LED Rope Light Shines In These Outdoor Deck Lighting Ideas!

Rope light is flexible, versatile, and highly durable. It's also exactly what your deck needs to become an inviting space for entertaining and relaxing that you'll want to enjoy for hours into the evening!

Outdoor Deck Lighting Ideas Using Rope Light

Why Rope Light is Amazing For Outdoor Deck Lighting

There are so many reasons to love rope light, especially for use in outdoor lighting projects! Here are our three main reasons rope light is the best for outdoor deck lighting:

  • Rope light is made of PVC which is very durable for outdoor use in all weather conditions, and features like UV protection help make sure the color infused tubes don't fade, even in direct sunlight.
  • There's a full spectrum of rope light colors to choose from. Although warm white LED rope light is the most popular for ambient outdoor lighting, there are a ton of vivid colors available for anyone who is feeling a little more adventurous!
  • Rope light is flexible, so it can easily wrap around curves and edges. You can also connect rope light together to create really long runs of light if needed.

The Best LED Rope Light for Outdoor Deck Lighting

Our absolute favorite LED rope light for outdoor deck lighting projects is this 18' rope light kit. The kit comes with an 18 foot section of rope light, power cord already attached, and mounting clips for easy installation in a variety of spaces. The power cord is also removable and there's a threaded water-tight connector on the opposite end of the rope light, so you can connect multiple sets together - up to 270 feet! - which is more than enough for most deck lighting installations. You can also purchase 150' rope light spools, but these need to be cut and the power cord and connectors added. While spools are great for larger outdoor landscape lighting projects, the 18' Rope Light kits are perfect for use as deck railing lights.

Rope Light Kits Make Deck Lighting Easy!
18' Rope Light Kits Make Deck Lighting Easy!

A tip before you begin...

When rope light is first removed from the packaging, it is tightly wound and may need some help getting straightened out, especially if you plan to install it under deck railings. This extra step should not be skipped as it will make installation much easier. To straighten rope light, remove all the wrappings and lay the tubing out on the ground in direct sunlight. Use a few garden staples to anchor it in place in as straight a line as possible. You can also use lightweight objects to hold it down, but we highly recommend the garden staple method; they are inexpensive and can be purchased online or in most local landscape supply stores. Once the rope light is laying straight on the ground, let it sit there for at least an hour or more if you have the time.

Garden Staples Used to Help Straighten Rope Light Before Installation
Garden Staples Used to Help Straighten Rope Light Before Installation

Wrap Deck Railings With Rope Light

Wrapping deck railings with rope light is very easy, requires no tools, and can be a fun way to play with light color combinations on your deck for parties, holidays, and events.

  1. Starting with the plug end of the rope light, wrap around the railing in the area closest to your outlet. You could use a zip tie at the very beginning of your first rope light run to help the plug stay secure on the railing and then run an extension cord to the rope light plug, but it isn't always necessary to do so.

  2. Keep some tension on the tubing as you create each wrap so the rope light can remain secure as you go. When you come to the end of one 18 foot rope light, connect the next by unscrewing the cap on the end of the installed rope light and removing the plug from the next length of tubing you plan to use. Then plug the two pieces together and tighten the seal around them.

  3. Repeat this process until you come to the end of your railing. A zip tie placed at the end of the entire run is recommended and often necessary to keep the end of the tubing secure.

Deck Railings Wrapped With Rope Light
Deck Railings Wrapped With Rope Light

Wrapping Deck Railings With Multiple Rope Light Colors

You can wrap multiple colors of rope light together to create a theme, like red, white, & blue for a patriotic display or purple & green for Halloween. The steps you'll follow are similar to those above. However, we recommend using a zip tie to secure all the colors to each other before you start. Then you can either wrap all the colors around at once, or wrap one color at a time. We have found that wrapping each color individually allows us to achieve more even tension and spacing in the wraps, but it can be done either way with similar results.

Install Rope Light Under Deck Railings

It takes very little time to install LED rope light under deck railings and the resulting glow provides the perfect amount of ambient light to enjoy your outdoor living space.

What You'll Need:

There are 8 sturdy mounting clips included in each rope light kit. We love these clips because they hide beneath the deck and are very durable for outdoor use. You can even use an outdoor rated adhesive to secure them instead of screws if preferred.

LED Rope Light Under Deck Railings
LED Rope Light Under Deck Railings

How to Install Rope Light Under Deck Railings

We used the deck posts as a guide and placed a clip at every third pole. However, you could also measure your deck and use a pencil or chalk to mark the locations where you plan to place your clips.

  1. Follow these steps from earlier in this post to make sure your rope light is as straight as possible before you start.
  2. Use the included screws or an outdoor adhesive of your choice to secure the mounting clips on the underside of your deck railings.
  3. If you're using multiple sections of 18 foot rope light, connect them all together by removing the end cap from the tubing of the first section you plan to install and the plug from the next, then attach the two together using the threaded water-tight connector. Repeat this until all the rope light sections are joined.
  4. Slide the rope light into the clips. Starting with the plug closest to the outlet.
  5. Plug the rope light in and enjoy your new deck railing lights!
Rope Light Under Deck Installation
Rope Light Clips Installed Under Deck
Rope Light Under Deck Installation
Slide Rope Light Into Clips Under Deck
Rope Light Installed Under Deck Railings
Rope Light Installed Under Deck Railings
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