When To Install Landscape Lighting
Install DIY landscape lighting at any time of year when the ground is dry, clean, and clear of obstructions like snow, ice, leaves, or debris.
Many solar light systems need a full day of sunlight to establish a strong, initial charge. Because of this, they should be installed in spring or summer and early in the day.
For line voltage landscape lighting, frozen ground may make it difficult or impossible to dig trenches for the electric cable. For all types of landscape lighting, metal or plastic stakes must be driven into the ground for mounting the lights. Aluminum or plastic stakes may bend or break when pounded into frozen ground.
The Easiest Way To Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Learn how to install low voltage landscape lighting and give your homes exterior a high-end, custom look!
I love to drive through beautiful neighborhoods to check out the homes and get ideas. Recently I was driving around in the evening and realized that just about every home that caught my eye had lighting that illuminated their landscaping and gave a gorgeous soft glow to the house.
When I pointed this out to Donnie, he was totally on board with doing something similar for our home. And since he took this project and ran with it, Im going to let him explain how to install low voltage landscape lighting for your own home!
A few months ago Abby came to me with the idea of installing landscape lighting in the front of our house. I love the finished and classy look of landscape lighting, but I assumed it was a difficult and expensive project. It turns out that installing low voltage landscape lighting is easier and cheaper than I thought, and it makes a huge impact on the look of our home after the sun goes down.
Improves The Appearance Of Your House
A well-lit and perfectly styled outdoor lighting can work wonders by enhancing the outdoor appearance of your house, even if it is an old one.
Additionally, it could transform your bare outdoor space by giving it extra illumination and a stylish and sleek appearance. Nonetheless, the well-lit landscape would look pleasing to the eye.
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Plug In The Transformer
Run the cable up to the outdoor electrical outlet. Then use wire strippers to cut the cable and strip off ½ inch of the rubber insulation.
Slide the stripped wires under the two terminal screws on the bottom of the transformer. Tighten the screws all the way to hold the cable securely in place.
Drive a wood stake into the ground next to the outlet. Then screw the transformer to the stake.
Lift up the “while-in-use” cover on the outlet and plug in the transformer.
Decide What You Want To Illuminate
If you simply want a safer yard, it may be enough to install basic lights along your driveway or any pathways leading to your garage or exterior doors. You could make it even safer with that come on whenever someone approaches your home.
However, if your lawn has a gorgeous rosebush, a large tree or some other unique feature that you want to highlight, you could probably go with a simple , but there are a number of options available to help you achieve this. Or maybe you have an outdoor area that you like to work or entertain in during the evening hours. are always a great choice for adding ambiance to these areas.
No matter what your lighting needs are, there is certainly a lighting style that will perfectly illuminate your yard to your liking.
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Low Voltage Landscape Lighting 101
Have you recently added curb appeal to your home? Perhaps a new paving stone driveway, walls, pillars, steps, water features, statues, stucco, paint, patio cover, artificial grass or landscaping. These changes are amazing during the day, but perhaps ignored and not enjoyed to its fullest potential when the sun goes down.
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting can enhance the features of your homes curb appeal and create a more inviting atmosphere. There is a functional side to lighting your space. Being able to navigate your walkways/steps and guiding guests to your front door would be a functional aspect of lighting. The function of bringing light to a dark space could also be for safety and security. There is, however, many other reasons to consider Low Voltage Lighting for your home and yard.
Low Voltage Lighting will make your yard usable past dark and will completely change the way your yard is being used. If you are not lighting your space you cannot see it, what you cannot see you cannot use. Lighting will change the entire feel of a space and visually connect different areas in your yard.
Your homes hard and softscape features are a work of art waiting to be highlighted. With the proper Landscape Lighting Design and lighting placement you can create a dramatic transformation. Lighting will add depth and dimension to your space and reveal beautiful details that may be hidden during the day.
Tips On How To Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Landscape lighting can make your garden look beautiful in the evening and increase the functionality of your outdoor living spaces, and low voltage lighting is less expensive and safer to run than high-voltage lights. What do you need to know in order to transform your outdoor spaces with low voltage landscape lighting? Here are some essential tips on how to install low voltage landscape lighting.
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Install The Light Fixtures
Insert the light fixture into its metal ground stake.
Using both hands, push the fixture and its stake into the ground until the top of the stake is flush with the ground. Eyeball the fixture to make sure it’s not tilted to one side.
Tuck the cable and connector under the sod and stuff them into the soil, about 2 inches deep.
Continue installing the remaining fixtures in the same manner.
How To Install Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting Step By Step
Time needed: About 35 hours
Materials required: Low voltage lighting, transformer, wall anchors, power drill, shovel, screwdriver, and gloves
Low voltage lighting kits are available in a wide variety of styles, sizes, colors and finishes at your area home improvement store. Look for kits that include lights, 100 feet of low voltage cable, and a transformer for lowering current flow.
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What Are The Advantages Of Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
For the average home installer, low voltage landscape lighting has some huge advantages:
- Safer to install than high voltage lighting options
- Safe to use in wet conditions
- Safe for pets, kids, and anyone that digs up the wires
- Does not require wires to be buried in conduit
- More energy efficient
- Easy to install because low voltage systems have no polarity
Consider The Reasons To Use Landscape Lighting
Landscape lighting is both functional and beautiful. It provides safety by illuminating walkways, stairs, driveways, outdoor seating areas and entryways, as well as highlights the plant life and of your landscaping. Additionally, outdoor lighting means you dont have to limit your outdoor entertaining to just the daylight hours. You can have barbecues, drinks and leisure time with friends and family well into the evening hours.
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Splicing And Connecting Your Wires
Place the wire at each fixture, leaving extra just in case you need to make changes in the future. Strip the wire with wire cutters and use waterproof gel filled connectors to wire the fixtures. We recommend using these Blazing BVS-2 Snap Lock Wire Connectors to hold wires together nice and strong.
Tip: Cheap connectors can cause a lot of problems down the road so dont try to cut costs here. Also, if you need to T-splice your wire, we recommend using DBRY Gel Filled Connectors to keep the wires tight and in a waterproof tube. Avoid DIY wire connectors from your major hardware stores that require you to pierce the wires, as this can create problems down road.
How To Install Outdoor Lighting First Steps
Installing outdoor lighting is actually a lot easier than people think! Start at a landscape supply or home improvement store to buy everything you will need to install your outdoor lighting. Or of course . See supply list below.
First step : Plan out your lighting layout. Use a diagram or layout the main wire on the ground ahead of time to make sure you have the right lengths, and to plan out placement of each light. This is a good time to decide how far away from each subject you want to place each light, as the farther away from an object, the wider the beam will appear, but the dimmer the light. We wanted bright light and drama, so our lights are between 2-4 feet away from the intended subject, and pointed upward.
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Lay Out The Components
Set the pathway light fixtures on the ground where they’ll be installed usually about 8 to 10 feet apart.
Lay the low-voltage cable along the concrete walkway, following the line of light fixtures. Use 14-gauge cable for lighting systems that total 200 watts or less and 12-gauge cable for systems that are more than 200 watts.
When you come to an obstacle, such as a fence or shrub, string the cable under or around it.
Tip: Put first fixture at least 10 feet from the transformer.
How To Install Line Voltage Landscape Lighting
Line-voltage lighting is an advanced DIY project and may require an electrical permit from your local building department. Since its a complex project that requires professional inspection anyway, most people opt to have the work done by professional electricians.
The following steps will give you an overview of what is involved in installing line voltage landscape lights. Be sure to carefully consult and follow all manufacturer directions if you opt to do the work yourself.
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Control Stuff With 12v
You’ve probably noticed that your power supply isn’t making much of a sound. The fan isn’t on, no voltage to the yellow or red lines, etc.
That is because we’ll need to get the GREEN connected to a ground to actual turn on the main power.
Let’s get one of those relays out.
Ok, now take a few of your jumper cables – a RED & BLACK both female& ANY COLOR female on one side and male on the other.
Head back over to your main page – the first switch, perhaps the only switch, should now take the ATX PS out of standby, kick the fan on and start sending juice to all the 12V, 5V & 3.3V wires.
What is cool, is that you could stop here. Simply wire up your lighting to a couple 12V lines and you’d have a simple, digital switch to control it.
But where is the fun in that? Next up, I’ll talk the lighting wiring as well as a method for adding more switches and more control over your lighting.
Attach Outdoor Subpanel Or L
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Wiring Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
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Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting | Low voltage outdoor lighting, Outdoor. 15 Pictures about Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting | Low voltage outdoor lighting, Outdoor : Connecting Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Wire – YouTube, Wirefy Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Wire – 2-Conductor – 250 Feet and also Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting | Low voltage outdoor lighting, Outdoor.
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Assemble And Install The Lights Solar Landscape Lighting
- Remove the cover tag over the solar battery of each light, then put the top of the light back together, if necessary.
- Assemble the lights according to instructions. Usually, this requires placing the light top into the support and then attaching the light stake to the bottom of the support.
- Expose the solar lights to full sun for 12- to 14-hours before starting installation. This will allow the battery to fully charge and uncover any lights that may be defective before you install them.
- If the ground is hard or dry, lightly water the soil along the area there the lights will be installed. Allow the soil to soak for a few hours.
- Once you have the fixtures where you want them, drive their stakes into the ground. Make sure they remain plumb. The lights should install easily. Dont force the lights into the ground as this might damage the stakes.
Tip: Most solar lights install in generally the same fashion, but you should follow all manufacturers instructions for your choice of solar landscape light.
Diy Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Low voltage landscape lighting is efficient in many ways when compared to high voltage landscape lighting. It is safe and easier to use, especially in wet conditions. It is energy-efficient, easy installation steps, and doesnt raise any red light alert for kids and pets. These are good reasons anyone should consider low voltage landscape lighting.
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What Are Low Voltage Landscape Lights
Low voltage landscape lights are powered through a transformer, that attaches to the wire, that lowers the voltage from regular 120 volts to 12 volts.
This makes low voltage lights easier to install and move around if necessary, and that make them a popular choice for outdoor landscape lighting for homeowners.
Choosing Low Voltage Wire
The next step in installing low voltageoutdoor lighting is choosing wires that will connect the transformer to each fixture as they come in different numerical gauges and lengths.
You can choose 10-, 12-, 14-, or 16-gauge wires that are more commonly used for low voltage outdoor lighting.
A thicker wire would be needed for higher-power outdoor lighting installation as they carry the current to longer distances.
In comparison, a thinner wire would be better for low-power projects below 200 watts.
We recommend selecting a 10- or 12- gauge wire for long distances to prevent voltage drop. A copper wire would be best suited for low voltage outdoor lighting as it offers less resistance.
Consider this table.
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Why I Chose Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
When I started searching for outdoor spotlights my first priority was to find something that was easy for me to install and hookup.
After I narrowed down my choices I searched for lights that had great reviews.
With my choice made I placed an order for a 6 low voltage landscape light set.
The idea was to put three on either side of the front porch. I figured that that would be enough.
Once I got them and laid the lights out I knew the 3 and 3 configuration wouldn’t work.
Even though I got a lot of wire with the set, I would have had to dig under the sidewalk in order to hide the wire. That wasn’t going to happen.
Remember, I wanted this to be easy with no digging and no rewiring.
While I figured out a fix I just installed all 6 by the guest bedroom to see how they would look.