In winter gardening is elementary. Do you live in a northern state, like Maine or Minnesota? If so, you’ll have to protect your plants from cold temperatures and relax, chilling. In California, it’s a whole different story. Abundant rains let a grip of vegetables grow. The trees blossom and produce crops. Therefore, outdoor illumination is still essential. What gauge wire for landscape lighting should you select? Installing outdoor fixtures might be tricky. You are to run the cables properly. Safety is paramount. So, let’s revise several basic wiring routines. I hope it helps you solve the tasks easily, with security in mind.
Do You Need Hard-Wired Lighting?
If your front and backyards are small, they are easy to illuminate. Pick compact and decorative solar-powered fixtures. They let you brighten dark corners in your outdoor area. Improving visibility on your pathways and stairs is essential.
Are solar landscape lights worth it? In California, solar electricity production industry is growing fast. Solar lighting fixtures are energy-efficient and easy-to-install. For your household, low brightness might be enough. Coming up on top-quality, stellar products, don’t give them up. They increase safety and security in your garden. Solar lights make your driveway and patio look beautiful.
Do you need to illuminate a large outdoor area? If so, hard-wired solutions might be necessary. Your best outdoor flood lights are:
Initially, floodlights are specific to public areas. They produce broad, wide-beam lighting. So, they can illuminate stadiums and theater stages. In your yard, a powerful floodlight might be also useful. It illuminates your parking lot or entrance area. You just need to install and wire it properly.
How Do I Choose a Landscape Lighting Wire?
High lighting brightness or luminous flux might be necessary. It illuminates your whole yard, eliminating dog walking issues. You can install it also in your garage or aquarium. Low voltage vs solar lights can work in daytime, both indoors and outdoors.
They would work as security or landscape lighting fixtures. But you are to install them correctly, selecting a suitable wire diameter. It depends on the lamp capacity and nominal transformer wattage.
Wire gauge is a standard cable diameter measurement. It runs inversely. That is, a smaller wire gauge number corresponds to larger wire diameter. Can I use 16 gauge wire for lighting? It depends on the transformer capacity. A thin, 2-conductor cable is enough to power small, not too bright landscape lights. Besides, it should also match electrical circuit amperage.
Do You Need a Special Transformer for LED Landscape Lights?
You are to size it properly. Its wattage depends on the number of lighting fixtures and their total capacity. You are to add all available light wattages plus 20% for reliability. Meanwhile, maximum landscape lighting transformer’s capacity is 300W only.
Transformer performs its basic functions, reducing standard, 120V current to safe 12V solution. It reduces the risk of electric shock even in heavy weather conditions. As well as your outdoor flood lights, transformers are advanced devices. They may come with a grip of additional features, like:
- motion sensors;
- programmable timers.
Your transformer may include several connections, aimed at different wattage. It enables transformer’s versatility and multifunction. Additionally, they may turn your landscape lights on and off. Transformers may ensure the necessary light level.
How long can you run landscape wire? Long distances that exceed 300 ft. require thick wire. Its diameter should be large, corresponding to 12, 10 or 8 gauge numbers. It’s necessary to prevent voltage drop: resistance occurs in an electrical circuit on the way, and it increases, depending on the cable length.
How Do Low Voltage Led Lights Work?
Landscape lighting systems are safe and versatile. They are intuitive to install and compact. It eliminates the danger of touching the bracket and mounting plate. Adjustable light heads are also not hot and safe to touch. Low voltage enables bright illumination and efficient energy consumption.
There are various landscape lighting fixtures. Your best solar landscape lights are also low-voltage. But these epic, compact devices require no wiring. Besides, they use sunlight to recharge. Floodlights are not the same. Some of them are solar-powered. The other ones are hard-wired or corded electric.
- UV and weather-resistant;
Line voltage cables may include only one strand. Thus, according to the National Electrical Code, all outdoor receptacles are to be safe. They should include ground-fault circuit interrupters. Safety protection is essential in all damp and wet locations. So, you are to plug transformer only onto a GFCI-protected outlet or receptacle.
How Do You Fix Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Wire?
Most solar lights come with small, energy-efficient LED bulbs. They might be not too bright but decorative and long-lasting. On the other hand, large and powerful floodlighting fixtures are multifarious. They come with dissimilar bulb types, including halogen and LED solutions. Both of them suit the application.
Nevertheless, low voltage outdoor lighting led vs halogen bulbs are the brightest ones. They are environment-friendly and long-lasting. So, going to install your stellar outdoor lighting fixtures, you are to:
- identify their locations;
- mark the route;
- run the cable;
- connect it to the transformer;
- install your hard-wired lights;
- connect them to the main cable.
You may like to bury your cable underground: you’ll have to locate it at least 24 inches deep. Only an authorized power company can mark the location of the underground lines. You’ll have to avoid digging into available utilities. Running your circuit cables through the walls is also possible.
Installation of hard-wired lighting fixtures is simple. It’s not as intuitive as solar lights staking. But it’s still not difficult. Upon installation, they operate securely for many years. Wire breakage may still happen. How to splice low voltage landscape lighting wire? Fix them easily, using top-quality electrical tape and solder. You’ll have to insulate every strand or conductor separately. Knit them together securely and cover the joint. This way, you get powerful, wide-angle illumination in your yard or garden. It makes any invasion or tripping issue impossible.
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