outdoor lighting

Start at a landscape supply or home improvement store to buy everything you will need to install your outdoor lighting.

How to install outdoor lighting?

First step : Plan out your lighting layout. Use a diagram or layout the main wire on the ground ahead of time to make sure you have the right lengths, and to plan out placement of each light. This is a good time to decide how far away from each subject (plant, wall, fence, etc…) you want to place each light, as the farther away from an object, the wider the beam will appear, but the dimmer the light. We wanted bright light and drama, so our lights are between 2-4 feet away from the intended subject, and pointed upward.

Our rough diagram for our front, side and back yard.

Place the low voltage light fixtures where you want them – We learned to leave more slack than you think, because when you join all the cables you need more excess. Start where your transformer is going to be, and lay out the main line going past the spots where each light will be connected, as below.

There are different methods for connecting your lights onto the main line, for instance crimp on quick connectors, but the experts say the best way to make sure they don’t fail is to use wire connectors. We strongly suggest you choose this type of connector. (See below) Make sure you get the wire connectors that are silicone filled and waterproof, like these we found at Lowes from Kichler.

Wherever there is a light, cut the main feed cable, pull the ends apart about 6 inches down, and then strip 1/2 – 3/4 inch of the ends. You should now have 6 “ends”. Take one end from each of the three wires and twist the copper wire together. Make sure to twist the wire in the same direction as you are going to twist on the connector. For most people that is clockwise. Now twist on the connector until its as tight as possible. It’s similar to twisting on a cap on a bicycle tire tube. Silicone will leak out of the connectors, this is normal. This is what seals it against the weather. Repeat with the other 3 wires with another connector.

How to install outdoor wall lighting?

An outdoor wall light is a significant feature in any home, allowing visibility outside for leisure activities at night while also enhancing your home’s security. Carefully selected and properly installed exterior lighting can do much to create a great first impression of your home. And good thing is, installing outdoor wall light fixtures is something you yourself can do with a few basic tools. Here are the steps to guide you in installing your exterior wall lighting.

Step 1: Prepare the Location

Using a marker, mark the spot on the wall where the wall light fixture will be installed. For the wiring, it will be best to have a qualified electrician to do the wiring to ensure that this is done properly and safely.

Step 2: Retrieve the Circuit Wires

Switch off the power supply at the circuit box for safety reasons. Reach inside the wall electrical box. Look for the circuit wires, which you will find in a cluster consisting of black, white, and copper wires. Separate these wires then remove some of the plastic insulation from the black and white wires using wire strippers. Take off about half an inch of the insulation.

Step 3: Connect the Wires

Hold the new light fixture close to the wall electrical box. Connect the wires accordingly, white with white then black with black. Next, connect the green wire from the wall light fixture with the copper wire from the wall box. Twist together both ends of each pair of wires, using wire connectors to cover the connection point for each pair.

Step 4: Mount the Wall Light Fixture

Fasten a waterproof gasket on the new light fixture. Put the connected wires back into the wall electrical box. If the fixture has a mounting plate, attach this to the wall box using screws. Get the new light fixture. Hold its base against the wall matching the screw holes in the fixture with those in the mounting plate or on the wall. With a screwdriver, fasten the screws firmly through the holes.

Step 5: Install the Gasket and Light Bulb

It is best to use a weatherproof gasket for your outdoor wall lights to help protect the lights from the elements and add to the durability of the lights. Mount the gasket and fit in the light bulb. There is a wide variety of light bulbs available in the market to meet your needs. Choose a bulb that will help improve the functionality of your outdoor lighting fixtures. High intensity discharge bulbs are widely used for outdoor lighting. When inserting the light bulb, use a pair of gloves or soft cloth. A lot of bulbs designed for outdoor use could be quite sensitive and may easily get damaged by fingerprints or dirt on the glass.

Step 6: Turn the Power Back On

Switch the power back on from the circuit box. Test your new outdoor wall lighting fixture.

how to install outdoor flood lights

Installing exterior flood lights is a great way to add security, safety and nighttime curb appeal to your home. Whether you need extra light in dark corners of your yard, or around walkways or entrances, flood lights are a great choice to illuminate and accent your property.

Step 1: Choose Floodlight Locations  

Decide where you need more light at night. Lights installed near home entrances or garage doors are ideal, both for car and foot traffic. If you have a utility shed in a dark corner of your property, install a light there to deter any potential intruders looking for an opportunity. Or light up a walkway with a motion-activated floodlight that snaps on when someone approaches. Many floodlight models have either motion-activated sensors, or they have light-activated sensors that turn the lights on when the sun goes down.

Use a ladder to reach the location where you will install the floodlight (the fixture should be installed high—for example, near the roof—to provide effective coverage) and mark it with a piece of tape or a marker or pen.

Helpful Tips

If you have a large area that requires substantial amounts of light and you want to illuminate it with a single fixture, a high-pressure sodium or metal halide security light is appropriate. A 70-watt sodium security light will illuminate more than 8,500 square feet, provide 6,300 lumens of light, and last up to 12 times longer than a standard incandescent floodlight. Most sodium and metal halide security lights come with a built-in photo control and the light will automatically turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn with no timers or switches.

LED security lights are a good option because they use less electricity and so are more energy efficient, and have a longer lifespan than standard bulbs.

Step 2: Find Nearby Power Source  

Locate a nearby power source—for example, an inside outlet or switch from which you can run wiring to the outside for the new light. Be sure the circuit you will tap into can handle the additional load from the new light. Turn off the circuit at the breaker box to help see what fixtures and switches are already on the circuit. The circuit load you use shouldn’t exceed 80 percent of the total load capacity, meaning that with a 20-amp circuit, you should only be operating at 16 amps maximum. Total wattage in this case would be 2,400, with a safe wattage use of 1,920 watts. Add up the total wattage being used on the circuit to see if it can handle the extra output of the floodlight.

If the wattage will exceed the maximum with the new light, you will have to either use a different power source or install a new circuit for the floodlight.

Step 3: Prep the Fixture  

Use an electric drill and hole saw to cut a hole on the exterior of your house in the location you chose for your floodlight. Remember, the higher the floodlight is placed, the more effective it will be. Make the hole large enough to feed electrical cable through it to the junction box from which you will be feeding power to the fixture. Fish the electrical cable through the exterior hole to the junction box so that you can make the connection, using a fish tape.

Helpful Tips

If you’re unsure of your electrical skills or your ability to fish the electrical cable through your walls, call in a professional for help.

Make sure you’re completing the job in compliance with local codes and ordinances.

Connect the wiring to the fixture as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions. Secure the fixture to the wall using the manufacturer-supplied hardware and an electric screwdriver.

Step 4: Connect Power to the Fixture  

Wire Connectors

Turn off power to the circuit at the home’s main electrical box. Verify that power is off using a high-voltage neon circuit tester in an outlet that is on the same circuit. If you’re unsure, you can also shut off power to the entire house by turning off the main circuit breaker.

Safety Alerts!

Never trust an inoperable light switch as a sign that the circuit has been deactivated.

Make sure the circuit is truly “dead” before touching any wires or terminals. Check for current again with a voltage tester before continuing to work.

Remove a “knockout” on the junction box that will feed power to the fixture. You can do this by prying out the pre-cut “knockout” tab with a flat-head screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. Slide the cable from the fixture you fished through the wall through the new “knockout” hole and secure the cable to the box with a cable connector and locknut. Connect the fixture’s ground wire to the ground wire in the box by twisting the two ends together using needle-nose pliers.

Wire Strippers

If you need more bare wire to work with, remove some of the sheathing with wire strippers. Connect the white wire end with the white wire in the box, and then connect the black wire with the black wire in the box. Secure each group of wires with a wire connector and wrap each connection with electrical tape. Push the wires back into the box and replace the cover plate.

Step 5: Test the Light/Motion Detector  

Reactivate power to the circuit and step outside to make sure the light is on. If your floodlight has a motion-activated sensor, test that it is working as well. Remember to direct the floodlights toward the ground for optimum illumination.

Helpful Tip

When installation is complete, seal the area where the light’s mount meets the wall with silicone caulk and a caulking gun to keep moisture out.

Good job! You’ve installed outdoor floodlights and brought beautiful and reassuring light to your property.

Low voltage landscape lighting installation guide

Step 1: Remove the  fixtures from the boxes. Check enclosed instructions, and, if required, assemble and add bulbs (lamps).

Step 2: Install the lighting fixtures at their final locations according to your plan. You might want to do a loose installation – meaning don’t drive stakes in fully – just in case you want to move the fixture later.

Step 3: Dig 6″ deep trenches then run the cable according to your plan. Lay the  on a bucket or box and do not mount it at this time. Leave at least 5 feet of slack by the transformer, then loosely run the cable to each fixture according to your layout. Use the provided color tags to mark each cable at both ends (with the same color). Since you may need to move the fixture later, pull a 3-ft. coil of wire at each fixture and bury it near the stake.

Step 4: Connect fixture wires to transformer home run wires. Use  to connect each landscape lighting fixture to the cable. You can choose to use a hub system to centralize cable splices in each fixture region to make future troubleshooting much easier.

Step 5: Connect the home run wires to the transformer. One wire from each wire pair will go to the common terminals, and one (from each pair) will go to the 12-volt tap terminal. These terminals are labeled on the transformer, and each can have multiple wires connected to it. Do not use the higher tap voltage terminals at this time, we’ll get to that next. Once each wire is connected, you can plug in the transformer and switch the common to the “ON” position.

Step 6: Check that all lights are working. Use a  to ensure that all LED fixtures are within the 9-15v range. For halogen lamps, the range is 10 to 12v. If you find voltages lower than the minimum, connect that home run to a higher voltage tap so the resulting voltage is within the range.

Step 7: Mount the transformer to the wall, making sure it is at least one foot from the ground. Also plug in any accessories including .

Step 8: Finish off and bury wire runs. Straighten out cable runs and wrap wire around each cable run bundle for a neat finish. For cables that run under turf edges and under mulch beds, consider using a PVC Conduit to enclose the cable. VOLT has a  that can be placed over a wire after the wire has been run. Once cables are placed in the correct position, fill and cover trenches.

Step 9: Aim and Adjust. Make sure you wait for night to fall and fully analyze your landscape lighting before leaving. Make sure the lights are correctly positioned, change any bulbs or optics, check for glare from the fixtures and fine tune. Now, you can enjoy your landscape lighting system.

For more details, contact us at info@razorlux.com.

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