Each light fixture and its placement go a long way in setting the desired mood for the area. Let’s walk through some key steps to help you get the most out of your landscape lighting and make it easy to install.
Create a Plan for Your Layout
Take the time to survey your property. Make note of any key fixtures you want to highlight such as a garden, bench, or other areas of interest. Be sure to consider the placement of preexisting fixtures, such as porch lights or flood lights. You’re looking to highlight areas that are otherwise dim or dark in the later hours while avoiding over-saturation of areas already lit.
Consider other landscape lighting fixtures such as path lights along walkways or lights for backyard ponds. Once you’ve come up with some ideas for your DIY project, bring out your inner artist and draw at least a rough sketch indicating the placement of lights and where you will run electrical cable. You’ll need to make sure you’ll have access to an outdoor electrical outlet when you finally install low voltage lights.
Gather Key Supplies
Now, it’s time to consider the amount of money you wish to spend. Solar LED landscape lights are generally the cheapest as they do not require additional wiring or installation devices to function. However, if you’re placing lights in an area that does not receive much sunlight, you’ll likely not get the desired result you want from this option.
Low voltage landscape lighting is relatively affordable and can be installed on your own at home. Placing multiple low intensity lights at different angles will softly illuminate areas without creating a strong shadow effect. These dim lights are also great at illuminating walkways when spaced equidistantly.
LED lights also come in a variety of colors. Decide whether you want an area to have a sharper, yellow light, or to have a softer, muted look with a different color.
To make it all work, you’re also going to need a transformer with an appropriate voltage. You’ll need to check to make sure that it is capable of a power output that matches the length of the cable type you are using to connect your lights. The low voltage cable you’ll need is typically made to be hidden underground. It comes as a 12, 14, or 16-gauge cable – the lower numbers are thicker and capable of more.
Install and Test Your Lights
Once you’ve gathered your light fixtures and cable, begin laying them out. Space your lights at even intervals. Then, run the cable alongside all of the fixtures accounting for any obstacles that might be in your way. You may need to run more cable to go around certain objects.
Once everything is in place, dig a roughly three inch deep trench and place your cable at the bottom of it. Outdoor lighting cable is designed to withstand the elements, and this allows you to hide the unsightly wiring.
Finally, you’ll want to install the transformer near the desired electrical outlet. Carefully follow the instructions that come with your transformer to correctly insert the copper wires from the low voltage cable. Tighten the screws to seal the wires inside. You’ll want to quickly install a plastic cover to protect the outlet when in use in the case of rainfall.
Once you’ve tested that your lights are correctly receiving power, you’re ready to plant them into the ground.
Get Professional Landscape Light Installation with Lit Professional Lighting
While installing low-voltage landscape lights is possible on your own, it can be a tricky task to get just right. Lit Professional Lighting lives to make your home look incredible. We provide artistic designs for your landscape lighting that compliment your tastes and your home’s natural assets.
To get an idea of the high-quality work we can do for your home, check out our gallery of recent work. If you’re impressed by what you see, give us a call at (281)-961-0781 to schedule an appointment or email us for a free estimate.