Have you heard of rope light? It's pretty amazing: flexible, versatile, and easy to customize!
Rope light can be used to add ambient and colorful lighting to a variety of locations both inside and outside the home. In this article we plan to focus on our favorite deck lighting ideas, which is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to use rope light outdoors!
Psst...even though this post is all about decks, these ideas could easily work for a porch, gazebo, or any other outdoor structure that has railings!
Wrap Rope Light Around Deck Railings
Wrapping rope light around deck railings requires no tools! None. You won't find a single screwdriver, nail, or hammer here. The only thing you need to make this deck lighting idea a reality in your backyard is some rope light, a little time, and a few zip ties.
So how do you wrap rope light around deck railings?
Using the 18 foot rope lights we mentioned earlier, start wrapping the rope light 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.
Keep a good amount of 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.
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.
What about multiple colors of rope light?
If you want to wrap multiple colors of rope light together to create a theme, like red, white, & blue for a patriotic display or purple & orange for Halloween, the process is almost the same as 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 done this both ways and found that wrapping each color individually allowed us to get a more even tension and spacing, but it can be done either way with similar results.
Secure Rope Light Under Deck Railings
This deck lighting idea takes very little time to install and adds a beautiful ambient glow to 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 great for long term outdoor use. We found it easiest to use the deck posts as a measuring tool 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.
How to Install Rope Light Under Deck Railings
- Screw the clips into the underside of the deck railings
- Slide the rope light into the clips. Starting with the first plug end closest to the outlet.
- Connect a new run of rope light by removing the end cap from one and the plug from the next run, then attach the two together.
- Plug the rope light in and enjoy!