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Install Outdoor Lighting

Install Outdoor Lighting

To install an outdoor lighting system, you’ll need to do a lot of precise work, including creating an electrical system.
Here’s how to seamlessly setup your light fixtures.

Preparation | Trench | Wiring
Light Fixtures | Electrical Circuit

Preparation

preparation
Drawing up a sketch of your house and garden is the best way to start your outdoor electric installation. Determine the location of each light fixture (garden, driveway, etc.). List them on the drawing. Also mention any area where you will have to take into account obstacles (trees, etc.).
Measure the distance between the location of the fixtures and the main electrical panel. You can then calculate cable lengths, jacket and mesh needed.

Trench

trench
In the space provided by your sketch, dig a trench about a foot wide and 2 feet deep. If you’re working on a carriage road, dig up to 3 feet.
Place about 5-6 inches of sand to form a bed at the bottom of the trench. You’ll be able to protect your cables inside it as to avoid any future problems with other retooling (e.g. tree planting).

Wiring

wiring
Place the protective cover on the bottom of the trench. Pass the cable(s) inside the sheath with a thread puller. Pull it to the other end.
Cover the sheath with another 5-6 inches of sand. Install the warning mesh and other electrical security components buried with the electric cable.
Cover everything with sand and soil. Tamp to obtain a flat surface and level ground.

Light fixtures

light fixtures
The light fixtures you’ve picked to make your garden brighter should be firmly installed in the ground. You can even pour some concrete, in a driveway for example, however be sure to take out of the ground the cable and sheath beforehand.

Electrical circuit

electricla outlet
Before connecting anything, cut off the power. Add to the main switchboard, at the beginning of the circuit, a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter).
Protect your garden lighting system by adding a few circuit breakers with fuses (and appropriate amperage).

If there are too many connected lights, don’t hesitate to divide the power circuits to avoid overloading the system.
Do the actual electrical connections within the fixtures or in watertight branches.

If your appliances are very low in voltage, you may need to connect a transformer which you’ll have to install near your power source.
Always be careful before switching power back on that everything is secured and connected properly.

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