Step 2: Turn over the sod

turning over the sod before installing landscape lighting
Photo: Mark Roskams
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Move the light fixtures out of the way.

Take a flat-blade shovel and slide it underneath the top layer of grass, about 12 inches in from the edge of the walk. Then lift up on the handle to separate the grass from the soil, and fold over this scalped portion of sod. Continue in this manner all along the walkway.

Use the corner of the shovel's blade to scratch a 3-inch-deep trench in the soil where the wire will go.

Tip: If necessary, set the light fixtures on top of the folded sod to prevent it from flopping back down.

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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