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How to Install Deck Lights on Vinyl Railing

Rebecca Mecomber

Many homeowners install vinyl components on their decks, attracted by premade units and low-maintenance material. Rope lights, which are small bulbs encapsulated in waterproof, flexible vinyl tubing, are common decorative deck lighting that produces a warm glow. Rope light manufacturers include small, plastic clips with the package. These clips are screwed to the railing and the vinyl tubing is pressed into place. There are a few options for installing these lights on a vinyl railing. If the lights are a permanent fixture, attach clips to the railing with screws. If you do not want to mar the railing with holes, skip the clips and use cable ties securing the lights to the rails.

Permanent Placement

Rope lights are waterproof and simple to install.

Step 1

Drill pilot holes in the vinyl railing where the clips will be installed. For best results, place the clips on the railing’s outer side slightly below the handrail area.

Step 2

Screw in the clips with one-half inch, self-drilling, stainless steel screws.

Step 3

Starting at one end, press the rope lights into the clips. The clips grasp the tubing, holding it firmly in place.

Temporary Placement

Step 1

Have a helper extend a section of the deck lights across the railing. For best results, place the string of lights on the railing’s outer side slightly below the handrail area.

Step 2

Loop a vinyl cable tie around the railing’s handrail portion and the string lights. Insert the cable tie end into the small zip box and pull securely. Continue tying the lights, section by section, as your helper extends the string down the railing.

Step 3

Clip any extra cable tie length with the scissors.

Step 4

Remove the installation by snipping the cable tie with scissors. Do not scratch the vinyl railing with the end of the scissors.