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3413 Marion Drive
Tampa, FL 33637

Project details Skill 1 out of 5 Easy Digging shallow trenches for the low-voltage cable takes some work, but installing the light fixtures is a piece of cake. Enhance the nighttime curb appeal of your home—and add a measure of safety and security—with low-voltage landscape lighting. These exterior-grade fixtures are typically placed along walkways and driveways, but they're also ideal for illuminating steps, trees, stonewalls, fences, and other prominent landscape features. At the stately 1930s-something home shown here, we installed 12 Intermatic fixtures in three different areas.

Alongside the walkway leading to the entryway are six decorative aluminum fixtures that have a curved shepherd's hook profile. Two 20-watt wall-wash fixtures are used to illuminate the white-painted lattice fence on either side of the walkway.

Low-voltage landscape lighting is a simple improvement that can make a huge difference in how your home looks after dusk and in its safety and security as well. It must be plugged into a GFCI-protected outdoor electrical outlet fitted with a "while-in-use" cover, and oversize plastic box that closes over the power cord.

As long as you have a nearby outlet, you'll be able to give your home and yard a welcoming glow when the sun goes down. Lay the low-voltage cable along the concrete walkway, following the line of light fixtures. Take a flat-blade shovel and slide it underneath the top layer of grass, about 12 inches in from the edge of the walk. Then lift up on the handle to separate the grass from the soil, and fold over this scalped portion of sod.

Tip: If necessary, set the light fixtures on top of the folded sod to prevent it from flopping back down. Tip: Don't bury the cable more than 3 inches or you'll have difficulty connecting the light fixture.

Then use wire strippers to cut the cable and strip off ½ inch of the rubber insulation. Set all the light fixtures back into position, checking to make sure they're equally spaced.

Make a hole in the ground for the fixture's stake with a large screwdriver or long steel punch. Slip the two connector halves hanging from the bottom of the light fixture over the cable that's protruding from the sod and pinch them together until you hear a click.

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