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Outdoor Deck Step Lighting Trick

Inexpensive outdoor solar stake light hack for adding light to deck steps or all around the outside of a deck. No electrical skills needed.

I can’t take credit for this clever outdoor deck lighting idea. It was in place when we bought the lake house.

Copper solar path lights being placed in brackets on the side of deck steps. Graphic overlay says Outdoor Step Path Light Trick.

Outdoor Deck Lighting Trick:

supplies needed:

To light up the edges along the deck steps or even all around a deck, all I had to do was add a few new solar path lights along the outer edge of the steps going down to the yard.

Solar light at bottom of deck stairs. No electricity outdoor deck lighting

It was easy to do…

Pole bracket attached to side of deck steps that will provide a place for outdoor deck lighting.

…with two-hole strap U brackets that you can buy at the hardware store. The brackets come in different sizes, so get the size you need for your light stake size.

You simply attach a bracket to the side of each step with two screws using a screwdriver.

Placing a copper staked solar light in pole bracket along step.

Then place the light right in.

Solar light in bracket provides just the right amount of outdoor deck lighting.

I used 4 copper solar path lights along the steps. Two at the top and two at the bottom.

Smaller black solar lights along outer edge of steps.

On the steps in-between, I used smaller and less decorative path lights that are not as bright, but that add enough light to see each step at night when going down to the yard and lake.

Deck staircase with two rattan chairs at the top and a tree trunk table between them.

At night the solar lights go on so there is just enough light to safely get up and down the steps. The lights also add a nice ambiance.

Two rattan chairs and planters with purple and yellow pansies on deck.

The house came with all the planters filled with pansies and other perennials.

Copper solar light in pansy filled planter. Watering can next to it. Another way to add outdoor deck lighting in an easy way.

I added a copper solar path light to the center of each to add some soft lighting to the deck at night.

View of deck lined with barrel style planters with outdoor solar lights in each.

The lights comes with stakes that make them easy to move anywhere you want. They do require 2 – AA batteries and need to have a few hours of sun each day so they will light up at night.

Two rattan chairs with white cushions on deck. Pink Petunias on table.
Overhead view looking down on deck.



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38 Comments

  1. Your outdoor deck is so lovely, it looks like a cozy place to bathe in the afternoon light. Lighting it at night looks even better, I wish there was an image of it when the lights were on.

  2. I thought this was such a clever idea to add the solar lights to wooden steps that I tried it myself and it worked like a charm! Thank you so much for the directions and pictures. I can now safely go up and down the steps that lead from my side patio up to the side yard.

  3. You mentioned 2 double A batteries. I can’t find the lights you have that have double AA batteries. Help please. I’ve had to invest in solar batteries and don’t want to do that again. They didn’t last at all.

    1. Hi Mira – The lights I have are discontinued, but you can find AA battery powered lights at Home Depot. Check these out: https://bit.ly/3eifD0g I have these. They require one AA battery after the one they come with wears out. There are many others too. Just look in the lights description online to see if it says battery powered. Also if you are out shopping and see lights, take the top off and look underneath to see if there is a battery slot. If ou see one then you know you will be able to use AA batteries.

      If you want copper, I think are these on Wayfair have batteries: https://bit.ly/2AXuY84 In the listing on Wayfair, there is contact info for the company to ask questions before buying. You may want to ask them if they are AA batteries.

      I hope this helps you find a light that has the style you want and AA battery powered.

    1. Hi Teri – I will try to get a photo of the lights at night. I only have them on the steps now as I removed quite a few of the planters from the deck since I wrote the post a few years ago.

  4. I really like these deck chairs, they are incredibly versatile with most outdoor areas and are surprisingly long lasting, I’ve got these same chairs in my backyard, with a throw pillow it’s perfect for summer.

  5. Hi Diane,
    I love your DIY ideas! I have a question for you: Have you ever painted outdoor furniture cushions before? And how did they turn out? Would just spraying on a clear coat of sun protection make them darker (revive the faded look)? I want to redo mine, but I want to make sure that the spray would not rub off on clothing in the heat and humidity of summer outdoors, and I don’t want to ruin the water repellant feature of the original cushions.
    Thanks for getting back to me when you have a chance!
    Becky Edgar

    1. Hi Rebekah –

      I have only painted indoor cushions that did not have water repellant on them. I think once you would spray of add anything over the original protection would remove that quality from the cushions. If you really want to paint them, you could add a product made by Rustoleum after you painted them to add back the water repellant quality. It is called: NeverWet and can be bought at any home improvement store or online.

  6. Everything is looking so lovely at your lake home. There’s absolutely nothing more calming than living beside water. So glad you’re here!

    1. Hi Vicki – I agree with you that there is nothing more calming than living besides water. I am a water loving girl and born under the sign of water, Cancer. I feel my best when around it.

  7. What a beautiful outdoor space! Your blog post came just at the right time – we are researching outdoor furniture and I think these swivel chairs will be the perfect choice on our deck too : )

  8. Diane, I loved your posts before you and Ed moved into your new lake house; now I almost literally swoon with each of your new posts. We live literally five minutes’ walk from beautiful Columbia Lake here in Connecticut, but still not the same as living on the lake itself. I’m so happy for the both of you and look forward to each and every one of your posts regardless of topic, as I always have before, yet especially the ones emanating from your new life in your lake house.

  9. Just beautiful! Those solar lights are so wonderful.
    i can’t even imagine what it was like when the only way to get lights was to wire everything in.

  10. I have been on the hunt for exactly those outside swivel chairs. Than you for the resource.

  11. Just wanted to say that I’m glad the blue trim on the house grew on you — I really like it. And the idea of solar lights on deck steps is very helpful! You’re doing a wonderful job — thanks for sharing.

  12. I always come away with great ideas from your posts, and even though I don’t comment very often I always enjoy reading them and seeing what you do. We are in a similar stage of life and just bought a house on the outer banks of North Carolina where we have a glimpse of the ocean and I can walk the beach every day. I love what you’re doing with your new home and can’t wait to see what you do next. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Love the chairs and loungers, and the wood stump on wheels for a side table is brilliant! Your ideas are so inspiring! When can we book a room for the weekend? (Just kidding) Enjoy the summer.

    1. Thanks Carla – Living on the lake is more than I could have ever hoped for. I still can’t believe we were able to make it happen. It is true that determination can get you where you want in life, even when life gives you lemons like unemployment that happened to my husband. :-)

    1. Hi Elaine – Thanks. I am so excited to be able to have a space like this. My previous house had a deck, but it was in full sun all day which made it too hot to sit. We could only use it at night. I am looking forward to spending many hours outside all day long now. :-)

  14. Love what you’ve done with your outdoor living space, Diane! I’ve been looking for an easy way to do outdoor lighting around the pool area and those copper lights seem like they would work well. Are you happy with the amount of light they provide? Also, what are the small lights you used on the steps?