Mounting Lights in a Stamped Concrete Patio
If you are fortunate enough to have a stamped concrete patio you have a beautiful environment in which to spend your time. To further enjoy your outdoor space you can mount some lights to keep you outside long into the evening. If you can use hand tools then you are probably ready to do this yourself with a few helpful hints.
Step 1 - Prepare the Area for Lights
Measure out your patio and decide how many lights you are going to install. Once you have it measured and plotted then measure the size of each patio light. Drill holes in the concrete where the mounting brackets will be installed. Once the holes are drilled put the bracket in place for the first light and tap the masonry anchors into the holes to hold the bracket in place. Taking a socket wrench or a nut driver, turn the bolt in order to secure the anchor into the concrete.
Step 2 - Run Electricity
The lights will come with wires you can connect to the power source. They will either plug into each other or be open wires you can connect together. If you have to connect the wires together to make a circuit, the best way to approach this part of the project is to strip back about 1/2 inch of wire from each cable to expose them. Be sure you hook the lights up in series. This means that you put the wires that are the same together.
Usually one side of the two wire system will have a white line on it or other marker, twist the wires together and use a wire nut to hold them securely. Wrap electrical tape over the wire nut to further protect the wire from moisture and tuck the ends under the light cap when you install them. If you like you can even seal the ends with silicone to ensure a good seal. On the end of the series of lights install a plug end that you can plug into your 110 GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet.
Step 3 - Install the Lights and Covers
Now that you have the light bracket and wiring assemblies all installed plug in the manufacturer's recommended lighting and place the covers over the light kits. Make sure you have tucked the electrical connections under the cap. You can silicone the caps to help weatherproof.
Step 4 - Test System
Test by plugging the power cord into an external wall outlet and check each light to ensure there are no shorts in the system. You can smell electrical shorts. If you smell anything burning then you need to unplug the system and check all your wiring connections. Verify each positive wire is hooked together and each ground is hooked together. Once you have ensured this you should be good to go. Plug your patio lights in and test again.