Installing Outdoor Lighting - Liberty Landscape

How To Install Outdoor Lighting (From The Experts)

For those seeking a brief catch on the process, installing outdoor lighting involves:

  1. Deciding the Purpose: Identify why you need outdoor lighting, which will guide the choice of lighting and their placement.
  2. Choosing the Right Lighting: Determine the type of outdoor lighting that suits your needs – right from illuminating pathways to creating a cozy patio atmosphere.
  3. Preparing the Power Source: Establish a reliable power source for the lighting. Consider extending existing electrical lines.
  4. Installing the Lights: Based on your map, place the lights, carefully connect the wiring, and ensure they are secure and functioning properly.
  5. Adjustments (if any): Prior to finalizing the installation, test each fixture and make necessary adjustments.

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Understanding Different Types of Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is a fantastic way to enhance the appeal of your property. However, it’s crucial to understand the different types of outdoor lighting available in order to make the best choice for your needs.

At Liberty Landscape, we believe in providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Solar Landscape Lights


Solar landscape lights are an excellent choice for those looking for an eco-friendly and easy-to-install option. These lights are powered by a photovoltaic cell that charges during the day with sunlight.

They don’t require any wiring, which simplifies the installation process significantly. However, they do need six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day to fully charge.

These lights are perfect for illuminating pathways, gardens, or other features in your yard. While many solar lights don’t require constant direct sunlight, it’s best to install them in a location where they will receive at least six to eight hours of bright sunlight per day.

Low Voltage Landscape Lights


Low voltage landscape lights are another popular choice, especially for homeowners looking for energy-efficient solutions. These lights work through a transformer that reduces the regular voltage down to 12 volts, making them safe and easy to handle.

You can plug them into a GFCI outlet outside, which means they can be installed and moved around with relative ease.

Line Voltage Landscape Lights


Line voltage landscape lights operate at 120 volts, the same voltage as the appliances in your home. These lights are hardwired to your home’s electrical system using an electrical junction box and a conduit to protect the wires. Due to the complexity of these systems, they’re best installed by a licensed electrician.

These lights offer the most robust and bright lighting options, making them ideal for large yards or commercial properties.

However, because they require a more complex installation process, it’s often best to enlist the help of professionals, like us at Liberty Landscape, to ensure a safe and efficient installation.

In conclusion, the type of outdoor lighting you choose depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the layout of your property. Whether you opt for solar, low voltage, or line voltage landscape lights, each offers its own set of advantages.

At Liberty Landscape, we’re here to help you navigate through these options and find the perfect lighting solution for your outdoor space.

Preparing for Outdoor Lighting Installation

As you plan to light up your outdoor areas, there are several key factors you need to consider. From understanding the purpose of your lighting to ensuring a reliable power source, here’s our easy guide on how to install outdoor lighting.

Determining the Purpose of Outdoor Lighting

Before anything else, it’s vital to understand why you want to install outdoor lighting. Are you aiming to create a cozy atmosphere for your patio, illuminate pathways for safety, or highlight unique architectural features of your property?

Knowing the purpose of your lighting project helps determine the type and placement of light fixtures, helping you to achieve your desired effect.

Choosing the Right Type of Lighting

The next step in preparing for your outdoor lighting installation is selecting the appropriate type of lighting for your specific needs. Whether it’s pathway lights, spotlights, or wall-mounted fixtures, each type can offer a unique aesthetic and function.

Consider factors like the number of fixtures needed, their placement, and whether they will be used for highlighting features or illuminating paths.

Outdoor lighting should enhance the beauty of your home, provide safety, and extend your living space beyond the confines of your home.

Ensuring a Reliable Power Source

Once you’ve decided on the type of lighting and their placement, you need to ensure you have a reliable power source. This might involve extending existing electrical lines or setting up an independent circuit for your outdoor lighting.

If you’re going for a more eco-friendly approach, solar-powered outdoor lights are a great option. They harness energy from the sun to illuminate your outdoor space, requiring no direct access to electricity.

Always remember, safety is paramount when working with electrical connections, so use waterproof connections and follow proper guidelines.

Considering Local Regulations and Safety Measures

Last but not least, you need to consider local regulations and safety measures. For some outdoor lighting projects, you might require the expertise of a professional electrician, especially if you’re uncomfortable working with electrical wiring or your project involves complex installation. It’s wise to consult a professional to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.

At Liberty Landscape, we’re committed to helping you create a beautiful, safe, and functional outdoor space. If you have any questions on how to install outdoor lighting or need professional advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Step-by-Step Guide to Install Solar Landscape Lighting

Installing solar landscape lighting might seem overwhelming at first. But with careful planning and the right tools, you can create a well-lit outdoor area that not only enhances the beauty of your space but also contributes to safety and security. Here, we’ll guide you through the process.

Planning the Layout

Your journey on how to install outdoor lighting begins with planning. First, clean your area by edging your walkways or trimming back foliage. This will ensure that nothing obstructs your lights.

Next, using a tape measure, lay out the lights along your pathway. Ensure your line is no more than 6-inches from the edge of the path.

This will help the light illuminate the path correctly after dark. Temporarily place each light where it will go, following the manufacturer’s instructions for suggested spacing.

Assembling and Installing the Lights

With your layout ready, you can now start assembling your solar lights. Start by removing the cover tag over the solar battery of each light.

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, assemble the lights. This usually involves placing the light top into the support and then attaching the light stake to the bottom of the support.

Before you install the lights, expose them to full sun for 12- to 14-hours. This will charge the battery fully and also help you identify any defective lights. If the ground is hard or dry, lightly water the soil along the area where the lights will be installed. Allow the soil to soak for a few hours.

When you’re ready to install the fixtures, drive their stakes into the ground, ensuring they remain plumb. Don’t force the lights into the ground as this might damage the stakes.

Ensuring Sufficient Sunlight Exposure

The last step in your journey on how to install outdoor lighting is ensuring your solar lights get enough sunlight. Solar lights require full exposure to the sun to operate optimally. Throughout the day, ensure nothing shades your lights.

Solar lights are convenient and eco-friendly, but they need sunlight to function. If your landscape doesn’t get enough sun, you might consider other lighting options such as low voltage or line voltage lights.

At Liberty Landscape, we’re always here to guide you through your outdoor lighting installation process. If you have any questions or need further assistance, contact us. We’re committed to helping you create and maintain your ideal outdoor space.

Step-by-Step Guide to Install Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

After deciding on low voltage landscape lights, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Here’s a simple guide on how to install outdoor lighting in your space.

Wiring the Transformer

The first step involves setting up the transformer. This device steps down the household current to a safe 12 volts, perfect for landscape lighting. Mount it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, in a location near a GFCI outlet.

Depending on your siding type, you can use wood screws or a lag shield for masonry. Remember to strip about 3/4-inch of insulation from the two conductors on the main wire feeding the lights.

Connect each conductor to the transformer’s terminals following the instructions. And hold off on plugging in the transformer just yet.

Assembling and Placing the Lights

Most low voltage light kits need assembly, but don’t worry – it’s usually pretty straightforward. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and soon, you’ll have your fixtures ready.

Proceed to lay out your lights along the planned path. Temporarily place each light where you want it to go, ensuring a consistent distance between each fixture.

Connecting the Lights

With your lights in place, it’s time to connect them to the transformer. Run the cable from the transformer along the path of your newly installed fixtures. Keep the cable above ground at this stage to allow for easy adjustments.

Burying the Cable

Once you’re happy with your lighting layout, it’s time to bury the cable. This step will protect your wiring from the elements and keep your outdoor space tidy. Remember not to dig too deep; shallow trenches are perfect for this job.

Setting the Timer

Finally, connect the transformer to the timer. This device will control when your lights turn on and off, bringing your landscape to life in the evenings.

There you have it, a step-by-step guide on how to install outdoor lighting using low voltage lights! If you encounter any issues or need further assistance, remember, we at Liberty Landscape are always ready to help.

We believe in turning your outdoor space into a beautifully lit haven that you can enjoy, day or night.

Step-by-Step Guide to Install Line Voltage Landscape Lighting

Preparing for Installation

Before you start, be sure to gather all the necessary tools and materials. This includes the light fixtures, electrical and UF (Underground Feeder) cable, and the tools needed to dig a trench and run the cable. Remember to also check all local regulations and codes to ensure your project is compliant.

Installing the Electrical and UF Cable

Your first task will be to dig a trench that’s at least 18-inches deep. This trench should run from the location in your house where the power cable will exit to the location of the fixture.

Once your trench is dug, you’ll need to run the cable and pull it through the wall. If you encounter a fire block, you may need to drill a hole or notch to accommodate the cable.

Wiring the Light Fixture and Switch

Once the cable is in place, turn off the main circuit breaker in your home’s electrical panel. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, wire the light fixture and switch. Then connect the cable to the GFCI circuit breaker. Safety is crucial!

If you’re not comfortable working in a panel box, give us a call at Liberty Landscape. We understand that not everyone is comfortable with electrical work, and we’re here to help.

Testing the Light

Now it’s time to test your work. Turn the power back on at the panel box and circuit breaker. Check that your light switch and light fixture are working properly. If they’re not, double-check your wiring and connections.

Having the Wiring Inspected

Before burying the UF cable, call your local electrical inspector to schedule a wiring inspection. This is a crucial step in ensuring that your outdoor lighting system is safe and up to code. Once your wiring has passed inspection, you can bury the cable.

Installing line voltage landscape lighting can be a complex process, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, it can be done.

If you need help or advice on how to install outdoor lighting, remember, we at Liberty Landscape have the expertise and experience to assist you. After all, we believe in making your outdoor space not only beautiful but also safe and functional.

Tips and Tricks for Successful Outdoor Lighting Installation

Learning how to install outdoor lighting can be a rewarding DIY project, but it also requires careful planning and execution.

Here at Liberty Landscape, we have the know-how to help you navigate this process. To ensure a successful installation, we have compiled the following tips and tricks.

Strategic Placement of Light Fixtures

The key to an effective outdoor lighting design is strategic fixture placement. Start by identifying areas that require illumination for safety, such as pathways or steps. Consider highlighting key architectural features of your home or focal points in your garden to create visual interest.

Outdoor lighting is not just about brightening up your outdoor space, it’s also about creating an inviting ambiance. Consider how the light will interact with the landscape and the mood you want to set. For example, for a cozy patio atmosphere, you might opt for softer, diffused lighting.

Burying Landscape Wire and Using Conduit for Protection

When installing outdoor lighting, it’s crucial to consider the safety of your electrical connections. The wiring for your lighting should be well-protected to withstand the elements.

One effective way to do this is by using a UF (underground feeder) cable, which is designed for burying wires and is commonly used for outdoor lighting.

Dig a trench for the cable that’s at least 18-inches deep, running from the power source to the location of the fixture. A conduit, which is a protective tube, can be used to house the wires, providing an extra layer of protection.

Remember to always adhere to local regulations and safety guidelines when dealing with electrical installation.

Dealing with Neighbor Complaints about Excessive or Poorly Directed Outdoor Lights

Outdoor lighting should enhance your property without causing a nuisance to your neighbors. To avoid complaints about excessive or poorly directed lights, ensure your fixtures are correctly positioned and aimed.

Shield your lights to prevent them from shining directly into your neighbor’s windows or yard. Use lower wattage bulbs or dimmers to control light intensity. You can also install motion sensors or timers so the lights are only on when needed.

At Liberty Landscape, we understand that installing outdoor lighting can be a complex task. But with our professional guidance, you can transform your outdoor areas into beautiful, well-lit spaces that are both safe and inviting.

When to Consult a Professional for Outdoor Lighting Installation

While a do-it-yourself approach may be adequate for simple projects, there are scenarios when it’s best to bring in a professional for your outdoor lighting installation. At Liberty Landscape, we are here to help you navigate through these situations.

Complex Installation Projects

If your project involves intricate designs, multiple types of lights, or a large area to cover, it may be best to hire a professional. Lighting projects can get complex quickly, especially when they involve wiring or electrical work.

For instance, if you’re planning to install line voltage landscape lighting, it involves preparing for installation, installing electrical and UF cable, wiring the light fixture and switch, and having the wiring inspected.

These tasks require a certain level of technical knowledge and expertise, which professional electricians possess.

Compliance with Local Regulations

Local regulations often govern the installation of outdoor lighting. These can encompass everything from the type of lighting permissible to how and where it should be installed.

Non-compliance with these regulations can result in penalties or may require costly redoing of the job. At Liberty Landscape, we understand local regulations and ensure all work is carried out in compliance with them.

Safety Concerns and Electrical Issues

Working with electricity always involves a degree of risk. If you’re uncomfortable or untrained in working with electrical wiring, it’s best to consult a professional.

For instance, even when installing low-voltage landscape lighting, the wiring has to be connected carefully according to the manufacturer’s instructions, secured with waterproof wire nuts, and tested to ensure they are working as intended.

Safety should always be your top priority, and professionals are equipped with the right tools and safety measures to handle these tasks.

If your project involves any of these scenarios, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Liberty Landscape. We believe in making your outdoor lighting installation process as seamless and efficient as possible. Your outdoor space is an extension of your home or business, and it deserves the care and attention of a professional.


Installing outdoor lighting is a project that requires careful planning but can significantly enhance your property’s beauty and security. We’ve discussed the various types of outdoor lighting and walked you through the process of how to install outdoor lighting, whether it’s solar, low voltage, or line voltage.

Outdoor lighting not only accentuates the unique features of your outdoor space but also provides safety and security. It’s an excellent way to add a touch of elegance and charm to your property, making it more inviting and appealing.

We at Liberty Landscape understand that DIY projects can seem daunting, especially when dealing with electrical installations. But remember, with patience, the right tools, and a clear understanding of the installation process, you can successfully install your outdoor lighting and transform your space into an enchanting outdoor oasis.

And should you ever feel overwhelmed or unsure about any step in the process, we’re just a call away. We’re here to assist with all your outdoor lighting needs and ensure your outdoor space is not just aesthetically pleasing but also safe and functional.

Ready to take on your next outdoor project? Why not consider enhancing your space with an irrigation system? Check out our guide on how to install an irrigation system for step-by-step instructions.

There’s something incredibly rewarding about completing a DIY project, especially when it contributes to a lush, green landscape. So, don’t be afraid to dive in and light up your outdoor space – the results will be well worth the effort!