How to Install Garden Lighting in Landscaping

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Homeowners can display the beauty of their landscape at night with garden lights. The small lights are also a safety feature since they are often used to illuminate a path at night.

They require about 12 volts of electricity, a negligible amount that makes them inexpensive enough to operate regularly for long periods of time. The process of installing landscape lights may look daunting, but it is actually a task that those new to electrical work can complete.

Calculate the size of the transformer you will need based on the number of lights you plan to install. For instance, if each light uses 18 watts of power and you plan to install 10 lights then you will need, at least, a 180-watt transformer.

Ensure that you have the appropriate outlet for the lights in the area where you plan to install them. The outdoor outlet must be protected with a cover that will enclose the power cord.

Mount the transformer. You may mount it on the wall close to the outdoor outlet or attach it to a stake driven into the soil.

Determine where you will install each garden light. Lay the lights on these spots and ensure that they are spaced evenly. Place them about 6 to 10 feet apart for best visual effect.

String the cable along the path of the lights and up to the transformer. If there are obstacles on the path, such as a hedge, string the cable under or around it.

Move the light fixtures and lift up the grass along the path where you will install them. Use the flat edge of a shovel to separate the grass from the soil. Fold the grass sod over to expose the soil. Repeat this along the path for the lights.

Dig a trench that is about 3 feet deep along the path of exposed soil. Lay the cable in the trench. Leave some slack in the line to attach the fixtures easily.

Cover the cable with the loose soil. Pull a portion of the cable out of the soil at every point where you will install a garden light. Replace the grass sod. Make a hole in the area through which you will insert the light and pull the loop of cable through it.

Strip about ½-inch of the rubber covering off the ends of the cable. Connect each wire to one terminal screw under the transformer. Tighten the screws securely then plug the transformer into the electrical socket.

Push each light fixture through the holes you have made in the grass sod. Attach the connection plugs hanging from the light fixture to the cable. The sharp pins pierce the cable and make contact with the electrical wires inside. The fixture is lit when the connection is successful.