Adding landscape lighting is a fantastic way to elevate your backyard’s appearance while making the space more functional. There are three main types of outdoor landscape lighting—solar lights, low-voltage lights and line-voltage lights—all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Whether you want to illuminate an entire outdoor walkway or simply shine a bright light on your yard’s focal point, keep reading. This post will cover everything you need to know about site lighting installation.
Solar landscape lighting
Solar lights don’t require any wiring because they’re powered by the sun, so the individual lights are easy to set up all by yourself. While the lights don’t need to be installed in direct sunlight to get a charge, they should receive at least six hours of sunlight per day to work their best.
To install solar lights, simply remove each individual light from its package and follow the installation instructions. It’s usually as simple as placing a stake in the ground and attaching the light on top. Use a tape measure to ensure each individual light is equidistant from the next to achieve the best results.
Most low-voltage landscape lights include a transformer that’s plugged into an outdoor-rated GFCI electrical outlet. The transformer reduces your standard 120-volt household current to 12 volts. Low-voltage site lighting installation is more difficult than solar lights but easier than line voltage lighting.
Your first step is to mount the transformer near a GFCI outlet. You can either mount the transformer directly to your house using a wood screw or on a post next to your house. Next, strip about 3/4 of an inch of insulation from the two conductors on the 10-gauge main wire that will feed the lights. Then, connect each conductor to the terminals in the transformer.
Now that your transformer is connected, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting the lights up in your yard. Drive stakes into the ground to ensure the lights will stay put, and then run the cable from the transformer along the light path you just created. Make sure you have 18 inches of slack between each fixture to give you plenty of room to adjust the light’s location later.
Most DIY low-voltage kits have a quick-connect system. To use it, open the housing and slip it over the electrical cable. When the two parts of the connector are pushed together, the insulation in the cable is pierced and contacts the conductors inside. Wrap the connecter with electrical tape and repeat the process at the next light.
Plug the transformer in and turn the system on to complete your setup.
Installing low-voltage lighting involves burying lines underground and then hardwiring the lights directly to your home’s electrical system. This is one of the most advanced electrical projects out there and is not recommended for homeowners to try themselves. If you are going to attempt this yourself, call the city to obtain an electrical permit.
Always hire the team at Walsh Electric
Regardless of the site lighting installation you’d like, just call our pros at Walsh Electric. We have years of experience with all sorts of outdoor projects, so you can rest easy knowing you’ll love the results.