Solar vs Low Voltage - Which option is best for me?

Posted 23 July 2013 3:26 PM by Ashley Vanderwall

Night scene with Deckorators LV square lit balusters

Deck lighting is a hot trend in deck design right now. The options seem endless: products are available to light post tops, post sides, balusters and even stair treads. On top of that, you have a choice on the type of power to run your lights – solar or low voltage. So how do you decide which power option is best for you? Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

Deckorators Solar Labyrinth

What do you want to use the deck lighting for?

  • If you're looking for decorative/accent lighting, go with solar. Solar lights offer more of an ambient light, ideal for accent lighting but not task lighting.
  • If you want a product that will emit a brighter light, go with low voltage. Low voltage lights give you a stronger, more consistent light, and will illuminate your deck more than solar.

How big of a project do you want?

  • Solar lights are much easier to install – no wiring or electricity required. Simply put batteries in the light and install the light to the post.
  • Low voltage lights need to be connected to a transformer, so more planning and work will be involved with installation. Since low voltage products are safe to handle, you do not need to hire an electrician, but you will need to run wire from a transformer to each light you install.

Deckorators Low Voltage Light Band

How much sunlight does your deck get?

  • Solar lights must get a full day of sunlight during the day in order to charge and light up at night.
  • Low voltage lights are powered by electricity so they are not dependent on sunlight.

Where are your electrical outlets?

  • If your electrical outlets are nowhere near where you want to place your lights, solar is your best option because they do not rely on electricity.

Do you have an existing low voltage system on your deck?

  • If you have an existing low voltage system on your deck, low voltage lights are easier to install. Deckorators® low voltage lights can be spliced into an existing system using a cable connector.

After you decide which power to use, be sure to research the type of bulb used in the lighting products you choose. All Deckorators lighting products feature LED lighting, which is an energy efficient way to illuminate your deck.