If you want to make your home look more appealing in a simple way while you increase some basic security measures, there is an easy way to do that. That is by installing landscaping lighting. Landscaping lighting involves low-voltage bulbs, and you will place the lighting fixtures that are in line with your steps to your porch or door, trees, fences, and other features of your landscape. You often see them lined up with driveways as well as walkways.
Since landscaping lighting only runs on low-voltage bulbs, you do not need to hire a professional to install them on your property. You can do that yourself, and installing landscaping lighting is straightforward to do. Let’s go over each step of how to install lighting around your landscape.
Examine The Overview Of The Landscape Lighting
The great thing about installing low-voltage lighting along your landscape is that you do not need to know how to work with wires. You do not even have to have experience with it since it is so simple to install because, once again, you are working with low-voltage lighting. The only components you require for the installation are landscaping, lighting fixtures and bulbs, a transformer, and a low-voltage electrical cable.
The transformer is essential to have as it will step down the higher voltage current in the house down to a mere 12 volts. The critical thing to remember is that you must plug the transformer into a GFCI-protected outdoor electrical socket that features a cover stating its use. You also require to have a large plastic box enclosing the power cord. The transformer must also have the ability to support the lights’ wattage that will accumulate in the system. The cable is buried in a shallow hole in between landscape lighting fixtures. Ensure you set this up by a nearby outdoor electrical socket to make this possible.
Lay The Fixtures And Other Components Before You Begin To Dig The Grass
Your tools ready include your screwdriver, flat-blade shovel, wire stripper, one-foot steel punch, and small sledgehammer. You know where you will plug in the transformer. Now, you need to place the landscaping lighting fixtures on the ground where you plan to install them and ensure they are around eight feet apart, no more than ten feet apart. It is ideal for placing the initial fixture at least ten feet away from the transformer.
After laying the cable along the walkway, follow the line of light fixtures to secure it. The ideal cable to use is the 14-gauge cable. If there is a shrub or a fence, wrap the cord around or under it.
After doing that, you are in a position to begin digging the grass, and you will need to use your flat-blade shovel to do that. Use the shovel to remove the first layer of grass one foot away from the walkway. The handle can separate the soil from the grass. Then fold the sod that was scalped over once it is divided. Rise and repeat for the rest of the walkway.
To start, dig a three-inch-deep trench with the corner of the shovel. That is where you will place the wire, and then you will bury it afterwards.
Place The Wire In The Trench And Bury It
The next step is to place the cord inside the trench. However, allow some of the cable to stick out to attach to the point of the landscape fixtures. After putting the wire inside the groove, then bury it with the soil. Only leave the part of the cord out that will attach to the fixtures. The next step is to cut the detached part of the sodding where you designated the fixture to sit. Then fold back the grass over the soil while keeping the cord above the grass for each landscape fixture. You do not want to bury the cord any deeper than three inches, or else you will not easily connect with fixtures.
Plug The Transformer Into The Outdoor Socket
Take the cord up to the outdoor socket and then cut one-half of an inch of the rubber insulation with the wire stripper. Take the cut wires underneath two screws at the transformer’s bottom, and then tighten the screws to secure the cable. Take a wooden stake and pound it into the ground with a sledgehammer. Lift the socket cover stating it is in use and then plug the transformer into it.
Make Holes For Fixtures And Then Connect Them Electrically
Put the landscape fixtures into the correct position and ensure you space them equally. Put the first fixture near the walkway edge and do not allow any fixture to extend to the walkway, as that can become a tripping hazard. Then take your long steel punch and screwdriver and begin making holes. Do not put any fixtures within ten feet of a fountain, pool, or spa.
Now you will begin making the electrical connections. Take the connector halves which you see hanging from the fixture’s bottom and place them over the protruding cable. Put them together until you hear a snap, and then the fixture should light up since you plugged in the transformer. If it did not light up, then try again, and check to see if the bulb works. If you are not successful with the lights coming on, your transformer or outlets are not working correctly.
Install The Fixtures And Put The Grass Back
The next step is to install the landscaping fixtures and put them on the metal stakes on the ground. You will need to push the fixture and the stake further into the ground by using both of your hands. When you no longer see the top of the stake, then it is inside. Ensure that the fixture is straight so there is no risk of it toppling over. Keep the connector and cord underneath the grass and insert them two inches into the soil.
The final step is to put your grass back so you will want to smooth the sodding around your fixtures. You may need to use your shovel and cut the grass around them. Put pressure on the grass by stepping on it and then water it with a garden hose. If a bulb burns out, replace it immediately, so the other bulbs stay working.
Installing landscaping lights is easy to do, and there are several reasons you would want to have these fixtures around your walkway and porch. Firstly, your property will look better‘ lit up, and it is also a great security feature. Anyone attempting to break into the home will run away if they see the landscape lights because the last thing they want is anyone to see them. Also, if you expect guests to come to your home late at night, they will see where they are going when it is dark with your landscape lit up. The best part about it is that installation is straightforward.