Four easy steps to Outdoor LED Light Installation.
Outdoor LED Light Installation is super easy and can add a whole lot of brightness to your driveway area. This improved visibility will also allow you to spend some time in your yard spaces even after dark. Unfortunately, outdoor lighting can consume a lot of electricity and inflate your energy bills if you’re not careful. The best way to avoid this is to install LED lights in these spaces.
What Are LED Lights?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and it is the most energy-efficient lighting technology available in the market today. It’s durable, bright, and can outlast and outperform CFL, incandescent, and halogen lights. The technology has advanced considerably over the years and the prices of these light fixtures have been reduced as well. That’s one of the reasons why you should consider installing these lights. If you are planning on DIY LED light installations, here are the steps to follow:
Step 1 – Preparation
The first step is to prepare for the installation and organise all your tools and supplies. Conduct a walk-through of your backyard and determine how many light fixtures you might need in order to illuminate the space well. This will ensure you purchase the right amount of fixtures and don’t fall short during the installation process. Here’s what you need to do next:
- Purchase waterproof LED garden lights, a 10w transformer that will plug directly into your home’s electricity outlet, and extension wires. It’s a good idea to measure your backyard and the distance between once fixture and another in your rough placement plan. This will ensure you have enough wire for the full installation. You can also purchase a pre-assembled garden lighting kit, which will include everything you need for your lighting system.
- Most pre-assembled kits have 10m of light and wires, which is enough to illuminate an outdoor pathway and stairs. It’s also enough to illuminate most backyard spaces. You can always purchase two or three additional lights if you have a bigger backyard of want to illuminate a large area.
- Choose the lighting systems carefully and study online reviews before you make your purchase. Some lighting systems and bulbs won’t last for long under intense sunlight and rough weather conditions. Purchase lighting systems manufactured by a brand with a good track record.
Step 2 – Planning A Design
Once you have all the items you need to complete the installation, plan the design and placement of the fixtures. Here are some factors you need to consider during the planning process:
- Areas that need visibility – You need to make sure stairs, pathways, driveways, and other such areas that are used for navigating the outdoor spaces, are well-lit and clear. This will help you avoid accidents in the future. If these areas are too dimly lit, your backyard won’t be safe to use during the night.
- Entertainment areas – Places like the patio, outdoor bar, outdoor lounge or dining space, etc, need to be well lit as well. You can place LED lights along the edges of the patio to ensure people are aware where the patio ends and where the lawn or garden begins. You also need to make sure the swimming pool is clearly illuminated and visible so no one falls in it accidently.
- Decorative lighting – Lighting can be used to enhance the beauty of the backyard as well. You can highlight the structural elements in your yard like trees, rocks, fountains, statues, and even house siding by adding soft lights. You can uplight the structure by placing the light at the base or downlight it by placing the light at the soffit level. There are a number of options available to you.
Mark all areas where you want to place the lights clearly. Make sure the light fixtures are placed at equal distances from one another as that ensures the lighting is even. You should also ensure there are no vast dark sports or poorly-illuminated areas in your backyard.
Step 3 – Execution
Once you have all the materials you need and a solid placement plan in place, you can move forward with the installation. Here’s what you need to do:
- Install the fixtures – You can install the fixtures by simply digging the spiked edge into the ground. Place the wires right alongside the fixtures to ensure you have the right placement. The wires should have around 8 inches of slack between two fixtures as that will allow you to bury the wire without disrupting the lights.
- Dig a trench – Once the fixtures are installed, you can connect the wire to them and bury it. Dig a trench around 6 inches deep and 2.5 to 3 inches wide. That should be enough to safely accommodate the wire.
- Place the wire – Place the wire inside the trench and make sure it goes deep enough to become fully covered by the soil on top. If the trench is too shallow, the wire will become exposed eventually and cause problems. The last thing you want is to trip over the wire after it’s exposed. Cover the wire with the soil and pat the earth in place to embed the wire in the ground.
- Walls and roofs – If you want to install the lights in the walls or roof, you need to mark the placement carefully and drill a hole to act as anchor to the fixture. Place the fixture inside the hole and secure it in place carefully. The fixture will come with instructions on how to do this. Make sure the wire is attached to the wall or hidden in a corner instead of hanging loose. That can be dangerous and can cause accidents like electrical shocks and even fire.
Step 4 – Finish Up
After that, you just need to plug the main wire to the transformer and the transformer to the power outlet. Make sure all connections are secure before you
switch the lights on. DIY installation isn’t as difficult as it appears at first glance. Make sure you have the right tools and techniques to get the job done. If you’re uncertain about the installation, you can always ask a professional electrician to come and inspect the system to ensure everything is installed correctly.
Lucy Xu is a content specialist from Oneflare. Oneflare is Australia’s fastest growing online marketplace connecting consumers with experts within the home improvement and services categories.