Introduction: DIY Outdoor Deck Lighting

Picture of DIY Outdoor Deck Lighting

INSTALLING OUTDOOR LED LIGHT STRIPS

LED light strips can add a diffuse glow to almost any area of the house. Add an effects controller and remote control and you have a colorful light show at your fingertips, even outdoors! This step-by-step guide will show you how to turn a common deck railing into a unique lighting experience for parties and holidays.

Step 1:

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Start by measuring the outside perimeter of the railing to determine the total length of LED strips needed. In our case, the perimeter measured 32 feet... perfect for using two 16-foot strips. If your perimeter is shorter, you can cut the strips to fit. (See below for runs longer than 32 feet.)

Step 2:

Purchase Lavolta KIT-1 (#073-086), which contains 16 feet of LED lighting, a 12V power supply, effects controller, and 44-key remote. The sealed design of the strips is impact resistant and weatherproof. In our case, we added an additional 16-foot light strip (#073-076).

Step 3:

Clean the mounting surface with alcohol and dry with a lint-free cloth to ensure better adhesion of the adhesive backing.

Step 4:

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Use painters tape to mount the lights temporarily to the underside of the railing to see where the two strips join and how far you need to go for electric. The strips join with a 4-pin male-to-male plug (included); an arrow will ensure the wires line up properly. Any extra LED strip length can simply be trimmed off.

Step 5:

The controller and power supply, unlike the LED strips, are NOT waterproof, so they need to be located indoors. You will probably also need to bridge any staircase breaks in the railing. Time to get your soldering iron out!

Step 6:

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Use an appropriate length of 4-conductor, light-gauge outdoor wire, and a lighting strip splice cable (#073-0106) to convert the controller to a bare-wire hookup. Solder one end of the wire to the splice adapter located inside and the other to the LED strip, keeping the wire colors the same.

Step 7:

Use the same outdoor wire to connect the two lengths of LED strips, running the wire underneath the steps. Seal all outdoor connections with heat shrink (#080-674). Cover the exposed unused plug with self-fusing tape (#350-074).

Step 8:

Peel off the backing and press the strip to the surface to adhere; some surfaces may need to have cable clamps (#080-262) or tap-in staples to hold the strips permanently. Installation complete! Plug the controller into an AC outlet, and make sure the controller's infrared sensor is visible to the remote. Now sit back and use the remote to set the mood for your next get-together.

Step 9: Longer LED Strip

For LED runs more than 32 ft., you'll need the Sure Electronics LE-LL19113 High Power RGB LED Control Unit (#073-005 not on list). It can control up to 49 ft. of LED strips and you can link multiple controllers together for an installation of up to 164 ft.! Select power supplies to match the amount of current you need to power each controller. Outdoor installations can also provide ambient light to trees and landscapes. Or, line interior window frames with LEDs for an eye-catching light show; for inside use, the Lavolta kit is plug-and-play! Start planning your LED project today and you'll soon be the talk of the neighborhood!

Step 10: Video Walkthrough

Comments

Swansong (author)2017-09-19

That looks good, this could make some fun effects for Halloween and Christmas :)

parts_express (author)Swansong2017-09-20

I agree! Some Halloween posts are on their way! Working on the write ups now :)

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