We adore spending time on our deck. Every time we have dinner outside, we remark how our ambiance beats any restaurant in town. We watch the ducks in the pond, chat with our neighbors walking by, and listen to the birds. Until it gets dark, and you can't see a darn thing.
We have one flood light for the deck, but it's blinding and unflattering. We needed some better light!
I had bought cafe lights for the deck at our wedding reception. I'm not sure why, but they never got used and came home still in the packaging. I'm a use-what-you-got kind of gal, so we tried to come up with a way to put them to use.
We don't have any trees nearby we could hang the lights from, and nothing we could string them up with so make them shine from overhead.
Instead, we improvised, and stapled them directly to the handrail of the deck. They're tucked underneath, so they don't get in the way of setting things on top, and they're enough under the edge to prevent stuff from bumping into them and breaking them.
Better yet, since they're hidden by the railing, nobody can complain that we have lights strung on our house year-round.
They create an awesome soft glow at night, and allow us to enjoy even more hours on the the deck!
I've heard these cafe lights can be really fragile. We broke a few putting them up, so you do need to be pretty careful not to bang them into stuff. That said, we haven't broken a single one since we installed them. We had one strand leftover from the project, so we're saving it to harvest lightbulbs from, should any break in the future.
I think the lights were about $20 a strand originally, and we used three strands (plus another for extra bulbs), so doing this project would cost about $80. Since we already had the lights, I see it more as $0, and another instance of reusing stuff from our wedding. Regardless, an outdoor light fixture runs you $30 - $300, depending on how pretty you want it to be, so I think we came in OK.
It took Tommy a little over an hour to staple them all up.
We're glad to have tackled this project! It's like the icing on the cake for our deck experience!