How to Install Low-Voltage Landscape Lights

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Low-voltage landscape lighting installations are easy to complete in an afternoon. The benefits of such an easy project will be obvious the first night they are installed. Your night-time curb appeal will increase instantly, and your lights will impress your neighbors every evening. Low-voltage landscape lighting also increases the security and safety of your home by spreading light into needed areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Low-voltage cable
  • Light fixtures
  • Low-voltage transformer
  • Shovel
  • Wire strippers
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Design the layout of your low-voltage lighting. Mix and match different lamp styles (path lights, wall-wash fixtures, up-light fixture) to accent different features of your home.

  • Place the light fixtures on the ground where they will be installed, and run a low-voltage cable along the installation path. Run the cable under obstacles such as bushes, shrubs and fencing. When you have determined a clear path, dig a shallow trench in the sod 3 to 4 inches deep and at least 12 inches from walkways.

  • Lay the cable in the trench. Run the cable to where the transformer will plug into an outdoor electrical outlet. Drive a wooden stake into the ground near the outlet and mount the transformer to the stake with screws. Strip the wires to expose 1/2 inch of bare wire and hook the wires to the terminals on the transformer. Plug the transformer into the wall outlet.

  • Use a metal or a wooden stake to put a starter hole in the ground for the light fixtures. Do not pound them into the ground with a mallet. Make sure the light fixtures do not jut into the walkway.

  • Space the fixtures evenly. Each light fixture will have a connector at its base. Slide the two connector halves over the wire until it snaps together. The light should go on when the connection is made. Repeat for each light fixture. When each fixture is connected, bury the cable. Check the light fixtures to be sure they are installed straight and not tilted to one side.

Tips & Warnings

  • Replace burned-out light bulbs as soon as possible. Failing to do so will shorten the lifespan of the rest of the bulbs.

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References

  • Photo Credit Fairview Electrical Supply Corp., http://www.landscapelights.com/cart/shopexd.asp?id=453
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