting

Deck Skirting and Fascia

Skirting can be an attractive feature that can be added to any low-level deck.

Outdoor Ideas

Best Outdoor Dining Room Ideas For 2022

Create the perfect outdoor dining space for you and your guests. Make the most of your deck or patio with our list of outdoor dining area ideas and pictures.

Lighting

Our Favorite Outdoor Deck Lighting Ideas

Illuminate the night with our deck lighting ideas for your outdoor space, from string and solar lights to pool lighting. Find inspiration at Decks.com.

Next Step: Design Articles
How to Design a Deck

10 Tips For Designing A Great Deck

This is an introduction to design. Start here to get some fresh ideas before designing your dream deck this year.

How to Design a Deck

Brown Composite Decking

Get inspired by our collection of brown composite decking ideas and images. Find the best brown deck designs to fit your home and personal style with Decks.com.

How to Design a Deck

Porch Roof Options

Learn more about designing a deck with a porch roof.

Get more helpful resources delivered right to your inbox

Explore Articles by Topic

More Helpful Resources