How to install landscape lighting
If you are planning to install lighting fixtures or whole displays into your garden or outdoor space, you might have stopped before and asked yourself, just how it will work. How you install your landscape lighting will depend on quite a lot of factors, such as: The type of lighting you want to use, the method of power you have selected for it and also what type of outdoor space you have.
Different types of landscape lighting
Let’s start by going over the different types of landscape lighting and how installation will differ with each.
One type of lighting, that you can use outdoors, is wall lights. As the name suggests, these types of lights need to be mounted on a wall and are usually installed using screws or even holding brackets. Make sure you have the correct power tools for the job and a ladder, depending on the height you want the light to be.
Another type of landscape lighting is floodlights. These are usually tall posts with a very bright light at the top, which can be used to light anything from your back garden to a football pitch. These are more difficult to install, as not only do you need to place the pole, but you also need to run the wiring much further to your power source. Make sure you check all your local laws about trenching for cables and any other considerations.
String lights are another very popular type of lighting, which isn’t only used around the festive season, but more and more often throughout the year or for special occasions such as weddings.
When installing these, always make sure you have a long enough wire to be able to plug it into your power source and that the string lights themselves are long enough to cover the area you need them to. If you are looking to decorate a very large area with them, consider using more than one set and connecting them to appear longer, and also to use an outdoor extension, if your cable isn’t long enough.
A fourth type of landscape lighting are spotlights, which are often used to highlight certain plants or architectural features in a landscape or garden and come in many shapes and sizes. One very popular type is the stake light, which can simply be placed in the ground and is also used to highlight paths. These lights often need to be connected to a power source, and when installing, you need to make sure all the cables can reach this power source and are kept safe.
More types of landscape lighting are available, so it is best to check your local hardware or lighting store before making any firm plans.
Different power sources
Most landscape lights are available with different power connections. While large ones, such as spotlights and even wall light are almost exclusively connected to a mains power supply, smaller ones such as string- and spotlights can usually be bought with other connections as well.
These include battery operated lights and solar powered ones. Installation for battery operated lights is very simple, as the battery pack is usually connected directly to the light, or slightly away, using a sealed box. This is mostly the case for string lights and makes it easy to hide the battery pack away and out of sight.
For solar powered string lights, you need to first find a good position for the solar panel, before you can start installing the light itself. This needs to be thought through, as the solar panel will need a certain amount of direct light every day, in order to be able to run the lights for the required amount of time. With spotlights, you usually get the solar panel on the top of the light itself, so you need to make sure to install it in a place that gets plenty of sun during the day.
Health and Safety considerations
Before installing any lighting outside, make sure you check your local laws about electric installations, trench depths for hiding cables and also existing cables and pipes that might be damaged when digging. Always take care before using power tools and ladders and it is best to have another person with you when using these at all times. When installing battery powered lights, make sure these are suitable to be used outdoors.