If you have any outdoor space like a yard or a garden, why not add beautiful lighting and beautify it even more?
Lighting up landscapes is sure tricky, but also, worth it in the end. Add accent lighting and make a combination with other lights and highlight the pretty features at the best.
Lighting up landscapes can be hard, especially if you have purchased one of those already packaged kits that have pre-cut wires for wiring.
But guess what?
Those lengths are usually too short and you’d need some of DIYs yourself in order to come up with gorgeous lighting and great aesthetics.
Customize your own landscape lighting through our little guide and lean some low voltage wiring basics too.
- First and foremost disconnect the lights from the power source.
- Identify the right circuit breaker from your household’s main junction box/distribution box.
- Switch it off, and check if the entire required circuit has been isolated off the mains supply.
2. Tools Required
The tools you’ll probably require are:
- Soldering iron
- electrical solder
- additional wires
- Heat shrinking tube
- Hair dryer
- You may also need water proof low voltage cable connector
An important heads-up:
- Make sure you purchase the wire that matches the existing one. Know your existing wires’ gauge number and buy the one with same gauge.
Match the exterior and voltage of wire before buying.
3. Stretch the Existing Wire of Landscape Lighting
Stretch the wire completely and lie on ground and cut it from the middle.
4. Strip the Insulation
- Prepare the wire for splicing; remove the insulation from the cut end of wires.
- Make sure each cut end is 1 inch bare and the internal wires can be easily operated on.
- Also make sure you keep them at least 5 inch apart from each other.
5. Wedge the Wire into the Circuit
Before adding more wires to existing ones, make sure there’s long enough cut to easily place the lights. Strip the additional wire 1 inch.
Make sure the additional wires have heat shrinking tubes on each end. Every two ends should have two heat shrinking tubes, resulting in total four heat shrinking tubes.
7. Twisting the Wires Together
- Twist the new and existing wires together so that a continuous long length wire is fashioned.
- Solder with a soldering iron at each joint.
- Take extra precaution while soldering.
- Refer to a soldering guide or seek professional assistance before attempting to use the soldering iron.
- Heating the wire then letting the heat flow to the joint will help solder strongly.
- Keep on it until you see the soldering is completed.
8. Heat Shrinking Tubes
Wait for the wires to come back to room temperature and then slide the heat shrinking tubes over the open joints. Use the hair dryer to blow hot air and consequently secure the joints.
The tube should be completely adapted over the joint and no open ends shall be seen. Look for any open joints and secure them all before energizing the circuit.
9. Test Your Wiring
- Attempt to test the circuit; make sure all the lighting switches are OFF.
- Energize your circuit breaker; which was earlier switched off.
- Switch on the lights one after the other; and take an extreme caution to check the circuit breaker as you switch the light switches ON.
If, at any point the circuit breaker trips; seek professional help; as there may be some wiring fault!!
d) Once done; check your lighting and add or remove the lights as per your requirements.
10. A Few Pointers for Better Experience
- Don’t splice wires that have different gauge.
- Use parallel connections to avoid voltage drops.
- When done splicing, always cover the bare joints. If you don’t you may even end up with broken lights.
- Do not overload wire connectors.
Keep extra heat-shrinking tubes with you to be used if you mistakenly damage any other part of wires. Wonder how to repair cut landscape lighting wire?
- Heat shrinking tubes are one of the many ways you can do this. Handy quantity is good.
If you want to create a strong connection, assure perfect removal of insulation from wires.
While applying hot air through dryer, do not directly blow over the heat shrinking tube. Keep a fair distance and gradually reduce the distance towards heat shrinking tube.
11. Landscape lighting wire information
The most commonly used wires for landscape lighting are 10-, 14- gauge wires. If you want to avoid voltage dropping issues it is best to use 10- or 12- gauge wires.
- The wires that have low numbers have greater capacity, so for perfect results, use 10- or 12- gauge wires.
Do all fixtures come with low voltage wiring requirement?
No, not all the fixtures come in low voltage wiring requirement but, in recent years, most fixtures come in low volt wires. The only issue is the wires are too short to completely spread across the large areas; hence the need to splice them yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can you split low voltage landscape wire?
Yes, you can split low voltage landscape wire. Suppose you are thinking of unique ideas for placing pendant light fixtures in your yard. The area is larger than the assumption of the manufacturer.
The short length wire length would not be enough, and you have to split the low voltage landscape wire for making complete connections.
Q. Does polarity matter in low voltage lighting?
Using a low voltage wire makes you free from the worries of polarity. It doesn’t have polarity. You can connect any of the two wires with either positive or negative terminal. But, don’t connect both of the wires with the same terminal.
Q. How deep do you bury low voltage wire?
It is commonly seen that a low voltage wire is buried approximately 6 inches under the ground. This depth is suitable in most of the wiring cases.
Q. Do low voltage wires need to be in conduit?
No, the low voltage wires don’t need to be conduit. You need to do wiring in a neat and clean manner. That’s why, make sure not to conduit the low voltage wires. Also make sure you don’t attach them with sprinkler piping, and on the ceiling panels.
Q. How long can you run low voltage wire?
If your lighting fixture is of 100 watts, then you can run low voltage wire about 100 feet without facing any issues in the voltage. Also make sure you use the best quality wires that resist against corrosion and rain water.
Q. What wire do you use for landscape lights?
There are a few wiring options for landscape lighting. You can use 10-guage, 12-guage, 14-guage, and 16-guage wires for landscape lights. However, 10-guage wire is an ideal choice for long distances.
Q. How many watts do I need for landscape lighting?
It is directly related to the wattage of the lights. Suppose your light runs on 50watts power, then you need a power of 50 watts for landscape lighting. In short, more lights of higher wattage equal more wattage!
Landscape lightings are a great way to enhance the beauty and add to the attraction of great green fields and blooming plants. Most of the times accent lights do not support larger length of wires and you cannot light up all the areas that you desire.
- For the very purpose, you may want to splice the lighting wires and provide the lighting in as many places as you wish to.
Just follow all the steps with sheer precautions and remember, if you can’t properly follow, it might be best to call for professional help rather than making tries and causing any damage.
- Albeit easy, it can sometimes prove to be tricky task.
We sincerely hope our guide has helped you understand and perform the process of splicing the wires in detail.
We’re happy to assist in adding gorgeousness to your already beautiful landscape!