Step 2: Materials

You will be able to find most of these materials at your local hardware store- or you may already have them!

~~22-4 cable (low voltage wire) we recommend a stranded control cable or security wire you can use larger 18-4 AWG but you may find it is harder to solder to the strips as the wires are much bigger

~~LED flexible strip- we used 12v waterproof RGB flexible LED strips for underneath the stair tread of the platforms, and regular water resistant 12V RGB flexible LED strips for underneath the railings and gazebo top.  (We figured that the stair treads could be exposed to more water, from splashing rain or a snowy winter.  However, the lights under the railings were not likely to get wet very often).

~~Wire cutters/strippers

~~Soldering gun and rosin core solder

~~Pliers and splice connectors (especially if you don't like to solder)

~~Drill with long 1/4" drill bit to go through deck posts

~~Caulking gun and 100% silicone (Quality silicone like the type you would use for windows, doors, and gutters)

~~You can also use 1/2" plastic or coated wire staples to hold up the strip if you do not want to use the self adhesive/silicone

~~some wire nuts, an extension cord, electrical tape and zip ties may come in handy as well
<p>Love it! Helps with letting people know where the stairs are....cool mood setter.</p>
<p>Can anyone suggest a power adapter that i could use in the deck outlet directly? one that would be waterproof? I need to power about 70in of lights - 60 led/meter</p>
Is it possible to put the controller and power supply in a waterproof container outside? I am worried that the remote control will not work through my brick house.
<p>You should absolutely leverage your landscape lights if you have them. Its way easier and cheaper than to use the standard 120V transformer. Your landscape transformer outputs 12V AC. You need 12V DC for the LED. I recommend you get one of these to get the conversion done. It is a very small device so makes it easier to hide. You can get it from Amazon. &quot;72W Outdoor Waterproof Low Voltage Landscape LED Power Supply Converter/Rectifier, Input 12V AC to Output 12V DC&quot;</p>
would it not be a better connection to use heat shrink before the silicone?
Hi, how well has this held up? My Dad is skeptical about the silicon to adhere the strips to the wood, are they still stuck to this date?
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Its real life TRON!!!! SO cool!
Hmmm... it's great job. Very nice for night party :)
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This is a beautifully constructed project, and an outstanding Instructable.&nbsp; Thank you very much!<br /> <br /> And as an aside for others reading these comments --- <em>this</em> is how a commercial member of I'bles can contribute!&nbsp; They've got links to their own products for sourcing the raw materials, but nowhere did they stick in a shill, like, &quot;We can do this for you for the incredibly low price of ....&quot;&nbsp; Most excellent.<br />
Thanks for the comment!&nbsp; We are so glad it came across that way&nbsp;:-) &nbsp;<br />
We love your deck! We are wanting to do something simular, but don't know much about these lights. We have 184' of railing not including gates and steps. We would like to go all the way around using one controller and one transformer. Can we do this or do we need to buy more? Any suggestions or tips on how to do this?
agreed&nbsp;<br /> <br /> thumbs up!<br />
Im thinking i want to do a similar project on my deck i built last year. i will roughly have 2 runs for the under my railing one about 22' long and the other about 19'. on top of that i would like to have another setup for under the stair treads (2 sets of stairs, 3 strips per set of stairs both are roughly 4 feet wide) <br> <br>i would like to have longer runs able to be set to one color and the stairs set to another. Could you please point me into the right direction for all the components i will be needing.
You will need just over 4 16' rolls of RGB strip (we would recommend using at least IP-65 rated strips and ideally <a href="http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/12v-waterproof-rgb-flex-strip.html">IP-68 rated strips</a>, which are completely waterproof) and a <a href="http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/12v-150w-12-5a-power-supply-mean-well-rs150-12.html">150 watt power supply</a> (which could power all the strips). The easiest way to do two zones is simply to get two different models of RGB controller. For example you can use the <a href="http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/rgb-remote-control-rf-20k.html">20key RF controller</a> for the railings and the <a href="http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/rgb-rf-8k-remote-control.html">8key RF controller</a> for under the stairs.&nbsp; Other components include wire, silicon, etc.&nbsp; Feel free to ask us any more questions and we will do our best to help!<br>
Great final product and GREAT instructable. Thanks! Beautiful deck btw. :)
Excellent 'ible'. I have been playing around with using led's and strips at my home and particularly in the pool. To clarify i tried a strip lights around the inside top of the pool under the lip. This gave a nice warm glow but were unsuitable for the wet. I am wondering if these strips would be suitable as even though they wouldn't be under water permanently, they will be submersed at times.<br />
Thanks&nbsp;:-)&nbsp; There are different waterproof ratings for flexible LED&nbsp;strips...some are not waterproof at all, some are water resistant (like the ones we used for this deck), and some are completely waterproof (and these are the type you would want to use around the pool).&nbsp; We'd recommend these <a href="http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/12v-waterproof-rgb-flex-strip.html" rel="nofollow">12V Waterproof RGB&nbsp;Flexible LED&nbsp;strips</a> ...or any other 'waterproof' LED&nbsp;strip, as long as the waterproof rating is IP-68.&nbsp; This rating means that they can be completely submerged in water. &nbsp;When connecting more than one strip you can also easily make the connections waterproof by using 3M Scotchlok Waterproof Butt Connectors.&nbsp; <br />
&nbsp;Looking at that video, it would appear that the whole deck is bathed in that beautiful LED light by simply installing these strips under the railings and on the gazebo. &nbsp;Do you also have LED floods or any such add-ons to achieve the bathed lighting effect? &nbsp;It certainly seems to cover a large area.<br />
no there are no floods lights or other lights just the strips under the railing.<br /> they are wide angle 120 deg leds so they do make a nice even glow over the whole deck:-)<br />
nice, but would be cooler if it was made to change color with music.
A simple way to do that would be to use an audio controller w/ a built in microphone (which is only about $35) or if you want to program a full light show which goes to the music you could use a DMX&nbsp;decoder.<br />
<p>I'm new to this, but when I first saw a led light show that goes with the music on one e-mail, I started dreaming about it, does the LEd strips already has different colors on it? where can I purchase it? thanks...</p>
You can buy LED&nbsp;strips in single color (i.e. they don't change- red, blue, green, white) or in RGB (This means that they are color changing.&nbsp; RGB&nbsp;stands for red-green-blue- each LED&nbsp;chip is actually 3 LEDs in 1, and by changing the intensity of each of these individual colors, you can make all the colors of the rainbow).&nbsp; You would need these: <a href="http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/12v-rgb-flex-strip.html" rel="nofollow">RGB&nbsp;Flexible LED&nbsp;strip</a> and <a href="http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/rgb-audio-remote-control.html" rel="nofollow">RGB&nbsp;RF&nbsp;remote controller with audio</a> (if you want to control the lights to go to the music).&nbsp; They are very easy to install, if you have any questions we would be glad to help. :-)<br />
Hello, congratulation this is a realy howsome job.<br /> I would like to do a deck lighting, but only with white light.<br /> Can you give me some tips on the kind of material I should use? (I'm new on this kind of things)<br /> <br /> Thank you<br />
Thanks~~if you do not want to use color changing LED&nbsp;lights, you could use the the same concept using <a href="http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/12v-warm-white-flex-strip.html" rel="nofollow">warm white LED strips</a>.&nbsp; The installation process would be the same, except that you would not need RGB&nbsp;controllers.&nbsp; However, you could put them on a dimmer (so that you could adjust the lights to any brightness).<br />
Thank you for the quick answer, very kind of you<br />
must make now<br />
Nice instructable.<br /> <br /> I have a couple of points about the sentence:<br /> &quot;...even being covered in snow in northern climates where under the railings are raillery going to get wet&quot;<br /> &nbsp;- I think by &quot;raillery&quot; you mean &quot;rarely&quot;?<br /> &nbsp;- You can always tell a northern-hemisphere author, when they think that it snows more in the north than in the south. Depends how far south you go, dude!
WOW! this is awesome! I want to build a deck when my new house is completed later this year....now I have even more ideas to add to it.<br /> <br /> What would you suggest if integrating this during the decks construction to make it easier? maybe using a router to rebate all the lights? or put them un der the deck somewhere as well?<br /> <br /> Also how much did this cost you?<br /> Thanks again!<br />
The strips are thin enough that you don't need to router the boards (unless you want to).&nbsp; You can router a notch in the top of the post before you put the railings on so that you could feed the strips through and not have to make connections at each post.&nbsp; The led strip is about $5/linear foot.&nbsp; It would also be easier to run the control cable/wire before you build the deck+ you can plan out where you need it to go.&nbsp; <br />
What is the music on the video?&nbsp; I like it!<br /> <br /> thanks.<br /> <br />
I love the project and really enjoyed reading the guide.&nbsp; Keep up the good work =).<br />
bet no one said this yet ...nice property ...self landscaping?<br /> &nbsp;
&nbsp;those LED christmas lights are extremely economical right after christmas (i got them for like $3.00 a strand) and they are of pretty good quality, could be used in a project like this i imagine. they lit my dorm room for a while until the fire marshal said otherwise :(
Traditionally, xmas lights are a horrible fire hazard.&nbsp; Manufactured by the cheapest method in the worst factories.&nbsp; Not so true anymore, and the marshal likely didn't realise they were LED's as opposed the the usual incandescent fire hazards.<br />
How did you have them wired?&nbsp; The LEDs themselves are unlikely to be a hazard.&nbsp; The daisy chain of multi-outlet extension cords, each one with three or four things plugged into it, and all plugged into a big block multi-outlet -- <strong><em>that's</em></strong> the fire hazard.<br />
fire marshal would prolly claim water was a fire hazzard too -_-<br /> <br /> LEDs are cold -_-<br />
All that soldering and then you use crimp connectors... tsk tsk ;)<br /> Totally understand, though.<br />
Wow, that's a fantastic looking backyard!&nbsp; I only wish I lived in a more temperate climate - if I tried something like this it would be destroyed by winter every year.&nbsp; :(<br />
Outstanding project and results.<br />
That is amazing! Really cool!
Love the idea, and I love the deck!&nbsp; One day I'd like to have an outdoor space as beautiful as yours to wire up all full of LEDs!<br />

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Bio: Greetings from everyone at usLEDsupply! Like many of you, we have realized that LEDs are awesome and we try to incorporate them into even the ... More »
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