How to install outdoor low voltage LED step lights
January 12, 2016 By Edel McCarronYour deck can be the setting for many relaxing evenings. The key is to add lighting that casts a nice glow over the seating areas, highlight features and illuminate steps and walkways. Installing low voltage LED step lights is the most cost-efficient way to illuminate the steps outside of your home.
If the night is calling you, pull up a lounge chair and enjoy it from your back yard. Your deck can be the setting for many relaxing evenings. The key is to add lighting that casts a nice glow over seating areas, highlights features and illuminates steps and walkways. Installing low voltage LED step lights is the most cost-efficient way to illuminate the steps outside of your home. Low-voltage systems do this well and they're safe and easy to work with. Unlike with standard household voltage, the transformer that powers them simply plugs into a receptacle. For this particular how-to article, we will be enumerating the steps in installing low voltage LED stair riser lights which you can purchase preassembled in a number of designs or you can build your own.
Step 1: Draw up a lighting plan
Before you install any fixtures in the property, mark their approximate positions in the landscape using small flags or pencils. Indicate the positions on your sketch and mark what fixture types will go at each location. As you walk through the property, make rough measurements to indicate the distances between fixtures and the transformer, and between the fixtures themselves.
Step 2: Determine wire runs
Now, the task is to plan how to provide power to the fixtures. Starting with the one that is farthest from the transformer, run the low voltage wire from light to light. Leave a 6-inch loop of wire at each step light location.
Step 3: Match the polarity of the wires
There will be one smooth black wire and another wire may be ribbed with white lettering. Hold the wire ends together then twist waterproof wire nuts to create a tight connection. With electrical tape, wrap the connection.
Step 4: Mount the transformer
For this step, make sure you read the instructions for your transformer. Turn off the on/off switch. Attach the transformer to your desired location with the use of mounting brackets. Run the wires into place then connect. Ensure that the photo eye sensor is exposed to sunlight.
Step 5: Test the light
Plug the transformer into the outlet. Turn it on and test the lighting and set the timer as necessary. Unplug the transformer. Carefully attach the top cap over to hide the low voltage wire, making sure that you do not to screw into the wire.
Read our complete guide on outdoor lighting tips tricks and considerations.