Patrick Harders: Hi! I'm Patrick Harders with Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. Today we're discussing outdoor lighting, and I want to show you how to wire up your outdoor lighting system. This is a very important aspect to how your final project is going to look.
One thing that you must take into account with low voltage wiring is voltage drop. That is, as you get farther from the transformer, there is a greater strain on your wire and the voltage which will cause the fixtures or the light bulb to appear less bright. With fixtures that are under 50 feet from the transformer, we recommend three to four fixtures per line. As we get farther away from the transformer, 50-100 feet, we might only have two to three fixtures per wire, and when we're over 100 feet, we're typically going to look at one to two fixtures, many cases even one fixture as we're very far from that transformer. This will make sure that you have a consistent light output from one light to the next.
Alright! Now we begin the fun part of the job, trenching and getting all the wire buried. It's important to try and get that wire buried deep enough. My recommendation is to go for six to nine inches. You want to grab a tool like a flat-end shovel and get the whole family out here and start trenching. Basically, you can see, what we are doing is just making a line in the grass as we are trenching here, you are going to do the same thing in the mulch. Once we get our trenching, we take our wire and we simply lay it in our trench. I like to get some kind of poking stick; you can use a screwdriver or do it by hand. We are going to poke this in to the ground. And what's nice about this is it's very surgical. Once we get down with it, you can flatten the ground back up. You can't even tell where we trenched.
Now, a trick of the trade when you are getting ready to trench, for a couple of nights before, if you have a sprinkler system, turn it on, high volume, or just go out there with the hose and water the grass a couple of days before, to get the ground nice and soft. The softer it is, the less back breaking the work is going to be, and also the quicker the ground is going to heal.