Halloween is today!! It’s my favorite time of year.
Orange leaves. Charlie Brown specials.
We get a lot of visitors from October thru December. And our home has a lot of steps leading to the front door and I’d hate to see trick-or-treaters get hurt.
So today’s tutorial is about installing outdoor landscape lighting.
Plus, outdoor lighting helps deter mischievous teenage Halloweeners.
Let’s just say I’d prefer eggs to stay in the fridge not on my garage door.
This project is super easy, takes only a few hours, and totally gives your home awesome curb appeal.
You’ll be surprised at how straight forward it is – I swear it’s harder to make pumpkin pie (which I love, haha).
The key to outdoor landscape lighting is figuring out all the supplies.
So I did that for you
- Power Pack ($59 each)
- Path Lights ($20 each)
- Flood Lights ($15 each)
- 12/2 Low Voltage Wire ($14 for 50 feet)
- Phillips Head Screw Driver ($5)
- Combination Stripper ($15)
- Measuring Tape ($15)
- Marker (FREE)
- Hammer Drill ($59)
- Tapcon Screws ($15)
- Driver Bit ($5)
- Lineman’s Pliers ($20)
- Spade Shovel or Half-Moon Edger ($19)
You’ll want to choose a power pack that can handle the power output of your lights.
The power pack in this tutorial can handle 200W.
That’s plenty of power for the 50W flood light and four 11W path lights I used.
The total power of the lights is 94W and the power pack can handle 200W.
I chose 12/2 low voltage wire so that there wasn’t a voltage drop for the light farthest from the power pack.
Voltage drops cause lights to dim and you’ll be a little upset when you experience it (especially after all the hard work you did).
The first step in the installation is to attach the power pack to the house.
That can be a little tricky if you have brick.
But I have a several tips to make it a breeze.
How to attach the landscape lighting power pack to brick (without cursing up a storm)
You’ll want to strategically place the power pack next to an exterior outlet.
Hopefully that outlet is a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter), too!!!
GFCIs are required by code for exterior electrical outlets because of moisture.
Dry fit the power pack next to the GFCI so that it’s power cord will plug into the outlet.
Measure the distance between the mounting holes on the power pack.
Transfer this measurement over to the mortar. NOT the brick.
It’s way easier to drill through mortar than brick.
I placed two dots on the mortar using a Crayola marker (which I stole from my kids, haha).
Drill through the mortar with a Tapcon drill bit inserted into a hammer drill.
Set the hammer drill to the the hammer setting and make the drilled hole depth be 1/4 inch more than the length of the Tapcon screw.
The drill bit usually comes with the Tapcon screws.
Don’t worry, my video shows you how to do this step.
Screw the Tapcons into the holes using the hammer drill and a hex driver bit.
The screws should come out about 1/2 inch out from the brick.
This allows the power pack to hang from the wall.
Now it’s time to add the 12/2 low voltage wire to the power pack.
Again, this is way simpler than you think.
Wiring low voltage landscape lighting, easier than parallel parking
Parallel parking can be a real pain in the butt.
I’d rather do this project any day over parking in the city.
After mounting the power pack you’ll need to figure out where to put your landscape lights.
Then you have to dig a 6 inch trench from the power pack to the light locations.
I used a half-moon edger but you can also use a spade shovel.
By the way, the the half-moon edger is great for edging flower beds and I you can check out that tutorial here.
Once the trench is made attach the low voltage wire to the power pack.
Strip 3/4 of an inch of insulation from both wires, twist their copper with lineman’s pliers, and slide the copper wire under the silver terminals on the power pack.
I have some really great tips to make this process easy.
You can watch the video below for all the details.
I’m not trying to be cool in the video by wearing sunglass, we were getting unseasonably nice weather in Pittsburgh. Sun in Pittsburgh? Who knew?
Man, I’m happy with our landscape lighting. It makes all the difference with how our house looks at night.
Just be sure to use an exterior GFCI – our detailed tutorial is great for that.
If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.
Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.