Introduction

installing landscape lighting tout
Photo: Mark Roskams
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Enhance the nighttime curb appeal of your home—and add a measure of safety and security—with low-voltage landscape lighting. These exterior-grade fixtures are typically placed along walkways and driveways, but they’re also ideal for illuminating steps, trees, stonewalls, fences and other prominent landscape features. And because the system operates on only 12 volts of electricity, it’s completely safe for do-it-yourself installation.

At the stately 1930s-something home shown here, we installed 12 Intermatic fixtures in three different areas. Alongside the walkway leading to the entryway are six decorative aluminum fixtures that have a curved shepard’s hook profile.

Two 20-watt wall-wash fixtures are used to illuminate the white-painted lattice fence on either side of the walkway. At the base of each of the four evergreen shrubs growing against the house is a 20-watt shrub uplight. The 12 fixtures are connected with 12-gauge cable and powered by a 300-watt transformer.
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    Tools List

    • flat blade shovel
      Flat-blade shovel
    • wire strippers
      Wire stripper
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Phillips head screwdriver
    • 11-inch steel punch
      12-inch-long steel punch,
      to poke holes in ground for light fixtures
    • sledge hammer
      Small sledge,
      to pound in wood stakes that hold transformer

    Shopping List

    1. 100-FOOT COIL OF CABLE

    2. 300-WATT TRANSFORMER WITH 24-HOUR TIMER

    3. METAL GROUND STAKE

    screws onto bottom of light fixture



    4. 18-WATT PATHWAY LIGHT FIXTURE

    5. 20-WATT SHRUB UP-LIGHT FIXTURE

    6. 20-WATT WALL-WASH LIGHT FIXTURE

    7. WOOD STAKE

    to hold transformer; optional