Installing low-voltage lighting is an easy way to beautifully illuminate your garden or landscape. Low-voltage systems run on 12V or 24V power, making them safe and easy to install yourself. With some planning and basic materials, you can have a professional-looking outdoor lighting system to enjoy for years to come.

Choosing the Right Low-Voltage Lighting System

When selecting a low-voltage lighting system, you'll first want to decide on the look you want to achieve. Here are some popular low-voltage lighting options:

Take measurements of where you want to place lights and sketch a layout. Planning the lighting placement will help you purchase the right quantity of lights and connectors.

Opt for LED lights for efficiency and long life. Metal or composite housings will hold up better outdoors than plastic fixtures. Choose lighting with IP65 weatherproof rating or higher for wet areas.

Gathering Supplies for Installation

A complete low-voltage lighting system requires the following components:

Optional supplies include wire conduit for buried cable runs, PVC sleeves to pass wires under walkways, a trenching shovel for burying wire, and outdoor-rated junction boxes.

Low-Voltage Lighting Safety Tips

Installing the Transformer

The transformer converts 120V household current into 12V or 24V to power your lighting. Install the transformer:

First, turn off the circuit powering the electrical outlet you are using. Open the transformer housing to access the wiring compartment. Most transformers come with a built-in photocell and timer. Make any needed adjustments to these settings before mounting the transformer.

Follow manufacturer instructions to make wiring connections:

Finally, securely mount the transformer in its permanent location using the included hardware. Turn circuit power back on once everything is properly installed and closed up.

Running Low-Voltage Wiring

Use the following tips for running low-voltage cables:

Installing Light Fixtures

Follow the lighting manufacturer's instructions to properly install each fixture type:

Testing and Troubleshooting Your Lighting

Upon completing installation:

With proper installation and maintenance, low-voltage lighting systems can provide beauty and security to your landscape for many years. Ambient outdoor lighting extends enjoyment of your garden into the evening.