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Brighten Up Your House with Landscape Lighting

Brighten Up Your House with Landscape Lighting

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September 3, 2010

Landscape lighting can be the final piece of the beautiful puzzle for your carefully tended landscape. Not only does landscape lighting offer a polished look to your yard and garden, it provides a measure of added security for your property.

Installing Landscape Lighting on Your Property

With a bit of time and patience, you can install basic landscape lighting on your own. Here's how:

  1. Choose your system and cables. Pathway lights often work best when they are placed 8 to 10 feet apart. If the lights use 200 watts or less, 14-gauge cable is recommended; if they use more than 200 watts, use 12-gauge cable.
  2. Lay the lights and cable out in their appropriate places before you begin work. This ensures that you have enough cable and allows you to design your lighting the way you want.
  3. Dig the trench for the cable. This part is easier than you might think! Slip a flat-edged shovel between the sod and the soil, then carefully flip the sod over. When you've done that, use the edge of the shovel to dig a thin trench of about three inches deep.
  4. Lay the cable in the trench, leaving some line slack at the points where you plan to install the fixtures. Lay the sod back down over the trench, but make sure you can still reach the line for the lights.
  5. Plug in the transformer according to the manufacturer's directions.
  6. Set the lights into the ground where they need to be. Don't let them overhang the walkways, as you don't want to bump into them. Make sure not to place the lights within ten feet of a water source.
  7. Make the electrical connections between the lights and the cable. If the lights don't work, check your transformer and outlet connections for problems.
  8. Insert the lights fully into the ground, taking care to keep the connections just below the soil for protection.
  9. Finish the job by pressing down the sod, then water the area to help the sod return to its original shape and form. Enjoy your job well done!

Landscape lighting isn't just about beauty. Careful lighting can illuminate walkways, doors, and the shrubs around your house where potential thieves might love to hide.

If your have a large property or want to add more elaborate landscape lighting, talk to a professional lighting expert about your options and how much professional installation might cost.

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