Illuminating Problem Lighting Areas

By Constantine Pergantis, Nite Lites, North Potomac, MD

"We are designing a wood deck, a low brick wall around
the pool and a slate pool deck. There is no earth to install lighting,
and I do not want flood lights mounted on my house illuminating
the area like a baseball field. What can I do?"

There are many effective ways to light all of your areas.

First, the wood deck, if it has benches, could be lighted from beneath—which will make the deck appear as if it were floating on a pool of light. Most decks have 4x4 posts and smaller pickets in between, and many companies manufacture a disc/hockey-puck type of light fixture that will mount on the decks' supports. The lights emit a pool of light about four feet in diameter

If your deck has a step-down to a lower deck or a group of steps with risers (the vertical part of the step), then a rectangular step light with a louvered grill or white lens will allow trouble free passage to the other areas. Lighting every other step should be sufficient. If the steps have railings, they are usually supported by 4x4's with smaller pickets in between, in which case the disc lights can also light the stairs in the absence of stair risers.

The brick wall can be lighted using wall fixtures that are the same size as a brick. This facilitates construction of the wall if the fixtures do not arrive on time, but keep in mind that the wiring needs to be installed in the wall during construction. If the wall has earth on one side, you can easily drill a hole through the back of the space for the fixture and run the wiring behind the wall.

Fiber-optic and halogen-tubular lighting in either 12- or 120-volts can be used to outline the perimeter copings around pools, railings, step-downs, etc. Near the water, use 12-volt for safety. Do not forget there are also lights in the pool itself – preferably two if the pool is longer than 30 feet.

Using these and other techniques will enable you to enjoy your outdoor evenings without feeling that you're attending a night game at Fenway Park, or having to squint from the glare.

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