Install LED Landscape Lighting Yourself
Installing LED landscape lighting will not generally require a professional electrician. With some patience and the right tools, you can install your landscape lighting by yourself. Here’s what you need to know.
Step 1 - Plan Your Design
Before you begin you will need to decide exactly where the lighting will be placed. Take some time to walk around your yard and mark off where each light will be. For the most even look you will want to make sure each light is spaced out correctly. You can use your tape measure for this. You will want your first light to be at least ten feet away from the transformer. The average walkway will have a light every six feet after this.
Step 2 - Place The Cables
You will want to go ahead and place your electrical cable along where you’ve placed your lights. Be sure this is laid all the way up to the point where the cable will attach to the transfer. For now just leave the cable lying loose on the ground. You will need this extra lag in the cable to loop around the lights when you bury them. You will dig a trench in the next step.
Step 3 - Trench Digging
Move your lights back just enough to allow you room to dig a trench. You will want to use your flat blade shovel to fold back the lawn along the walkway. This needs to be approximately twelve inches wide, and about three inches deep. This will allow plenty of room to lay the cable wire down later. You may need to use concrete blocks or something else that is heavy if you have sod to prevent this from flipping back in to the trench as you work.
Step 4 - Lay The Wire
Place the wire in to the trench you’ve just dug. Be sure to leave slack in the wire as you do this. Place the yard sod or soil back on top of the wire. You will need to leave a small section sticking out so you can connect it in to the actual light. The best thing to do is to make a small hole where you can pull the wire up through and still keep most of it covered and out of the way of pedestrians.
Step 5- Wiring
You can now start to make the connections with the lights. Each brand of LED lights are different, so be sure to follow the directions provided by the manufacturer on how to connect everything. In most cases you will take the connectors on the base of the light and just slide it around the wire. Most of these units will make an audible clicking noise so you know the connection has been made correctly. Once all the fixtures are wired you can start to stake the lights in to the ground. You need to ensure that the connectors are at least two inches underground and the stakes are even and flush.
Once that part is done, you can start to work with the transformer. This should be placed directly on your home or on a post near your home. Strip the cables that are closest to the transformers and insert the wires in to the terminals in the transformer. The kit you purchased will usually have everything color coded so you know what needs to go where.
That’s all there is to it! You can now turn the lights on and test the system. As long as they are working you can sit back and enjoy your new landscape lighting!