stair or deck lighting


I opened my big mouth and put myself behind the 8-ball.

I have a contractor doing some work at a property my company manages. I mentioned that I do some electronics work. he said he was looking for two things and coming up blank.

Deck lighting with LED’s that change color and stair lighting.

I Mentioned that there is a stair lighting that uses a motion sensor at the top and bottom and does a chase up the stairs and then shuts off.

He was so excited, he asked me to put together a package for him.

I have not done any stair lighting so have nothing already set up and do not know where to find the recessed lights.

Can anyone offer any links or sources for these parts ? To save time, I would consider buying boards as well. (Crossroads comes to mind )

I assume (yeah, I get myself in trouble too often) that the deck lights can be by the same package.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Can anyone offer any links or sources for these parts ?

You mean for the lamps themselves? I assume your favorite search engine would give a list of suitable candidates and it will be up to you to judge style, quality, price, availability etc.

To answer where you might get parts:
-For the LEDs that change color, adafruit neopixels come to mind. You can control the colors of individual LEDs that way, but I think they're around $30 per meter so that could get expensive.
-For the stair lighting, has a bunch of different recessed lighting available.
-Motion sensing switch from a hardware store.

My concerns:
The stairs could be trickier. I'm guessing that you want to use a motion sensing switch that you could typically buy at a hardware store. I would test how quick it reacts to a person, and at what range. If you're positioning the sensors at the bottom and top of the stairs to trigger when a person enters and exits the stairway, the person triggering it will be close to it, and will likely not be in front of the sensor for very long. I worked on a similar project with LEDs recessed into the wall that follow a user as they walk by, and determining that isn't very simple. What happens if a person enters the stairway while the lights are on and someone else is already on it? You could add a delay to determine the minimum time the lights will stay on. If I misunderstood you and you only want to turn on the lights for a pre-determined period once triggered, then your job should be easier.

The Adafruit NeoPixels are awesome, but you'll need to work on water proofing them. Adafruit has individual NeoPixels on tiny PCB's with standard 3-pin .100" (2.54mm) headers. Those come to mind for the stairs. A single pixel can be VERY bright. I'm thinking you could have one per step on each side of the step and it would be sufficient light. They can be daisy-chained together and are individually addressable. You could literally use servo cables between each NeoPixel. This is what I'm talking about:

A 4-pack is $7.95.

They also have NeoPixels with the chip built into the LED:


I would use a motion sensor (or maybe an IR proximity sensor) at the top and another at the bottom to determine whether somebody is entering from the top or the bottom. Forget about trying to time individual steps... people walk up and down stairs at various rates. Instead, detect which way they are coming from and then fade on each step one at a time so they light up in the appropriate sequence, but keep them all on for a certain amount of time while motion is still being detected. Say 1 minute? If not motion is detected after that, fade them off one by one.

herein lies the problem. I am hoping to find something that is ready to go. not sure if anyone has done a stair light project. some of the pictures of the recessed, flush mount fixtures look great.

those neopixels might work. I might be able to put them inside of an outdoor fixture for low voltage lights.


If you're looking for something ready to go, then in you are in the wrong place. Try searching on Amazon.

yup. DMX controller will let me control a lot of LED's in multiple colors.

not excited about the limited variety of mounting styles in a flush configuration, but I can work with that pretty easily.