How to Install Inset Deck Lights

What You'll Need
Inset Deck Lighting Kit
Cordless Drill
Marker Pen
Measuring Tape
Forstner Bit
Spade Bit or Auger Bit
Safety Goggles
Dust Mask
Electrical Tape or Wire Caps

Deck lights are an affordable and easy way to add some lighting, safety and glamour to your decking. These lights are usually inset onto the face of steps which not only enhances the beauty of the wood, but illuminates an area which could be potentially treacherous in the dark. Follow these simple steps and you will soon be using your beautiful decking area in the twilight hours.

Step 1 - Decide which Deck Lights to Buy

As deck lights come in many different shapes, sizes and styles, it is difficult to know which ones to buy. If the deck lights are to be installed onto steps, measure the steps to ensure the radius of the light will comfortably fit onto the face of the steps. Decide what style is most in keeping with your decking area. Inset deck lights, when considering how much they enhance a garden, are relatively inexpensive and can be bought from most home improvement stores and light shops. Most deck lights come in a kit from so make sure you read the instructions prior to installation as different size lights will require different size holes for fitting.

Step 2 - Drill the First Hole

Determine where you want your first light to be installed. Before using a drill, it is advisable to wear safety goggles and a dust mask for protection. Put a Forstner bit onto a cordless drill and carefully drill a hole the same size as the diameter of your deck light. For example, deck lights are often 3 inches in diameter so drill a hole which is also 3 inches in diameter.

Measure 7/8 inches and use a marker pen to mark that length onto the Forstner bit. It is important that the hole is only 7/8 inches in depth and is not a through hole. Instead, it should be a flat hole to allow the deck light to sit inside it. When drilling with a Forstner bit, be sure to drill slowly.

Step 3 - Drill the Second Hole

Put either a spade bit or auger bit onto the drill and in the middle of the flat hole, drill another hole which is also 7/8 inches deep. Blow away any wood dust and debris from inside the holes.

Step 4 - Install the Inset Deck Light

If you are not proficient with electrical work, seek the advise of a qualified electrician before installing the light. Make sure you switch off the electricity at the mains before installation. There will be 2 wires inside the deck light and you will need to join them to your main power wire. Gently drag the wires under the deck and connect them to the transformer. For added protection, wrap either electrical tape or wire caps around the connections. Schematics provided in the deck light kit will give you the correct information on how to run your wires for a perfect job.

Step 5 - Install the Rest of the Deck Lights

Repeat the procedure until all your inset deck lights have been installed. Make sure you use a measuring tape and carefully mark where you want each light to be fitted to ensure they are symmetrically and neatly positioned.