The UK’s Best Solar Lights For Your Home Deck
By Thomas O'Rourke - 2nd January, 2019
Nothing enhances the natural beauty of a classic wood deck like the right lighting. A soft glow along your structure’s edges sets a more relaxing atmosphere and allows you to enjoy the outdoors long after the sun has set. But there is more to deck lighting than just design.
Keeping your yard illuminated is safer, while lighting can even boost the appeal and value of your property.
There are plenty of lighting choices, but solar decking lights are the most convenient. To help you find the best, our expert team has tested and rated some of the most popular options in the UK. See all of our top picks below.
In this guide - we review our favourite deck lighting options...
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Sophisticated solar decking lights come with integrated solar panel for a no-fuss installation.
Six ultra-bright LED lights can seamlessly highlight the beauty of your decking, garden edging, or patio.
Twelve separate solar decking lights are ideal for creating a focal point during the night time.
Finding solar lights designed to work even in the UK winter is a challenging task, but luckily there are the Edinburgh Solar Powered Outdoor Deck Lights. They come in a set of eight lights with remote solar panel, designed to store sufficient energy for hours of dependable use.
But it’s easy to understand that relying on solar energy alone can be foolish, especially if you’re planning to set an outdoor party in the colder months. That’s why this manufacturer equipped its battery with a USB port for alternative charging.
Besides the reliable battery that won’t let you down regardless of the weather, the lights bring further value. They have a stylish stainless-steel trim, designed to add value to your decking, while the construction is fully waterproof. Each light can be spaced up to 1.6 metres from the other and at a distance of 2.7 metres from the solar panel.
Three brightness settings give you control over the light intensity, and you can choose from energy saving on the lowest setting or maximum brightness on the highest setting.
The system’s design with remote solar panel ensures installation versatility. You can mount the lights in any area provided the panel is exposed to full sunlight.
Sleek and stylish, but affordable, Woodside Solar Powered Deck Lights are ideal to use for your decking, but also for illuminating a driveway, patio, or the edges of a garden pond.
Perfect for all homeowners, the lights come in three colours and six quantity options. We chose the warm white 12-pack for a mid-size decking, but quantities range from one to 24 lights, each of which is powered by an individual battery.
This is either a pro or a flaw, depending on your viewpoints. On the one hand, you won’t have to wire the lights between one another, which means a no-frills installation and easy replacement if needed. But on the other hand, the individual batteries need sunlight, and you won’t be able to place the lights in shady areas.
Another love / hate feeling is generated by the automatic turn on function. Not having to worry about turning the lights on is definitely a plus, but you won’t be able to switch them off until their batteries drain.
On a positive note, each individual light boasts a solid stainless-steel construction that can be walked over without any damage.
Perfect to integrate in a modern backyard, these contemporary solar lights by Festive Lights are simple to install and designed to bring a fresh touch to your landscape. Their sleek yet sophisticated look will enhance the beauty of classic wooden decks while adding a subtle brightness during the night.
Made from durable stainless steel, these lights are guaranteed to withstand seasons of dependable use and come with a manufacturer’s 12-month warranty.
A big advantage is their flush design which requires no holes being dug into your expensive decking. Just screw each light in its place and let nature and technology do the rest. The spotlights will charge their batteries during the day and will turn off automatically when it’s dark.
Since the installation requires no wires, you’re free to space and distribute the bulbs as you like, as long as each of them is placed in direct sunlight.
The Festive Lights come in a set of four and have an attractive price point that should appeal to most homeowners.
This set of six white solar LED lights by Lights4fun is one of the best decking lighting sets for those aiming to install their spotlights in shady areas. In fact, the set comprises a connectable system with a separate solar panel designed to power all six LED lights during the night.
Made from stainless steel and durable enough to withstand harsh weather, these garden lights can be placed at a distance of 1.6 metres between each – while the solar panel must be placed in a sunny area at a maximum distance of 2.8 metres.
Each light in this pack is equipped with two white LEDs able to illuminate automatically from dusk up to 8 hours.
Another nice feature is the quality of the LEDs and their brightness – although we would have loved these even more if the battery would have come with an alternative USB charging option. Since you’ll have to rely on sunshine exclusively, these lights tend to lose their efficiency during winter.
Who said traditional white or warm white light is your only option? If you want to enhance your outdoors with a burst of colour, the Voche® Stainless Steel Garden Deck Lights set could be your best bet.
All twelve spotlights in the pack come with integrated solar batteries and have to be placed in direct sunlight.
The batteries recharge during the day and the LEDs turn on automatically after sunset, brightening up your decking with three changing colours: red, green, and blue.
Easy to install, these bulbs also have a standard diameter of 8.5 centimetres and require a hole of 6.5 centimetres in your decking boards.
Another great advantage is the rugged stainless-steel construction which allows for walking on the lights without any breakage worries. This unit is perfect to install in decking or along pathways, borders and patios.
How To Install Solar Decking Lights
Deck lights are easy to install, but there are a few things you should weigh in before rushing to buy the set you like. Here are our expert’s tips on how to install them in your structure:
1. Scope your work
Do you want to install lighting for security or for ambiance? If your main concern is security, solar lights might not be your best option. These bulbs are slightly dimmer than electric lighting, and while you could use a combination of both to cut off electricity costs, relying on solar energy alone might disappoint you.
If you’re not concerned about security and just want to add that extra-touch of style to your decking, solar lighting should be ideal. There are various systems and LED colours to choose from, and all of them are ridiculously easy to install.
2. Sketch a blueprint
We know way too well that itchy feeling of having to get the job done as quickly as possible. But without a blueprint, it’s hard to place each bulb in the right position. So, step onto your deck and look at it.
Is it fully exposed to the sun or are there any shady spots? When the night falls, are there any areas that need more lighting than others?
Note everything down, then draw a sketch of your deck and mark down where you want to install the lighting units.
If the deck is fully exposed to sunlight, any system will do. If it’s predominantly shady, pick a system with an external solar panel for the best results.
3. Install your solar decking lights
This simple operation requires minimal DIY skills, but if you’re not confident enough, a contractor can undoubtedly help.
Depending on the type of lights you bought, you might only need a screwdriver or an electric drill and a jigsaw. You will also need a pencil and a ruler to space your lights evenly.
The easiest deck lights to install are the flush lights. These bulbs are placed directly onto the boards and require no drilling and sawing. Take your blueprint and place each light in the right position. Measure the distances between the bulbs with a ruler to make sure they are spaced evenly.
Take the screwdriver and secure each light to the surface with screws.
Standard and wired lights are not screwed to the decking but placed in holes cut into the boards.
If you have such a system, take your blueprint, the ruler, and a light, and mark on the deck each spot where a light must be placed. Use the light to draw its bottom diameter and use these markings to cut the holes.
To cut the holes, you must first drill a starting hole in the deck, then use the jigsaw to cut along the line. Use sandpaper to smooth the edges, then place the lights into the holes. If the system is wired, you will also have to pass the wire from one light to another and then to the remote battery, as instructed by the manufacturer.
That’s it! Now, turn the lights on and let the sensors, technology, and sunlight take care of everything else while you sit back on your beautifully illuminated deck.