Figure Out Your Functional Needs
The first thing you will want to do is plan out your functional lighting requirements. For example, sidewalks that lead to your door need to be illuminated so that people can see where they are going.
For these, you will want to use fairly bright lights that direct the light where it needs to go. I usually use low voltage lighting (rather than solar lights) for these spaces because they distribute the light better.
Make sure that steps are lit so everyone knows where to step down. Solar lights work well for this application, especially for an existing deck. No wires makes them very easy to install!
If you have a deck or patio where people sit after dark, you’ll want to provide enough light for them to see each other. One of my favorite way to do this is to use patio umbrellas that have lights under them. For these, the solar version does actually work pretty well (yes, I actually broke down and bought one)…which makes it easier to install, since you won’t need any wiring.
You might also want to add Citronella candles or torches in this category. Not so much for the light they provide, but to ward off the mosquitoes and other insects that can be a nuisance outside.