How Many Deck Lights Do I Need

Written by Ben Forde | Posted under:

The number of lights you need depends on a few key things factors like…

What’s around the area of the deck you want to light?

Is there garden, doors, walkways, a glass fence, walls or windows?

What you need to beware of is, if you’re area has walls or a fence around most of it and you put too many lights in. Your area can feel boxed in and surrounded by light. 

Glass Amplifies Light

If there’s glass doors or windows close to where you’re looking at placing lights. Understand glass amplifies the light.

What do I mean exactly?

If you’re sitting in the house trying to relax and the deck lights are on, you’ll see light everywhere because it’s reflecting off the glass. Go easy on the number for deck lights you place near glass. 

Deck Lights Are Mood Lighting Not The Main Lights

Over the past 8 years I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of deck lighting plans customers send to me. Going over their plans, I usually end up taking a few lights out and tweaking the spacing because they have too many lights. 

Deck lights are mood lights, they are there to show the edge of your deck and where steps are. If you’re trying to make up for a lack of light in your area with deck lights. Don’t because…

When lights are below eye level they always feel brighter because they shine directly up into your eyes. 

How Far Apart Should Deck Lights Be?

Start spacing your lights from 1.2m and go from there. You’ve got to work in with what’s in your area, like post and other structures. 

Take a look at this plan below. The circles are where the customer had spaced the lights. I took most of the lights out and spaced them at 1.66m apart.


The new building had 2 big glass doors, a narrow path and a building butted up against the path on one side. 

26 lights would have been too many lights. We ended up going 16 in the area, with a couple in each of the steps shinning out, not up.

Deck Lighting Plan

Lights spaced too close together look clustered and look like a run way strip for planes 

What Is The Best Spacing For Deck Lights 

The best spacing is what’s going to work best in your area taking into consideration what’s around your deck. I mentioned a few things at the start of this article. 

Your deck is an area for relaxing and entertaining. You don’t need to blast your guest eye-balls out with too many lights in your deck.  

What To Avoid When Lighting Your Deck  

Buying 1watt deck lights. They are too bright and blind you. 0.6watt deck lights is more than enough light. 

If you doubt what I’m saying here, go put some 1watt lights into you deck then write to me sharing how your eye-balls feel.   

You Want Your Deck Area To Flow And Feel Open 

If you space your lights too close together, or put too many lights in your deck, your deck area feels surrounded by light, and doesn’t flow. 

Deck lights are mood lights, they highlight the edge of the deck or show where a step is. 

If you’re lacking light in your deck area, put a few lights in your deck, then put some festoon lights overhead. 

Never try to make up for a lack of light by putting more lights into the deck. The constant, direct, and blinding light in your eyes, drives you crazy. 

How To Get Your Deck Light Spacing Right 

Send your deck lighting plan to me and I’ll take a look. I love helping customers with their lighting and I love how lighting affects an area.

Get in touch with me and I’ll help you out.

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