How to Wire Outdoor Lights

Landscape features are lit up at night by LED lighting

The right outdoor lighting can add a lot of ambiance and curb appeal to your property. At the same time, outdoor lighting can serve a functional purpose. If your property is lacking the outdoor lighting you desire, you can always install new light boxes, wiring, and lighting to suit your needs. Before you get started, however, there are some things you need to know.

Safety First

Keep in mind that you should have some basic wiring skills and experience if you want to wire your own outdoor lights. Working with electricity is inherently dangerous, so you shouldn’t attempt this project alone if you don’t have the previous knowledge and experience needed to do so safely. When in doubt, contact a professional to ensure that the job is done correctly and safely.

Even if you do have a fair amount of prior experience with wiring, remember that you’ll need to call 8-1-1 or your local utility company to come out and mark your property for any buried gas, electric, or other utility lines before you begin digging. There’s a good chance you’ll also need to get an electrical permit with your plans approved before you can move forward with any digging, so check your city’s requirements and codes here.

Wiring Your Outdoor Lighting

The first step to installing any outdoor lighting on your property is to plan the route where your wiring will be installed. This will need to be tediously planned and outlined around existing utility lines. You can use spray paint to mark the route where the new wiring will run from your home to the new light box you’ll be installing. Keep in mind that if your new light box will be feeding off an outlet from your home or garage, you’ll need to check and make sure that your new lighting won’t overload that circuit.

Once you have the path outlined, use a shovel to dig a foot-deep trench. Once this is dug out, you can run 1/2-inch metal conduit through the trench as needed. If you need to run the wiring through any walkways, you can use a bit of rigid metal conduit (which is stronger than traditional conduit) to break through the concrete.

Next, it’s time to get your new lightbox in place. Many of these come pre-assembled; if this is the case, all you should need to do is install the lightbox at a point of your choosing, being careful to use weatherproof materials.

Once your lightbox is installed, all that’s left to do is to run a cable from the post to your outlet box. Then, your outdoor lighting will be ready for installation and use. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s specific steps for installing and connecting your new outdoor lights, as these may vary from one fixture to another.

Consider Hiring a Professional

Overall, wiring for outdoor lights on your property is a project you can tackle if you have precious electric/wiring experience. If you’re at all in doubt about your abilities to take on this kind of project, however, it’s important to call in a professional. Our team at Enhanced Outdoor Lighting & Design is here to assist you with all your home’s lighting needs in Austin, San Antonio, and the surrounding areas. We’ll take care of not only the wiring, but the lighting design and installation process as well.

Feel free to contact us today to get started with your free quote or to find out more about the many lighting services we offer, including landscape and security lighting.