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Top 10 Outdoor Lighting Options for Your Composite Deck

October 20th, 2023 | 4 min read

By Aaron King

outdoor lighting options for composite deck next to pool custom built michigan

Imagine this: a warm summer evening, stars above, and the soothing ambiance of your beautiful composite deck. You've invested time and effort in crafting the perfect outdoor oasis. Yet, as the sun dips below the horizon, the charm of your deck fades into the darkness. 

At Custom Built, we understand the significance of outdoor spaces, especially your composite deck. With 15+ years of building beautiful composite decks, we're here to show how you can enhance your deck's allure and functionality with the proper outdoor lighting.

In this article, we'll guide you through the top 10 outdoor lighting options specially curated for your composite deck.

Whether you seek a soft, romantic glow or vibrant, party-ready illumination, we have solutions to match your style and needs. Let's brighten up your outdoor haven and ensure your deck remains a captivating focal point, day or night:

1. Deck Post Cap Lights: Elegance at the Apex

trex composite deck post cap lights on top of railing outdoor lighting options custom built michigan

PC: Trex

Let's begin with a classic choice: deck post cap lights. These fixtures sit regally atop the posts, casting a warm and inviting glow that gracefully defines the perimeter of your outdoor space. With a wide array of styles and finishes available, deck post cap lights offer both functional lighting and a touch of classic elegance.

2. Recessed Deck Lighting: A Modern Glow

trex recessed composite deck lighting options custom built michigan

PC: Trex

For those who favor sleek and modern aesthetics, recessed deck lighting is the way to go. These fixtures sit flush with your deck's surface, creating a seamless and minimalist aesthetic. Recessed lighting can serve multiple purposes, from guiding pathways to accentuating your deck's architectural features subtly.

3. Solar Deck Lights: Harnessing Nature's Power

trex solar deck lights for composite deck outdoor living space custom built michigan

PC: Trex

Embrace sustainability and budget-friendliness with solar deck lights, powered by the sun's energy. They're exceptionally easy to install since they require no wiring. During the day, they soak up sunlight, and as evening descends, they illuminate your deck with a gentle, eco-friendly glow.

Solar deck lights come in various styles, including post-mounted, flush-mounted, and stair lights.

4. Deck Rail Lights: Combining Style and Safety

deck rail lights for composite decking outdoor lighting ideas custom built

PC: Trex

Seeking a perfect balance between style and safety? Deck rail lights are the answer.

Typically mounted on the railings, they cast a downward light that enhances visibility, preventing stumbles and falls. Available in various designs, these lights can seamlessly complement your deck's aesthetic.

5. LED Strip Lighting: A World of Possibilities

LED strip lighting for composite deck outdoor living space custom built

PC: Decks Direct

To infuse your deck with drama and versatility, consider LED strip lighting. These flexible strips can be installed along your deck's edges, stairs, or even underneath the railing. They offer a unique and captivating visual effect, with the ability to change colors and dim the lighting to match your desired ambiance.

6. String Lights: A Timeless Choice

string lights with composite decking outdoor living space ideas custom built

PC: Better Homes & Gardens

When it comes to infusing your composite deck with a touch of enchantment, few options rival the classic charm of string lights. These versatile luminaries have been a favorite for creating a warm and inviting ambiance in outdoor spaces for generations. 

String lights are a superb choice for composite decks due to their timeless appeal and ability to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Their flexibility in design and installation allows you to craft a charming, customized vibe that is perfect for any occasion.

7. Step Lights: Guiding Your Way

trex step lights for composite deck outdoor lighting options custom built michigan

PC: Trex

Step lights are the ideal solution for combining safety with aesthetics. These fixtures are specifically designed to illuminate staircases and changes in elevation, ensuring that every nook and cranny of your deck is well-lit. You can find step lights in various styles, some even integrated directly into the steps.

8. Motion-Activated Lights: Security Meets Efficiency

motion activated lighting for composite deck outdoor living space ideas custom built michigan

For added security and convenience, motion-activated lights come to the rescue. These lights spring to life only when they detect motion, making them perfect for entry points and pathways. Motion-activated lights not only enhance safety but also conserve energy by lighting up your deck only when needed.

9. Smart Lighting Systems: A Futuristic Touch

smart lighting design for composite deck outdoor living space ideas custom built michigan

PC: Ecolocity LED

Take your composite deck into the future with smart lighting systems. These cutting-edge smart home technology setups allow you to control your deck's lighting remotely via your smartphone or voice commands. You can fine-tune brightness, change colors, and even set schedules to match your preferences and the occasion.

10. Tiki Torches: Tropical Delights

tiki torches on composite deck railings outdoor living space ideas custom built michigan

PC: Elite Spas Northwest

For a touch of tropical flair, tiki torches are a fun and festive option. Mount them on your deck's railing or scatter them around the perimeter to create a delightful atmosphere. Tiki torches not only provide illumination but also infuse your deck with a summer party vibe, making them perfect for outdoor gatherings and celebrations.

Next steps to installing lights for your composite deck

In the quest for the perfect outdoor haven, we've embarked on a journey through the world of outdoor lighting for your cherished composite deck. We've explored the various lighting options, each designed to unlock the full potential of your deck, especially when the sun dips below the horizon.

With these top 10 outdoor lighting ideas at your disposal, you're now equipped with the means to elevate your composite deck into a nighttime wonderland. Whether you're envisioning intimate gatherings with loved ones or lively celebrations with friends, these lighting solutions promise to make every moment memorable. Your deck will come alive after dark, offering you endless opportunities for enchantment.

At Custom Built, our 15+ years of expertise extends beyond interior spaces; we're masters of outdoor transformation as well. Our team is passionate about helping you conceptualize and illuminate your composite deck perfectly. We comprehend that an artfully lit deck isn't just a physical space; it's an experience, a canvas for creating lasting memories.

custom built design and remodeling deck builders michigan

Now that you know how to illuminate your composite deck, let’s explore what the first step of the Custom Built Proven Process looks like with your build, how much your future outdoor living space will cost, and the best composite decking brands:

Aaron King

Aaron has been in the building industry his entire life. He worked in his family’s housing business growing up in Dewitt, MI, and for nearly 40 years, built homes in the Mid-Michigan area. He has also worked with the Greater Lansing Home Builder’s Association since he was 18 years old.