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Learn how to install low voltage landscape lighting and give your home’s exterior a high-end, custom look! I love to drive through beautiful neighborhoods to check out the homes and get ideas. Recently I was driving around in the evening and realized that just about every home that caught my eye had lighting that illuminated their landscaping and gave a gorgeous soft glow to the house.

And since he took this project and ran with it, I’m going to let him explain how to install low voltage landscape lighting for your own home!

A few months ago Abby came to me with the idea of installing landscape lighting in the front of our house. I love the finished and classy look of landscape lighting, but I assumed it was a difficult and expensive project.

It turns out that installing low voltage landscape lighting is easier and cheaper than I thought, and it makes a huge impact on the look of our home after the sun goes down. For the average home installer, low voltage landscape lighting has some huge advantages:

Easy to install because low voltage systems have no polarity (positive and negative wires)

Figuring Out the Landscape Lighting Supplies You’ll Need

The first step when installing low voltage landscape lighting is deciding on your layout. Abby and I decided to only install the landscape lighting in the front of the house.

Down the road we may add lights to the side and backyards, but it wasn’t a priority right now. It was helpful to look at pictures online to get a better feel for how closely spaced or spread out the lights should be.

Once we figured out where we wanted the lights, we also had to make a note of where we had available outdoor electrical outlets to be able to plug in our transformer(s).

We would plug in a transformer to outdoor outlets and run a line of all our lights from there. In our situation, this wasn’t possible since it would’ve required running a wire under our driveway and also under our front walk. The light in zone one would plug into a transformer on the left side of our house.

The first thing I did was take a look at low voltage lighting options on Amazon. Then Abby and I took a trip to Lowe’s and looked at their “Portfolio” brand of landscape lighting.

While it was helpful to see all of the different lighting options in person to get a better idea of what we needed, the Portfolio brand didn’t seem like it was a higher quality than other brands we had looked at, and the prices were definitely higher than what I was seeing on Amazon. So after weighing our options, we ultimately decided to purchase our equipment from Amazon, and we’ve been very happy with that decision.

There are a number of calculators online to help you determine the power (wattage) of your transformer, but it’s very simple: Add up the total wattage of the lights used, multiply the total wattage by 1.25 (extra capacity to make up for power loss due to cable length), and make sure your transformer can accommodate that number. If you start to get close to the transformer’s capacity, you may notice a drop in brightness of your lights.

Most people recommend getting transformers that will provide enough power and room for expansion in the future. After looking at low voltage landscape light transformers on Amazon and reading reviews, I knew that I wanted transformers that looked nice, were weatherproof, included a photo sensor so the lights could turn on at night on their own, and also have a timer option to manually set when the lights would go on and off.

A few years ago it may have been worthwhile to consider non-LED lights, but now I just don’t think that makes any sense. They seem very sturdy and well made with heavy duty stakes, an angle adjustment knob, and metal light bodies.

The lights are a matte black color, which blends in well during the daytime and is hardly noticeable. When looking at low voltage wire or landscape lighting cable on Amazon, you’ll see everything listed with two numbers.

For low voltage landscape lighting, you will need two strands. As a general rule, the thicker the wire (lower gauge) the less voltage will drop over long distances.

Every online source lists slightly different numbers, but if you are going to run close to 200 watts or more, 14 gauge wire may be too small. 12 gauge wire would have worked fine as well and in our situation would’ve made absolutely zero difference. The second type can accommodate 10-18 gauge wire with the included and differently sized inserts. We’ve even had some huge wind storms since the installation, and so far everything has stayed firmly in place.

The alternative would be to use a masonry bit and screw directly into the brick or stone on the house. We began to uncoil the wire and lay it on the ground, connecting all of our lights. We made sure to leave some slack so that we’d have a bit of flexibility if we decided to change our light locations. (But leaving too much slack will just make it harder to bury the wire and is unnecessary.)

Once all of the lights were connected to the main wire, we pushed them all into the ground so they were firmly rooted and wouldn’t move anywhere. That same night Abby went outside, turned on the transformers, and made adjustments to light locations to get the look she wanted.

(It’s important to do this part at night so you can see exactly how your beautiful landscape lighting will look in its final position!) I used some black electrical tape and wrapped tightly around each wire connector. They each include a photo sensor to detect light/dark and turn on lights when it’s dark outside.

Enjoy your gorgeous low voltage landscape lighting!

I swear, I still squeal a little bit every time I pull up to our house at night and everything is lit up so beautifully! And I love that we got the lighting installed just in time to show off our Christmas decor too!

This was one of those projects that was intimidating to us at first, but once we knew what we needed, the process was pretty easy to carry out. If you have any installation tips or tricks to add, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

And if you’re planning to add low voltage landscape lighting to your house, be sure to pin the image below so you can easily find this post later:

How to Install Landscape Lighting
How to Install Landscape Lighting
Abby Lawson
Abby Lawson
Donnie Lawson
Donnie Lawson
Planning Out Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Planning Out Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Lighting Zones for Adding Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Lighting Zones for Adding Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Supplies
Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Supplies
Three Transformers for Landscape Lighting
Three Transformers for Landscape Lighting
Transformers for Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Transformers for Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Landscape Spotlight
Landscape Spotlight
14/2 Wire for Landscape Lighting
14/2 Wire for Landscape Lighting
Connectors for Landscape Lighting
Connectors for Landscape Lighting
Connectors for Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Connectors for Outdoor Landscape Lighting
Using Wire Strippers
Using Wire Strippers
Attaching Wire to Transformer
Attaching Wire to Transformer
Using Siding Clips to Hang Transformer on House
Using Siding Clips to Hang Transformer on House
Transformer Hanging on Side of House
Transformer Hanging on Side of House
Transformer Hidden Behind Planter
Transformer Hidden Behind Planter
Putting Wire in Connector Landscape Lighting
Putting Wire in Connector Landscape Lighting
Landscape Spotlight Shining on House
Landscape Spotlight Shining on House
Landscape Lighting Shining on a Ryan Homes Palermo Craftsman Style House
Landscape Lighting Shining on a Ryan Homes Palermo Craftsman Style House
Craftsman Style Front Porch with Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Craftsman Style Front Porch with Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Connector Wrapped in Electrical Tape
Connector Wrapped in Electrical Tape
Timer on Transformer for Low Voltage Lighting
Timer on Transformer for Low Voltage Lighting
Abby Lawson
Abby Lawson
Ryan Homes Palermo with Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Ryan Homes Palermo with Low Voltage Landscape Lighting
Craftsman Style Front Porch with Landscape Lighting
Craftsman Style Front Porch with Landscape Lighting
The Easiest Way to Install Landscape Lighting
The Easiest Way to Install Landscape Lighting

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