Most people with a patio and deck find them most enjoyable after the sun sets. It’s more than just coming home from work and sitting back in a relaxing environment – a well-lit deck will give off a special feel that can’t be replicated with any amount of daylight.

You might have constructed the perfect patio and deck but now find yourself scratching your head when it comes to lighting the place up. Here are 3 great options you can count on for your patio, deck, or landscape lighting needs.

Pathway and floor lighting

Floor lighting will create an amazing atmosphere around your patio and deck, provided you have a small understanding of what you’re doing. The margin of error is quite wide here – most forms of floor lighting will generally be a good choice.

That being said, there’s lots of patterns and lamps to choose from. For example, you could go for pathway lighting that ends up circling around the patio, making the whole area similar to a landing strip. You could also opt for ‘randomly’ placed lighting throughout the yard.

There are a few things to watch out for with floor lighting, though. You’ll want to position the lamps – or rather, the bulbs – so that they don’t shine directly in anyone’s eyes. Since floor lighting generally needs to be powerful, this becomes all the more important. Another thing to keep in mind is that floor lighting tends to be static and usually requires installation of both lamps and electrical wiring. You might not be able to do this yourself, and hiring an electrician will act as an additional expense.

Motion-activated lighting

This type of lighting helps give patios and decks that magical nighttime feel they’re so often geared towards. With motion lighting, you’ll save time and effort as you won’t need to worry about constantly turning certain bulbs on or off. Furthermore, motion-activated lights actually provide better overall illumination, as you can install additional lamps in less-utilized areas of your yard and forget about them until they’re needed.

For all their style, motion-activated lights can sometimes prove bothersome to people. You might find yourself wanting to illuminate a part of your yard where nobody is present – for these cases, make sure to install motion lighting that comes with a standard ‘On’ switch as well. It’s also worth mentioning that motion-activated lighting options tend to be pricier than their regular counterparts, both to purchase and install.

Lighting as part of a fan

If your area experiences hot summers, there are few better ways of lighting your patio and deck than with fan lights. These are a great way to make lighting as inconspicuous as possible while still being powerful enough. Most home owners opt for a large overhead fan with a single ambient light, although smaller fans are also an option. While fan lighting is generally placed at the fan’s center, you can also opt to place the bulbs behind the blades. This will create a unique lightshow for you and your visitors whenever the fan is running, but be warned – not everyone will find this option pleasant.