Installing outdoor lighting and outlets in your backyard can enhance your landscaping, enable entertaining, and add safety and security. While it may seem daunting, with proper planning and precautions, you can successfully wire your backyard without hiring an electrician.

Research Local Building Codes and Permit Requirements

Before wiring anything, it's crucial to research your local building codes and permit requirements. Many municipalities require permits for outdoor electrical work to ensure it meets safety standards.

I researched my town's building department website and called their permit office to learn:

Knowing the rules and requirements ahead of time ensures your DIY wiring project follows proper safety protocols and passes inspection. Failure to obtain a required permit could also lead to fines.

Map Out Your Lighting and Outlet Layout

Carefully planning the outdoor lighting and outlet placement is key to a successful wiring project. Here are some tips:

Thorough planning at this stage will make the wiring installation go smoothly and efficiently.

Choose Suitable Outdoor Lighting Fixtures and Hardware

Selecting high quality lighting fixtures and electrical components designed for outdoor use ensures they will hold up against the elements.

Getting lighting fixtures and hardware designed for exterior use will ensure safety, code compliance and long-lasting performance. Check manufacturer ratings before purchasing.

Determine Power Source and Run Electrical Supply

How you get power to your new outdoor circuits depends on your existing electrical setup:

Other considerations when planning electrical supply:

Thinking through how to get power to your planned outdoor circuits is vital to code compliance.

Safely Install New Circuits and Wiring

When ready to start the electrical work, follow these safe installation techniques:

Taking precautions when wiring will help create professional looking, compliant, and safe outdoor electrical. Thoroughly inspect all work before reconnecting the power.

Have an Electrician Double Check Your Work

Once complete, have an electrician inspect your DIY electrical work before flipping the breakers back on. They can catch any wiring issues or code violations.

Paying an electrician for 1-2 hours of time can give you peace of mind that your project is safe and ready for use. They can also handle any electrical work you didn't feel comfortable doing, like connecting to the main panel.

Pass Final Inspection and Enjoy Your Lit Backyard!

As a final step, have an official inspection completed by your municipality to get approval before re-energizing any new circuits. Provide your permit number and have all your completed work ready to review.

Once you get the green light, flip those breakers and control switches and start enjoying your newly illuminated backyard! Take pride knowing you successfully wired it yourself safely and legally.

With proper planning, precautions, and permitting, you can tackle a DIY backyard wiring project to add beauty, flair and function to your outdoor space. Just be sure to call in electrical pros if any aspect has you stumped or concerned about safety. With adequate care, research and preparation, you can wire your yard like a pro!