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Deck and Stair Lighting PDF

Deck and Stair Lighting PDF

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Published by sdodge49
Very informative free PDF from Fine Homebuilding
Very informative free PDF from Fine Homebuilding

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Published by: sdodge49 on Nov 01, 2009
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05/13/2013

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F
rom a purely functional point of view, a deck-lighting scheme should serve a few differentneeds. Safety lighting lets you walk aroundafter dark without tripping over a chaiselongue. Task lighting enables you to see if the burgerson the grill are ready. Security lighting casts off the inkyblackness on the other side of a sliding-glass door. Butunless you plan to be interrogating intruders in yourbackyard, installing one or two wall-mounted floodlightsto serve all these needs isn’t the classiest solution.Accent lighting can help to answer safety, task, andsecurity requirements, but its primary purpose is aes-thetic. Rather than flooding deck areas with simulatedsunlight, accent lighting integrates with posts, railings,stair risers, and other deck elements to create an invitingafter-dark atmosphere. By taking advantage of the vari-ety of accent lights available, you can create a lightscapethat establishes edges, defines areas or elevations, andeven highlights pathways or destinations. 
Justin Fink is an assistant editor. Photos by Krysta S.Doerfler, except where noted.
Integrated with posts, railings, and stair risers, a new generation ofexterior-light fixtures provides a wide range of deck-lighting options
Accent Lighting 
for Your Deck 
BY JUSTIN FINK 
FINE HOMEBUILDING
60
Photos this page: Courtesy of Highpoint Deck Lighting
COPYRIGHT 2007 by The Taunton Press, Inc. Copying and distribution of this article is not permitted.
 
POWER SOURCES:low, line, or solar?
The type of power source that you choose is dictatedby lots of different factors, and each factor hasupsides and downsides.Low-voltage lights are the most common type of accent lights. They are a safer alternative to line volt-age, posing almost no threat of shock. Electrical con-nections are simpler, and you don’t need an electricallicense or permit to install them. The downsides tolow-voltage lighting are that they require a trans-former (photo below) and that unless the fixtures aredivided into more than one run of wiring, they sharethe same 12v of power, which can lead to dim lights.The installation of line-voltage fixtures is enforcedmore strictly. All connections must be made in anapproved electrical box, and cables run in the openmust be enclosed in properconduit, such as schedule-80 PVC pipe. Also, if you’rea builder, most areas won’t allowyou to install line-voltage decklighting unless you have an elec-trical license.Solar-powered deck lightsrequire no electricalconnections, timers,or light switches. You don’t need todrill routing holes, runwires, or make con-nections. But you doneed steady exposureto sunlight, typicallysix hours a day, according to manufacturers. Eachsolar light has a photo cell that charges a set of NiCdbatteries during the day, then uses the batteries topower the light after dark. This reliance on sun typi-cally limits deck applications to post-cap fixtures,but recessed solar fixtures are available as well.Unfortunately, the amount of energy collected isalso limited by the size of the photovoltaic panel(which is typically small on a deckfixture) and is dependent on thelocation of the fixture. Also,the NiCd batteries willeventually need to bereplaced, which is gener-ally as simple as changingthe batteries in your tele-vision remote.
Low-voltage lights use a transformer 
to convert 120v line power to safer 12v.
Solar-powered deck lights 
 
rely completely on sunlight.
 No additional power source or wiring is required.
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2007
61
www.finehomebuilding.com
COPYRIGHT 2007 by The Taunton Press, Inc. Copying and distribution of this article is not permitted.
 
Post-cap lights arethe largest, most-prominent fixturesin the accent deck-lighting category.They highlight theposts at the topand bottom of stairways or deckentrances, or actas markers forintermediate posts along the perimeter of a deck.Fixtures are typically made to fit over 4x4 posts or6x6 posts, but some are designed to fit both sizes.Custom sizes are available from some manufacturers.Lights are often available in several different colorsand materials so that they can complement the lookof a deck. Many manufacturers also make unlighted“dummy” post caps to match post-cap lights; thisway, all posts look the same.
START AT THE TOP
POST-CAP LIGHTS
AURORA DECK LIGHTING
www.auroradecklighting.com800-603-3520
5
Sirius Deck Light
9
Walkway Light
HIGHPOINT DECK LIGHTING
www.hpdlighting.com888-582-5850
3
HP-801C
7
HP-570P
11
HP-571P
HINKLEY LIGHTING
www.hinkleylighting.com216-671-3300
1
1513BZ
KICHLER LIGHTING
www.kichler.com866-558-5706
4
15056WD
12
15047OZ
MAINE ORNAMENTAL
www.postcaps.com866-780-3507
6
Tiffany-style sunflower solarglass post cap
MOONLIGHT DECKS
www.moonlightdecks.com913-638-1685
2
Copper Vein smooth post cap
ROCKLER HARDWARE
www.rockler.com800-279-4441
8
Rectangular Deck Light
SEA GULL LIGHTING
www.seagulllighting.com800-347-5483
10
92067-834 single-lightlandscape deck light
123479685101112
Drawings: Bob La Pointe. Photo top left: Courtesy of Aurora Deck Lighting.Photo bottom left, facing page: Courtesy of Highpoint Deck Lighting.
FINE HOMEBUILDING
62
COPYRIGHT 2007 by The Taunton Press, Inc. Copying and distribution of this article is not permitted.

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