Installing electricity in your garden shed can be an intimidating task, especially if you're trying to save money. However, with some planning and basic electrical knowledge, you can safely and affordably wire your garden shed yourself. In this comprehensive guide, I'll walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

Selecting the Right Electrical Components

The first step is choosing the right electrical components for your shed's needs. Here are the main items you'll need:

When selecting components, check that everything is rated for outdoor use. Also, buy more capacity than you think you'll need to allow for future expansion.

Calculating Electrical Load and Circuit Needs

Before purchasing components, you need to calculate your shed's electrical load and required number of circuits. Here's how:

  1. Make a list of all electrical items and lights you plan to install and their wattages.

  2. Add up the wattages of items likely to run at the same time on shared circuits.

  3. Divide each total by 120 volts to get the amps required per circuit.

  4. Compare the amps to circuit breaker capacities to determine how many 20 amp or 15 amp circuits you need.

  5. Add up the totals for all circuits to get your shed's estimated peak electrical load.

Leave a safety margin in your load calculation to account for future devices. Planning your circuits carefully now will avoid electrical issues down the road.

Running Cables and Conduit

With your components purchased, it's time to run power to your shed. Here is the process:

Take it slow when running cables to avoid kinks or damage. Also be sure to dig conduit trenches deep enough to meet electrical code.

Connecting Circuits and Components

With the cables run, it's time for the fun part - connecting everything together! Follow these steps:

Take things slowly and be diligent about wire labels, colors and connections. Having organized, understandable wiring will make any future electrical work much simpler.

Safety Tips and Inspection

Any time you take on electrical projects, safety should be your top priority:

Finally, when the project is complete, call your local building department to schedule an electrical inspection before using your new circuits. They will check for safety issues and code compliance.


With good planning and attention to detail, you can absolutely wire basic lighting, outlets and other devices in your garden shed on a budget. Just take it step-by-step, allow plenty of time, and don't be afraid to call in a professional electrician if any part of the project exceeds your comfort level or expertise. Investing some sweat equity will save you a lot of money over hiring the work out. Soon you'll have a wired up shed to make all your DIY projects much easier!