Low-voltage garden lighting is perfect for many yards and pathways, as it can create subtle, moody amounts of light at night. This lighting is also inexpensive and relatively easy to hook up and install in your yard.
Low-Voltage Lighting Kits
Low-voltage lighting kits, available at home and garden stores, come with most of what you need to install low-voltage lighting. You also need a screwdriver, wire stripper, nuts, spade, silicone sealant and a weatherproof outdoor outlet cover. Make sure the outdoor outlet you use is working and then connect the weatherproof transformer to the outlet. This will drop your household current from 120 volts to 12 volts for the lights. Make sure the connection is protected from the elements. Now you're ready to hook up your low-voltage lighting.
Placing Low-Voltage Lighting
Place these lights where they will light the way for people walking through your garden or elsewhere in the yard. It's usually best to place these lights on the ground so that their cords can be covered by foliage and their low light will spread out along only a small area of the ground. This will create a subtle, shadowy look to your garden, like candlelight. Place your lights first before connecting or running the cable to your transformer.
Connecting and Burying Cables
Once you have laid out your lights, run each light's cable to an outdoor power strip which will connect by a main extension cord to the transformer. Have extra short outdoor extension cords available so that if you need to move the lights to a new position, you can easily do so by connecting that extra extension cord to the lights and then attaching that to the power strip and main extension cord running off the transformer. Once your lights are in the correct place and all the cords are connected, dig a shallow trench beside each cable and bury them in it. This provides a neat appearance and reduces the chance of someone tripping on a cable. You may want to wrap the areas where the extension cords plug in to each other with tape, wrapping it well so water cannot get into the connection and cause the lights to short out.