Make the most of your outdoor space on a spring evening by adding lights into your decking. This project will not only add a touch of glam and sophistication to your garden space, but it will also teach you a thing or two about how to use heavy-duty tools. So, what are you waiting for? Get your cordless combi drill ready to do some easy decking DIY!
You will need:
- Carpenter’s pencil
- Heavy-duty tape measure
- Carpenter’s try square
- Cordless combi drill
- Wood drill bit, 24 x 400mm
- General-purpose sandpaper
- LED deck lights
- LED desk light extension kit
- Rigger gloves
- Safety goggles
Check to see if you have a 13-amp plug socket within 5m of your deck. If you don’t, you will need to have one fitted by a qualified electrician.
If you are adding lights to a fascia board then remove the board now; this will allow you to avoid any bolts when choosing where to position the light fittings. If you are adding the lights to the top of a deck, make sure that they are positioned over the centre of a deck board and not directly over any joists.
Lay your light fittings out into the position you would like them to be in, keeping in mind that the lights can’t be placed more than 1.2m apart. Use a tape measure to ensure the lights are evenly spaced along your boards. They should not be plugged in at this stage.
Once you are happy with the position of the lights, use a try square and pencil to accurately mark these positions out on the wood. Reattach the fascia board and drill the mounting holes using a 24mm drill bit.
Remove all the necessary deck boards so that you can feed the cables of each light through the holes. If need be, smooth down any rough edges with a piece of sandpaper.
Use the 24mm drill bit to create holes in the joists or noggings so the cables can be connected. Place the light fittings into position. Once all of the lights are in place, connect each head to the next in the series.
If you are not extending the lights, then add the blanking plug to cover the last socket. If you are extending the lights, repeat the same process of choosing where to position them, then marking the placement, drilling the holes and connecting the lights.
Add the blanking plug to cover the last socket. Connect the driver cable into the socket closest to the plug. Place the mains cable and driver inside the decking so that they will not be visible once you secure the boards back into position. Switch on to test all the lights are working. Once you have tested the lights, secure all the boards back into position.
Safety first! Remember to get a 13-amp plug socket, if you don’t already have one, installed by a qualified electrician. With this project, it’s also important to wear safety goggles and protective gloves. Additionally, when using wood preserver, make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions for drying and safety, plus ensure that you don’t plug in the lights until all of the fittings are secure.
This project was provided by Wickes. If you enjoyed doing up your decking, you can find more DIY projects like this at wickes.co.uk.