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Low Voltage Landscape Lighting For Home

by Jimmie Horseman (2018-11-15)


Make your outdoor landscaping beautiful all day long by installing low voltage lighting. Low voltage lighting is sold in many styles and stress important parts of your home or garden at night. Outdoor lighting will also increase the safety of walking on your walkways after sunset. Low voltage landscape lights are simple and safe to install even if you don't know anything about electricity. Simply follow these easy instructions.

When installing low voltage landscape lighting, don't forget the fact that you are working with electricity, so adequate precautions need to be taken. Always switch off the power before working and don't touch the wires around electrical panels. Your hands should be dry and wear rubber gloves for better insulation. Read the manufacturer's safety instructions and always get permission from your utility company before digging so they can tell you about the location of underground wires or pipes.

Fit Transformer - The transformer should always be fitted close to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. A GFCI outlet is meant to protect you from severe or deadly electric shocks. Because the GFCI finds ground faults, it can also stop some electrical fires by disrupting the flow of electric current. The GFCI regulates electricity flowing in a circuit and immediately stops power to that circuit if the current flowing through the circuit varies from that returning by a small quantity. The transformer should be fitted within a foot of the GFCI outlet and at least one foot above the ground. For an area far from the house, you can fit a small post in the ground close to the receptacle and mount the transformer on the post. Put on a weatherproof cover to protect the transformer from sun and rain. Switch off or unplug the transformer or while installing the lights and wires.

Position Lights - Position the landscape lights and cable above the ground where you want them fitted. Keep an approximate distance of 8-10 feet in between each light, with the first light being nearly 10 feet away from the transformer. Connect the lights fixtures and fix the cables to the fixtures. Most lights are attached with quick connectors to ease installation. Place 2 parts of the connector on the cable and tie them together. Uncover the ends of the cable wire close to the transformer and connect them to the transformer's terminals. Switch on the system to check the lights to ensure they operate properly before burying the cable. If any one of the lights does not work, check the connections to ensure the connectors penetrate the cable.

Inter the cable - With a small garden hand shovel, dig Low Voltage Cabling trenches nearly 3-5 inches deep to inter the cable. Put the cable into the trenches keeping a little slack at every fixture to accommodate for light adjustment if required. Fill the trenches with soil or mulch to cover the cable.

Final Touches - Fix the light fixtures to the ground stakes as per the manufacturer's instructions. Carefully force the stake underground till the light is at the correct height while taking care that it is straight. If the ground is very hard, slice the dirt first with a hand shovel and then shove the light into this slice.

If installed properly, you will get a soft nightly glow instead of a harsh glare in your yard.
For more advanced installations, buy a transformer that supports multiple cable connections letting you light separate areas. This offers higher flexibility in lighting and more lightning in specific zones if so required.