Installing garden lights doesn’t have to be intimidating. There are low-voltage outdoor lighting kits available that provide everything needed with the exception of some basic tools. The following 10 steps are a helpful addition to the detailed installation instructions included in the lighting kit.
Determine if a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle is already installed on the house near the area where the garden lights are to be installed. If the answer is yes, move on to step two. If there’s not a GFCI, one should be installed before installing the lights.
Determine where the lights will be placed and how bright the light needs to be. Create a rough sketch indicating light location and how bright your garden lighting should be.
Shop for the lights. In addition to a variety of styles, low-voltage garden lights come in two brightness levels – 4 watts and 7 watts, with 7 watts being the brighter option. In addition to the lights, it’s important to ensure the kit has a transformer that can accommodate the number of lights you plan to install.
Using the plan developed in step two, place the garden lights around the yard. If the lights are mounted on a stake, push it into the ground in the desired location.
Lay out the cable starting at the transformer and run it by each light on the strand. Leave some extra cable at the transformer and at each light so that minor adjustments in light location can be made in the future.
Attach each light to the cable, following the instructions included in the kit.
Once the lights are all connected to the cable, unscrew the two screws on the transformer. With a wire stripper, strip about 1/2 inch of the cable wire so it can be attached to the transformer. Again, follow the instructions that came with the kit.
Plug in the transformer and verify that all of the garden lights are illuminated. If any are not working, make sure the lights are correctly connected to the cable as indicated in the kit’s instructions. Next adjust each light so it shines in the desired direction.
Dig a trench that’s about five inches deep and bury the cable.
Set the timers so the garden lights turn on and off automatically as desired.
Enjoy the increased security and elegance the garden lights add to the landscaped yard.