How to Install Deck Rail Lighting | Ask This Old House

10April 2021


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Heat gun [https://amzn.to/3fCR69Y]
Hammer [https://amzn.to/2PnQeeP]
Lineman’s pliers [https://amzn.to/3rEoShF]

Shopping List:
LED waterproof strip lights [https://amzn.to/3uaERWh]
Mounting track [https://amzn.to/31CQ2e4]
Alcohol wipes [https://amzn.to/3sH9bYf]
Landscape wiring [https://amzn.to/39v7vcV]
Brass barrel connectors [https://amzn.to/31ypjiL]
Shrink tube [https://amzn.to/3cC6tO3]

Steps:
1. Find the nearest power source. That will help you determine how much work will be required to run new cables to the deck lights. In Heath’s case, there was already an outlet off the deck that he used to connect the transformer to. If there is no receptacle nearby, you will need to install one. This will drive up the time and cost required to do the project.
2. Measure how far back you want the lights to go. You don’t want to see the strip so Heath chose to set his back 1½ inches.
3. Mount the track under the railing.
4. Use an alcohol wipe to help the strip adhere to the mounting track.
5. Slowly stick the strip along the mounting track(s).
6. Make connections between the LED strips.
7. Tuck the wires out of the way and staple it to the surface.
8. Two should be left unconnected for the feed wire, somewhere central of all the strip lights. You don’t want to connect them all together because you will have the potential of the lights dimming towards the end because of voltage drop.
9. Run a wire from a receptacle to the LED lights.
10. Use brass barrel connectors to connect the lights to the wire. Put a shrink tube around each connector and apply heat.
11. Hide and secure the wire.

Where to find it?
Heath installed sections of 3’ White LED Landscape Strip Light—12VAC—1P67 Waterproof, which is manufactured by SuperBrightLEDs [https://www.superbrightleds.com/]. Before buying, Heath suggests confirming that the lights are UL rated.

The other tools and materials required to install the lights, including the landscape wiring and pliers, can be found at home centers.

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How to Install Deck Rail Lighting | Ask This Old House
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