Installing Landscape Lights Using Line Voltage
Most landscape lighting is low voltage, which is safe to install without a permit and doesn’t require an electrician. Line voltage is a different story. Line voltage is the kind of electricity that comes out of the sockets in your walls, and it can be dangerous to work with if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why installing landscape lights using line voltage is an advanced DIY project that usually requires a permit from your local building department.
Many people opt to have the work done by professional electricians instead of attempting it themselves. If you do decide to tackle the project yourself, be sure to carefully consult and follow all manufacturer directions. The following actions will give you a general understanding of what it takes to put up line voltage landscape lights. Keep in mind that every installation is different, so this should not be considered a comprehensive guide. Always err on the side of caution and hire a professional if you have any doubts about your ability to safely complete the project.
Prepare for Installation
Before you begin installing line voltage landscape lighting, there are a few things you need to do in order to ensure a smooth installation process. First, you’ll need to contact your local building department in order to make sure that you are complying with all necessary codes and regulations. Next, you’ll need to decide where you want to locate your light fixture and choose the light switch that you’ll use to operate it. Finally, you’ll need to measure the distance from the fixture location to the place in your house where you’ll be installing the light switch and from the switch location to the circuit breaker panel box. This will give you an idea of how much wire you’ll need for the installation. With all of these steps out of the way, you’ll be ready to install your line voltage landscape lighting with confidence.
Depending on your area and the location of the lighting, you may need to use an underground feeder (UF) cable or run your wire inside the conduit. It’s also a good idea to purchase an extra 30% of cable to ensure you have enough to complete the job. To install the light switch box, find a wall space between two studs and mount the box about 60 inches up from the floor. With a little planning and preparation, you can ensure a successful landscape lighting installation.
Connect the power supply unit and electrical cable to the light.
Line voltage landscape lighting is a great way to add beauty and safety to your home. However, before you can enjoy the benefits of your new lights, you need to install the electrical cable and UF cable. This process is relatively simple, but it does require some planning and preparation. First, you need to dig a trench that’s at least 18-inches deep. The trench should run from the location at the house where the power cable will exit to the location of the fixture. Next, run the cable through the trench and then pull it through the wall. If you come upon a fire block, you’ll either need to drill a hole or cut it out to allow the cable through. Once the cable is in place, you can install your new landscape lighting fixtures and enjoy their beauty for years to come.
Connect the Light Fixture and Switch
Most homes have an electrical panel that contains the main circuit breaker. This breaker is generally located near the electrical meter and controls all of the power in your home. If you are going to be working with wiring, it is important to first turn off the main circuit breaker. Once the power is off, you can begin wiring the light fixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Next, wire the light switch. Once both the fixture and switch are wired, you can then connect the cable to the GFCI circuit breaker. It is important to note that even when the main circuit breaker is turned off, the wires coming into your home from the power company are still energized. Therefore, it is important to use caution when working in the electrical panel.
Test Your Lights and Have Your Wiring Inspected
Before you start burying your new landscape lighting system underground, make sure to test your lights and have your wiring inspected. First, turn the power back on at the panel box and circuit breaker. Then, test that your light switch and light fixture are working properly. Once you’re sure everything is in working order, call the electrical inspector to schedule a wiring inspection. After your wiring has passed inspection, you can safely bury the cable underground. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your landscape lighting system will provide years of trouble-free enjoyment.