How to Install Low Voltage Lighting: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

5 common mistakes made while installing outdoor lighting. They can be easily avoided, and shouldn't be taken lightly - because any one of these mistakes can cause future problems.

Use of a voltmeter is essenial for troubleshooting

1. Not Using A Voltmeter - While the introduction of LED landscape lighting has diminished the need for a voltmeter (because of the wider range of acceptable voltage), having this tool on hand is essential for systems of greater than 10 lights or for systems with wire runs longer than 100 ft. And, is a must-have tool for troubleshooting a system.

2. Not Using A Waterproof Direct Burial Splice - Since landscape lighting cables are buried underground, implementing the correct splice is important. Quality direct burial connectors will prevent corroding and electrical resistance.

3. Excessive Voltage Drop - Unlike a 120v current, 12v currents lose voltage over long wire runs and when the wire is loaded with many lights. A rule of thumb - the 100/100 rule - use a maximum length of 100' of 12 gauge cable per 100 watts of light. And, of course, use a voltmeter to check the voltage at the fixture.

4. Installing Lights In The Wrong Place - Lawn maintenance will prove difficult when landscape lighting fixtures are installed throughout your grass. Fertilizer, lawn mowers, and weed whackers can all damage the fixtures. Install the landscape lights in beds, and use in-ground well lights for the yard. Also, when choosing where to put your fixtures, make sure they are hidden. Outdoor lighting looks more appealing when the source is unseen.

5. Using Poor Quality Fixtures - Purchase moisture-sealed fixtures that will provide long-lasting light in outdoor elements. Always install pro-quality fixtures to ensure a professional quality result.

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