DIY Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Posted on July 12, 2011
Landscape lighting is a great way to add a whole new dimension to your property. It is not only economical but safe and easy to set up. The lights vary in style and function, so you.ll need to choose lights or a combination of lights depending on need and existing landscape features. Most homeowners use both solar and low-voltage lighting,
Create a site map, recording accurate measurements of the area where the lights will be installed. Mark all underground utilities and existing landscape features. Select landscape elements to highlight, including trees, water features, stairs or pathways. Consider areas where the lighting cord will not be damaged by weed eaters or mowers. Also consider proximity to a grounded electrical outlet. Walking around the yard at night, using a flashlight with spot and floodlight settings to mimic landscape lighting will ensure that the lighting placement will give the desired effect without over-lighting.
Unpack the contents of the light kit and arrange the kit pieces by type. Assemble the light fixtures as per the manufacturer’s instructions and position them in the locations marked on the site map. Stretch the power cord out beside the lights while leaving extra slack in the cord for movement after installation.
Find the best place for the transformer post, in close proximity to the grounded electrical outlet. Dig a hole and set the post into the ground. Mount the transformer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using a drill and screws.
Attach the landscape lights to the electrical cable using connector caps from the light kit. Then use a spade to make a 6 inch deep slit in the ground for the lighting cable. Push the cable into the slit and the light fixtures halfway into the ground to mark installation location.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the lighting cable to the transformer. Plug the transformer into the grounded outlet and check all lights to see if they are working. If a light is not working, check the light assembly and connection to the power cord.
Finally, adjust all lights for the desired effect and check them again after sunset to be sure they are in the proper location giving the necessary lighting.