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How to Install Outdoor Landscape Lighting

Heath Eastman demonstrates how to install landscape lighting along a garden path. Adding landscape lighting to a walkway or path can improve the look and experience of the area.

In this video, master electrician, Heath Eastman demonstrates how to install landscape lighting along a garden path.

Adding landscape lighting to a walkway or path can improve the look and experience of the area. Once Heath figures out what kind of landscape lighting he wants, the location, and where the power source is located, he can then make the connections.

Heath uses a low voltage wire and decides to replace the plastic connectors with brass connectors to make the connections last longer. He also installs a transformer so the homeowner can control when the lights power on and off.

Steps for Installing Landscape Lighting:

Step 1: Find your nearest power source

  • This will be your starting point.
  • Place lights in desired locations.

Step 2: Run a low voltage cable

  • Run a low voltage cable in the trench but do not bury. A low voltage cable is used as it is only 12v and if it accidentally gets cut, nobody will get hurt.

Step 3: Start making connections

  • Heath recommends a higher quality brass connector because the plastic ones that come free with the landscape wire are more susceptible to damage and corrosion.
  • Cut and strip the wire.
  • Make the connection with the brass barrel connectors with an allen key. Before securing the second side slip the shrink sleeves over the barrels,
  • Apply light heat to the sleeves

Step 4: Install the transformer at the receptacle

Fall 2021 Ask TOH, Heath Eastman
Heath shows off the transformer that will power the landscape lights he’s installed. Because it will remain outdoors, he chose a covering made of stainless steel.
Mike Last
  • Take the low voltage cable and put one wire in the hot terminal and one wire in the common terminal of the transformer. The transformer converts the power to low voltage and can control when the lights power on and off.
  • Heath picked out a system that has a photocell that plugs into it. That way the lights come on at dusk and off at dawn. If you don’t want the lights on all night you can add a timer to the system.
  • Test the system.

Step 5: Dig a pathway for the cable

  • Use a flat shovel to dig a 6” trench along the pathway for the cable. This way it will be much easier to find if it ever needs to be dug up and keeping it on the edge should protect it from getting cut while gardening.
  • Bury the cable to the bottom of the 6” mark. Hands will work fine but if a tool is desired make sure it is blunt enough to not pierce or damage the wire.

Resources:

Heath installed two different types of landscape light fixtures that are both manufactured by Illumicare. The up lights used to highlight the shrubs and the brick archway are Jasper 12V Solid Red Brass LED Spot Lights, and the path lights are Misty 12V Small Solid Red Brass LED Path Lights.

To coordinate the individual lights to turn on and off, Heath installed an Above Grade RXT Series Transformer, which is manufactured by Focus Industries. The transformer comes with optional add-ons, such as the photo-cell sensor, the timer, and the built-in wifi component.

To connect everything together, Heath used low voltage landscape wiring and a shovel. Both of these items can be found at home centers.


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