The landscape lighting gives a gorgeous luminance to your landscape and brings radiance to your home.
What is low voltage landscape lighting?
Low voltage lighting uses a transformer to scale back normal 120-volt lines to a lower voltage.
- For landscape lighting, this can betypically 24 or 12 volts.
The foremost common low voltage landscape lighting transformers reduce the voltage to 12 volts, which is what we used.
Now, what is the difference between landscape lighting and low voltage landscape lighting, you may wonder?
- In low voltage lighting, a transformer is used to reduce the current-voltage to a lower one. Most commonly, the transformers reduce almost 11-13 volts (depends on the transformer’s type).
What voltage is landscape lighting?
- Line voltage (120V) outdoor lighting is most frequentlyutilized in commercial, security, and public-use applications.
Line voltage outdoor lighting is labor-intensive and requires an electrician for installation.
Further in the discussion, we’ll teach you how to install low voltage landscape lighting in few brief steps.
If you follow those correctly, you may easily fix the landscape lighting yourself.
You will need the following supplies for the project:
- Electrical tape
- Spotlights/ floodlights (or the kind of lights you prefer)
- Low voltage wires
- Sliding clips
- Wire strippers
2. Selecting the Transformer
Select the transformer carefully, keeping in mind the wattage requirements.
- Choose the ones that provide room for expansion if you wish for in the future.
- Try opting for weatherproof transformers as they will be exposed to outside weather in landscape lighting.
Another great option available only in few transformers is you can set the time manually to turn it off or on at your desired timing.
3. Selecting the Lights
You may choose floodlights as they stay on and are resistant to water and will not get damaged in harsh weather.
- You can also choose a spotlight for a soft, glowing outcome.
While buying lights, remember to pick out the right color and material, with adjustable head and knobs for a better result.
Choosing the bulb color:
- You can choose the bulb color as warm white, soft, or bright white. Choose the bulb according to your personal preference.
4. Selecting the Wires
Use a measuring tape to measure the area where the wires will be used. Purchase the length of the wire accordingly.
- 12-14 gauge wires work great with low voltage landscape lighting.
5. Planning Where To Install Landscape Lighting?
Design a rough sketch of how you want your landscape lighting to be done, where you want the lights to be, and how many lights you need for the purpose.
Also, map out the distance at which you’d like your lights to be placed. It helps you easily place the lights in the final process. Once you know what you want, it’s easier to execute the idea.
- Take help from the internet and find images of landscape lighting that are similar to your landscape.
- Look out for the connections and sockets to connect the wiring.
- Decide whether you want the lighting to be spread over to the back or you need it in the front only.
6. Installing the Lights
Now comes, the practical process of installing the lights!
i. Layout the lights:
Layout the lights on your landscape to get a rough sketch about lighting, wiring, and the installation process.
ii. Working the transformers:
- Remove about half-inch of wiring insulation from the wires by using the wire strippers.
- Insert that bare end of the wire into the transformer’s slot.
- Tighten the wires around the transformers by clamping the screws down on the back.
You may check up on positive and negative ends, but usually, landscape lighting doesn’t have polarity issues in the wiring.
- Select the place where you want the transformers to be placed.
Now, you have a few options to go with for hanging the transformers.
- You can use duct tapes to stick it firmly to the wall.
- There is another (better) option of clips. You can use siding clips to hang them, they’re pretty strong and hold onto the transformers tightly.
- You can screw the transformers on the walls.
- You can hide it behind art sculptures, pots, planters and avoid hanging them altogether.
iii. Extend the wires from the transformer to lights:
- Start uncoiling the wires and extend the wires from transformers to all the lights that you’ve already placed in the position.
- Leave a few inches of wires so it’s not too tight and is easy to conceal.
iv. Attaching the lights:
This is where the wire connectors come into play.
- Strip an inch (approx.) of wire insulators attached to the light, so that you expose the copper wires underneath.
- Twist it a bit to keep the strands joint together.
- Open the connector and place the main wires (the one connected to the transformer) inside.
- Readjust the connector and attach the upper and lower pieces.
- Slide the lighting wires inside the connectors from the holes that are available for the purpose.
Repeat the process, for all the lights.
v. Place lights in the ground:
Once the wiring is connected to the lights, place the light stands inside your landscape.
vi. Test the lights:
Once you position the lights and make sure all the connections are made, turn on the transformers and test the lights to check whether you’ve correctly connected the wires.
- All the lights should light up and the landscape lighting should be roughly completed by this point.
However, if the lights fail to turn on, go back and check up on the wiring to see why it doesn’t turn on.
Additionally, once the lights are on, check whether the lighting you envisioned is really in place or you need a bit of change to ensure the look that you envisioned.
- Adjust the lights and angle them the way you want them to be.
vii. Securing the connectors:
- Use electrical tape and wrap the connectors with electrical tape to avoid and mishaps.
- This will not only prevent the wires from accidentally getting pulled from the connectors but also secure the connectors from getting wet in the rain.
viii. Conceal the wires:
Conceal the wiring in the ground by making a short channel and burying them inside. Cover the channel with sand or soil.
ix. Timing the transformers:
Time the transformers and turn on the sensor (to sense when it’s dark so that the lights would turn on automatically). Set the time when you want the lights to go off.
x. Relish your hard work:
Turn the lights on and enjoy your low voltage landscape lighting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How many lights can you put on a low voltage transformer?
So, if you would like to attach eight landscape lights to an electronic transformer, and therefore the lights use 20 watts each, you’d need a 160-watt transformer. (8 lights X 20 watts = 160 watts).
Q. How far can you run low voltage landscape lighting?
You’ll be able to run 12-gauge about 100 feet without dip issues as long because the entire wattage of the fixtures on the wire is 100 Watts or less. Also, confirm your wire and connectors are listed for direct burial which helps prevent corrosion and other weather-related problems over time.
Q. How much does it cost to install low voltage landscape lighting?
The national average materials cost to put in low voltage outdoor lighting is $49.21 per fixture, with a spread of $29.10 to $69.33. The whole price for labor and materials per fixture is $127.58, coming in between $88.97 to $166.19.
Q. How deep do you bury landscape wire?
Most of the time low voltage wire is installed beneath mulch in landscape areas. If installing wire underground, the minimum depth, in step with the national electric code is 6″. It’s always a decent idea to run the cable through the conduit when installing it under sidewalks, driveways, or other landscapes.
Q. What gauge wire is best for low voltage lighting?
For low voltage lighting in long wire runs, like exterior landscape lighting, you will want to travel with a 12- or 10-gauge wire to stop fall.
The Bottom Line
The process of installing low voltage lighting is quick and easy. It isn’t as tough or requires much effort. What you should spend more time on is in finding the right equipment. Find quality supplies that are not only strong but also long-lasting. Once you get your hands on the right supply, installing the lights is relatively easier.
Enjoy the process and relish the results!