The beautiful weather during summer treats us to some prime outdoor time. And do you know what that means? Time to enjoy your deck! That time can easily stretch past sunset, too. But it doesn’t mean you need to pack it up for the night. Summer is the perfect season to brighten your deck—and Christmas lights make the perfect deck lighting.

We’re on a quest to help you illuminate your deck. Treat this article as your guide on the best ways to use LED Christmas lights for your deck lighting.

Evening or Night—Time to Shine

Your deck area can get as dark as the night sky after the sun goes down, making it difficult if not possible to enjoy yourself or entertain company. For soaking up lazy evenings, cool breezes, fun barbecues, and other simple pleasures made great on the deck, brightening up the area is worth it. All you need is the right source of light. While candles are pretty, they don’t produce much light. And if the wind comes up, they can get blown out—or worse: tipped over, causing a fire hazard.

Christmas lights are perfect for deck lighting! They provide ample brightness without being harsh or overbearing like overhead lights. They also possess a warm and inviting glow that will make you want to spend all night on your deck. And they’re made to withstand the elements thanks to their weather-durable design.

deck lighting day to nightThe Different Deck Lighting Applications at Your Disposal

LED Christmas lights offer a nice stable of possibilities for decorating, from rail wraps to tabletop lighting. Combine a few or more of these applications to make your deck space positively stunning! But keep in mind that some ideas may not mix so well, such as rail wraps and under-rail lighting. So map out the path of your deck lighting adventure with attention toward coordinating your lighting choices. An arrangement with thoughtful planning will bring your lighting arrangements together like a happy, and stylish, family.


Rail Light Wraps

Rail light wraps are among the best deck lighting arrangements you can put up. They’re wonderfully visible which makes them easy to enjoy, and they’re also easy to install. When done right, they look magical and give nice lighting where it counts. Depending on how bright you want your rails looking, you can run the string between the gap of each baluster once, or twice.

Christmas lighting on deck railWhile you could feasibly use many types of lights for your rail light wraps, smaller is better here for a couple reasons. First, smaller bulbs are more aesthetically pleasing on this specific arrangement. Larger bulbs will stick out more and can give the arrangement on this structure an odd look. Second, smaller bulbs won’t stick out like larger bulbs will, cutting down on any risk that the bulbs get bumped or snagged. Prepare to wow your guests (and yourself) with rail wraps that lights up the night!


Under-Rail Lighting

Rail wraps a little too conspicuous for your preferences? Try under-rail lighting. This approach to lighting your deck rail is great if you’re looking for subtlety, limiting the brightness in case you prefer some light rather than a lot of it.

For this install, all you need are the lights and something to secure them underneath the railing. We recommend hooks screwed into the side of the railing’s lower half, or zip ties around the railing. Either method of securing the lights has its benefits and costs.

The screw hook route is less visible, but the screws will put holes in your railing. Your light line also needs to be taught enough to bring about the look, or the line will hang too close to the balusters instead of the railing itself. Zip ties, when cinched up correctly, won’t leave a mark on your railing—but they can be noticeable. Either way, under-rail lighting is a tasteful addition to a deck space with the right planning.


Icicle Lights For Roofline, Railings—Or the Deck Itself

This is possibly the prettiest application that deck lighting has to offer. It’s also a versatile application that can be installed from a few different spots depending on your deck design or taste, such as overhead, from railing, or from the edge of the deck itself.

icicle lights on deck
Make sure you have enough icicle lights string to run the perimeter of your deck’s roofline, the length of your railings, or the perimeter of your deck. A continuous run of icicle lighting in a deck area is always impressive. Simply use screw hooks to hang the lights from, or adhesive clips for a temporary application. With these lights up, your deck space will have a sparkle that’s totally worthy of you and your guests’ admiration.


Deck Post Light Wraps

Do you have a covered deck complete with posts that rise to meet a roof or pergola? Wrapping those posts with lights can inspire a pleasing sense of structure and framing to your overall deck lighting arrangement. A deck lighting project might also look incomplete if you commit to rail wraps without also wrapping the posts, so consider this application if lighting your railings is a must.

Deck posts are wrapped from top to bottom, starting at a fixed point for your lights to hang from. A light clip or zip tie works well for this. If you’d like even more lights on the post, you can run the string straight down to the bottom of the post, loop through a TreE-Z wrap, and then back up to another TreE-Z wrap repeatedly for a deck post speckled with brightness!


Hanging Lights

Here’s a favorite that’s ideal for parties, events, or casual gatherings with friends. And you may want to leave these up through summer, because hanging lights are amazing as a deck lighting fixture.

The best way to achieve the iconic hanging light look is to use base cord and S14 bulbs. It’s a stylish arrangement that provides a great amount of light, setting the stage for good vibes on your deck, on any night.

bistro lighting on deckAttractive Tabletop Decorations

It’s easy to get caught up in the lighting that claims the most physical real estate. But don’t forget about spicing up the spots you sit by—your tabletops! Tabletop decorations add pizzazz to any deck lighting arrangement.


Fairy Lights In-A-Jar

A popular table decoration that’s as adorable as it is charming, fairy lights in a jar will give your table the right ambiance for relaxing evenings and special moments with friends.

Simply put a length of lighting into the jar presented how you like, while leaving enough line for the adapter. Tape part of the light line to the inside of the jar, near the jar’s neck. Fasten the lid of the jar, but not too tight so the wire doesn’t kink. And voila! You’ve got yourself a light that’s sure to attract the right attention.

fairy lights for deck lightingFairy Lights Around Trays

Want to make food and condiments seem extra yummy? Run a string or two of LED fairy lights around a tray that you keep at the center of a table outside. These lights will give an enchanting shine to the food or condiments that are placed on the tray. Even food that sat on the grill a little too long will seem more exquisite than a five star meal.

You can also place outdoor table decor, such as potted plants or lanterns, on this fairy lights-encircled tray when not serving food.

These are the best ways to use LED Christmas lights for deck lighting. We hope you come away from this article with some ideas on how you’d like to bring light to your deck, while bringing some breathtaking appeal too. And we’re here to assist you in your deck lighting adventures and other lighting projects. Drop us a line at or call us at 1-800-391-5280 to discuss what lighting matters you have in mind!