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finished deck

Hanging Café Lights on Elevated Deck

Add a sense of class and urban chicque to your outdoor deck space by adding hanging cafe lights. Use a Wagner sprayer to help paint the supports.

DIFFICULTY: Intermediate


One of the projects we wanted to tackle this year was to add cafe lights on our elevated deck. Since we couldn’t just add some poles in the ground (or deck is composite so we couldn’t attach anything directly to it very easily), we knew we needed to come up with a system that would hold tall poles that the lights would attach to securely in the elements but still be pretty to look at.

We have a nice view off our deck so I wanted to hang the lights around three sides, but not across the front where we’d have a black cable blocking our view. We came up with a system of using planters filled with concrete in the three corners, using 4x4 pillars to suspend the lighting cables high in the air.


deck before decorating


deck after

Paint the Support Pillars with a Paint Sprayer

I started with several large planters, the 4”x4”x8’ support pillars and latex paint in an outdoor formula. I used my FLEXiO 3000 sprayer to coat everything with several coats of paint so they would look clean and match the deck. The paint easily sprays on, and after several coats they were complete. Be sure to always use eye protection and a mask when spraying on paint!

painting the beams

Assemble the Pots

Once everything was dry, we set about assembling the pots that would sit in the corners of the deck to hold the lights.

assemble pots

Mix & Pour the Concrete

We used quick drying concrete mix, and with a team effort mixed it and added it to the planters. We then set the pillars in the center and using a level held them still until they were dry enough not to move.

place beams in concrete

Install the Lights

Once they were firmly set, we brought them up to the deck and started hanging the lights. It is important to not have any glass bulbs already installed as if the line drops, the glass will break so be sure to wait and put those in at the end.

We used screws and fasteners to attach the cable to the wood poles using a drill. This is definitely better as a two person job, and be sure to not have too much tension in the cable so it doesn’t pull over the pole across as you are tightening it to attach.

add light fixture

Add Plants to Planters

To finish the planters off nicely, we added a layer of sand then potting soil and small plants. This covered the concrete nicely and still allows for drainage.

Add plants

Add Bulbs

Once everything was secured, we added the lights and waited for darkness to fall.

finished deck

Enjoy the Deck

They provide nice overhead lighting now that the days are getting shorter and are a nice extra touch to our outdoor space.

This sponsored post was created by 11 Magnolia Lane. Head to the blog for the full post and details.

finished deck
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