Low-voltage outdoor lighting provides a pleasant alternative to
glaring floodlights mounted around the house or to fumbling about
in the dark. It can be strategically positioned to highlight plants and features you want to accent and they improve safety by illuminating
paths, steps and dark zones.
Durable lighting systems may cost more, but they’ll last longer and be more dependable. Low-voltage halogen bulbs provide the best light and last up to 10,000 hours. To anchor the lights, don’t use manufacturer-
supplied stakes; instead, build the PVC anchors shown in steps 3 and 4.
Lay out the light fixtures and wire. To avoid a voltage drop, create
wire T-connections wherever you’ll have more than five fixtures.
Bury wires 6 in. (15 cm) deep. Test the lights and system before
burying the wire and installing lights.
2. Install a transformer near an outdoor GFCI outlet
with an in-use cover. Buy an over sized transformer so you can add
more lights later. Mount transformer to a post to avoid damaging
the house and allow free orientation of photocell. Connect 10-gauge
main wires to mounting terminals.
3. Connect wires with connectors approved for direct-burial--they
contain sealant to resist corrosion. For taller lights, build the
indestructible PVC anchors and junction boxes shown.
4. Level lights and anchor them in place. Bury wire 6-in, deep throughout
the installation. To keep ground clean, use a tarp to contain the
dirt while you dig.