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Low Voltage Lighting for Stairs

Adequate lighting for steps and stairs not only provides safety and security for family and guests, it also gives your home’s exterior an attractive look at night.

Here are four approaches to lighting steps:

Post Lights

Post mounted stair lights are mounted on the post of a stair railing at least 16" from the top of the riser. Alternate these lights on either side of the stair to create pools of light that illuminate the entire stairway.

Recessed Lights

Recessed lights are mounted flush with the surface of the deck or patio. Some fixtures can be walked on. Recessed lights have a spotlight effect and should be installed on every stair. Do not alternate.

Post Cap Lights

Post cap lights are light sources at the top of a post. Use these lights to mark the top and bottom of a stairway.

Motion Sensor Lights

Low voltage motion sensors flood light over an area only when activated by movement. A passive infrared motion detector can be set up to switch the stair lights on as you approach, then switch them off again a few minutes later.

If you only need your stair lights to come on for a few hours in the evening, use a timer. A sophisticated controller will even adjust the timing depending on the time of year. As an alternative to low voltage systems, solar stair lighting switches itself off when the battery runs out of energy.

For more information on lighting your deck, please read this article on outdoor step lighting.


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