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How to Install Easy Exterior Home Lighting

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After two years in our home we finally got around to installing some exterior lighting and I am so thrilled with how it turned out. This job was SO easy to do. It only took about 2 hours and required no special skills or equipment. The price will vary depending on how many lights you want, but we wound up spending about $300. $300 and 2 hours of time for a BIG IMPACT… not too shabby!
Time: 2 Hours Cost: $300 Difficulty: Easy
If you have never done electrical work before, don’t be intimidated. This was really simple and required no special wiring skills.
Here is what you need for this project:
1. Low voltage lighting cable
2. Malibu Power Pack
3. Malibu LED Spotlights: We used three 50 W spotlight (which can reach up to 20 feet) for the front of the house and three 20 watt (which can reach up to 10 feet) for the garage. Note that the those wattages are the halogen equivalent with respect to brightness; the LED lights actually pull a lot less power).
4. PVC pipe (optional) or rebar & sledge hammer to bore under sidewalk (if applicable)
5. Something to mount your power box on/with
This is what the inside of the power box looks like. There are lots of different timing options you can choose from and it is super easy to set. Right now we are doing “dawn + 6 hours” so it is on from about 5 pm until about 11 pm. The power box just plugs into a regular outlet, so you need to attach it to something near your outlet. You could attach it to the house or put a stake in the ground and attach it to that. It just shouldn’t be laying on the ground.
First lay out your cable along the front of the house, making sure to leave a good amount of slack throughout and extra cable at both ends in case you ever want to add more lights on later. If you have a walkway you need to cross, dig small trenches on either side of the walkway, then place your rebar or pvc pipe under the concrete and bang it through the soil with a hammer or sledge hammer to the other side then fish the cable through the hole. Once your cable is laid out, attach it to the power box as shown.
Set up your spot lights where ever you think you want them. We did this in the daytime so we just guestimated, then fine-tuned them at nightfall. Then you simply snap the connector at the end of each light onto your cable and you are done! The connectors have these prong things that automatically cut through the wire coating to the cable, so there is no electrical wiring involved. So cool!
And there you have it! Two hours to a sparkly new exterior! Check out my full blog post for additional tips and details!

To see more: http://movingtothecountryryanhomes.blogspot.com/2014/12/how-to-add-exterior-lighting-tutorial.html

Ask the creator about this project

  • Hannah V
    Hannah V Brooklyn, NY
    on Dec 23, 2014

    Very nice! Outdoor lighting is the best! Take a beautiful house to the next level :)

  • Miriam I
    Miriam I Bay Shore, NY
    on Dec 23, 2014

    Your home is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your great tips!

    • Colette
      Colette Swedesboro, NJ
      on Dec 26, 2014

      Thanks so much @Miriam I!

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA
    on Dec 23, 2014

    Love it! I am clipping this. We live down a slope and I have wanted outdoor lighting for forever! I hate those solar excuses for lighting! They don't hold up and are more trouble than they are worth!

    • Colette
      Colette Swedesboro, NJ
      on Dec 26, 2014

      I totally agree @Jeanette S! We had the solar lights for almost a year and they just weren't cutting it!!

  • Miriam I
    Miriam I Bay Shore, NY
    on Dec 24, 2014

    @Tikva Morrow check this out - awesome tips here.

  • HippieBob
    HippieBob Pueblo, CO
    on Dec 28, 2014

    I would just like to add a note of caution from someone who has experience in these types of installations. You get what you pay for. This is in no way a permanent fix. The connections where the individual lights "cut" into the trunk line will corrode, and the lights quit working, varmints will chew the low voltage lines unless placed in conduit. While this may be adequate for many people out there, I will guarantee that after the first year or so, it will demand regular maintenance, sometimes taking more effort than the original build.

    • HippieBob
      HippieBob Pueblo, CO
      on Dec 30, 2014

      @Colette Properly installed wiring will last a lifetime, this stuff won't. Do not expect a "one and done" scenario. I sincerely doubt that any warranty will cover a corroded connector or damage to the wiring from varmints. If you are comfortable with doing periodic maintenance as a trade off for added initial expense and labor, that is fine. Just do not expect this to be as trouble free as the lighting and wiring in your house.

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