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Landscape Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Landscaping

Things To Consider
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any home design. The right kind of lighting will help you achieve the best atmosphere to suit your style and mood while giving an aesthetic pleasure that your guests will love. Long gone are the days of yellow, red and blue patio lanterns (although they are still a great novelty) dangling from your ledges. Today, outdoor lighting is a big business and a tremendous amount of time and effort are put into creating sleek, stylish and quality lighting fixtures of all kinds.

Illuminate a pathway or give your doorway and pool a cool sense of style while maintaining its function. Lights can function and look good – this is what the lighting industry strives to achieve, so you now have endless options for your own home.

Outdoor Lighting Tips
Use different lights in different areas of your home. You can use floodlights to show off your trees or garden, while lampposts give a nice touch of class to any yard. Path lights can guide you down your cobble stone path to the pool in the most welcoming of ways. Try some mounting lights for your deck while you sit and enjoy time with family and friends.

In any case, always be sure the lights you purchase don't make you go bankrupt. You don't want to be paying a monthly cost so outrageous that it makes your purchase worthless in the long run.

Take advantage of all the new designs out there and decide what styles are best for you. Lighting is essential to our senses, so let your senses guide you so you can set an atmosphere you and your family will enjoy for years! Outdoor lighting can add brilliance to your landscape, add depth to it and give it an overall aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.  

Choosing the Right Type of Lighting
Determine which areas of your landscape you want to highlight with outdoor lighting. For example, you can find lighting to illuminate a walkway, deck, patio, trees, shrubs, the side of a house, doorway, pond or driveway. You should shop around and compare prices and styles of lighting before making your purchase. Consider color, shape and material (plastic or metal).

 

  • If you want to highlight a special tree or a group of trees, you should look at floodlights.
  • If you want to light up several areas of your garden, consider tier lighting. These lights look like small lampposts.
  • If you want to highlight a wall or a structure, wall lights will do the job best.
  • If you are lighting up a driveway, a walkway or a deck, there are also special mounting lights that you can buy.

Installing Your Lights
As always, be careful when installing your lights. Use caution with anything electrical and check any relevant building codes for guidance. Use common sense and be aware of the placement of your lights when it comes to safety.

If you need to, hire a professional to do the job for you. You may be faced with digging situations and cable setting in areas of your property that you are unfamiliar with. A professional will lay the cables safely, effectively and even offer suggestions for more practical and aesthetic placement.

If you decide to do it yourself, you will find installation to be quite easy and it can be done in a day. All you need is a screw driver, a shovel and wire cutters. Don't forget to look into your local building codes before you start.

The first thing to do is to get a transformer. Add up the total wattage of your lighting. You should get a transformer that is the same as or more powerful than the total wattage.

To start installation, you should follow the manufacturer's directions to assemble the light. Then place it in your yard in the desired location.

Determine the power source for your outdoor lighting.

Next, figure out where you should mount the transformer (consult the manufacturer's directions). It needs to be off the ground for safety reasons and should also be close to the outlet so the lighting can be plugged in.

Read over the manufacturer's directions so you can connect the cable to the transformer. This may involve using wire cutters as you might have to prepare the cable so it contacts properly with the connectors on the transformer. After the cable is connected, mount the transformer, but don't plug it in.

Run the cable from your transformer to the lighting locations you have selected, and continue running the cable until you get to the last light.

Now it's time to use your shovel! Dig a trench where you want to bury the cable. The trench should be 2 to 3 inches deep - but don't bury it too deep.

Remove any extra soil in or near the lighting so you can bury the extra cable and connector. The low-voltage landscape lights have simple connectors that will make contact with your cable.

Now place the cable in half of the connector. Lay the wire for the lights in the other half of the same connector, then clamp it together with screws. This will make a proper connection as small "stabs" in the connector pierce the wires' coatings when it is clamped.

Plug your transformer into the electrical outlet, then turn it on. Check whether all the lights are illuminated. If you see some are on and some are off, then check your connections once more.

Make It Pretty
When all the lights are working, wait until evening to check the lighting once more. Ensure the cable is buried and cover the area with ground cover or mulch. It could be dangerous if someone tripped over any unearthed cables.

When all is said and done, make your home – with the lighting and all – look great. Use the lights to highlight certain features of your home. It is a great way, not only to see where you are going and what is around you, but also to show off your keen sense of style.

Lighting sets the mood and whether it be a soft, tranquil light among a country-style backyard, or a fun set of deck lights near the pool, you can bring your family together, or a loved one, or even the neighbors to help you enjoy nightlife in the comfort of your own backyard!

Hammer Talk about outdoor lighting to other DIYers in our Landscaping forum!