Landscape Lighting low voltage outdoor lighting design and installation service since 1974
Low voltage outdoor lighting installation procedures should not damage the existing landscape. No digging or trenching is required. Minimal disruption is best achieved by installing after the landscaping is finished. This avoids the necessity of relocating the lighting if the finished landscaping deviates from the original landscape plan. It also avoids the possibility of damaging equipment put in place during landscaping installation.
An unswitched 120v outdoor receptacle is the usual power source. Since the lighting transformer will be permanently plugged into the outdoor receptacle this receptacle or the circuit breaker at the electrical panel must incorporate a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) device. Recent NEC (National Electrical Code) rules stipulate that a raintight-in-use cover must also be fitted to allow the receptacle cover to close over the transformer cord plug.
The transformer is solidly mounted close to the receptacle; an extension cord is not used. Fixture locations are marked and the main low voltage supply cable is laid on the ground to within 3 feet of each fixture. The fixtures are mounted onto a stake (supplied with the fixture or available as an accessory) and connected to the main supply cable by a lighter gauge wire using ACE connectors. Deteriorating splices become major maintenance problems over time. This is why we recommend using UL approved heat shrink sealed brass ace connectors.
Low voltage outdoor lighting for residential applications is the sole topic addressed on this web site. The text is based on direct experience with low voltage lighting over a period of 32 years and over 2,000 outdoor projects.