How to Install Recessed Outdoor Step Lights on a Deck Riser


Duration ± 1 minute

Ben Blackburn

in-lite Representative

Deck Lights

Installing lights on deck stair risers has become a popular trend. Not only does it provide light to make the steps visible at night (safety first!) it also looks pretty awesome.

Deck lights have the ability to take your stairs to the next level, and we can walk you through the process of installing them!

First, we’re going to measure. You want your fixtures to be centered vertically and horizontally on each riser.

Measuring deck for stair riser lights

Take your time and be accurate! Use a pencil or sticker to mark where you’re going to drill.

Measuring for deck lights

As we like to say, "measure twice and drill once!" Seriously, it's way easier to change a pencil mark than it is to fix a mis-drilled hole.

Now for the fun part (and our personal favorite part)... drilling! Make sure that you keep your drill straight. Again, you could damage the fixture if this isn't done properly. Don't forget to wear the proper PPE.

Drilling for deck lights

Again, use our DRILL BITS. They’re the exact size you need.

Drill bits for deck lights

A hole that is too big or small can cause issues.

Either your hole is going to be too large and the fixtures will feel loose... The last thing you want is someone to pull the lights out! Or, worse, you don't want your lights to fall out of the riser on their own.

If the hole is too small, you might crack the fixture during install. But don't worry, if you use our drill bits properly, you'll get the perfect hole every time.

Finish drilling all your holes, and remember, if you don’t drill straight you could accidentally crack your fixture during install.

Drilling Straight on deck lights

You also don’t want imperfections – especially if your fixture doesn’t have a ring to hide them.

Straight drilling hole

The next step would be to feed the cable through the hole and line the fixture up straight.

Feeding light cable into drilling hole set the fixture straight in the drilling hole

Tap the fixture gently into place using a rubber mallet. Careful, you don’t want to crack the fixture. We can't stress this enough. It's light - not a deck board, so be gentle!

tapping light with rubber mallet

The cables will be hanging out like this under the deck, and this is where we will connect our Easy-Locks to the main line cable (all our lighting products include the Easy-Lock in the box). This is how we're going to connect our lights to our low-voltage cable and provide power to the fixtures.

deck light cable hanging under deck

Next, we’re going to attach all the Easy-Locks to the main line cable then plug the fixtures into the connectors. 

connecting deck lights to easy-lock

You may have to use extension cables depending on the distance between the fixtures and main line.

measure deck light cable and determine if you need and extension Lastly, organize and hide your cables using U-Clips then set up the transformer under the deck or on the side of the house. If you need more information how to set up a transformer, check out this video.

use u-clips and tuck the deck light cables away

Connect deck light cables to transformer

Clean up your mess.

clean up your mess

And finally, you can turn on your lights and enjoy!

Deck lights

And that’s how you install lights on a deck riser. Take your time, be creative, and if you get stuck – don’t be afraid to reach out to your in-lite representative at

For more help with installing lights on a deck riser, watch the video below: