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How to Install Landscape Lighting: A Complete (Step-by-Step Guide)

Want to learn how to install landscape lighting like a professional to eliminate the darkness outside of your place? If so, we’ve got the best way to tackle this entertaining job.

Lighting your home is probably one of the most exciting projects any homeowner can do.

It does take a lot of time, but it feels incredibly satisfying after you get it done.

With our help, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to highlight the beauty of your place at night.

By the time you’re done with this project, you’ll take a couple of pictures and put them up on the internet to share with your friends.

Benefits Of Installing Landscape Lighting

Ever drove by a nice neighborhood at night only to ask yourself how you could make your home’s landscape look that good? Well, we certainly have.

But if you are not sure whether it’s worth the time and effort you have to put in to make your place look like that,

we’ve got a couple of reasons that might help you make up your mind.

Beauty

You’ve finally bought your dream house after all this time. All the grinding has finally paid off.

But there’s just something missing, and it’s landscape lighting.

Your current house might feel somewhat gloomy, which can feel depressing at night.

This is something most people don’t realize until they’ve gotten their own place.

So, by installing landscape lighting, you’re essentially highlighting the key features of your home.

Your place will go from looking like a scary and somewhat depressing house to looking like a lively, safe, and comfortable home.

Security

By adding extra lighting to your place, you’re pretty much making it easier to look outside out of the house.

Think of it this way: with great lighting, you’d be able to have a much easier time looking around your house at night.

Thieves would think it about twice before trying to sneak into your home.

If you have cameras at home, they’d also have a much easier time recording any thief that might try anything shady on you.

Profit

For those of you real state agents, you know this pretty well. Adding lights to your house increases the value of the place.

For example, you’d have a much easier time putting it up for sale and justifying the premium price.

Everybody wants a safe and beautiful place they can spend several years in.

And you’d only make it easier for those who are looking for that kind of house.

Types Of Landscape Lighting To Install

Feeling a little bit lost choosing the perfect fixtures for your place?

We got you. Here, we’ll discuss the lights you must get if you don’t want a dark and unpleasant house.

Well Lights

This type of light is not as common as other options, but people use them from time to time.

Well lights are not as bright as other types of lights.

But if you’re not trying to cover up the whole place and need a rather dim light, this is a great light to install.

You install it by putting it on the ground, though they sometimes go partially into the ground.

The installation is pretty simple, but it has some significant drawbacks. The biggest one being how exposed this light is.

For instance, if someone was mowing the land, chances are they would run over it, which will damage it.

On top of that, you frequently have to brush it off as dirt will eventually get on top of it.

Spotlights

Another popular option is the spotlight. This is a more reliable option than the well light as you don’t have to worry about it getting as dirty or someone running it over.

It is still exposed to other elements, but people can easily see them.

Unlike well lights, the spotlight stands off the ground by a few inches.

To install this simple light, you need to attach the base to the light, dig a hole and push it in.

You also have a lot more control over it since, most of the time, the spotlights allow you to rotate them and lock them in any position you want.

Flood Lights

The best way to install landscape lighting is by using floodlights.

If you don’t want to use several spotlights to cover the same area, floodlights are your best option.

This type of light is quite popular among homeowners, given how much space it can cover compared to well lights and spotlights.

Path Lights

The flowerbed is perhaps the most essential area homeowners want to spruce up.

Adding that extra touch of lighting to the flowers can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home.

For path lights, there are plenty of options you can choose from.

You can either go for a big path light or a small one.

The difference between the two is that the big one has an easier time lighting up the flowerbed, whereas the small one is dimmer.

DIY Guide: How To Install Landscape Lighting

In this section, we’ll teach you how to install landscape lighting on your own. Even if you have no prior experience doing this, you should be able to pull it off.

1. What You Will Need

For this job, here is what you need:

  • A transformer— Everything you’re going to install is going to be running through the transformer.
  • A pair of pliers—once you’ve figured out the length of your wire, you must strip it.
  • 14-gauge cable—this is up to you, and you might not need that much. But you need the wire when setting up the lights.
  • A hammer—when installing the lights, you’ll need extra strength to install them into the ground.
  • A wire connector—this is going to protect the wires. It’ll prevent the wires from getting corroded or getting damaged by water.
  • Copper barrels—to avoid a sloppy connection, you have to use copper barrels.
  • A steel stake—if you’re having a hard time installing the lights on the ground, we suggest using a stake.
  • A shovel—you must bury the wires if you don’t want the cables to be seen.

2. Install The Transformer

Here, you will have to dig a hole to set up the transformer. You could also mount it on the wall. It’s just a matter of choice.

  • You want to go down at least by 19 inches. After that, push in the cedar pole. You now have to refill the hole using the same dirt you pulled out. As you’re filling it up, please make sure to tamp it down.
  • By now, the pole should not move. So, go ahead and drill a hole onto the pole. Now put in a screw. That’s where you’ll mount the transformer.

3. Choose The Key Spots

The first thing before installing the lights is designing. This is the most critical step as it’ll decide the outcome.

  • Take a look at the outside of your house and think about the areas you’d like to highlight. It could be a pathway, a tree, the windows, flowers, anything you want to stand out.
  • You also want to keep in mind if there is any light nearby. For example, if there is a light post not so far away from the pathway, you might not need to light up that area.
  • Another thing to consider is whether you want to end up with a party kind of theme or a soft but elegant type of house. Some people prefer a shiny place, whereas others you’d like to keep a low-profile.

4. How To Install Landscape Lighting In Trees

Once you’ve determined where you want to install the lights, you’ll need to set up the working space before you can install the lights. That said, here are some things to consider:

  • If you want to light up a tree, you’re going to need a place to put the lights. For this, you’ll need to dig up a hole around the tree itself. An excellent method DIYers use before installing lights is marking out the place.
  • If something they don’t like, they can mark out a new area without digging up a hole. So, once you’ve determined the desired location, use a shovel and move it along the marked area.
  • As you’re moving it, press your feet against it to push it down. You have to make sure you’re going below the roots of the grass.

5. How To Install Landscape Floodlights

Setting up the lights is relatively simple. Perhaps the most challenging part is connecting the wires. That said, follow these steps:

  • Go ahead and install all the lights around the tree. If the ground is pretty hard, we suggest using a steel stake.
  • Place it onto the ground and then hammer it down. After that, pull it out and proceed to install all the lights you need.

6. Set Up The Wires

Now that you’ve somewhat installed the lights, you still have to complete a couple of things. Here’s what we mean:

  • You need to run the wire from the transformer to the lights. Next, grab the pair of pliers and strip the 14-gauge wire about half of an inch. After that, do the same for the wire from the light. You should now have exposed the ends of the cables.
  • Proceed to connect the wires. For this, find the cables with words printed on them and then connect them to each other. After that, connect the wire with the other cable’s rough edge with the same rough edge.
  • Here, it would be best if you twisted the wires around until they are snug fit. Next, go ahead and slide the copper barrels over. Now, grab your pair of pliers and put it over the barrel. After that, crimp it down.
  • So now, take the wire connector and put it on.
  • You should now have three wires. The first one should be the end of the wire that connects to the camera. The other one should be the cable from the transformer and the new wire from the other light.
  • You now have to connect the three wires just like you did before.

For more on this, we suggest checking this video out:

7. Connect The Wires To The Transformer

Depending on how many lights you’ve installed throughout the house, the number of wires might vary for each one of you.

  • Combine all the wires, and then twist them. Next, attach them to the transformer. And now you need to plug it into the outlet.

And that’s all there is to it. You should now have power as well as a beautiful sight.

There is a lot to unpack here, but it all boils down to you what you want to achieve.

If you need a video for this process, we suggest watching this one:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there anything you would like to learn about landscape lighting? Well, here is some useful information about it:

How much does it cost to install landscape lighting?

Based on how much research we’ve done, the average price for a landscape lighting kit costs about $200.

As for labor, it costs about $1,800. But there is a lot to consider before setting a price, such as the size of the landscape, area to cover, type of installation, equipment cost, and more.

The contractor needs to determine your yard’s conditions and how much work they might have to put in.

Are LED landscape lights worth it?

Yes, paying that extra premium price is worth every single cent.

Having to continually change the bulb just because it stopped working defeats the purpose of installing lights.

Do landscape lights use a lot of electricity?

The more power you use, the more you have to pay for electricity. So, you should expect a slight increase in your electricity bill.

Do I need a transformer for LED lights?

Yes, even if you get LED lights, you’re still going to need to use a transformer for it to work.

Conclusion

Did you manage to learn how to install landscape lighting? We hope that you now know how to install your own landscape lights.

The amount of work it requires can be quite exhausting, depending on how big your house is.

But if you manage to pull it off on your own, you’ll be thankful for how much money you saved up.

And if you ever want to add a couple more lights, you’ll have a much easier time since you now know what to do.