Before the backyard transformation took place there was a lot of landscape pre-planning. When we bought our house it was move in ready but we still had a “Wish List”. One of the first things we did was have a paved drive way put in 2011. We knew then we wanted landscape lighting so we had them run a PVC pipe under the drive way so we could run landscape cable through it some day. One thing we knew we wanted was landscape lighting. Our house sits a little ways off the road and can get pretty dark at night. Leaving the porch lights on all the time just made a mess from bugs.
The problem was we didn’t know what lights we were going to use or where exactly we wanted them but we did know we didn’t want to wait until our new yard was done to decide. The last thing we would want to do is have to rip everything up to lay cables or have to buy twice as much cable and go around everything.
When we started on the back yard project we bought a 250ft roll of 12 gauge landscape cable. To find out what gauge cable you need you would need to know any idea of how much lighting you are going to have. We knew we were going to want a lot of lights so we went with 12 gauge. You can check out this website for more tips on choosing your cable.
We thought instead of just running the cable under the deck we would run it along the second step, all the way around the deck. That way we could have easy access to it some day to put step lighting in.
Next we had a power outlet but in on the side of our house. This cost about $250 which seemed like a lot but the only other outdoor outlets were on the back porch and right next to the front door. This was really nice for Christmas lights and the pool pump as well. We also bought our 600 watt transformer for $129. We bought the biggest one Lowe’s carried so that way we could add as many lights as we wanted an not have to worry about running out of room. We ran a cable to the front and a cable to the back.
The step lights on the back porch really light up the steps but we do plan on adding more on each step. As you can see the light goes out but not down to the next step.In the front yard the first lights we put in were walkway lights and spot lights. They were very easy to install to the cable. They just clamp on to the wire. The spot lights took some nighttime finagling to get the light just where we wanted it. There were also a lot of shadows from trees and plants so it took a little time before we got them right. We also had to exchange a few spot lights that were just not bright enough.
Every time my husband goes to the hardware store he is checking out the landscape lighting, looking for good deals on new lights. He currently has 3 walkway lights, 3 shrub lights, 2 tree up lights, and 3 house spot lights. Thats just the front yard. We have noticed each time he adds a new light the others dim just a little. Also the further out you go in the cable the weaker the lights will be but trust me they are still brighter that solar lights any day 🙂
I love how our house just lights up at night.
I looked into having a landscape company come out and put lights in but they wanted over $150 for each light and $1000 to put in the outlet and transformer. We were able to “Do IT Ourselves” for about $600. Thanks for reading and hope this will help someone else to be encouraged to DIY 🙂
DIY with ❤
Needles & Nails