DIY Installation Tips for Your Outdoor Lighting Scheme
You can install outdoor wall lights and other lighting fixtures on your own if the cable lines are already laid out and the receptacles are easily accessible. On the other hand, you may opt to use solar powered garden lights or lighting fixtures instead, that don’t require wiring. Since solar powered lights rely solely on energy from the sun, it doesn’t consume electricity; thus, there’s no need to plug it into a power source so there’s no need for cumbersome wires.
You can check out some websites for your top solar powered garden light options. Those websites offer extensive reviews of solar powered lights for your garden, including pros and cons of each brand to make the decision-making so much easier for you. Nevertheless, if you want to go the long route, you could decide to make use of lighting fixtures that require wiring.
Laying out an outdoor lighting scheme from scratch is more involved, but it’s doable if you observe all the wiring precautions. You would have to be conscious of the layout for an outdoor lighting scheme because the lines sometimes run along open surfaces. These have to be insulated and protected against wear, tear and tampering. You would make fewer adjustments on a landscaped yard, but you’ll save on the costs of hiring an electrician if you know where the lines are laid out and you know how to troubleshoot tripped and shorted circuits.
The lines have to be laid out before outdoor wall lights and other fixtures are installed. The task would be easier if you start from scratch, but you can also rework an existing layout if you’re going to add more load to the circuits. You don’t have to remove existing receptacles, but if your new layout requires more of these, then you should install new ones on the designated spots before you measure out the cables. Make sure the receptacles are placed 12 inches (minimum) from the surface to prevent moisture and dust accumulation. These should also have ground fault circuit interrupters as safeguards against electrical shock.
Use a 20-ampere circuit if you’re installing four or more receptacles on an electrical line, especially if its total load exceeds 300 watts. Your outdoor wall lights and fixtures must be plugged into weatherproof receptacle boxes; bubble covers are preferable since these encase the fixtures’ plugs. You can lay out the primary electrical lines once all the receptacles are installed. Call your utility supplier first so they can someone over to mark spots you should avoid. This should give you a good idea of your layout.
You would have to bury underground feeder (UF) cables 24 inches below the surface; some parts can be buried at 18-inch depths to accommodate secondary lines, but you’ll have to run these through PVC conduits. If the line runs along an exposed surface which can’t accommodate an anchor point for a receptacle box, then the exposed conduit must be embedded in concrete and covered with waterproof casing. These functions allow you to install outdoor wall lights and fixtures in remote areas of your yard.
You would easily visualize your lighting scheme if the primary electrical lines and receptacles are already installed. You should consult an electrician if you’re stumped with certain aspects of the layout, though, specifically the load distributions.