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How to Install Low-Voltage Outdoor Lighting


As a fan of the LED industry, I often see a variety of questions from people. For example, someone who wants to enhance the look and feel of their outdoor space. I have make many article to show you the led lighting solutions.

Today, I’ll share my experience on how to install low-voltage outdoor lighting to help you easily DIY your installation so you can enjoy your beautiful outdoor space.

Step 1: Choose your lighting kit

Before you start installing low-voltage outdoor lighting, you need to choose a lighting kit that suits your needs. Unlike the landscape lighting kits or the led track lighting mentioned above, low-voltage outdoor lighting kits usually require additional materials to meet the installation needs.

A complete low-voltage outdoor lighting kit usually includes fixtures, bulbs, wiring, led light driver, transformers and connectors. We recommend that you choose a lighting kit from a reputable brand to ensure product quality and after-sales service.

Step 2: Plan your layout

Before installing low-voltage outdoor lighting, you need to plan the layout of your lighting fixtures. You need to consider the area where the light will shine, and the number of fixtures. In this process, you can learn from the landscape lighting layout planning mentioned above, however, it is important to note that low-voltage outdoor lighting usually requires more fixtures to achieve the appropriate lighting effect.

Step 3: Installing the Transformer

Installing a transformer is one of the most important steps in installing low-voltage outdoor lighting. The transformer converts high voltage power to low voltage power, thus providing enough power for the luminaire. You need to choose a safe and easily accessible location to place the transformer, preferably close to the power source.

Step 4: Pull the wires

With the transformer in place, you can start pulling the wires. You will need to use outdoor wiring specific to your low-voltage lighting system and start pulling the wires from the transformer to the location of each fixture. To keep the wires looking good, we recommend burying the wires underground by digging out the ground with a professional tool and then burying the wires in a trench no less than 6 inches deep. It is important to note that you do not bend or twist the wires when pulling them.

Step 5: Install the fixture

Once the wires are in place, it’s time to start installing the light fixtures. You will need to use a shovel to dig a hole according to the layout plan and then insert the fixture into the hole. To make sure the wires are securely connected, you will need to use wire connectors to connect the wires from the previous fixture to the wires on the new fixture. You need to make sure that the wires from each fixture are connected correctly to avoid subsequent failures.

Step 6: Connect the wires to the transformer

Once all the fixtures are installed, you will need to connect the wires to the transformer. You will need to strip a section of the end of the wire and connect it to the transformer’s terminals. This is the final step in the entire low-voltage outdoor lighting system, so extra care needs to be taken to ensure that all connections are secure.

Step 7: Test the system

Before doing any buried wiring, test the system to make sure it is working properly. Turn on the power and check each fixture to make sure it is receiving power properly. Adjust the fixtures as needed to obtain the desired lighting effect.

Step 8: Burying Wires

Once you are satisfied that the system is working properly, it is time to bury the wires. Use a shovel to dig a trench at least 6 inches deep and bury the wires in the trench. Be sure to mark the location of the wire so you can find it if any repairs or adjustments need to be made.

Below is a video for you to share to be able to see more visually how to install it. (The video is from the internet and is for reference only)


  1. Where do you plug in low-voltage landscape lighting?

Low-voltage landscape lights are powered through a transformer that lowers the regular voltage down to 12 volts. These systems are safe to work with, energy efficient and easy to install and move. They are plugged into a GFCI outlet outside.

  1. Do I have to have a transformer for low voltage landscape lights?

To install low voltage landscape lighting, you will need a transformer to reduce the 120-volt output from your home electrical system to the 12 volts used by low voltage landscape lights.

  1. How many lights can you put on a low voltage transformer?

The largest load a transformer should have placed on it should be 80% of its maximum capacity. 80% of a 150 watt transformer maximum capacity would be 120 Watts of power. This means that on a 150 watt transformer only 6, 20 watt lamps, would be able to fit comfortably on a transformer of this size.

  1. Are 12 volt landscape lights AC or DC?

Interestingly, older landscape lighting systems may have been 12 volts of AC power. Most of us think of AC power as the type that comes out of the wall. DC power is usually thought of as battery power. Now, with LEDs being the common lightbulbs, most landscape lighting installs utilize 12 volt DC power.

  1. Do you have to bury low voltage landscape wire?

Low voltage landscape wiring is rated for direct burial use so it does not need to be put in to conduit. We do recommend protecting your cables when you can. You can use conduit in the ground with landscape wire to protect it and also give you the ability to re run wire at a later time if you need to.

  1. How far can you run low voltage landscape lighting wire?

Fortunately, even though the range is more limited, it’s still possible to extend low voltage power quite some distance from its power source-low voltage lines can usually power lights up to 100 or 150 feet, depending on the gauge of the wire. For some systems it is possible to reach 250-300 feet.

  1. Where does low voltage wire go?

Low-voltage wiring is commonly used in the home for thermostats, doorbells, TV cable, and network cable. Low-voltage wire is most often found outside of the home with low-voltage landscape lighting systems.

  1. Does it matter which wire for low voltage?

We recommend 12-gauge or 10-gauge wire for long distances. This is to prevent voltage drop. The further you get from the transformer and its power supply, the more resistance occurs in the circuit which causes the voltage to decrease.

  1. Which wire is common on low voltage lighting?

Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Cable Sizes

The common wires for landscape lighting are 8-, 10-, 12-, 14-, or 16-gauge wires. We recommend 12-gauge or 10-gauge wire for long distances. This is done to avoid voltage drops.

  1. Which wire is common on low voltage?

A C-wire, or a common wire, runs from your low voltage heating system (24v) and carries continuous power to your thermostat. In today’s electric market, most newer heating and cooling systems have C-wires, which guarantees compatibility for the installation of all smart thermostats.

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