HOW TO INSTALL GARDEN LIGHTING – Creating good lighting for your home and garden will really set your property off. There are a huge amount of lighting products to choose from and this guide provides information on how to light your home and garden.
If you are having problems deciding on the type of gardening lighting you want then take a look at this video.
As with any wiring job there are regulations that must be adhered to. Check with your local planning authority on the requirements.
Plan carefully where you want the light to be situated throughout your garden or just in a particular area, for example around a patio or decking area. Once you know where you want to put lights you will know how many you need to buy.
You will need to install a ‘Breaker Switch’ on the outside along with weatherproof switches and sockets and use appropriate UF wiring for underground cabling, including approved conduit piping and underground installation. Measure out the distance from the house to the lights and the number of lights you want. This will give you an approximate calculation for the amount of cabling and conduit piping. Order at least 20% more than your calculations require as will generally ensure you don’t run out.
Now that you know what you need it’s time to buy all the components. You will find that most DIY and Home Improvement Stores supply garden lights and all the components in the kits. However, if you consider buying a kit, make sure that it has sufficient lights, cables and conduit pipes you need to complete your job. If not, don’t worry, you can simply buy each part separately.
The first thing to tackle is to fit the breaker switch on the outside wall. You will have to drill a hole through the wall, using a power drill, and feed and connect cable to your mains wiring system. The full instructions for doing this should be included in the fitting instructions for the breaker switch you purchased. If you have any doubts then call in a qualified electrician.
Remember when working with home wiring to exercise extreme caution and turn off the power at the mains box. Also leave a Post It Note on the front panel of the mains box to tell others you are working on the electrics. This will save anyone from accidentally turning the power back on while you are working.
The next step is to lay out the cabling so that you know where it will go, remember is needs to be buried and it should be buried between 2′ to 3′ underground. Once you have the path of the cabling you can dig out the trenches for the conduit pipe.
Installing conduit piping will help protect the cabling, especially if one day you happen to be digging in the garden and forget you have cables buried there. If you do hit the conduit pipe with a spade, shovel or fork it’s unlikely that you will damage the actual cables, so installing conduit piping is an essential safety feature, plus you will be following regulations set out by your local authority. If in doubt ask your local authority of the all the safety requirements and codes that must be adhered to for such an installation.
Thread all the required cabling through the conduit pipes and then connect each of the lights you want to install. The lights should come with full fitting instructions, but again, if in doubt call in a qualified electrician Once all the lights have been connected you can then fit your light switches. You may decide that a single light switch is sufficient or you may want one for each light.
Once all the lights have been wired you can now wire the cables to the outside breaker switch you installed. Turn the electricity back on and test the lights and test the switches that you connected. If all is working well, turn the lights off and fill in the conduit trenches to complete the job. Wait until nightfall and then turn on your garden lights. You can now fully enjoy your garden at night – it’s a great way to entertain and beautiful, subtle lighting really does at such character to a garden.
Acknowledgements: Video – Lowes.com