Recessed Lighting for Deck Stairs

Most deck lighting available today is low voltage. Low voltage recessed lighting reduces household current from 120 volts to 12 volts and can usually be installed without an electrician. The 12 volt outdoor light fixtures comes a 12 volt digital transformer with built-in photocell that automatically turns the lighting on at dusk and off at dawn.

Additional settings allow lights to automatically turn on and then off in 4, 6 or 8 hours. This type of lighting can work well for deck stairs.

Recessed deck lighting is available in kits. Each kit typically includes: outdoor light fixtures, 4 watt lamps, socket/ connectors, 12 volt transformer with photocell, and cabling.

Types of Lighting

Recessed deck lighting fixtures are installed directly into the surface of your outdoors deck, dock, stairs or patio, and sit flush with the surface. There are two basic types; a rectangular brick shape which replaces a patio paver or a section of the deck surface, and a puck-sized disk light, which creates a small point of light.

Recessed deck light fixtures are made from tough, durable materials which are strong enough to walk on or even drive over, so there's no risk of damage from everyday use. Recessed lighting can be powered either using mains power via a low voltage transformer, or you may also choose to use solar powered fixtures. Either way, recessed lighting systems are very easy to install, and you can generally buy them in kits which come with everything you need included.


Recessed outdoor lighting has two main purposes; providing safety around the deck or patio, and making the outdoor space look really beautiful at night. Recessed lights create a very special, magical look and feel in the space, which is very different from the all over wash of light created by a mounted deck lighting fixture.

Naturally, you may choose to use a combination of recessed lights together with wall mounted or stake mounted deck lights. A well placed set of lights spaced around the edges of the deck, patio, driveway or stairs adds definition to the space, while giving it a delightful ambience.

Disk lights are perfect to use as point markers around stairs, deck edges, deck railings, and level changes, to provide safety around the deck at night. The brick paver lights also provide safety and security by illuminating the deck or patio surface.


Uplighting is the most common technique used in outdoor lighting. It creates dramatic effects by giving trees and shrubs depth and contour. Downlighting is achieved by placing fittings high and lighting the ground, usually through a tree and used for recreation, security and safety lighting.

Pathlighting incorporates the use of shielding on low level fittings casting symmetrical light patterns onto the ground to light paths borders and steps.

Spotlighting is used for highlights by directing an intense beam of light onto an object or garden feature. Spotlighting is best used with a mix of other lights to reduce glare.